The New Super-Heroes Of Skin-Care

One of the aspects I love most about my job is being on the front-line in terms of hearing about the latest developments in skin-care-and as a consequence being in a great position to give patients guidance about what is worth spending their money on-and what isn’t. A bit like our ward-robe, there should be certain ‘core’ items that maintain and preserve our skin in the best possible condition and can be used all year-round (analogous to that perfect trans-seasonal LBD, the beige Burberry  rain-coat and patent Louboutin Simple pumps); and then there are the pieces which bring us bang up to date and re-invigorate our look, the new products with ingredients that push the envelope. Of the latest technologies, the following show definite promise:

1) Argireline (see above if you’re interested in the molecular structure!) : a synthetic peptide which has a muscle-relaxing Botox-like effect and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It’s not as powerful as Botox, but as far as topical agents go, and particularly around the eyes where the muscles lie very superficially, it does seems to have benefits.

2) Matrixyl 3000: a combination of 2 peptides: one increases collagen production and the other slows down its destruction. Simples. Important to use a product with a significant percentage of the active ingredient: 3-8% are the recommended figures.

3) Fullerenes: a new breed of super-antioxidants, these agents behave like a “radical sponge,” as they can mop up or neutralize 20 or more free radicals per fullerene molecule. They have shown performance 100 times more effective than current leading antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C. These are true nano-particles and therefore can penetrate into the skin, unlike so many other ‘actives’ which sit on the surface doing very little.

4) Niacinamide: perhaps not new in the real sense (it’s a member of the Vitamin B family after all) but its broad and beneficial applications in anti-ageing are now certainly better understood. It can combat pigmentation, stimulate collagen preservation by reducing the inflammatory changes that promote collagen break-down and it improves the skin’s ability to hold moisture. A hard-working ingredient that is well-tolerated in most skin-types.

Of course, these new kids on the block need to be combined with reliably effective products in the background to deliver the best results-so don’t skimp on broad-spectrum sunscreen or your nightly retinoid if you care about your skin.

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