03 Mar

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Dr barbara brockway (BeautyLab® Scientific Advisor) writes.

Once you are told that most of your household dust is shed skin, you tend not to forget it and probably recoil in horror at the very thought of dead skin on every surface. It is worse when you read about the complex micro 'life' that depends on this

shed skin [1].

Shedding skin (desquamation) is perfectly natural and necessary. Our skin is dynamic and just like an escalator constantly moving upwards; young skin cells, pushed by the formation of new cells, gradually rise through the epidermis, until, as dry, old, keratinised epidermal cells, they are shed.

As we age, the speed of the escalator slows and because the rate of desquamation is less, older skin looks dull and darker. Oily skin can also be slow to shed and the outer

layers of cells appear 'glued' in place and so contribute to clogged follicles, while offering ideal 'housing' forAcne bacteria. Oily skin therefore especially benefits from help with desquamation. Not only does exfoliation remove the 'glued' cells but also makes it easier for oil-controlling actives to penetrate. As we age, the moisture in our skin becomes less than the normal 10 - 20 % and it feels dry and flaky. The stratum corneum becomes thicker (hyperkeratosis), duller and cells are lost more slowly, often in sheets or scales rather than one by one.



One quick way to make older skin look younger is to exfoliate. The simple mechanical action of rubbing off the top layer of skin cells immediately reveals younger, fresher looking skin. Skin creams with fine particles, such as black diamond powder, efficiently remove these duller outer layers, while gently massaging the skin and so help stimulate blood flow keeping skin radiantly healthy. skin resurfacing In the early days of this type of treatment, Dermatologists used dermabrasion. Dermabrasion helps to diminish the appearance of major skin imperfections (such asAcne scars), smoothing skin in the process. It can be used to reduce birthmarks, sun damage, tattoos, age spots and fine

lines [2].



Microdermabrasion can be used to exfoliate the uppermost skin layers. It came

into vogue nearly 10 years ago with the first Microdermabrasion units using small Aluminium Oxide crystals. Later diamond tip and the bristle tip brushes were introduced [3]. A non-invasive alternative would be to use an exfoliating product which includes Glycolic Acid along with finely ground particles for skin exfoliation and polishing properties.

Exfoliating products use many different types of particles but as media interest

proves, there is something very special and luxurious when exfoliants contain

gemstones and diamonds, with Mother of Pearl powder being one of the gentlest

yet most effective. exfoliating enzymes Natural desquamation is very complex with just sections being fully understood. Several enzymes (serine, cysteine and aspartate proteases) degrade corneodesmosomes (skin's corneocytes cells connected by proteins). These enzymes accelerate cell renewal through a gentle 'speeding up' of these enzyme mediated processes.

Pomegranate is an interesting 'superfruit'. It contains antioxidants, vitamins and

minerals. Pomegranate protease enzymes gently exfoliate the skin and when

combined with α- Hydroxyacids (AHAs) and Salicylic Acid, form a potent

exfoliating complex. α-Hydroxyacids (AHAs) and Salicylic Acid (2-hydroxybenzoic acid), a β-Hydroxyacid (BHA), are used as chemical peels. Glycolic Acid is the smallest

AHA. It is soluble in water and readily penetrates into skin, where it changes the

properties of the 'binding molecules' holding the dead cells in the upper layers of

the epidermis and as a result the stratum corneum exfoliates, exposing the

fresher-looking skin cells beneath and a luminous complexion is achieved.

Today, Salicylic Acid is well known for being the main active in anti-Acne

treatments. This molecule is truly multifunctional and is found in plants

including Meadowsweet and tree bark.

encapsulated salicylic acid MultiSal™Salicylic Acid is slow-time release encapsulation system withmicrospheres containing Salicylic Acid for targeted, heat-triggered or pHtriggeredrelease. It ensures the Salicylic Acid is being delivered gradually over a

longer time period. It therefore protects skin from the corrosive, irritating effects

of low pH whilst delivering salicylic acid for efficient exfoliation [4].

in conclusion

Shedding skin is natural. Exfoliating and skin re-surfacing will bring about an immediate improvement and so is considered as anti-ageing. New exfoliating and skin re-surfacing actives are available; however they are more effective if they are encapsulated in systems suitable for targeted delivery at efficacious levels.


[1] Nadchatram, M. (2005). House dust mites, our intimate associates. Trop BiomedVol.

22(1) pp. 23-37.

[2] Teikemeier, G. and Goldberg, D.J. (1997). Skin resurfacing with the erbium:YAG laser.

Dermatol. Surg. Vol. 23 pp. 685–687.

[3] Freedman, B., Rueda-Pedraza, E., andWaddell, S. (2001). The Epidermal and Dermal

Changes Associated with Microdermabrasion. Dermatologic SurgeryVol. 27 pp. 1031-


[4] Kaur, I.P., andAgrawal, R. (2007). Nanotechnology: a new paradigm in cosmeceuticals.

Recent Pat Drug Deliv Formul.Vol 1(2), pp. 171-82.

BEAUTYLAB® SEPT:Liz McKeon May 9/8/13