MiNDFOOD – 2017
Elsewhere, beauty brands are combining a multitude of protective elements in order to defend and repair the skin from damage.
“Even with the best sunscreen products, some of the damaging UV rays will sneak through” advises Angela Frazer, plastic surgical and cosmetic nurse for Prescription Skin Care. “Using an antioxidant serum such as vitamin C will act as a second line of defence, picking up where your sunscreen leaves off [while] stimulating collagen production and lightening pigmentation.” Frazer advises layer antioxidants under a mineral make-up with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
At Clinique, the current focus exciting researchers is infrared radiation (IR), which was previously thought to have a benign effect on the body. Recent research by a team from Seoul National University Hospital demonstrated IR adds to premature skin ageing. “What is exciting in the suncare research area is the news that IR and pollution is damaging to skin,” says Dr Tom Mammone, executive director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology at Clinique Research & Development, Worldwide. “The future of protecting skin from suncare includes protection from IR and pollution. We are working on making our products not just stronger against these damaging environmental insults but also making them last longer.” When it comes to repair, the world’s leading dermatologists agree that a combination of antioxidants and peptides are needed to mend any sun damage that occurs despite using sunscreen.
“For repair, the technologies for the next 20 years are going to be extremely potent and will rival dermatologists in their efficacies. We are already making products that compete with prescription treatments and lasers. Our next wave of products will surpass them,” says Cliniques Dr Mammone. SkinDNA’s Stefan Mazy, points to the study of biomimcry, where science imitates beauty phenomena. “What stops plants from burning or shrivelling up during the long summer days? Scientists [are studying] these specimens and isolating the exact chemicals produced by the plant.” Two of Mazy’s suncare ingredients are resveratrol, which is released in some plants after sun exposure to repair UV damage, and kojic acid – which is used by plants to prevent browning, and can help reduce pigmentation in human skin.
Similarly, American skincare brand DNA EGF’s Intensive Renewal is a product that contains an enzyme derived from one of the most UV-resistant organisms known to science, according to Kim Larsen, national sales manager at House of Camille, supplies of salon brand including DNA EGF. Larsen says the enzyme, found in soil and the ocean, stimulates the recognition and elimination of damage to the skin, to reverse sun damage (dnaegfrenewal.com). Increasingly, genetics is being incorporated into the industry’s approach to skincare and protection. “Our genetic predispositions play an important role in determining how well your skin can naturally cope under the strains of the sun,” says SkinDNA’s Mazy. “The SkinDNA Genetic Test can help to identify many underlying issues that cause pigmentation and skin damage before the signs become apparent.”
SkinDNA’s test kits involve taking a swab from inside your mouth and sending it to the company for analysis (available at inskincosmedics.com.au). The results can help uses to tailor their sun protection and care to their own genetic risk factors. “We know that two in five people have a genetic impairment affecting their body’s UV-protecting ability,” says Mazy.
“Genetic variations can lower your body’s ability to produce melanin, [causing] the skin to be highly sensitive when exposed to sunlight.” Such knowledge is seeing products customised to the individual and their personal needs, with the addition of specific sunscreens, peptides, antioxidants and photo protectants tailored to the user’s needs. Genetics will have an increasing role in the coming decade, as scientists isolate the individual genes involved in pigmentation and sun protection.
Researchers at Harvard University Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Dermatology have been studying the possibility of stimulating skin pigmentation with a molecule rather than UV radiation, as a way of naturally boosting the skin’s melanin levels from within. The resulting “safe tan” would provide fairer skins with a more naturally protected state.