• New Stem Cells Overview

    Jul 8 2014 7:18 AM

    Symphytum Stem Cells - stimulate epidermal Stem Cells

    An active extracted from the roots of comfrey. Symphytum Officinale has been used as a medicinal plant for many centuries. The name Symphytum derives from the Greek word Symphyo which means to “grow together” and Phyton which means plant. An ancient Greek physician used Symphytum to treat bone fractures and accelerate wound healing as well as inflammatory and traumatic lesions of muscles and joints. Scientific studies have proven that the aging of skin epidermal stem cells can be prevented. In an invitro test, isolated human epidermal stem cells were cultured in a “normal” cell culture medium that was rich in nutritional and growth factors and which imitated the environment in young skin. These stem cells were able to form a nicely stratified epidermis with high Hyaluronic Acid (HA) content. The test result was then compared to epidermal stem cells cultivated in a specifically designed cell culture medium which mimicked the environment in aging skin (“pro-aging medium”). Epidermal stem cells that grew in this medium showed a reduced ability to proliferate. The epidermis grown in the proaging medium was much thinner and contained a lower Hyaluronic Acid content and less cell layers. 


    Symphytum Stem Cells tested and proven effective

    However, epidermal stem cells that were cultivated in the pro-aging medium treated with Symphytum stem cell extract were able to form a thicker and more compact epidermis with an increased Hyaluronic Acid content as compared to the pro-aging control. This test demonstrated that the Symphytum stem cell extract helped the epidermal stem cells in the pro-aging environment maintain their ability to build new tissues even during the aging process. 


    Increased smoothness and renewal time

    Scientists also measured the effect of Symphytum Stem Cells on the renewal time of the epidermis. Twenty women aged between 40 and 60 applied a cream that contained Symphytum Stem Cells twice daily over a period of 56 days. The results revealed a reduction in skin renewal time by a remarkable 8% as compared to the placebo and this was accompanied by an improvement in skin smoothness of approximately 12%. Symphytum works to rejuvenate the epidermis from the innermost layer ensuring that the skin appears smoother and more even. 


    Argan Stem Cells - stimulate dermal Stem Cells

    An active extracted from the Argan Tree, the oldest tree species in the world. The Argan Tree is indigenous to the arid southwest of Morocco and has adapted perfectly to intense drought and extremely high temperatures which are typical of the region. 


    Argan Stem Cells protect and normalize human dermal stem cells

    The activity of Stem Cells is regulated by specific epigenetic factors. Plant Stem Cells also have such epigenetic factors. In-vitro studies demonstrate that an extract made of Argan Stem Cells had a positive influence on the activity of human dermal Stem Cells. In order to evaluate the activity of Argan Stem Cells on human dermal Stem Cells, a stable human dermal Stem Cell line was used as a new test system: Stem Cell activity is assessed based on the expression of the Stem Cell marker SOX2 (a key regulator of pluripotency in dermal Stem Cells). Dermal Stem Cells which are cultivated in the presence of the Argan Stem Cell extract show enhanced SOX2 expression compared to the untreated culture. When seeded on a culture dish, these aged Stem Cells exhibited a better ability to form 3D spheres than the untreated control. Argan Stem Cells helped the dermal Stem Cells maintain their “Stemness” even after long-term cultivation. 


    Argan Stem Cells tested and proven effective

    To test the ability of Argan Stem Cells to reduce wrinkle depth and improve the extra cellular matrix structure, dermal tissue from volunteers was visualized by ultra sonography before and after treatment with Argan Stem Cells. Test results confirmed that a 56 day treatment reduced the SLEB (Sub epidermal Low Echogenic Band). SLEB is the result of disrupted architecture of the dermis and commonly found in aged and photo-aged skin. An additional in-vitro test with Argan Stem Cells confirmed a tightening of the dermal tissue leading to a much smoother dermal/hypodermal junction after 56 days. This test also showed the reorganizing of the irregular dermis/hypodermis caused by adipose tissue protruding in the lower dermis. This resulted in a much smoother skin surface. Anti-Wrinkle Effect – A clinical test on 21 female volunteers average age 49 utilized the topical application of a cream containing 0.4% Argan Stem Cells. The product was applied to the crow’s feet around the eye contour during a 56 day period. Test results revealed a remarkable 26% reduction in wrinkle depth. BEFORE AFTER  

    Category: Anti-Aging

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  • Aging, Hormones and the Skin

    Mar 20 2014 12:44 PM

    By Kendall Weatherman, Licensed Esthetician

    While there are many types of hormones, sex steroid hormones (estrogen and testosterone), thyroid hormones and stress hormones are the main hormones that affect the skin.  Normally, hormones help govern growth, hunger, immunity, metabolism, reproduction and stress.  However, as hormone levels decrease as we age, these processes are adversely affected. 

    Estrogen strongly influences the skin and wards off aging a number of ways. Estrogen promotes cell turnover (division), ideal fluid balance and production of collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid and other vital skin components.  Thus, estrogen encourages structural integrity of the skin, maintains the thickness of the outermost layer (epidermis) and keeps skin hydrated and youthful.

    When estrogen declines naturally with age, production of collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and other skin components decreases which leads to lines, wrinkles, sagging, skin thinning and fragility, visible dryness, dehydration, and itching.  Loss of estrogen’s regulatory function over skin pigment and loss of melanocytes that make pigment can also cause uneven skin tone, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation as we age.

    Estrogen loss also causes a reduction in blood vessels, which causes paleness and less nutrition, which further contributes to signs of aging.

    While menopause is a natural transition process involved with aging for females, as the loss of estrogen is faster than the loss of testosterone it causes increased oiliness, enlarged pores, facial hair and acne.  Insomnia that results also induce a less than rested aged appearance.

     Estrogen is anti-inflammatory so as it declines with age and menopause, inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and acne may cause blotchiness, flushing and redness.  Low estrogen causes an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which along with fluctuating luteinizing hormones cause hot flashes, which further contribute to facial redness.

    Estrogen is mostly made in the ovaries and therefore more prevalent in women.  Estrone, is the form of estrogen that is that primary hormone during menopause.  Men also experience a decrease in their primary hormone, testosterone, due to aging, which causes their skin to become dry.

    Thyroid hormones also affect skin function and hydration and play a role in aging.  Too little of thyroid hormones decreases sweating and causes skin to become coarse, dry, and thick, signs of aging.  Too much of thyroid hormones causes skin to become warm, sweaty and flushed, symptoms that are linked with rosacea.  

    Stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline along with progesterone are also linked with aging.

    While the causes of aging may vary, the symptoms and solutions to combat dryness, lines and wrinkles, sagging, hyperpigmentation, paleness and visible blood vessels are largely the same.

    Category: Anti-Aging

    Learning Center Category: Anti-Aging, Skincare Products

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  • Under Eye Circles

    Mar 18 2014 2:48 PM

    Undereye circles are simply dark shadows beneath the eye, usually with a reddish-bluish tint. Dark circles are caused by a number of factors such as genetics, aging, dehydration, allergies and lifestyle factors.

    Genetics plays a role in dark circles, with some ethnicities being more prone to them than others.

    Thinning skin, loss of fat and collagen commonly seen with aging skin can make the skin more translucent making vessels underneath more obvious.

    Dehydration also causes skin to thin which makes the area beneath the eye appear bluer/darker.

    Allergies are a known cause of dark circles as well. They are known as allergic shiners and result when nasal congestion has dilated and darkened the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose.

    Iron oxide and byproducts from red blood cells accumulate underneath the eye. Lifestyle factors such as stress, smoking, chronic alcohol use and lack of sleep or exercise are big contributors to undereye circles. All these factors and ensuing fatigue causes skin paleness making blood beneath more apparent.

    Sun exposure prompts production of more pigment underneath the eye, but this is different than under eye circles.

    To correct undereye circles, use an eye cream or serum that will hydrate the skin, improve blood flow and strengthen the capillaries beneath the eye. For stubborn under eye circles, you must use a product that will actually and break down the iron oxides and clear them away to effectively eliminate the appearance of dark circles.

    Lifestyle modifications can definitely improve under eye circles. Reducing stress and getting plenty of rest is key as is drinking plenty of water to increase hydration. Becoming more active will also help improve circulation and blood flow and help minimize these dark shadows.

    Category: Eye Area

    Learning Center Category: Anti-Aging, Eye Area

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  • Preventing Eye Wrinkles

    Mar 18 2014 2:42 PM

    Fine lines that start at the outer corners of the eyes are one of the first signs of aging and too much fun in the sun. These can become deep folds or creases over time, at which point they are true wrinkles or crow’s feet. Prevention is key for keeping the delicate skin around the eyes line and wrinkle-free.

    The main causes of fine lines around the eyes include aging, sun damage, repetitive facial expressions, and dehydration.

    Aging and sun damage cause collagen breakdown, which causes fine lines to form. Normally, collagen provides structure and plumpness to the skin. Facial expressions such as smiling or frowning along with squinting against sunlight causes further breakdown of collagen. Dehydration also plays a role.

    To prevent and correct fine lines around the eyes, it is important to use a repairing eye cream that will nourish, hydrate, renew and smooth the skin surface with ingredients that will take care with this most delicate and sensitive area. The best ingredients to do this are naturally sourced Vitamins A, C, D and E, Hyaluronic Acid, and Glycolic Acid. Squalane and superoxide dismutase are also great ingredients for preventing and correcting those first signs of aging.

    About these key wrinkle fighting ingredients:

    • Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) - combats atrophy and hydrates
    • Hyaluronic Acid - bonds moisture
    • Squalane - nourishes and protects
    • Vitamin D - regulates cell turnover and firms the skin
    • Vitamin E (Tocopherol) - heals and fights free radicals
    • Superoxide Dismutase - fights free radicals
    • Glycolic Acid - prevents accumulation of dead cells and stimulates cell turnover
    • Vitamin C - smoothes wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin.

    Aside from good products, the best way to keep fine lines at bay is to limit sun exposure to prevent damage caused by UV rays. When outdoors, wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to protect the delicate eye area and prevent squinting. Also, to beat dehydration, and plump fine lines from within, consume more water and water rich foods and beverages.

    If you want fine lines gone yesterday, schedule Pevonia’s De-Stress Eye Treatment - Eye Wrinkles or Pevoreclaim Polypeptide Treatment to plump and smooth the appearance of fine lines, reduce crepiness and rejuvenate the eye contour.

    Pevonia Botanica’s Evolutive Eye Cream is an ideal choice for those who are who are under 30 years of age, those just seeing fine lines appear or who want to prevent them from appearing. This product is ideal for all skin types, including sensitive, combination and oily.

    Category: Eye Area

    Learning Center Category: Anti-Aging, Eye Area

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  • Aging - A Normal Process

    Mar 18 2014 2:35 PM

    As we age, there are several normal processes that occur that manifest in visible signs of aging in the skin. We lose vital skin components such as collagen, elastin, fat, saccharides and fibroblasts and the basic processes of the skin slow down which results in the appearance of lines and wrinkles and loose, sagging skin and other signs of aging.

    Collagen, elastin, saccharides, and fibroblasts are the main structural components of the skin that give the skin its support, structure, elasticity, hydration and plumpness.

    Collagen is the structural protein that provides support and strength to the skin. As we age, collagen is damaged by processes called glycation and cross linking which are the main culprits in visible signs of aging like lines and wrinkles, and loose sagging skin.

    Glycation occurs through normal metabolism and aging as well as through a diet that includes foods heating or cooking sugars with proteins in the absence of water. Basically, browning of foods modifies the sugars and destroys enzymes. Normally, a small proportion of your blood sugar is glycated and forms Advanced Glycation End products, known as AGES. However, AGEs are highly destructive, causing sugars to clump up, absorb water and dry out collagen. This causes collagen fibers to be stiff and break, reducing the stability and structure of the skin. This leads to less blood flow getting to the skin, which inhibits skin nutrition.

    Crosslinking is simply the formation of chemical bridges between proteins that makes collagen become hard, less elastic and have a tendency to tear or crack. Fibers attempt to support one another by intertwining, but this forms bunches or “nuts” under the skin. Once cross linked there is no power to support the skin.

    Once AGEs bind to the collagen, the cross linking is irreversible, unresponsive to the skin’s natural enzymatic activity, will grow in size and number and cause deep wrinkles throughout the dermis. Essentially, this is like the scaffolding or columns that support a building having collapsed.

    Starting around mid 20s, each year we lose 1% of our collagen in the deeper layer of the skin called the dermis. When collagen in the dermis diminishes, this causes the capillaries to collapse, which impairs the nutrition of the skin. This sets up a chain reaction as less tissue nutrition leads to further breakdown of the skin’s vital components. This causes the dermis to thin or lose thickness.

    Elastin, another protein in our skin, is what gives our skin its ability to snap back. As we age, elastin stretches and begins to have less spring as we age. Due to collagen and elastin loss, our skin cannot withstand gravity.

    Structural sugars, are also called saccharides or glucosaminoglycans, the most well known being hyaluronic acid. These sugars keep young skin hydrated, flexible and plump are diminished with age. Saccharides also keep the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) intact with the deeper layer of the skin (dermis). As polysaccharide concentration decreases with aging, this causes moisture loss and contributes to the network collapsing, which creates dermal atrophy. This loss of saccharides causes a deficiency in nutritional exchange and slows biological processes of the skin resulting in visible signs of aging like lines and wrinkles and loose sagging skin. There is also reduction in the number of active fibroblasts, which are involved in producing collagen and the structural framework of the skin (extracellular matrix). As we age, the fat layer in the skin loses thickness, which causes a loss in facial volume which contributes to skin sagging, a prime sign of aging.

    Young skin repairs itself quickly and has a rapid cellular turnover rate. Aging causes the natural cellular turnover rate to slow down and the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, slows its rate of exfoliation.

    The metabolism and energy of the skin also declines as we age.

    Category: Anti-Aging

    Learning Center Category: Anti-Aging

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  • Aging and Genetics

    Mar 18 2014 12:24 PM

    Genetics determines our skin, hair and eye color, amongst other physical attributes and is also an internal (intrinsic) source of aging.

    Ethnicities with very fair or fair complexions have less pigment in their skin, which is how the skin protects us from the sun’s damaging rays. This makes and are more vulnerable to the prime cause of aging - the sun.

    Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Harvard Dermatologist in 1975 developed the Fitzpatrick Scale, which measures the skin’s tolerance to UV light, genetic disposition and how skin reacts to sun exposure. There are six levels determined by the color of the skin, hair and eyes and the skin’s ability to tan or tendency to burn after UV exposure. The six types are as follows:

    Type I skin types are highly sensitive to the sun, always burn and never tan. making them the skin type most vulnerable to sun damage.

    Type I includes white or Caucasians with very fair skin color, possibly freckles, even albino skin. Type I’s have red or blond hair and blue eyes.

    Type 1 is high risk for skin cancer so while all types need sunscreen, Type 1 should never be without it. Type 1 may scar if slow to heal, and has higher potential for vascular damage which makes type 2 has higher potential for vascular damage and is therefore more inclined to get visible dilated capillaries typical of sun damage.

    Type II skin types are very sun sensitive, burn easily and tans minimally making this group the second most vulnerable skin type to sun damage (after Type I). Type II Includes white or Caucasians with fair skin, blond or red hair and blue, green or hazel eyes.

    Type 2 is high risk for skin cancer so while all skin types need sunscreen; Type 2 (like type 1) should never be without it. Type 2 may scar if slow to heal, and pigment with trauma. Type 2 has higher potential for vascular damage and is therefore more inclined to get visible dilated capillaries typical of sun damage.

    Type III skin types are sun sensitive, and burn sometimes, and gradually tans to light brown. Type III skin types have cream or beige skin color and are darker Caucasians; Type III is very common and may have any eye or hair color. Type III is high risk for pigmented conditions and moderate risk for skin cancer. There is high potential for scarring and moderate risk for vascular damage.

    Type IV skin types are minimally sun sensitive, rarely burn and tans with ease to a moderate brown. Skin tone is medium and beige with brown tint and is typical of mediterranean caucasian skin.

    Type IV has high risk for chemical, heat or trauma caused pigmentation and moderate risk for all other pigmented skin conditions.

    Also, Type IV are at high risk for scarring and moderate risk for visible vascular damage.

    Type V is rarely, if ever, sun sensitive skin that rarely burns and tans well. Type V skin types are dark brown and includes mid-eastern, some hispanics and some blacks.

    Type VI is sun insensitive, never burns and tans very easily. Type VI includes black or deeply pigmented skin seen in darker blacks.

    Fitzpatrick Scale I - III Are more inclined to solar burning and damage as the degree of sun damage is relative to the individual’s melanin in their skin.

    There is actually a gene that fails to function properly in Fitzpatrick 1 & 2 that leaves it unprotected and vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Scientifically speaking, this gene (P53 gene) is normally activated in response to UV damage to determine whether a cell should be damaged or repaired. However, in Fitzpatrick 1 & 2s, there is a deficiency in the DNA protection by the melanin cap.

    Category: Genetics

    Learning Center Category: Anti-Aging

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