Pure Skin Solutions, Pure Skin Junkie
HomeAbout UsProductsThe SkinWand tmOur PhilosophyWhat is Chiral?IngredientsStrategyLook Who's had their natural fix....TestimonialsBefore/After PhotosUnderstanding Your SkinRetinaldehydeEducationResearchContact Us
Pure Strategy

We've put together all of the missing pieces for Pure Skin Solutions

Factors that affect penetration include temperature, oil, ingredient size and how well the ingredients mix with fats. Not too long ago physicians generally believed that topical skin products were a waste because the skin is uniquely designed to prevent outside substances from penetrating.  The evolution of our understanding began with our attempt to improve penetration of ingredients by making products more acidic (lower pH).  At high levels (chemical peels), this method is effective although the resulting damage is not desirable.  Unfortunately, at lower levels of acidity, the skin protects itself by tightening which limits the penetration of active ingredients.  The ideal pH is around 4-4.5, slightly acidic to the skin’s pH of 5.0 but not enough to stimulate the defensive tightening effect.  Great ingredients for the skin come in all sizes but usually only the smaller molecules will penetrate effectively.  To enhance penetration of these larger ingredients, they need to be engulfed in fat loving substances like liposomes.  Many companies tout their “penetration enhancers”, but if those ingredients are not attached to the active ingredient, they will penetrate without carrying anything good with them.  The unique advantage of liposomes is their ability to wrap themselves around key ingredients and carry them through the top layers of skin with ease.  Their lipo-phillic (fat-loving) nature makes the issue of oily skin less of a problem.  With products designed to penetrate via low pH methods, oil will neutralize the pH and make that pathway ineffective.

This has everything to do with your skin’s health and it is substantially overlooked by the skincare community.  All the skin’s food, immune support, antioxidant and remodeling efforts all come from the blood supply.  Every time you are stressed, you drink coffee or go outside in cold weather, your skin suffers a little because all of these things restrict blood-flow to the dermis.  Vitamin K, horse chestnut and caffeine in skincare products are all designed to reduce blood-flow.  There is no skin condition (Rosacea, Dark Circles, etc) that is better off with less bloodflow.  That is why the utilization of Retinaldehyde, Niacinamide, Camphor, and other circulation enhancing ingredients makes such a big difference in the quality and health of the skin. Bags under the eyes are the result of vasoconstriction (reduced blood-flow) and the correlation between loss of blood supply and the thinning of the dermis with age are more than a coincidence.  Remember, it is a thinning dermis that is the primary cause of visible capillaries.  The reason capillaries return after treatment is because the skin wants adequate blood supply in the area.  The best way to reduce this is to build back the collagen/elastin (in the dermis) that covers these vessels.  

This is an important term because it needs to be differentiated from the typical remodeling strategies employed by most skincare companies.  To highlight my point, we can discuss glycolic acid.  This ingredient is in most products and is touted as a rejuvenating ingredient.  The skin doesn’t have glycolic acid receptors so its method of action is simply to destroy whatever it can.  The reason there is any effect is only because the skin, in response to the devastation, replaces itself with new layers.  The epidermis swells a little from the inflammation (temporarily reducing the appearance of lines), the new skin is less pigmented (helping hyperpigmentation superficially) but the net effect of the skin’s resources were used to repair the recent damage rather than repairing the substantial damage that was the initial treatment goal.  So how do you stimulate the skin without damaging it?  There a few ingredients for this task but one stands out as a clear leader, Retinaldehyde.  The key remodeling components in the skin are the Fibroblasts.  They make collagen, elastin and GAG’s, all of which are critical to a youthful, wrinkle-free appearance.  Trauma does activate them but for little net gain.  Activating their receptors is the true target and Retinaldehyde does a wonderful job at stimulating Fibroblasts without trauma.  Retinaldehyde is what the skin uses to make collagen by converting it to Retinoic Acid.   

Most people think protection is a sunscreen.  Sunscreens create damage in the skin and have been shown to increase skin cancer rates.  Sunblocks like Titanium and Zinc, however, do protect by reflecting UV rays before they penetrate.  But the best method of protection actually comes at the cellular level.  Antioxidants used in the skin include catalase, l-glutathione, L-superoxide dismutase, Vitamin C and E amongst other ones.  We believe that the utilization of ingredients the skin recognizes vastly improves the protection ability.  Antioxidants are constantly being used, restored and used again because we are literally in a constant state of inflammation.  High dose antioxidants have proved to not only significantly reduce damage in the skin, they actually allow the skin to rebuild itself by shrinking the repair requirements, thus resulting in a thicker, healthier dermis.  To make the process most effective, high percentages of these healing actives should be used and adjunctive ingredients like liposomal technology, ensures that they reach their target.   

Let us be very clear, there is no more important skin ingredient than Vitamin A.  The body stores Beta Carotene and Vitamin A (aka Retinol) in the skin for activation whenever it needs to repair itself (which ends up being 24hrs/day).  It converts Retinol to Retinaldehyde, which has some activity, and then it converts Retinaldehyde to Retinoic Acid (aka Retin A). 

Looking at this process, you would naturally think that Retin A is the answer since that is the most active of the group and has the majority of receptors in the skin.  The reason that is not true is because retinoic acid requires very careful regulation.  The skin has no ability to store retinoic acid so whatever is produced (or applied topically) is utilized.

Unfortunately, like many processes in the body, when receptors are over-stimulated, they do not work as well.  In the case of Retin A (tm), the irritation resulting from over-stimulation reduces its effectiveness and the down-regulation of receptors makes it less active over time.  Retinol, on the contrary, can be stored in the skin.  It is 1/100thas active as Retin A (tm) and has little independent activity outside of what is converted to Retin A (tm) by the skin (which is a very small amount).  To achieve an adequate response, approximately 5% is needed topically every day.

Retinaldehyde is the immediate precursor to Retin A (tm) and has proved to have similar activity in the skin to Retin A (tm).  The big advantage is that the skin can store whatever is not converted, thus reducing irritation and maximizing effectiveness with long-term use.  Maximum stimulation of collagen/elastin with minimal irritation, which is why Retinaldehyde is the best form of Vitamin A available.

Another important misconception about Retinols is their ability to penetrate the skin.  They are a large molecule and often have difficulty penetrating to the dermis where they are needed.  To combat this problem, some companies use doses around 5% knowing that at least some of the Retinol will make it into the dermis.  The downside of this is that a large part of the retinol sits superficially resulting in over-exfoliation which compromises the skin’s defenses. 

To effectively penetrate ingredients like Retinaldehyde, the use of liposomal technology can be extremely important.  The net result is that there is less exfoliation (irritation) because the ingredient isn’t being activated in the superficial epidermis and there is more collagen/elastin produced because of the now higher levels in the dermis.

Next Page

Effective Skin Care for Pure Results!