|EUK-134- The Super Anti-Oxidant from Canada as found in CyberDERM’s PM Anti-Age|
In this time of resolutions, I know that you may be skeptical that sunscreen should be your number one beauty resolution. You’re thinking, “but what about all my required detoxes?” I have my juice cleanse ordered and ready to go. Surely, there are a 1000 more things I can do that would give more impressive ‘wow’ results than daily application of sunscreen. Finally, isn’t this a bit rich coming from a sunscreen company, of course you want us to apply a sunscreen every day! All very understandable and sound logic- but a recent study has flipped on its head our appreciation of what sunscreen can truly do. So bear with us…
As it turns out, we all have a little bit more super-human in us than we thought. Regeneration is one of the great superpowers. What would Deadpool be if he couldn’t grow back a limb? Turns out though, our ability to regenerate is even more impressive than we give ourselves credit for. We just need to get out of the way of our body and give it some respite from the thousand and one external aggressors that inhibit this natural process.
Enter sunscreen. Sunscreen has always been credited by physicians and beauty gurus alike as the number one anti-aging tool in your beauty arsenal. However, it was credited with being mainly preventive. In short, either start with sunscreen from inception and you would fend off the typical signs of aging like pigmentation, wrinkles, redness and more for a maximum benefit of looking twenty years younger. Failing religious application when you were young, you could use a combination of topical cosmetics and a host of other beauty interventions to repair the damage and then protect your investment with stringent application afterwards.
However, this new study found that after one year, daily application of sunscreen helped improve signs of pigmentation, wrinkles and hydration. No other anti-aging topicals or forms of interventions were used! It turns out that if we just give our skin a fighting chance to resist daily bombardment by UV light- we can heal ourselves and ultimately roll back the clock. Pigmentation showed the biggest improvement with the 12 volunteers showing 40-50% improvement. All study participants showed improvement in skin clarity and texture. How huge is that!
Now imagine, it’s January 1st and you make it your New Year resolution to apply a great sunscreen (if you are a regular of this blog, you know what we mean by ‘great’ sunscreen) every single day for this year. Take a picture- a good quality one, in real natural light, with no Snapchat flower crown filter. Now pledge to keep that great sunscreen on your bathroom counter and include it as a step in your beauty routine. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth so treat sunscreen application in the same way. Let’s see what happens after a year. Sure, you can still sprinkle some goji berries on your cereal and maintain that mantra for inner beauty too. For pure, superficial, outer beauty though- let this be the change we see.
Let us know how it goes and feel free to tag us in your photos too @thesunscreencompany!
All the best,
All about our Retin+Erase: the Next Generation of Retinoid Esters. Click here to Shop It Now.
Editor’s Note, September 2017: This product is now launched and ready in its permanent packaging- a beautiful glass yet airless bottle. It will look pristine on your shelf but most importantly will help your skin look pristine. There has been some confusion in the industry as to the difference between using a concentration of the raw material versus what that translates into an active ingredient. We use 10% of the raw material GranActive Retinoid, which translates into a 1% active retinoid ester. In Canada, the legal limit for retinoid and retinol esters is 1% active in the final formulation. If a company states they use 2-5% of GranActive Retinoid in their formulas, they legally cannot be using 2-5% of the active retinoid. Instead, they are using 2-5% of the material and are getting .2-.5% of the active, which is within the limits of what Health Canada allows. At a 1% active concentration, we are using the highest concentration possible and yet we’ve had no reported adverse reactions in terms of irritation. As you’ll read below, our unique dispersion allows us to use 1% active retinoid safely with excellent stability. People who have never tried retinol or a prescription retinoid have been able to use our Retin+Erase with no to minimal irritation. We also only have 4 simple ingredients in our product so no undesirables. Read about how this product was developed below and send us any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org! All the best, Sara.
If you had asked me two years ago would I ever consider including a retinol product in our line, I might have brushed it off. “Retinol? Yawn. If retinol worked well, there would be no more wrinkles in the world because it’s in everything!”
It’s true, retinol is ubiquitous in high end lines through to mass ones. It’s always been plagued with causing irritation, stability issues and efficacy. Retinol needs to be converted in the skin into an active form in order to function so high doses are necessary to really function but then irritation and side effects become an issue. At the end of the day, retinol was the sad sibling of prescription retinoids. Sure they were part of the same family but one was an underperformer and if you could work with the gold star of anti-aging, as prescription retinoids are often called, then why tango with the lacklustre understudy.
Unfortunately, as starlets go, prescription retinoids have their own bits of drama as well. They have had availability issues in the past couple of years with one brand or another being on back order. On closer examination, the formulas available in Canada also have parabens included in their non-medicinals. It can be odd how we can scrutinize cosmetics for their ingredients but then never take a second look at pharmaceutical products. Certainly, if a drug is life saving or critical to ones health, you tend to focus on the active ingredient. However, for pharmaceuticals for cosmetic use, it makes sense that we apply the same level of stringency as we would our other personal care products. This put our sister clinic in a tough position between maintaining their precepts about avoiding endocrine disruptors while delivering the best results possible.
When we drilled down a bit more though, a lot of our hesitancy disappeared and our resolve to create something better strengthened. It turns out that while our sister clinic had been prescribing a significant amount of retinoids when we gently questioned our patients, many of them admitted to neglecting to actually use them. They just could not stand the irritation and the dryness on a daily basis.
This brings us to Retin+Erase. On a trip to the lovely Barcelona, my father and I were attending the annual and amazing In-Cosmetics show. Raw material suppliers from all over the world fill a space triple the size of an arena and showcase the best and the brightest of their wares. To be honest, I was pregnant, jet lagged, and mostly hungry so not in the best frame of mind. My father, however, had attended a presentation on a new generation of retinoid esters. I’d heard of different retinol esters and again was not very interested but my father insisted that he thought the science had merit and so we stopped to discuss with the scientist who did the original discovery of this unique molecule. Their clinical photos were promising so we arranged for a sample to be sent to our genius chemist and would wait to see what he thought.
Our chemist agreed the material was intriguing and had known the supplier and their excellent products for a while. Our challenge to him was to use a high percentage. Health Canada limits cosmetic products to 1% active so that was our threshold. Our chemist returned a prototype that admittedly looked like nuclear yellow pudding but on application was light, hydrating and transparent.
However, the product’s real innovation lies at its simplicity. Our Retin+Erase has four ingredients on its list. Just four, simple and non-controversial ingredients. It turns out that we are currently the only manufacturer to use the material at a 1% concentration. Others had elected to use lower concentrations, perhaps due to cost since it is a premium ingredient but also due to formulation considerations.
Loosely borrowing from the idea of micelles found in micellar cleansers, we found a way to render the retinoid ester into very small and evenly dispersed molecules. Their uniform entry into the skin minimizes irritation, allowing the 1% active to work in its full glory. The formula contains no added water so no preservatives were needed but also means that water does not contribute to the degradation of the retinoid ester.
Our results to date have shown that even those who had abandoned their prescriptions due to irritation can use our Retin+Erase. Although we recommend to start by using a couple of times a week and then increase frequency of use as toleration builds, most have been able to use it nightly from the beginning with no issues.
So there you have a glimpse of how our R&D process can take shape- find a problem that we as industry insiders experience every day and then find the right material with the right science to address it. Pair that with deceptively simple formulations based on decades of experience and a willingness to try new things and presto- you have a new product that will hopefully change people’s skin for the better.
Look out for its public launch in 2017 and stay tuned with us for updates.
A New Form of Rejuvenation and What It Means For Your Love Life: Regenerative Medicine and the New You
Guest Post: Sunny Kim, Rn.
It is with great pleasure and privilege that I am guest-blogging for March! I asked Sara if I could borrow her soapbox this month, because every once in a while, here at Laserderm (the dermatology clinic that CyberDERM was first sold in and created for) we get to introduce game-changing treatments that make us so enthused we just can’t contain ourselves. I am the Director of Clinical Affairs at Laserderm, and also the dedicated Nurse Injector. I started nursing in oncology and dabbled on the orthopaedic surgery floor in my early days, but I feel my career really started when I started working at Laserderm. Laser and cosmetic dermatology has been my passion for the past 18 years, and other than a 6-year hiatus in Toronto working for Industry (Clinical Education and Research for laser companies), I have had the pleasure of being Dr. Laughlin’s side-kick.
As some of you know from recent visits to the clinic, Regenerative Medicine is something that is on our minds… What is it, you ask? To quote our Executive Director, Dr. Dudley: “Regenerative Medicine is arguably the most exciting new frontier in medicine today.” This is not an exaggeration, and we’re not the only ones excited about it. Recently the Federal government awarded 20 million dollars to advance stem cell research and the commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Canada.
Regenerative Medicine includes therapies which harvest and concentrate components of blood or cells, so that they can be re-injected or applied to injured, diseased or ageing tissue requiring repair or restoration. To date, clinical applications of autologous (you only get treated by YOUR OWN plasma or cells) platelet rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow derived stem cells, or adipose derived stem cells have offered new solutions in many branches of medicine: neurology, cardiology, opthalmology, urology, dermatology and plastic surgery, and orthopaedics, to name a few. Professional athletes like Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods received PRP treatment a few years ago, and brought media attention to the potential for PRP to accelerate and amplify the healing process; slow down or possibly even reverse degenerative processes like osteoporosis. The orthopaedic surgeons who have adopted this new approach have been able to defer or even replace joint surgery for some of their patients!
Closer to my heart, in the Dermatology and anti-aging world, PRP and Stem Cell therapies are novel approaches in reversing signs of photodamage, replacing old skin or scars with smoother and healthier skin, faster wound healing times when combined with laser surgery, hair restoration, tissue augmentation with micro-fatgrafting, and the sexiest use of PRP… the O-Shot. But we’ll come back to that later.
We are all trying to stay young longer, reclaim that healthier version of ourselves, and ward off signs of premature ageing. Most of us want to do this gracefully, still maintain our unique qualities in the pursuit of beauty, and what better way than to harness our OWN healing powers? PRP contains a ton of growth factors which are essential signalers to the body to activate the healing or repair process. Stem cells (harvested in adults from bone marrow or adipose/fat tissue) have the ability to become ANY type of cell needed in the area of injury or disease. That is huge- treatment options that are non-surgical, drug-free, and non-immunogenic (since you are only receiving your own tissue there can be no allergic reactions or rejection of tissue). There is a reason why Dr. Laughlin might never retire… she is just having too much fun and is exceedingly passionate about this new frontier in anti-aging.
I could go on, but let’s just leave it at that for now and get on with the juicy stuff. We recently launched our Women’s Health Program, and one of the treatments being offered is called the O-Shot. O is for Orgasm. And who doesn’t want one, a better one, a faster one, a bigger one, and more of them? Many of you have sat in a treatment chair in front of me, and trusted me with the fine details of your facial features. I pride myself in my workmanship, and I care deeply about the subtle curve of your cheeks and the symmetry of your lips. I care that you hate your one brow that is slightly higher than the other, I can fix that! Your trust is like a fiercely guarded prize to me, and I try my best to speak from first-hand experience whenever possible. So…. a couple of weeks ago I gave myself the gift of the O-Shot (Happy Valentines Day to my husband of 19 years!). Dr. Laughlin performed the procedure in about 15 minutes. I wanted to have the O-Shot so that I can tell you personally that it doesn’t hurt, I went skiing with my family immediately after the treatment, and it didn’t involve surgery, a costly drug or any implantation of a device. No medical procedure is 100% guaranteed effective, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that once the PRP starts working its magic, this story will have many… happy endings!
Trust me, you are worth it too.
To read more about our Regenerative Medicine Program or the O-Shot click here.
How much improvement can you really expect from a cosmetic? How many years should you shave off your appearance with regular use of something like a facial filler or a regular IPL?
In my years running a cosmetic and OTC (sunscreens are considered drugs in Canada and the US), I’ve developed a rough personal metric for how I evaluate a product or active ingredients level of effectiveness. I’ve also worked in proximity to our sister dermatology clinic and have a rough short hand for what people can reasonably expect for any of the numerous options out there. I’ll go through some of the possible options below- when I say % of improvement that can be expected, I generally mean how much do the visible signs of aging like wrinkles, laxity, pore size, dryness, discolouration seem to improve from before to after use. In terms of how this % of improvement translates into actually visibly looking younger- it gets to be an even less exact science. Having said that though, while it’s not exact it seems intuitive and I’m betting something that most people if they were forced to quantify could agree on.
A Caveat about Prevention
None of these metrics speak to prevention because how do you quantify something that didn’t happen? It would be impossible and yet prevention is invaluable and one of the main reasons we go to these great beauty lengths.
|Anti-Aging Beauty Intervention||Degree of Intervention and Interval of Use||Reasonable % of Improvement that can be expected||Translation into Years of % Improvement|
|Cosmetic||Minimal intervention/Daily Use||10-30%||0-3 years|
|OTC/Prescription Skincare||Minimal to Moderate/ Daily Use||20-35%||1-4 years|
|Spa based Treatment (facials, microdermabrasion, mild peels, IPL)||Minimal/ Seasonal||10-30%||0-3 Years|
|Medical Based Light Treatment||Moderate/ 1-3 x sessions up to annual or seasonal use for maintanence||30-50%||3-5 years|
|Botox and Fillers||Minimal-Moderate/Seasonal or Annual use for maintenance||30-60%||3-7 years|
|Medical Based Light Treatments||Intensive/ 1-2x per lifetime||50-85%||7-10+ years|
Cosmetics and OTC/Prescription Skincare
When I’m researching a new active to potentially formulate with, I reasonably expect that within 2-3 months of regular use, a customer will see roughly 20-30% improvement of whatever I’m trying to target. A bare bones moisturizer will still always help minimally, let’s say 10% or less- hydrated skin looks better than dry skin. However, a really great cosmetic means that a customer should actually see a noticeable difference in their skin- enough that someone might remark, “Hey, what have you been using? Your skin looks nice” or something to that effect. They might not be able to pinpoint exactly what is different but something catches their attention. I’d say you can expect a slightly more pronounced effect with OTC or prescription based skincare but you typically will also have more side effects to manage like irritation. Proportionate pain still equals proportionate gain.
Spa Based Treatments
I’m not meaning to malign spa-based treatments like facials, microderms or light peels by saying they have comparable effects to daily use of cosmetics. It just stands to reason that something you might have done in an hour treatment, even if done 3-4 times per year should have relatively similar effects to a less potent but daily treatment. Spa treatments also have the added value of relaxation, which is inestimable in its worth.
Medical Based Light Treatments
I’m lumping in a wide range of light based treatments into one category. Most of these will have some amount of downtime associated with them- from a day or two of looking a little nightmarish to 2 weeks plus. Some will use them as an intervention based treatment- for example the 45 year old woman who wants to clear up significant sun damage. Normally, this requires a more aggressive treatment plan but then with a good skincare plan in place (including sunscreen) minimal intervention afterwards will be needed. Some will start earlier and they will proceed with less intervention but will keep it up over their lifetime for maintenance. Then again as my mom is fond of saying- it’s all maintenance after 40.
You can get some nice and noticeable results from the less aggressive approaches to some real wowzer ones that absolutely look like you’ve Benjamin Buttoned back five years.
Botox and Fillers
Botox and fillers on their own or in combination with something like the Soft Lift TM technique can produce some results with real impact with less downtime, which is why they are so popular. Of course, they can have the reputation for making you look like a Real Housewife Of … with bizarre contortions of lips and puffed up cheeks. I’ve never thought that was how they are intended to be used. You should still look like you.
Medical Based Light Treatments- Full Resurfacing
I thought this one deserved its own category since it’s still the most jaw dropping but also most intense treatment on the block. Full Resurfacing is more art than pure science so should only be done by a very skilled professional. There is also significant downtime and post-care and you need someone with experience to guide you through it. I call this procedure though the magical eraser because it is intended to buff out the deepest of wrinkles and photo-damage. We’ve had women in their 70’s+ have this procedure done and you want to do a little communal dance with them after recovery because they really do look 10-15 years younger.
The End Goal- Being Ageless
There is a reason I named one of our most popular Regimen Packages, Be Ageless- in mind my it’s what we are all after and I mean this from a purely superficial and shallow way. I won’t even attempt to discuss the importance of an ageless soul or mind- that is for theologists and philosophers far smarter than me to tackle. I mean from a purely looks-based assessment we still all want to get to the point were we transcend age. It becomes about more than shaving off years. I don’t think anyone wants to look twenty when they are fifty. When you look at women like Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Halle Berry, you can’t pinpoint their age and you don’t care to either. How do you get to be ageless? There is a magic mix of genes, lifestyle, prevention but probably some degree of the above beauty interventions too. Sometimes a lifetime of great skincare will do the trick! If you have your magic mix, let us know in the comments and share your secrets!
All the best,
How does the Sun really damage our skin on a cell by cell basis over time
So we have all witnessed the casual creep of an emerging sun burn. I once realized that I had
missed a hand shaped section on my back when a wicked burn emerged several hours later and I bore the mark of a tanned handprint for a month later. So we all know the general gist of how it works- we expose ourselves to sunlight and if not properly protected- we get sunburnt or perhaps a perceived lovely glow. In the back of our minds, we know that perceived glow might turn on us. We can spot sun damage with its entailed leathery texture of skin, pigmentation, freckles (yes that is sun damage, no you are not born with them) wrinkles and laxity. However, what damage is done in the moment and immediately after. How is the trauma inflicted? For those who are curious, here is a timeline for sun damage beginning with the first part in this series- the sunburn.
Moment 0: Vasodilation
Imagine a pure and perfect length of unprotected naked skin, while the first few rays of sunlight reach out and touch it. It’s a fantastic sensation for many but the pleasure hides the unseen assault that is happening.
Of the UV light that is not absorbed by the ozone layer, 5% of it is UVB- the burning rays. Think of UVB as being the heavy weight brute of the UV family. They pack a heavy punch that cause an immediate reaction. Immediately, the UV light triggers vasodilation, meaning a surge of blood rushes to the skin. This explains why you see an immediate reddening of the skin. However, this merely a first glance of what is to come as the more pronounced erythema (skin reddening) will appear 1 hour later and then peak between 24-48 hours.
If the skin is truly naked and without any form of protection, then the other 95% of UV light in the form of UVA will begin its more insidious invasion. Studies have shown that UVA also has an effect on vasodilation- however, it’s effect tends to peak after 72 hours. If you find your sunburn peaking or continuing substantially 3 days after exposure, it might be a good indicator that you were unprotected against UVA light in addition to UVB. This very often happens during those cloudy days where you receive the unexpected worst sunburn of your life.
Multiple studies have been conducted to find ways to mediate UVB and UVA caused erythema. Aspirin due to its possible inhibition of a fatty acid called prostaglandin showed the best improvement for UVB caused erythema. It did not show the same improvement for UVA caused erythema- leading researches to conclude that a different physiological effect was occurring with UVA based vasodilation.
Other research also showed that the DNA of skin cells are one of the main targets of UVB light.
In other words, DNA are like sponges that soak up UV light, which causes a multitude of issues. DNA’s exposure to UV light immediately coincides with the production of a DNA repair enzyme that leads to a reduction in erythema. This means that from Moment 0 of UV exposure- an intricate anti-inflammatory response is triggered as the body fights to repair itself.
There is an upside to sunburn, as unpleasant as it sounds- you can consider it an undeniable warning sign that you should get out of the sun. The issue with many high SPF sunscreens is that they mute that early detection system but do not necessarily follow up with the requisite UVA protection to keep other forms of skin damage at bay.
Something to think about until next time when we explore the physiological response within your skin as sun damage progresses.