Novel Method Uncovers Younger-Looking SkinAugust 2016
By Robert Goldfaden and Gary Goldfaden, MD
Microdermabrasion is one of the top five minimally invasive topical procedures performed in the United States.1
This mechanical form of exfoliation has increased in popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in revitalizing aging skin on the face and across the entire body.2,3
Body microdermabrasion can transform dull, thick, and peeling skin into soft, silky, and smooth youthful skin.
However, this in-office treatment can be expensive and also carries potential health risks that leave many individuals seeking safer, effective alternatives.
Fortunately, a unique body exfoliator has been formulated with ingredients that provide skin rejuvenating effects similar to microdermabrasion but without the significant drawbacks. The result is a safe, affordable, and gentler at-home alternative that delivers the appearance of younger, healthier, and more radiant skin.
Microdermabrasion: Multiple Benefits and Drawbacks
The outermost layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, is composed of dead cells that form a protective outer barrier and prevent moisture loss.4 As new replacement cells migrate to the surface, these dead cells slough off. This continuous natural exfoliation maintains skin integrity and function.5
As the years pass, the migration of replacement cells to the surface of the skin slows down, leading to the accumulation of dead cells in the stratum corneum that produce changes associated with premature aging.6
So, in an attempt to overcome this problem, a growing number of individuals have turned to a nonsurgical procedure originally developed in Italy in 1985 called microdermabrasion that primarily targets the facial area.7 This technique uses a machine to spray micro-crystals onto the face and then gently remove them simultaneously with aged surface skin.8 Since the body interprets this as a mild injury, it speeds up repair mechanisms to renew the skin surface—revealing fresh, younger cells.8,9
Additionally, removing dead skin cells opens the door for more effective delivery of moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting compounds deeper into the layers of the skin for a substantial anti-aging effect.10
Despite its effectiveness, microdermabrasion has several drawbacks. First, the machine is shared among patients, and, without proper sanitation measures, increases the risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission.11 Second, most procedures are performed by non-physician personnel, which heightens the potential for human error. For instance, there is a greater likelihood of crystals entering the patient’s eye and causing irritation. Third, treatments in a qualified professional setting such as a certified medical clinic can cost up to $300 per session, with a total of 12 sessions typically required for results.12 This quickly adds up to $3,600 without taking into account other expenses like the initial consultation fee.
Development of a Safe and Affordable Alternative
But suppose you had access to an effective means of achieving similar results as machine-administered microdermabrasion without all the downsides. Better yet, what if it was designed to target the entire surface of the body, rather than solely the face, as in traditional microdermabrasion?
Life Extension® readers will be gratified to learn that such an intervention is now available in a body exfoliator—featuring scientifically proven ingredients —that can be safely used in the shower, especially on the neck and décolleté, hands, and back.
This whole-body cleanser removes the buildup of dirt, grease, and other impurities—leaving your skin with a soft and clean feeling accompanied by a healthy, bright glow. Its exfoliating properties eliminate the rough, dry, and crepey skin characteristic of aging. Lastly, this body exfoliator effectively treats skin nuisances like calluses and back acne.
Let’s now discuss the natural substances incorporated into this unique formula, and how they work in a complementary way to leave behind a more youthful appearance.
Amber Crystals and Jojoba Beads
Amber is a natural organic substance derived from fossilized resin trees in the present territory of central and northern Europe almost 45 million years ago. This stone has been historically used in the Baltic Sea region to treat a variety of ailments, from asthma to rheumatism to jaundice.13 Skin rejuvenation can now be added to this already impressive list of benefits thanks to the terpene compounds present in amber,13 which provide powerful free-radical scavenging and anti-aging properties.14
Amber crystals have been shown time after time to combat the tell-tale signs of aging. In dermatologist test cases, the daily use of an exfoliant containing amber crystals for one to three weeks was shown to produce the following improvements in patients with aging skin:15
- Improvement in skin roughness by 50%
- Reduction in dark hyperpigmentation by 30%
- Improvement in sun-damaged skin by more than 70%
Another substance with exfoliating properties is jojoba beads (also known as jojoba esters) derived from jojoba oil. Since jojoba beads are biodegradable and possess a unique spherical shape,16 they are an ideal choice for gently exfoliating the skin without leaving behind any scratches or cuts. Additionally, jojoba esters fit the bill perfectly for improving skin hydration as its chemical composition closely resembles human sebum—the oily substance that naturally moisturizes and soothes the skin.17 In one clinical study, jojoba esters increased skin suppleness by approximately 25% after eight hours.18 As an added bonus, jojoba esters have anti-inflammatory actions.19,20
Antioxidant Tea Blend
Repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation produces a chronic stream of free radicals that induce oxidative stress, which in turn slowly destroys key skin structures and triggers the formation of wrinkles, sagginess, and fine lines.21,22 Regular exfoliation allows extracts of red, green, and white tea to better penetrate the skin to combat free radicals and protect against oxidative stress.23,24
Most of green tea’s skin benefits have long been attributed to the potent polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which quenches inflammation and prevents photoaging.25 Red tea extract boasts a noteworthy one-two punch of aspalathin, a rare flavonoid that enhances concentration of free radical-fighting superoxide dismutase (SOD),26 and alpha-hydroxy acids that stimulate new cell growth and repair following exfoliation.27
Lastly, white tea extract has been shown to inhibit enzymes that break down the structural proteins collagen and elastin, as well as possessing antioxidant power comparable to the aforementioned teas.28
Chondrus crispus, a form of red seaweed found in the Atlantic Ocean, acts as an emollient to help soothe, smooth, and hydrate aging skin.29 With its wealth of anti-aging nutrients, from proteins, vitamins, and minerals to its high content of the moisturizing compound carrageenan, Chondrus crispus has the repertoire to nourish and restore the skin’s healthy appearance.30,31
Peppermint oil contains a high concentration of menthol, which produces a cool, soothing sensation when applied to the skin.32 This refreshing effect, combined with its pain-relieving,33 antimicrobial,34 and antifungal properties,35 makes peppermint oil an ideal compound to enhance the skin’s healing capacity after exfoliation.
Microdermabrasion refers to a type of mechanical exfoliation that has been highly successful in revitalizing aging facial skin. While microdermabrasion has been proven to visibly improve the health and appearance of aging skin, its high cost and potential health risks have left many individuals seeking safer and effective alternatives.
Fortunately, a low-cost, at-home alternative exfoliator has been developed that offers deep cleansing benefits and overall stimulation of the skin all over the body. This unique body exfoliator contains ultra-fine amber crystals and jojoba beads, along with potent antioxidants and moisturizers, that work together to gently rub away skin imperfections to restore a youthful appearance.
Gary Goldfaden, MD, is a clinical dermatologist and lifetime member of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is the founder of Academy Dermatology in Hollywood, FL, and Cosmesis Skin Care. Dr. Goldfaden is a member of Life Extension®’s Medical Advisory Board.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.
- Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2015-statistics/top-five-cosmetic-plastic-surgery-procedures-2015.pdf. Accessed April 11, 2016.
- Spencer JM. Microdermabrasion. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(2):89-92.
- Karimipour DJ, Karimipour G, Orringer JS. Microdermabrasion: an evidence-based review. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010;125(1):372-7.
- Nemes Z, Steinert PM. Bricks and mortar of the epidermal barrier. Exp Mol Med. 1999;31(1):5-19.
- Madison KC. Barrier function of the skin: “la raison d’etre” of the epidermis. J Invest Dermatol. 2003;121(2):231-41.
- Farage MA, Miller KW, Elsner P, et al. Characteristics of the aging skin. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2013;2(1):5-10.
- Loesch MM, Somani AK, Kingsley MM, et al. Skin resurfacing procedures: new and emerging options. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2014;7:231-41.
- Kirkland EB, Hantash BM. Microdermabrasion: molecular mechanisms unraveled, part 2. J Drugs Dermatol. 2012;11(9):e10-7.
- Kirkland EB, Hantash BM. Microdermabrasion: molecular mechanisms unraveled, part 1. J Drugs Dermatol. 2012;11(9):e2-9.
- Freedman BM. Topical antioxidant application enhances the effects of facial microdermabrasion. J Dermatolog Treat. 2009;20(2):82-7.
- Shelton RM. Prevention of cross-contamination when using microdermabrasion equipment. Cutis. 2003;72(4):266-8.
- Available at: http://www.skinabrasion.net/cost.html. Accessed April 11, 2016.
- Available at: http://www.centerchem.com/Products/DownloadFile.aspx?FileID=6805. Accessed April 11, 2016.
- Gonzalez-Burgos E, Gomez-Serranillos MP. Terpene compounds in nature: a review of their potential antioxidant activity. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19(31):5319-41.
- Clinical case histories provided by Gary Goldfaden, MD. August 5, 2015.
- Available at: http://thejojobaoil.com/jojoba-beads/. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- Available at: http://www.centerchem.com/Products/DownloadFile.aspx?FileID=6962. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- Christensen MS, Packman EW. Skin surface softening effects of jojoba and its derivatives. Proceedings from the seventh international conference on jojoba and its uses. Champaign, IL: American Oil Chemists’ Society; 1988.
- Pazyar N, Yaghoobi R, Ghassemi MR, et al. Jojoba in dermatology: a succinct review. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2013;148(6):687-91.
- Habashy RR, Abdel-Naim AB, Khalifa AE, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of jojoba liquid wax in experimental models. Pharmacol Res. 2005;51(2):95-105.
- Fisher GJ, Kang S, Varani J, et al. Mechanisms of photoaging and chronological skin aging. Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(11):1462-70.
- Imokawa G. Recent advances in characterizing biological mechanisms underlying UV-induced wrinkles: a pivotal role of fibrobrast-derived elastase. Arch Dermatol Res. 2008;300 Suppl 1:S7-20.
- Katiyar SK, Afaq F, Perez A, et al. Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate treatment of human skin inhibits ultraviolet radiation-induced oxidative stress. Carcinogenesis. 2001;22(2):287-94.
- Camouse MM, Domingo DS, Swain FR, et al. Topical application of green and white tea extracts provides protection from solar-simulated ultraviolet light in human skin. Exp Dermatol. 2009;18(6):522-6.
- Katiyar SK. Skin photoprotection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2003;3(3):234-42.
- Baba H, Ohtsuka Y, Haruna H, et al. Studies of anti-inflammatory effects of Rooibos tea in rats. Pediatr Int. 2009;51(5):700-4.
- Yamamoto Y, Uede K, Yonei N, et al. Effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the human skin of Japanese subjects: the rationale for chemical peeling. J Dermatol. 2006;33(1):16-22.
- Thring TS, Hili P, Naughton DP. Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009;9:27.
- Available at: http://jalgalbiomass.com/paper14vol3no4.pdf. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- Available at: http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_irish_moss.htm. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- Available at: http://drs.nio.org/drs/handle/2264/489. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- Eccles R. Menthol and related cooling compounds. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 1994;46(8):618-30.
- Gaudioso C, Hao J, Martin-Eauclaire MF, et al. Menthol pain relief through cumulative inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels. Pain. 2012;153(2):473-84.
- Schelz Z, Molnar J, Hohmann J. Antimicrobial and antiplasmid activities of essential oils. Fitoterapia. 2006;77(4):279-85.
- Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Bapaji M, et al. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of aromatic constituents of essential oils. Microbios. 1997;89(358):39-46.