Life Extension Magazine April 2011
Novel Method to Reverse Age-Related Skin Imperfections
By Gary Goldfaden, MD, and Robert Goldfaden
Microdermabrasion is one of the top non-surgical skin restoration procedures for men and women.1
This medically administered exfoliation technique has been shown to dramatically reduce the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines.2
Unfortunately, its high cost, along with the significant health risks the procedure poses in some cases, makes microdermabrasion an unattractive option for many people.
In this article, you will learn of a cutting-edge exfoliant alternative for at-home use. This novel topical application capitalizes on the unique properties of organic amber crystals to restore your skin’s natural radiance. In dermatologist test cases, it produced as much as 75% improvement in the appearance of wrinkled, damaged, aging skin!
Microdermabrasion: Major Benefits, Serious Drawbacks
In 1985, two doctors based in Italy (Mattioli and Brutto) developed the first microdermabrasion machine. It represented a quantum leap forward in anti-aging skin care. Their device exfoliates the skin using a spray of micro-fine crystals that are continuously removed by vacuum, a procedure that offered many advantages over earlier dermabrasion techniques.
Microdermabrasion reached the US in the mid-1990s. As a result of this technological advancement, microdermabrasion quickly became one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in doctors’ offices. Even today, along with the newer Botox® and hyaluronic acid (Restylane® or Juvederm®) injections, microdermabrasion still remains one of the top cosmetic procedures performed.1
Although extremely effective, the mechanized microdermabrasion process can also carry serious risks. Improperly sanitized machines can allow for the possibility of cross-contamination and infection from one patient to the next due to bloodborne pathogens.
Improper use of the machine may further result in the exfoliating crystals perforating the skin or even entering the eye to cause extreme irritation.
Those with undiagnosed lesions on their skin, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, sufferers of keratosis (a localized horn-like overgrowth of skin, sometimes discolored), people with an active outbreak of acne or rosacea, and individuals with autoimmune disorders, diabetes, eczema, lupus, psoriasis, or dermatitis may be unsuitable candidates for the in-office machine procedure.
Expense is also a significant drawback. Micro-dermabrasion performed in a certified medical office or clinic—the recommended, safe setting for administration of this procedure—can cost up to $300 per treatment.2 With an average of 12 sessions and an initial consultation fee of $150, this puts the total cost for a professional series of microdermabrasion treatments close to $4,000.
Day spas and beauty salons generally charge as much or more for their microdermabrasion treatments without yielding the same professional-quality results.
A Safe, Low-Cost, At-Home Alternative
Fortunately, for those who wish to experience a gentler form of microdermabrasion, a novel, dermatologist-tested exfoliant cream is now available for use at home. In patient after patient, this cream has been clinically proven to remove dead skin using fine particles of a natural organic substance known as amber. Traditional cultures throughout history have recognized the healing powers of amber. Modern clinical use confirms amber’s ability to rejuvenate the skin.
In one notable case, a woman presented to a dermatologist with dull, tired-looking skin and many fine lines around her eyes and on her forehead caused by premature aging and sun damage. She received a trial-size portion of an exfoliating product containing amber crystals. After using the product for three weeks, she returned to the doctor’s office. The physician noted marked improvement in the texture, tone, and radiance of the patient’s skin. Additionally, there was over a 60% decrease in the appearance of the fine lines around her eyes, as well as the appearance of wrinkles on her forehead.3
Another patient appeared at a dermatologist’s office with rough skin, dark blotchiness, and severely increased pigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure and prior pregnancies. She received a trial sample of an exfoliating product containing amber crystals. Upon her return to the physician’s office after one week of using the product, there was a 50% improvement in the roughness of the patient’s skin. There was also more than 30% improvement in the dark, blotchy areas and hyperpigmentation. After six weeks of using the product, the patient demonstrated more than 70% improvement in the roughness of her skin and more than 50% improvement in the blotchy areas and pigmentation previously observed.3
A third patient consulted a dermatologist regarding her severe sun damage, wrinkles around the eyes, deep creases on the forehead, and rough, tired-looking skin. These concerns were attributed to excessive environmental stresses, regular outdoor activities, and a past history of smoking. She received a trial of an exfoliating product containing amber crystals. After one week of using the product, she returned to the doctor’s office. The physician noted over a 50% improvement in the roughness of the patient’s skin and dull complexion. After four weeks of using the product, there was more than 75% improvement of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area, as well as a more than 60% improvement of the deep creases of the forehead. There was also more than a 70% improvement of the sun-damaged areas, leading to a much healthier appearance of her skin.3
What Is Amber?
Amber is one of the few precious substances on earth that is not of mineral origin. Although considered a gemstone, amber is a completely organic compound derived from the fossilized resin of extinct trees. This resin is the semi-solid organic substance that is naturally secreted by the epithelial cells of a plant in response to physical injury or radical climate changes. In the dense forests (between 10 and 100 million years ago), countless resin-bearing trees fell and were carried by inland rivers to the sea. The trees and their resins eventually sank to the ocean floor and were covered by layers of sediment.
Tree resins are highly complex organic substances that include compounds called terpenes. Over time, some of these terpenes evaporated while others condensed and underwent a cross-linking process to form polymers. Over millions of years the resin gradually hardened to become amber. The exact structure and composition of amber varies according to the species of tree that produced the resin, the age of the amber, the environment in which it was deposited, and the geothermal forces to which it was subjected.
The richest deposit of amber in the world occurs near the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. This Baltic amber comes from a layer of blue-green sand on the ocean floor that is between 26 and 34 million years old. Aptly nicknamed the blue earth, this sand contains high levels of a mineral known as glauconite, a silicate that is responsible for its unusual blue-green color.
How Amber Combats the Visible Effects of Aging
In 2002, a Russian physician named Nikolai Moshkov conducted clinical experiments on the natural ability of amber to improve cellular metabolism and stimulate renewal in unhealthy cells. Moshkov discovered that he could obtain rapid and significant improvement in disorders afflicting the head, spine, thyroid gland, chest, and limbs by rubbing the skin of the affected area with a fine powder of pure amber crystals. The most visible and dramatic results he achieved were seen on the face.4 The skin appeared younger, smoother, healthier, and much more radiant. This was attributed to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and tissue-regenerative properties of amber.
A non-surgical exfoliation procedure called microdermabrasion ranks among the most popular cosmetic procedures in the US. Unfortunately, its high cost—and the very real health risks it poses in a number of cases—render this otherwise effective anti-aging skin therapy an unattractive option for many people.
A cutting-edge topical alternative has been identified that effectively revitalizes skin at a fraction of the cost. Its potent rejuvenating effects arise from the unique properties of amber crystals. Amber is a semi-solid organic substance naturally secreted by plants in response to physical injury or extreme climate changes. In dermatologist test cases, a topical application containing amber crystals yielded as much as 75% improvement in the health and appearance of damaged, aging skin.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
1. Available at: http://www.surgery.org/media/statistics. Accessed December 3, 2010.
2. Available at: http://www.realself.com/Microdermabrasion/cost. Accessed December 8, 2010.
3. Clinical case histories provided by Gary Goldfaden, MD. December 28, 2010.
4. Available at http://www.masterpage.com.pl/amber-cures/. Accessed December 9, 2010.
5. Available at: http://www.microdermabrasionadvice.com/chemical-peels.shtml. Accessed January 3, 2011.