LATEST NAME of the game is inflammation when it comes to
treating and preventing the signs of ageing. Inflammation, from
the surface of the skin to the cellular level, is being scrutinized
not only for leading to physical signs of ageing, but also for leading
to degenerative diseases like diabetes. Two of the most prominent
leaders in this area of skin care technology are Dr Loren Pickart,
a biochemist, and Dr N. V. Perricone, the latest dermatologist to
launch his own line of anti-ageing skin care. Both scientists hold
numerous patents on highly effective and sought-after skin care
technology. Their approaches and marketing, however, are vastly
Dr N. V. Perricone
graduate of Michigan State University and chairman of the prestigious
annual International Symposium on Ageing Skin, is the author of
the best-selling books, The
Wrinkle Cure and The
Perricone Prescription, as well as the accompanying journal,
Perricone Prescription Personal Journal: Your Total Body and Face
Rejuvenation Daybook. He’s been featured on talk shows,
PBS and the Style Network, among many
Perricone’s approach to ageing skin begins with
diet and nutrition, then leads to powerful topical applications
that reinforce the potent antioxidants recommended in his diet plan.
The cornerstones of his plan—alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin C Ester
(not to be confused with the trademarked Ester-C Vitamin C salt)
and DMAE (dimethylaminoethonal,
a popular “brain-boosting” supplement found in salmon), precursor
to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that Perricone suggests—could
act, even topically, as a firming agent to the skin.
The benefits of fat or lipid-soluble Vitamin C
is the ability to use a base that’s neutral in pH, non-acidic, thus,
non-irritating and non-stinging. Solubility enables this form of
Vitamin C to reach the surface of the skin rapidly in amounts greater
than can be achieved by water soluble Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid).
Alpha lipoic acid, touted as one of the most potent
antioxidants available, is both water- and lipid-soluble. It’s gentle
yet powerful—400 times more potent an antioxidant than Vitamins
C or E. It’s present naturally in the skin and aids in exfoliation.
Perricone’s “inside-out” approach to ageing has
led to his line not only including a highly popular, prestigiously
priced skin care line, but also a line of supporting antioxidant
supplements and a new weight-management supplement programme. His
supplements include the most potent ingredients in his skin care
line, alpha lipoic acid, DMAE, and
Vitamin C Ester.
The supplement line also includes:
- coenzyme Q10 (US$49);
- conjugated linoleic acid (CLA),
a good source of a beneficial fatty acids with the potential to
positively affect skin and total body health (US$34);
- GLA, a combination of omega-6
and borage oil. Omega-6 contains a proprietary blend of oils of
omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).
Borage oil is the richest source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
Together, omega-6 and borage oil help to soften the skin while
preventing excess drying (US$25);
- L-Carnitine Fumarate, which provides a stable and highly bio-available
form of carnitine, a vitamin-like compound that can help improve
the utilization of fats as an energy source within the skin and
other types of tissues (US$32);
- L-Tyrosine, a nonessential amino acid (protein building-block).
Tyrosine is important to the structure of almost all proteins
in the body. L-Tyrosine through its effects on neurotransmitters
may positively affect several health conditions (US$25);
- omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a special blend of EPA
and DHA, in a marine liquid concentrate
combined with Vitamin E as mixed tocotrienols (US$28).
While the firming and refining action of his
topical products is well documented, in a Johnson & Johnson
Skin Research Study, among others, the price of his products remains
quite prohibitive. Perricone’s Alpha Lipoic Acid Face Firming
Activator with DMAE costs US$95
and the accompanying evening product, Vitamin C Ester Concentrated
Restorative Cream with DMAE, is US$90.
The eye care pair—Alpha Lipoic Acid Eye Area Therapy with DMAE,
and Vitamin C Ester Eye Area Therapy with DMAE,
which you use together, are US$45
each. Perricone has strategically marketed his skin care line to
high-end retailers such as Nordstrom and Sephora and making high-potency
versions of his products available to dermatologists. His patents
on the topical use of DMAE, Vitamin
C Ester and their combinations make it a daunting proposition for
competitors to market similar products (though it has been done).