Life Extension Magazine August 2007
Nutrient-Rich Skin Care
By Gary Goldfaden, MD
Possessing the same natural pH as human skin, the cucumber extract in this Peel Off Cleansing Mask helps restore your skin’s protective acidic mantle. Composed of 90% water (which accounts for its outstanding hydrating and cooling action), cucumber extract also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that help soothe and calm skin irritation while reducing swelling.
Also contained in cucumber are a variety of other highly beneficial minerals such as silica, potassium, and magnesium. Silica is an essential component of healthy connective tissue and aids in the tightening of collagen to help reduce facial lines and wrinkles and improve your complexion.43,44 Cucumber’s hydrating, nourishing, and astringent properties contribute greatly to the overall health-promoting effects of this purifying and cleansing formula for healthier, younger-looking skin.
Citrus oils, such as the grapefruit extract found in this formula, have a high content of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These powerful antioxidants neutralize the highly unstable and extremely reactive molecules that attack your cells and contribute to skin aging. In addition, studies have also shown that vitamin C helps build collagen in your skin, reducing wrinkles and enhancing your skin’s natural strength and elasticity. Grapefruit is also high in limonene, another potent antioxidant that inhibits inflammatory activity to help your skin achieve a youthful, healthy glow.45
Healing Mask: Supporting Skin Recuperation
Following aggressive cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, laser treatments, or microdermabrasion, the gel-based Healing Mask formula can provide fast, effective relief for irritated skin. This soothing, healing formulation is also ideal for extremely sensitive or allergic skin. The regenerative, rebalancing, and protective qualities of the Healing Mask come from its unique blend of natural ingredients that calm, soothe, and reduce redness while hydrating and moisturizing your skin.
One notable ingredient with potent healing powers included in the Healing Mask is arnica, which contains active components called sesquiterpene lactones, known for their ability to reduce inflammation and decrease pain.46,47 Other active principals found in arnica are thymol (an essential oil), flavonoids, carotenoids, and tannins.
The arnica in this preparation works by improving blood circulation to promote the healing of injured tissue. Arnica’s ability to speed wound recuperation and reduce pain, as well as its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, make it a valuable part of this healing formula.
Obtained from natural olive oil, the squalene in the Healing Mask has a very similar chemical structure to vitamin A. The value of squalene stems directly from the fact that it is the principal hydrocarbon found in your sebum, where it amounts to approximately 12% of the total fat content.
A natural emollient that imparts suppleness to your skin without an unpleasant greasy feel, squalene readily forms emulsions with fixed oils and fat-soluble substances, yet it does not oxidize or turn rancid. Squalene is quickly absorbed into your skin, penetrating deeply to assist in the acceleration of new cell growth. It also helps to discourage the growth of microorganisms that can block normal healthy cell development by forming a protective anti-bacterial and fungicidal coating on your skin.
Squalene also has a stimulatory effect on the healing process. Not only does squalene boosts your body’s natural ability to regenerate, nourish, and hydrate the skin tissue, but it is also uniquely valuable for its ability to increase the rate, depth, and penetration of other topical healing agents.48-50
The seaweed extract found in the Healing Mask is stimulating, revitalizing, and nourishing to your skin due to its content of iodine and sulfur, which also give it soothing, anti-inflammatory, and disinfectant abilities.51
Copper Peptide Complex
Copper’s ability to help stimulate collagen formation makes it an effective agent in the skin rejuvenation process. The copper peptide complex that is part of the Healing Mask aids healing by supporting the enzymatic function of superoxide dismutase.52-54
Corrective Clearing Mask: Balancing Acne-Prone Skin
For individuals who suffer from oily, congested, acne-prone, or blemished skin, a facial remedy is now available. The Corrective Clearing Mask features a combination of ingredients to purify your skin; remove excess oil; exfoliate and cleanse the pores; clear up blackheads; and even help prevent further breakouts. A perfect “spot treatment” for breakouts, this outstanding product contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that soothe and calm your skin, helping return it to a normal, healthy homeostasis.
The zinc oxide that forms the basis of this acne treatment helps heal blemishes by reducing sebum production, eliminating toxins, accelerating healing, and relieving inflammation.32-34
When applied topically to your skin, the sulfur ingredient contained in the Corrective Clearing Mask interacts with the cysteine present in the outermost layer of your epidermis to form hydrogen sulfide. This hydrogen sulfide effectively breaks down the tough, keratin-containing dead skin cells that comprise this outer layer and gently removes them. In addition to this exfoliating action, sulfur also has an inhibitory effect on the growth of bacteria involved in acne, possibly from its ability to inactivate bacterial enzyme systems. Sulfur is an excellent anti-inflammatory that also effectively down-regulates the production of histamines by macrophage cells that cause infected skin to become red, swollen, and painful.55
Antioxidant Tea Blend
Combined with these potent ingredients is the concentrated antioxidant tea blend, which helps reduce the production of inflammatory agents that promote new acne infections.56
Nutrient-rich facial masks offer advanced solutions for today’s most common skin problems. Using time-honored botanical extracts combined with cutting-edge nutritional agents, you can achieve a radiant, youthful complexion.
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