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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine June 2004
Rub Away Aged Skin
MicroDermAbrasion restores a youthful appearance by removing aged surface skin.

Cosmetic dermatology is one of the most profitable areas of medical practice today. Americans pay top dollar for facial treatments that partially reverse the outward signs of skin aging. One reason people keep going back to dermatologists is that these topical antiaging treatments provide an immediate (albeit temporary) improvement in skin appearance.

While most people associate cosmetic dermatology with surgical face-lifts, the three most popular procedures performed today are Botox® injections, collagen injections, and MicroDermAbrasion.

MicroDermAbrasion is a type of skin exfoliation that removes cells at the skin’s surface. MicroDermAbrasion is a peeling technique accomplished by a machine that power-sprays fine crystal granules on to the skin. These crystals lightly exfoliate the skin’s upper layers, resulting in smoother, younger-appearing skin.

MicroDermAbrasion was developed in the mid-1990s as an alternative to risky, inconsistent forms of skin peeling. The cost of each treatment ranges from approximately $150 to $500, and can involve a lot of time spent in a doctor’s office.

The good news is that a university dermatologist has developed a method that enables you to obtain the same results of physician-administered MicroDermAbrasion treatments in the privacy of your own home. And the cost of this self-applied exfoliation technique is just a fraction of what dermatologists charge.

No matter how hard we try not to age, the clock is always ticking. Although we cannot yet stop our bodies from aging, we can take steps to slow down and even reverse some of the unsightly signs of aging that materialize on the surface of our skin.

Our skin’s appearance is the most visible sign of the aging process. Fortunately, topically applied agents have been shown to repair and rejuvenate aged skin. Some are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.

The process of removing old cells at the surface of skin to allow younger-looking skin cells to appear was long ago shown to help reverse the signs of aging. Back in the 1980s, alpha-hydroxyl fruit acids became popular because of their ability to help “unglue” dead cells that cling to the skin’s surface. These dead or damaged cells create some of the unsightly signs of aging. Life Extension members were the first to gain access to one of these fruit acids back in 1983.

While the alpha-hydroxyl fruit acids help, old and damaged cells require mechanical exfoliation to be completely removed. This is where MicroDermAbrasion comes in. It mechanically removes (exfoliates) older cells at the skin’s surface to allow healthier cells to show through.

Exfoliation Improves Skin Appearance
Once the dead and damaged skin cells are removed, the outer layer of new skin becomes visible. This new skin feels softer, smoother, and reflects light easier, making fine lines harder to see. Age spots and unwanted pigment are also less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation removes plugged pores, prevents the pores from replugging, and allows for the release of natural oils. In addition, regular exfoliation decreases pore size and minimizes many types of superficial scars. All of this contributes to making the skin look tighter, healthier, and more youthful.

Exfoliation Complements Other Skin Products
After removing the dead and damaged cells through exfoliation of the skin, other antiaging agents such retinoic acid, moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting nutrients are better able to penetrate the skin and work more effectively. This also holds true for acne medications and other types of skin treatments where penetration is important. This is another reason why regular exfoliation should be part of a basic skin care regimen.

Areas that Benefit from Frequent Exfoliation
While all areas of the aging body contain unsightly cells that will benefit from regular exfoliation of the skin, the most obvious target locations are the face, chest, “v” of the neck (or decollete area), exposed scalp area, and top of the hands. These areas show the most immediate beneficial effects of frequent exfoliation.

Developing a Self-MicroDermAbrasion System
MicroDermAbrasion is the most effective form of skin exfoliation. Two years ago, Gary Goldfaden, MD, a university teacher and clinical practitioner, approached Life Extension with a concept of concentrating magnesium crystals into a topical exfoliate that would duplicate the effects of expensive machine-administered microdermabrasion. Being able to perform the exfoliation process at home is more convenient as well as less expensive than having to travel to a doctor’s office.

Dr. Goldfaden indicated that it would take several years for him to perfect the particle size and density of the exfoliate preparation in order to emulate the remarkable effects he was seeing in patients who underwent machine-administered MicroDermAbrasion. After trying dozens of different formulations, Dr. Goldfaden finally found the perfect particle size and density for an exfoliate that could be safely applied at home to obtain the same results as from machine-administered microdermabrasion.

With the creation of Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate, regular skin exfoliation is now available to all at a very low price. This topical exfoliating preparation helps slow the appearance of skin aging and repairs the damaging effects inflicted on the skin over time. Dr. Goldfaden’s experience with hundreds of patients indicates that the continual use of a topical exfoliate will make the skin appear tighter, smoother, healthier, and more youthful, thus making an individual look younger.

The Unique Self MicroDermAbrasion™ Formula
The Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula is a concentrated exfoliating cleanser with unique antioxidants and moisturizers that improve the appearance of all skin types. Using magnesium oxide crystals, the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate rejuvenates the skin by removing dead skin cells and allowing natural antioxidants to come into direct contact with the freshly exposed skin. As a result, the skin becomes smoother, tighter, healthier, and more youthful.

The Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate contains red tea, a super-potent antioxidant that greatly advances the results and visible outcome noticed in the skin. The exfoliation process allows the antioxidants in the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ product, especially the red tea, to come into direct contact with the new skin cells. As a result, complementary skin care products such as Rejuvenex® and Hydroderm® will be able to penetrate the new skin directly with better results.

Red tea (or Rooibos) comes from the mountains of Cape Town, South Africa, where it has been used for centuries in various medical remedies. The many health-promoting properties of red tea were confirmed long ago by scientists in South Africa. Most notably, red tea has been shown to be a potent antioxidant. Dr. Goldfaden included red tea in the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula to provide this potent anti-oxidant directly to the fresh skin cells that appear after older cells are exfoliated from the skin’s surface. Like the moisturizing agents, red tea is central to the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula’s ability to make aged skin feel and look younger.

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