One of the biggest misconceptions most people have about skincare is that scientists have discovered all there is to know about how skin operates. They’ve mapped out the stratum corneum, the epidermis and the dermis. They’ve watched how fibroblasts work and how collagen is produced. And they understand how UV rays damage cells at the DNA level. Yet each discovery leads to new challenges, surprises and understanding.
“I can’t tell you how much more we are learning about how skin works. It really is incredible. For example, we are learning so much about how the skin communicates within cells and from level to level,” says Dr. Caroline Debbasch, Vichy’s Scientific Director. “Our research team is making great strides in understanding how skin ages and what messages cause it to do this.” (L’Oreal alone has 3,000 scientists working on skincare research and development alone.)
Each discovery has led to new and improved skincare formulas. Take Vichy’s LiftActiv franchise for example. New knowledge of how the dermis becomes deformed over time led to the first LiftActiv anti-aging formula in 1996. Subsequent learnings regarding how fibroblasts and collagen operate, resulted in an improved LiftActiv Pro in 2005. Then came the discovery of how a continuous release of vitamin C multiplies fibroblasts. That resulted in LiftActiv Cxp. And now, clinical results on the power of an ingredient called rhamnose have resulted in the most potent anti-aging formula yet: LiftActiv Derm Source. (It arrives in store this month and is considered Vichy’s most important launch for 2011.)
The brand’s chemists, quite by accident, found that an existing skincare ingredient called rhamnose, has impressive anti-aging properties when used at a 5% strength. Rhamnose, a sugar extract derived from select plants, has well been known to have anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits on skin. (Avene and Bioderma have used it in small percentages in several of their products.) But when Vichy scientists subjected the ingredient to a series of anti-aging clinicals, the results were astounding. This special ingredient directly targeted the papillary dermis, a fragile layer of cells found directly underneath the dermo-epidermal junction. Rhamnose caused these cells to send messages to all layers of the skin to encourage improved regeneration. New keratinocytes in the epidermis were produced. Papilla, micro-cavities that promote exchanges between the dermis and epidermis, increased in number. And fibroblast growth was stimulated in the dermis. Here was an ingredient that went to one specific location but affected three different layers in the skin. Remarkable.
“What’s most interesting about this science is that rhamnose has a natural affinity for the papillary dermis,” exaplins Oskar Chabrowski, Group Product Manager, Vichy. “It works beautifully with these cells and stimulates fibroblasts to be more active.” He says you can see good results within two weeks of using the new formula, but after 28 days, (the time it takes for cells to turn over) the real benefits become clear. Expect firmer, smoother, more radiant skin.
Vichy LiftActiv Derm Source arrives on counters in May. There is a day cream in two formulas: normal to combination skin and dry skin. The 50 ml jar retails for $45. And a night cream that is priced at $46 for the same size.