Polyhydroxy acids

London, UK. July 2, 2015

Polyhydroxy acids, a new generation of effective antioxidants

The skin is a complex and dynamic organ that is constantly bombarded with environmental trauma including UV radiation and pollution. UV light can cause major and often irreversible changes in the skin including damage to the three layers of skin. In the context of this constantly changing and sometimes harsh environment, the skin must maintain homeostasis and protect a delicate network of biochemical and physiological systems.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that, over time, the skin’s protective mechanisms can become overwhelmed by the damage caused by UV radiation, resulting in irreversible structural damage, chronic inflammation and, in some cases, photocarcinogenesis.

As we age, symptoms of photoaging become increasingly prominent, one out of every three women report seeing the first symptoms of aging before 35. It is crucial to take corrective action early to prevent the damage from worsening.

Characterization and promotion of certain antioxidants as effective cosmeceutical actives have received great attention in the last few years, considering that topical application of antioxidants has proven to represent a successful strategy for skin protection against oxidative damage. Antioxidants limit the damage caused by free radicals from ultraviolet light and environmental toxins. Over time, this can manifest clinically as abnormal melanin production, age spots, reduced cell turnover, dryness and rough skin.

Polyhydroxy bionic acids (Lactobionic acid & Gluconic acid) constitute more recent arrivals into the cosmetic domain. They are a new generation of Alpha Hydroxyacids that provide intensive antioxidant and antiaging effect, without the sensory irritation responses, such as burning and stinging. The antioxidant in Lactobionic acid is so potent that it is used as organ preservation fluids during transplantation procedures.

PHAs have a larger molecular structure, being absorbed into the skin more gently and gradually. They provide additional humectant and hydrating properties compared with AHAs and can enhance stratum corneum barrier function, therefore increasing the skin's resistance to chemical challenge. Clinical Humectant studies have demonstrated that Lactobionic acid retains more than 10 times more water that of glycolic or lactic acids.

Polyhydroxy acids have been shown to reduce the effects of photo-aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, shallowness and roughness. Studies have demonstrated significant dermal effects, including increased deposition of glycosaminoglycans, improved elastic fiber quality, and collagen gene induction.

PHAs are compatible with sensitive skin and can be used after cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels and laser to provide additional antiaging, antioxidant and moisturizing benefits or enhance the therapeutic effect.

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