Facial Skin Exfoliation

facial skin exfoliation with the NowMi deviceFacial skin exfoliation is an important part of any healthy facial routine.  During the exfoliation, dead skin cells located on the outermost layer of the skin are gently sloughed off.  While the body naturally sheds these cells, by expediting this process you can help your skin stay healthier and cleaner.  The facial skin exfoliation prevents the dead cells from clogging up the pores and thus limits/prevents dirt build-up.  This is especially important for people who suffer from acne or frequent skin breakouts.  Additionally, with age, the cellular turnover slows down resulting in skin dullness.  The facial skin exfoliation stimulates cellular renewal and helps slow down the signs of aging.  After the exfoliation your skin will feel soft and smooth and it will have a glowing look.

Different techniques for facial skin exfoliation:

Home treatments:

There are different ways to exfoliate the skin.  Here is a list of four popular methods you can use at home:

  1. Using a tool that scrubs the skin such as a loofah or washcloth.
  2. Using a cleansing cream/gel that has abrasive particles.
  3. Using a product that has mild exfoliating acids such as salicylic acids, alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acid.
  4. Using a product that has enzymes that digest dead skin cells, which are gentle on the skin.

Treatments options number 1 & 2 work by rubbing the product onto the skin.  The rubbing action targets the dead cells and removes them.  Option 3 & 4 are based on creating a chemical reaction which clears away the dead skin cells.

Professional treatments:

Virtually all professional facial treatments include facial skin exfoliation. The two main methods are microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

Microdermabrasion treatments:

Microdermabrasion uses a machine that exfoliates the skin and removes the dead cells.  The treatment increases the blood’s circulation and stimulates collagen production which results in younger looking skin.

Microdermabration treatment

There are two main treatment types- one is called ‘crystal’ and the other is called ‘diamond’. In the crystal microdermabrasion treatment, fine crystals are spread over the skin which loosen and remove the dead skin cells.  The used crystals and dead skin are then removed using a vacuum suction. In the diamond microdermabrasion treatment, a diamond-tipped wand is used to sand and resurface the skin.  At the end of the treatment, a suction is used to clear away the dead skin cells.

Microdermabrasion treatments can range from mild to aggressive depending on the number of passes, level of the coarseness of the diamond wand or the level of crystal spray, the suction and pressure used, and of course the frequency of treatments.

Chemical peel treatments:

Chemical peelDuring a chemical peel treatment, an acid solution is applied to the facial skin which dissolves layers of the skin.  Peels can be light, moderate or deep (the deep peels can be performed only by a physician).  The light and moderate treatments target the external layers of the skin while the deeper peels can reach down into the dermis layer. The acid creates a controlled wound in the skin after which healthier and regenerated skin emerges.  Depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment, downtime can range from zero to up to a week or two.

The NowMi facial skin exfoliation:

The NowMi Pro treatment kitThe NowMi facial skin exfoliation is performed primarily by the vitamin C effervescent tablet which has a high concentration of ascorbic acid.  During treatment, users apply a lubricant gel onto the face and then massage the effervescent tablet onto the skin.  Once the tablet and the gel mix, a chemical reaction occurs which dissolves small granules in the tablet creating a mild abrasive surface which gently clears away all of the dead skin cells.  In addition, the reaction forms millions of CO2 micro-bubbles on the skin’s surface which increase the oxygen levels in the skin from within and contributes to rapid cell turnover and brighter skin.

The efficiency and speed of the facial skin exfoliation process is significantly enhanced by the use of sonic energy.  The NowMi Pro device emits 6,000 sonic pulsations per minute which ensures that every pore is thoroughly cleansed and all dead skin cells are removed.  In addition, the sonic energy increases the circulation of the blood which stimulates collagen production and cell renewal.

At the same time of the facial skin exfoliation, the skin is infused with vitamins C and E as well as hyaluronic acid that revitalize it and slow down the signs of aging.

NowMi Pro facial cleansing

How does the NowMi treatment compare to Microdermabrasion?

Here are a few points to consider:

  1. The Microdermabrasion treatment on its own “sands” the skin but doesn’t infuse the skin with nourishing products. While many spas will add such products using a mask or creams, the results are inconsistent because some products are better than others. The NowMi treatment on the other hand infuses the skin with virtually pure vitamin C and other nourishing vitamins and minerals. The vitamin C effervescent tablet is stored in a sealed pouch until use which ensures its freshness and potency.
  2. NowMi treatment exfoliates the skin on wet skin while Microdermabrasion is performed on dry skin. As a result, the NowMi treatment is much more enjoyable and there is no skin irritation.
  3. The NowMi treatment does not involve any vacuum which may damage the skin or create vascular lesions.
  4. The effervescent tablet is fairly large and in 5 minutes the entire face can be exfoliated. This is much faster than the Microdermabrasion treatment which uses a small tip.
  5. Microdermabrasion irritates the skin – it causes swelling and the development of an anaerobic environment which promotes bacteria growth. As a result, the skin frequently breaks out after treatment. On the other hand, with the NowMi treatment, the skin is exfoliated with very little irritation and the skin doesn’t break out following treatment.
  6. The NowMi treatment can be performed in the comfort of your home and doesn’t require a cosmetician.

How does the NowMi treatment compare with a chemical peel?

Common side effects of chemical peels include temporary redness, stinging or burning, dryness and slight swelling.  Patients who undergo deep peel also loose the ability to tan.

Rarer side effects include darkening or lightening of the skin color, scarring (which may be permanent), infections (fungal or bacterial), heart, liver, or kidney damage (the phenol employed in deep peels may cause damage to the heart muscle and cause irregular heartbeats, harm the kidneys or liver.

The NowMi treatment on the other hand uses completely natural vitamins and minerals which can’t in any way damage the skin. The exfoliation is highly effective yet at the same time very gentle ensuring that the skin isn’t irritated.  Treatment is completely safe and there are no side effects.

Click here to see a movie on the NowMi treatment:  https://youtu.be/jPVYZ8YU3BU

Conclusion:

Facial skin exfoliation is a fabulous way to keep your skin looking its best. It removes the dead cells from your skin and helps increase cell turnover and skin regeneration.  There are various types of facial skin exfoliations – home scrubs and creams as well as professional treatments such as Microdermabrasion and Skin Peels.

The NowMi treatment offers the best of all worlds- a spa quality facial in the comfort of your own home. The treatment combines an effervescent tablet that gently exfoliates the skin with sonic energy.  As a result, the dead cells are removed in a quick 5-minute treatment.  There is no downtime and no risk of side-effects. The skin is not only exfoliated, but it is also infused with essential vitamins and minerals which help it to look its best.

Facial skin oxygenation

Facial skin oxygenation from within, also known as an ‘oxygen facial’, is one of the most effective beauty treatments. The present standard of beauty is healthy, clear and smooth looking facial skin. Over the last decade many new home-based beauty treatments designed to improve and maintain healthy skin have been developed. These include home-use devices for daily facial cleansing and high-end cosmetic skin care products.

The home-based treatments can be used as a standalone treatment routine or to compliment treatments performed in a spa. A spa facial beauty treatment usually includes facial skin exfoliation followed by infusion of various skin enhancing ingredients.  It typically ends with the application of a facial skin protection cream. In recent years many cosmeticians have added an oxygen facial stage to improve the skin’s quality, health and smoothness.  This has created a demand for home use-devices that perform facial skin oxygenation.

Our journey to uncover the optimal facial skin oxygenation treatment that would make beautiful facial skin a reality took us back to the year 1846. In this year a jet of salty bubbling water erupted in small city in Germany called Nauheim. This started the era of Nauheim bath treatments. The term “Nauheim bath” refers to a cold salty bath that has high concentrations of up to 3.9% of free carbon dioxide gases.

The influence of the Nauheim bath treatments on the skin is well documented [1-3]. The various scientific explanations described a “sensation of warmth in CO2 baths and reddening of the skin in the bathed areas of the body”. The scientists explained that the flushing of the skin was due to the additional CO2 absorbed by the skin during the spa bath. This additional CO2 was rapidly exhaled, so no changes were apparent in the CO2 concentration in the blood. The local pH changes that occurred in the region of the capillaries that absorbed the CO2, resulted in hemoglobin dissociation and the increased transfer of oxygen to the skin tissue [4].  This latter phenomenon was later coined the Bohr effect.

This strong scientific evidence about the influence of CO2 bubbles on the skin led us to develop the NowMi facial skin oxygenation treatment.

The NowMi treatment uses an effervescent tablet combined with lubricant gel to create a chemical reaction that results in the formation of CO2 micro-bubbles on the skin’s surface.  The NowMi effervescent tablet contains high concentration vitamin C as well as citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. When the tablet starts dissolving in the lubricant gel, the following reaction begins which releases salt, CO2 and water:

The released CO2 creates the scientifically proven Bohr Effect on the facial skin. As a result of the Bohr effect, there is an increase in the capillary blood flow and a release of oxygen from the hemoglobin, which create a facial skin oxygenation from within.

nowmi video

Watch a review of Oxygen Facial Device at home by Victoria Lyn

NowMi Facial Skin Oxygenation Results

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A wise man once said: “A picture is worth a 1,000 words”. So instead of telling you how good the NowMi treatments are, we will show you real results from customers.

NowMi PRO clinical results

Skin rejuvenation and acne scar reduction: rejuvenation of the facial skin of a young female suffering from severe acne scars and hyperpigmentation. Following the NowMi treatment there is a clear reduction of the acne scars and an improved skin tone.

References:

  1. Amelung W, Evers A (1962) (Hrsg) Handbuch der Bäderund Klimaheikunde, Friedrich Karl Schattauer, Stuttgart.
  2. Arnelung W, Hildebrandt G (1985) (Hrsg) Balneologie und Medizische Klimatologie, Bd 2, Balneologie, Springer, Wien Heidelberg New York Tokyo.
  3. Bühring M, Jungmann E, Noormalal R, Rasche S, Wiesner J (1987) Plasmatische Reninaktivität und Aldosteronspiegel bei Patienten mit Hypertonie im Kohlensäurebad. Z phys Med Baln Med Klim 16: 277.
  4. Pratzel H (1984) Aufnahme, Abgabe und Stoffwechsel von CO2 beim Kohlensäurebad. Z phys Med Blan Med Klim 13: 25-32.

NowMi PRO: The Next-Generation Anti-Aging Facial Treatment

Aging is a part of life.  We all age.  But fortunately, anti-aging facial treatments can protect our facial skin and slow down the signs of aging.

The skin’s aging process occurs in two different ways – intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is related to the DNA we inherit from our parents, and it is inevitable and pre-determined.  As a result of intrinsic aging, the skin becomes thinner, less elastic and essentially dryer.  This is a direct result of a reduction in the overall production of collagen. This decrease, combined with gravitation, leads to the sagging of the skin.  The skin becomes dryer because with age the dermis is stripped of its ability to retain moisture. In addition, the aging process leads to a substantial reduction in the sweat glands and sebaceous glands which naturally provide moisture to the skin and help it look plump.  Extrinsic aging is associated with exposure to various toxins and environmental elements. The foremost and most detrimental element is the sun. UV sun rays cause an effect known as ‘photo-aging’ which results in the premature appearance of facial fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, freckles, enlarged pores, broken capillaries and rough, uneven skin tone.

The signs of aging that come with age

As we age, the changes listed below naturally occur:

  • Skin becomes coarser.
  • Skin becomes loose (the loss of the collagen and elastin causes the skin to hang loosely)
  • Skin becomes more translucent and thinner.
  • Skin becomes more brittle.

The NowMi Pro facial anti-aging Treatment

The NowMi Pro is an advanced, anti-aging facial treatment that consists of two parts.  The first is the NowMi Pro Daily sonic cleansing which cleanses and moisturizes the skin on a daily basis, and the second is the NowMi Pro Weekly sonic facial anti-aging treatment which provides a spa-quality anti-aging facial that slows down the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, reinvigorates the skin and protects it from damaging extrinsic factors such as UV rays, smoke and pollution.

The NowMi Pro package

NowMi Pro Treatment Benefits

  • A home-use treatment that includes a daily and a weekly facial anti-aging routine
  • A spa-quality anti-aging treatment adjusted to a home-use device, which delivers exceptional anti-aging and skin revitalization results:
    1. Reduces fine lines and textural imperfections.
    2. Hydrates skin and restores volume.
    3. Renews glow and revitalizes dull complexion.
  • Fast treatment performed in only 5 minutes
  • Treatment costs a fraction of the price compared to its spa based alternative.
  • Immediate and long-term results.
  • Compact, portable and lightweight.
  • Effective on all skin types.
  • Painless and pleasant.

The NowMi Pro Daily

Healthy facial skin starts with clean skin.  Sonic facial cleansing is much more effective than hand washing. With the NowMi Pro Daily, you can deeply cleanse the skin and get rid of all makeup, dirt, oil and the like.

The NowMi Pro sonic device is equipped with delicate silicone micro-fingers.   The NowMi cleansing formula is placed onto the micro-fingers and then massaged into the face.

The cleansing action is exponentially improved by sonic energy.  The NowMi Pro device issues 6,000 sonic pulsations per minute which help the cleansing gel penetrate and deeply cleanse all of the pores.  While the treatment is extremely effective, it is also very gentle on the skin and doesn’t cause irritation.

The cleansing gel does much more than just clean the skin.  It infuses it with vitamins B3, B5, E and Dead Sea minerals!  These essential vitamins and minerals rejuvinate and strengthen the skin as well as protect it from extrinsic factors.  Specifically:

  • Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals caused by UV exposure, pollution, smoke, unhealthy food and more.   Vitamin E is known for:
    1. Anti-aging: As a result of damaging extrinsic factors such as UV light and pollution, the skin creates free-radicals. These molecules damage the collagen and the skin cells.  As a result, wrinkles and brown spots appear.  Vitamin E plays a critical role in neutralizing the free radicals and thus preventing premature aging of the skin.
    2. Skin hydration: Vitamin E keeps the skin moisturized and supple, and it is also known to reduce inflammation.
    3. Scar reduction: Vitamin E neutralizes the free radicals which slow down the facial skin healing process and helps to prevent permanent scarring.
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  • Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3 is effective on all skin types and has a wide variety of skin benefits. Specifically,
    1. Skin protection: Vitamin B3 is an antioxidant that protects the skin from infrared, UV and visible light. Vitamin B3 also protects the skin from heat, an important factor for those with hormonal related pigmentation since the heat can cause the overproduction of pigment.
    2. Hyper-pigmentation reduction: Vitamin B3 reduces hyper-pigmentation by reducing pigment production and its penetration into the skin. As a result, the skin has a more even complexion.  In addition, the vitamin has been shown to brighten the skin.
    3. Anti-aging: Niacinamide has been proven to reduce wrinkles, pigmented spots, yellowing and red blotchiness. It also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which are responsible for the skin’s firmness and elasticity.
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  • Vitamin B5: Also known as Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B5 is deeply hydrating and helps the skin absorb moisture from the air.  It is also important in keeping the skin looking healthy and contributes to its softness and smoothness.   Its key advantages include:
    1. Natural hydrator: Vitamin B5 is a natural hydrator known as a humectant. Its function is to stabilize the skin’s barrier function.  As a result, the skin is able to retain greater quantities of water.
    2. Skin rejuvenation: The alcohol analog of Vitamin B5 is known as panthenol.  Panthenol has been proven to sooth and soften the skin and to slow down the signs of aging.   It also plumps and moisturizes the outer layer of the skin which helps it looks fuller and younger.
    3. Skin repair: Vitamin B5 is used to treat a variety of skin conditions- from minor skin irritation to major scar damage.  In addition, it has anti-inflammatory benefits and is used to reduce discomfort related to conditions such as eczema.
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  • Dead Sea minerals: The Dead Sea is known as the richest source of healing minerals in the world.   The most prevalent minerals used to are:
    1. Zinc- regulates natural cell growth and regeneration. It enables cell renewal and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. It is also an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals.  Zink also has anti-acne properties and is used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
    2. Calcium: Strengthens the skin’s cell membranes and cleanses the pores. It also soothes and relives the skin.
    3. Chloride- Corrects the balance of alkaline and acid in the skin’s cells which is critical for the metabolism of the cell.
    4. Sodium Chloride- hydrates and nourishes the skin’s cells and eliminates toxic waste which improves their permeability.

Another important action that the NowMi Pro Daily device performs that of a facial massage.  The sonic face brush massages the facial muscles which and boosts blood circulation. As a result, the body increases the production of collagen and elastin- key proteins that restore the skin’s elasticity and firmness.

The NowMi Pro sonic device is also highly hygienic since it is made of nonporous silicone which is resistant to bacteria buildup.  The device is also completely waterproof, so users can use it in the shower or bath.   Designed to keep up with today’s busy lifestyle, in a single charge, the device has enough energy to supply a month’s worth of treatments.

Watch the daily treatment 

NowMi Pro Weekly Treatment

With the NowMi Pro Weekly, you can enjoy a spa-quality anti-aging facial at home.   The treatment simultaneously performs 4 actions – sonic skin exfoliation, sonic nourishment, sonic oxygenation and sonic protection.

1.  Sonic exfoliation:  The exfoliation is performed using the NowMi vitamin C effervescent tablet.  The tablet is mixed together with the NowMi Lubricant gel and massaged into the face.  The tablet has a slightly coarse surface that removes the outermost layer of the skin.  The exfoliation is further enhanced by the sonic energy which emits 6,000 sonic pulsations per minute.  As a result of the exfoliation, the skin looks glowing and revitalized.  Best of all, the exfoliation opens up the pores and enables the active ingredients to best penetrate the skin.

The NowMi Pro device exfoliates the skin. The sonic energy enhances the results.

2.  Sonic nourishment:  The NowMi effervescent tablet contains virtually pure vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is highly sensitive and loses its potency if exposed to light or air.  For this reason, the NowMi effervescent tablet is vacuum-sealed until use, assuring the most effective form of vitamin C.
The NowMi lubricant gel is rich in vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid.

The main benefits of these ingredients are:

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is hailed as the magic vitamin for skincare.  It has been clinically proven to revitalize the skin and help it repair itself.  Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that curbs the damaging effects of free-radicals which cause the skin to age prematurely.

Primary advantages of the vitamin include:

  1. Anti-aging effect: As we age, our skin has less and less collagen which causes it to sag and wrinkles to appear.  Vitamin C plays a vital role in helping the skin to produce new collagen.  With the new collagen, the aging process is slowed down and the skin looks plumper and more supple.
  2. Anti-inflammatory effect: Vitamin C reduces skin inflammation. This helps to prevent post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and age-related inflammatory skin conditions such as Rosacea.
  3. Anti-pigmentary effect: Vitamin C curbs the formation of melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color.  It helps to repair pigmentation damage and provides the skin with a more even tone.  It also helps in lightening the skin.
  4. Skin protection: Vitamin C protects the skin from damaging UV rays.  The UV rays stimulate the formation of free radicals that harm the skin and cause premature aging, known as photoaging. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin C creates a photo-protective effect against photoaging  – it limits collagen disintegration and damage to the pigment,  helps to stabilize the collagen fibers, and produces new collagen.
  • Vitamin E:  Discussed above
  • Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid plays a critical role in skin hydration.  It is capable of holding 1,000 times its weight in water and helps tissues stay moist and lubricated.  Its key benefits are:
    1. Anti-aging:  When the skin is well hydrated, this slows down the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
    2. Supple skin:  The hydration helps the skin to have a soft and supple appearance.
    3. Wound healing:  Hyaluronic acid accelerates the wound healing process by balancing inflammation levels and signaling the body to create more blood vessels in the treatment area.

The active ingredients are infused into the skin.  The infusion is improved by the sonic energy which helps them to penetrate deeper and faster into the skin.   Once the skin’s supply of vitamin C, E and Hyaluronic acid are restored, the skin starts to repair itself and turn back the signs of aging.

The NowMi Pro treatment nourishes the skin with vitamin C, E and hyaluronic acid.

  1. Sonic Oxygenation: The NowMi treatment is unique since it stimulates the body to “oxygenate itself from within”.  During treatment, a chemical reaction occurs when the NowMi effervescent tablet comes into contact with the lubricant gel. The reaction creates a C02 rich environment on the skin’s surface.  The body responds to this by sending 02 infused blood cells to the treatment area.  This natural oxygenation process helps the skin cells to best absorb the active ingredients.   Furthermore, the NowMi Pro device emits 6,000 sonic pulsations per minute which degas the C02  microbubbles, and as a result, the oxygenation effect is increased exponentially.

The NowMi Pro treatment oxygenates the skin from within

  1. Sonic Protection:  Vitamin C is the most common antioxidant in the skin. Unfortunately, with age, its levels dramatically reduce, and aged skin has about 70% fewer antioxidants than young skin. With the deciline in Vitamin C, the skin becomes more vulnerable to extrinsic factors such as UV rays, pollution and smoke.
    The NowMi Pro treatment restores the skin’s vitamin C supply which helps it to protect and heal itself from damaging extrinsic factors.The sonic energy plays an important role in the protection of the skin.  The NowMi Pro device emits 6,000 sonic pulsations per minute which exponentially increases the infusion of the vitamin C, ensuring that it reaches deep into the skin.

The NowMi Pro treatment protects the skin from harmful extrinsic factors

Watch the NowMi Oxygen Facial treatment

The benefits of vitamin C on facial skin

Our skin is the largest organ in the body and its primary function is to protect our internal organs from the hostile environment. It protects us from pathogens, UV radiation, mechanical impacts, pollution, dangerous chemicals and dehydration.

The two main layers of the skin are the epidermis and dermis. The external layer, the epidermis, is the cellular layer that protects our internal organs. The dermis is the internal layer of the facial skin which provides elasticity and strength, as well as nutrition to the epidermal layer. The dermis is mainly composed of collagen fibers and has a complex network of vascular, lymphatic and neurons.

Facial skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C. The highest concentration is in the epidermis -about 60 (mg/100 g Wet Weight) compared with 10 (mg/100 g Wet Weight) in the dermis.  Unfortunately with age, facial skin rapidly loses this essential and protecting nutrient. Clinical studies shown that aged skin loses 70% of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) concentrations compared with young skin. As the concentrations of vitamin C decrease, facial skin becomes more vulnerable to the external environment and starts to age. Regretfully, human beings are unable to synthesize vitamin C in their bodies and must rely on oral intake of ascorbic acid or topical application of vitamin C.


How does vitamin C help the skin?

Anti-aging benefits: The dermis provides elasticity and strength to the facial skin.  Its main structure is collagen fibers and clinical studies have shown that from the age of about 20 we lose about 1% of collagen fibers in the skin every year, primarily due to sun exposure. In simple words, without any treatment, at age of 35, we have already lost approximately 15% the collagen fibers in our facial skin. This results in thinner skin and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Therefore, vitamin C is essential for the production of new collagen fibers and its decrease results in collagen degradation.

Anti-inflammatory benefits: Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that helps to counter age-related inflammatory skin conditions such as Rosacea.  It also promotes wound healing and prevents post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Skin whitening benefits: Vitamin C decreases the formation of melanin.  It therefore aids in skin lightening, helps the skin maintain an even tone and repairs pigmentation damage.

Protects skin from sun damage: UV rays from the sun cause photodamage which decreases the production of collagen.  This results connective tissue disruptions, damage to blood vessels, and impairment of the wound healing process.  Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant capable of neutralizing the free radicals caused by the UV rays.  In addition, ascorbic acid increases the collagen synthesis and cross-linking and helps the skin repair itself, therefore reversing the UV-induced photodamage.

The biologically active form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, ascorbic acid is a very unstable molecule, yet this is actually the condition that makes it a powerful anti-oxidant. When ascorbic acid degrades (as a result of exposure to light and oxygen) it loses its benefits to the facial skin, and its color turns from white to yellow-brown.

In order for your skin to benefit the most from vitamin C you need to use pure and un-degraded ascorbic acid.  If you are using a topical product like vitamin C serum or vit C cream, and its color is already yellow, it most likely contains a degraded form of vitamin C and is useless.

The NowMi Treatment:

Facial treatments typically involve multiple steps that cleanse, exfoliate and nourish the skin in order to provide a clearer, more rejuvenated, and well-hydrated complexion.  Oxygen facial treatments in particular are known for their skin revitalization and anti-aging attributes.

The NowMi facial treatment is the latest advancement in oxygen facial treatments. The treatment consists of 4 simultaneous actions – exfoliation of the outer layer of the skin, infusion of essential nutrients and oxygenation of the treatment area from within the skin for optimal absorption and efficacy of the infused nutrients. In addition to these three steps which are performed in most professional facial treatments, the NowMi treatment adds a critical fourth step of skin protection.  The protection is achieved by infusing the skin with pure vitamin C, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid.

The vitamin C in the NowMi treatment is in the form of ascorbic acid.  It comes in an effervescent tablet which is sealed by a protective sachet from light and humidity.  This ensures that the purest and most potent levels of ascorbic acid penetrate the skin.

How does the NowMi treatment work?

The NowMi treatment performs 4 skin actions simultaneously:

  1. Exfoliation – The exfoliation is performed using the vitamin C effervescent tablet.  The tablet has a slightly coarse surface which gently removes the most external layer of the skin.  The exfoliation deeply cleanses the skin and removes all dead skin cells, dirt and oil.  It also opens up the pores so that they optimally absorb the active ingredients.
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  2. Nourishment – The interaction between the effervescent tablet and the gel creates micro CO2 bubbles which deliver vitamin C, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid into the skin and restore its depleted reserves. Research has shown that when taken orally, the absorption levels of vitamin C are very low, and only a fraction of the quantity taken is used by the body and active in the skin. Therefore, in order to effectively nourish the skin, the vitamin C is best applied topically.  The ascorbic acid contained in the NowMi tablet is of the highest level of purity. This makes the tablet incredibly effective since unlike any other product on the market, the vitamin C isn’t exposed to air and light, factors which dramatically degrade its quality. By adding vitamin C, the skin is nourished with effective anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti- pigmentary agents.  The vitamin E and Hyaluronic acid help the skin maintain its moisture and firmness, and the vitamin E further enhances the effectiveness of the vitamin C.
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  3. Oxygenation – The interaction between the gel and tablet creates micro CO2 bubbles that penetrate the skin’s surface. In response to the increase in CO2 levels, a physiological response called the Bohr Effect is triggered, and the body sends oxygen rich blood to the target area.  This increases the capillary flow and the skin’s metabolism which results in the optimal absorption of the active ingredients and more rapid cell turnover.
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  4. Protection – Vitamin C is the most prevalent antioxidant in the human skin and can be found in large concentrations in the dermal and epidermal skin layers.  Unfortunately, the body is unable to produce vitamin C and serious deficiencies can even lead to disease.

As we age, the concentration of the antioxidants, including vitamin C decreases, and aged skin is said to have 70% less antioxidant concentrations compared to younger skin.  As the concentrations decrease, the skin becomes more vulnerable to damaging extrinsic factors such as solar UV radiation, pollution and smoking.  These factors are known to cause ‘oxidative stress’ which rapidly accelerates damage caused to the skin. While the antioxidants shield against the oxidative stress, excessive exposure can overwhelm the defense mechanism and result in photoaging, immunosuppression and photocarcinogenesis.  Clinical studies have shown that vitamin C creates a photoprotective effect against photoaging.   The vitamin curbs collagen disintegration and pigment damage.  Most importantly, vitamin C helps to stabilize the collagen fibers and produces new collagen.

Active Ingredients used for Facial Skin Whitening

The ingredients used for facial skin whitening activate biological processes that are intended to reduce or eliminate the production of melanin.

There are several means of achieving this reduction:

  • Inhibit tyrosinase synthesis
  • Use complex copper that inhibits tyrosinase function
  • Eliminate oxidation reactions that lead to the formation of melanin
  • Slow down the transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes
  • Act upstream on the hormone that stimulates melanogenesis (MSH)

Most of the depigmenting agents currently on the market decrease melanogenesis by inhibiting tyrosinase activity in the melanocytes as well as by inhibiting melanosome maturation using one of the mechanisms described in the blog ‘Facial Skin Whitening’.

Hydroquinone

In the past hydroquinone was the main active ingredient used in facial skin whitening treatments, and it was thought to be safe and effective for skin lightening. However, several clinical studies concluded that there may be side effects associated with the long-term use of hydroquinone- there were reports of possible carcinogenicity and a link to ochronosis. As a result, the FDA withdrew the 1982 TFM for OTC skin bleaching drug products containing hydroquinone.  Since the banning of hydroquinone from the OTC market, there has been a growing demand for an alternative natural, safe, and efficacious de-pigmenting treatment.

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Vitamin C can be found in a few different forms, but ascorbic acid is the most biologically active and effective form.

Ascorbic acid is a key ingredient in many physiological functions in the human body.  It is a powerful antioxidant since it donates electrons and prevents oxidation by keeping iron and copper atoms in their reduced states.

The physiological functions of Ascorbic acid include the synthesis of:

  • Collagen
  • Carnitine
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Tyrosine

Collagen production is crucial for repairing damaged facial tissue.  Clinical studies have shown that the skin heals faster and scars less when it is infused with vitamin C. Thus, Ascorbic acid is used to stimulate collagen production which results in smoother and more supple skin.

Ascorbic acid whitens facial skin by inhibiting the production of tyrosinase, which reduces the production of melanin. It also protects the skin from harmful damage caused by sun exposure.  Excessive exposure to sunlight, especially UV rays, creates reactive oxygen species in the skin that provoke skin damage. Vitamin C significantly reduces the impact of these reactive oxygen species by donating electrons which neutralize them.

With so many facial skin benefits, it is not surprising that there is an abundance of topical products (creams, gels, serums) containing vitamin C on the market. The products claim to treat a wide variety of skin conditions- from facial skin whitening to fine line and wrinkle reduction . However, it is critical to know that when applied topically, the efficacy of ascorbic acid is very small and often non-existent.  This is due to the fact that vitamin C (C6H8O6) is a very unstable molecule which degrades once it is exposed to light, and as soon as it degrades, it loses all of the benefits described above.

It is easy to detect the degradation of the vitamin C since it turns a yellow-brown color upon degradation. Cosmetic products that claim to have vitamin C as an active ingredient, and which are colored yellow-brown, are misleading consumers since in actual fact the vitamin C in these products has lost its skin rejuvenation properties and is an inactive, degraded, vitamin C.

The structure of the skin is another factor which greatly reduces the effectiveness of cosmetics containing vitamin C. The upper layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, protects the deeper layers of the skin by rejecting materials that attempt to penetrate it. Vitamin C is a hydrophilic molecule which easily dissolves in water, while the stratum corneum is hydrophilic, meaning it is water resistant. Therefore, to effectively penetrate vitamin C into the skin, it is essential to first exfoliate the stratum corneum.

Kojic acid

For over 30 years, Kojic acid has been used as a facial skin whitening agent. Kojic acid, like hydroquinone, prevents the formation of dopachrome – an intermediate stage in the biosynthesis of melanin. Kojic acid is obtained by the fermentation of a strain of Aspergillus orizae.

Since hydroquinone and its esters have been banned in several countries, Kojic acid has been used to replace it. Kojic acid at 1% concentration has bleaching properties,  but when it is used, it immediately turns the cosmetic emulsion yellow and within four to six weeks it turns it brown.  Furthermore, its acidity is very weak since it is linked only to the presence of a hydroxyl function in the molecule. Additionally, it is unstable since it is very sensitive to heat (above 40°C) and oxidizes easily.  Therefore, it must be added into emulsions when they are cooled and needs to be combined with antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Although relatively safe and effective, recent studies have shown that it is responsible for skin irritation, sensitization and in rare cases where it has been frequently used, it has been related to contact dermatitis.

In Japan, the country where Kojic acid was first used for skin bleaching, the product isn’t banned, but the authorities have stated that they don’t want new formulations to include the acid.

Niacinamide or nicotinamide or vitamin B3

Another way to achieve skin lightening is to limit the transfer of pigment into the skin cells. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and Soy are primary nutrients which affect the transfer of melanosome and thus pigmentation.

Niacinamide (nicotinamide) is an effective skin lightener, especially for skin conditions in which hyperpigmentation may occur on the face or other visible parts of the body. Niacinamide has been found to reduce hyperpigmentation in a pigmented reconstructed epidermal (PREP) model by inhibiting 35-68% of melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes. It inhibits melanosome transfer without affecting tyrosinase activity, melanin production, melanocyte number or cell viability. The melanosome transfer is modulated by protease-activated receptor 2 activation (PAR-2) leading to disrupted keratinocyte phagocytosis. Most importantly, Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes without affecting the activity of tyrosinase.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

A very popular method for lightening the skin uses alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA).  AHA is a natural ingredient that effectively exfoliates the skin and also helps with hyperpigmentation by speeding up skin’s natural cell turnover – known as Skin Turnover Acceleration

L(+) lactic acid is part of the alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) group. It is known to stimulate the desquamation process which increases the skin’s cell renewal rate. This not only results in smoother skin and the disappearance of fine lines, but also causes melanogenic suppression or skin whitening activity (as a result of the suppression of the formation of tyrosinase). The product needs to be formulated at lower pH levels to speed up the cell renewal.

The use of lactic acid and other lactates in skin lightening products has multiple benefits such as moisturization, increase of the skin’s ceramide level and skin lightening.

B&A of a woman after a facelift

Facial Skin Whitening

Woman wearing fur hat similingIntroduction

More than ever before, there is a huge emphasis in the beauty market on skin tone.  Customers the world over are seeking effective products that will even out their skin tone, and many individuals with darker skin are looking for skin whitening products.

The desire to use skin whitening products varies considerably between cultures. Hyperpigmentation is the most common and distressing condition afflicting people in Western countries.  These individuals often seek to eliminate localized hyperpigmentation as well as to lighten their skin tone in general.  In Asian countries, skin whitening products are mainly used to achieve a whiter and brighter facial skin tone.

The main purpose of facial skin whitening products is to lighten the skin as well as even out the skin tone.  It is also used to treat pigmentation disorders such as blemishes, pregnancy marks and age spots.

The active ingredients in the facial skin whitening creams work in two ways:

  • By absorbing the UV rays, thus preventing the sun damaging and darkening the facial skin.
  • By reducing the production of melanin, the pigment found in the skin which is responsible for skin color and darkening.

Facial Skin Pigmentation

Dermal melanin is produced by melanocytes, cells that are located at the bottom layer of the skin. The type and amount of melanin synthesized by the melanocyte and its distribution pattern in the epidermis determines the actual color of the facial skin.

Melanin comes in two forms: pheomelanin and eumelanin. These two forms are found in facial skin and hair. Eumelanin is the form which mostly determines the skin color due to its high concentrations (i.e. the higher the concentration of eumelanin, the darker the skin tone).

All skin types also have pheomelanin in the skin and hair. Pheomelanin is responsible for creating pink to red hues in the skin and is found in high concentrations in red hair as well as in lips, nipples, glans of the penis and vagina.

Some research has stated that pheomelanin may become carcinogenic if exposed to UV light.

Facial Skin Pigmentation Mechanism

Melanin in melanocytes form due to a series of oxidative reactions involving tyrosine and the enzyme tyrosinase.

Eumelanin is formed from the amino acid tyrosine, when it is acted upon by the enzyme tyrosinase, which itself is dependent on its co-enzyme copper. A succession of oxidation reactions leads to the formation of indole-5,6-quinone, and then the colored polymer. This synthesis takes place in the melanosomes, cellular organelles that extend from the melanocytes, which are transferred to keratinocytes that migrate from the basal layer of the epidermis to the stratum corneum.

Melanin forms through a series of oxidative reactions involving the amino acid tyrosine and the enzyme tyrosinase.

Tyrosinase catalyzes three different reactions in the biosynthetic pathway of melanin in melanocytes: the hydroxylation of tyrosine to l-DOPA and the oxidation of l-DOPA to dopaquinone; furthermore, in humans, dopaquinone is converted by a series of complex reactions to melanin.

The first step is the most critical because the remainder of the reaction sequence can proceed spontaneously at physiological pH. Here, tyrosinase converts tyrosine to dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) and then to dopaquinone. Subsequently, dopaquinone is converted to dopachrome through auto-oxidation, and finally to dihydroxyindole or dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) to form eumelanin (black-brown pigment). The latter reaction occurs in the presence of dopachrome tautomerase and DHICA oxidase. In the presence of cysteine or glutathione, dopaquinone is converted to cysteinyl DOPA or glutathione DOPA. Subsequently, pheomelanin, a yellow-red pigment, is formed.

There are several means of reducing or eliminating melanin formation:

  • Inhibit tyrosinase synthesis
  • Complex copper to inhibit tyrosinase function
  • Eliminate oxidation reactions that lead to the polymer formation
  • Slow down the transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes
  • Act upstream on the hormone that stimulates melanogenesis

Most of the depigmenting agents presently on the market decrease melanogenesis by inhibiting tyrosinase activity in melanocytes as well as by inhibiting melanosome maturation by one or other of the mechanisms described.

In the next blog some of the most popular active ingredient for facial skin whitening will be presented.

NowMi PRO clinical results