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  Issue 3 (2001)

GD News
New Trends in Dermocosmetics
Approach for the Retarding of Skin Ageing

On 17 October the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie (GD) (Society for Dermopharmacy) organized a scientific symposium about the effects of dermocosmetics at the Fritz-Henkel-Haus in Düsseldorf. The GD defines those cosmetics as dermocosmetics which are designed in accordance with dermatological and pharmaceutical aspects with regard to their composition, effect and tolerance. The dermatologist professor Dr. med. Martina Kerscher, holder of the chair for cosmetics and personal hygiene in the department Chemistry of Hamburg University, informed about new trends in Dermocosmetics in a basic lecture.

The focus of her remarks was directed on care products for the retarding of skin ageing. Due to the fact that the average life expectancy has significantly increased and skin is the organ which shows the human ageing process in the most visible way, there is a steadily rising interest in such products, as the lecturer explained. Significant in this aspect are above all light protection preparations to be applied on a daily basis on skin areas not covered by textiles. A large assortment of preparations with combined physical and chemical active principle as well as modern UV-filters with minimal allergy risk is available today.

A further essential principle for the treatment and preventive care of the aged skin is the application of humectants. These substances supplement the natural barrier of the skin and protect at the same time from desiccation. New therapy approaches also include the application of preliminary stages of the lipid biosynthesis, i.e. of substances which are transformed to natural lipids in skin.

Today there is a heavy demand for care products contributing to the retarding of skin ageing.

Owing to the hypothesis that the skin ageing process is enhanced by free radicals, a protective effect is to be principally expected by the topical application of antioxidants as vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q 10, melatonine, and the polyphenolic epicatechines contained in green tea extracts.The prerequisite is, however, that these substances are stable in the appropriate base and available in a sufficiently high concentration.

In order to give aged skin a younger appearance, the expert recommends treatments with retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acids, also known as fruit acids. Studies regarding the topical application of vitamin-a-acid have proved that they not only induce a new synthesis of collagen but also other age-related skin changes as for instance pigment shiftings can be improved.

However, a final assessment is not yet on hand for the new trend to treat the UV-induced skin ageing by topical application of DNA-repairing substances as endonucleases, photolyases, T4N5 or oligonucleotides. The same applies to the topical therapy based on hormones as progesterone, inhibiting the collagenasis, the enzyme responsible for the decomposition of collagen.


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