Trending Fossil – Part 2

In the previous post, the Skin Dork observed that visible skin aging, to most anyone who has paid attention to endless skincare industry advertising, means a depopulation of cells first and foremost. But then the Dork went on to describe the more disturbing news not mentioned in advertising: it’s not the number or cells to fret over, it’s the quality of cells that are there at issue.

For even more hair-depletion, the Dork asserted that only four ingredients (or molecules) in all of skincare can, demonstrably, across a wide swath of the population, improve cell quality in the skin.

Step into my office.

Skincare products will ALL increase cell populations, or more precisely, protein content in the skin. Doesn’t matter what you apply. Howard Maibach M.D., at University of California, San Francisco, et al definitively established that. By the way he’s the wizard of over 3,000 papers in dermatology who first identified that the SLS detergent caused skin inflammation – and more protein in the skin.

The joker in the deck is that more protein could be, and usually is, inflammatory in nature. Think of the skin as beachfront property, looking great and then a storm occurs and it is necessary to put sandbags in place to avoid disaster. The skin put that ugly protein sandbag barrier in place to protect the vital organs. No one told it that the storm was in its interest. It perceived the storm as a threat. Imagine that.

The ‘storm’ in this case is your topical products.

The chief villains are your daily maintenance products. They are usually far too biologically active on the one hand, and on the other, there are far too many of them applied.

The Skin Dork recently read of the daily skincare routines by Hollywood celebrities as a putative model for those looking for guidance in their own selections. Not noticing that all of the celebs were under thirty years old and well rewarded in the gene lottery seemed significant factors to the Dork, but ignored in the feature article. Anyway, the application of about a dozen products a day was average.

The FDA asserts that half that number is average in daily usage and now this deluge requires their strict oversight because ghoulish marketers will do anything for money and put anthrax in a topical if it will swell up and fill out wrinkles.

Well, yeah, pretty much. Though, in fact, innovation is very rare in skincare. There is nothing to be gained. The consumer has bought into the advertising story that more cells is the start and finish to the story, and the wonders of going one further by layering product upon product is game on.

Ladies and germs, the frequency, volume and number of products applied have consequences. Nature abides idiocy only for so long, then there is a thinning of the herd as the Darwin Awards are handed out. These application practices will go, sooner or later, into visible inflammation while existing prior to that at a subclinical (not visible) level for a considerable time. Chronic subclinical inflammation can be thought of in another, easier to understand way: premature aging.

Want to look older faster? That’s the best way. Forget baking in a desert sun, this is much more effective and unlike visible sun damage, cannot be undone.

302 Skincare provides maintenance products (cleansers, moisturizers, masks, etc) that are formulated to have very low metabolic effects. Everything applied will have some effect and the skin is resilient enough to withstand low level metabolites on a daily basis without going bananas. This is a subject all to itself, for another time by the way.

But, what can be done about improving the quality of cells without going over the edge? With the understanding that there are several more “active” molecules out there beyond the Big Four, these Four are where you start to get a handle on the quality of protein, and therefore cells, that you stimulate your skin to produce.

It will take you a bit of time to sort out which of these Big Four works best for you. Three of them are variants of vitamins. Namely, A (retinol), B3 (niacin or niacinamide) and C (ascorbic acid esters, never in pure acid form). The fourth is the 302 molecule.

All of these have a common thread – they are oil soluble.

That is an important factor. Water soluble “actives” are often charged molecules, meaning they immediately set off warning bells in the skin. Acids used for exfoliation, as an extreme example of a charged molecule, need to be applied rarely. Once per month is a lot. More frequent usage will weaken the skin and prematurely age it, irreversibly.

Younger people (children = anyone below age 30) who regularly apply exfoliating acids to keep their skin clean and clear will not be pleased with the cumulative effects of this “clearing” by acids, especially as they enter into middle age with skin as thin as a gnat’s wing and about as resilient.

So we have four oil soluble ingredients to test. It is important they be placed in a very modest vehicle, a carrier, that will not add to the bang. 302 Skincare has all of the Big Four suspended in very neutral solutions.

Now what? Choose Retinol first. At 302 Skincare that is in two different concentrations: 0.5 and 1.0 – the 0.5 is the less active of the two. If you are sensitive, choose the milder of the two (A 0.5 DROPS | A 0.5 SERUM). Order REVIVE as your cleanser/moisturizer. Use nothing else for testing purposes, for one month.

By the way, it doesn’t matter if you have used Vitamin A variants before and had bad experiences. Any of these Big Four can be easily abused and poorly formulated and bad advice given. Suspend your disbelief.

Apply Retinol once or twice per week. Evenings usually best. This will help stimulate blood vessel formation, re-establish skin architecture that goes from layer cake to mud by age thirty, increase cell population, weed out a lot of bad actors, like fragmented cells and proteins, improve all of the waste hauling and visibly make a noticeable difference. There is a LOT going on here. This is essential and why it belongs in the Big Four.

If your skin really ‘jumps’ up to another level after applying it, use less frequently, like 1x a week. Check out the product pages for other tips and tricks.

The next to test is Vitamin B3. This is found at 302 Skincare as B-BOOST and has two very important qualities. The first is to improve circulation. B3 will do that in dramatic fashion. This is the molecule of choice for those who cannot seem to get any skincare product to respond. Skin that is weak, unresponsive, aged and just put a fork in it needs B3 to blow out the pipes. This ingredient will dilate blood vessels and help enormously in waste removal. If you have skin spots (often called pigment spots) these are in fact cell wastes (which often includes blobs of pigment).

The skin has landfills and what you see in horror on the back of your hand are those landfills, which often contain wads of pigment tangled up with broken down proteins like elastin. There is even a technical name for all that cell waste: lipofuscin. Vitamin B3 will open up the landfills to improve removal to the lymph and beyond (liver, kidneys, etc.).

There is a caveat. 1x per week is plenty. Try on the back of your hands and if you tolerate it well, test the forehead and jaw line. You will experience a warming and usually a pronounced pinking as the blood vessels dilate for about twenty minutes. Apply nothing else during the “flush” of these vessels and for several hours afterward or risk a prolonged episode of inflammation and self-hate.

B3 is the ingredient of choice for fossils. Be certain the formula is very basic, no magic other ingredients that will risk complications. 302 Skincare has an excellent product.

As a byproduct, B3 will improve skin response, increase cell population, improve skin tone, help clear out skin landfills without the danger of immune suppression, and make you pleased that the aggressive morticians leaving business cards outside your villa in Spain or your apartment in Van Nuys have gone away discouraged. B3 is a charter member of the Big Four.

Next we come to Vitamin C – a very misunderstood molecule that almost always ends up as a loser on the shelf. The reason is simple: over use. Vitamin C, like A, has specific receptors that if frequently dosed will simply walk away. Done.

The number of those who have experienced the walk away is legion. This unhappy outcome came about because of poor advice from the very people promoting it. Imagine that.

What does it do if properly applied, that is to say, no more than 1x maybe 2x per week, at absolute most?

It is the ONLY molecule capable of doing serious work in the dermis. Everything else works (very well) upstairs at the epidermal/dermal junction, which is great, but getting into the dermis, C does two important things. First it helps specifically to build out elastin cells (springs) that give the skin turgor, bounce, plumpness. Second, it is excellent in weeding out big blobs of waste parked down in the deep.

Vitamin C should be in high doses in a neutral vehicle, like oils. It will be in ester form. That is, it will be one step removed from ascorbic acid that has the life span in the atmosphere of only several seconds (don’t let anyone tell you different).

Are some Vitamin C esters more effective than others? Yes, but the issue is concentration in the formula. It takes a high concentration to impact the skin because so much of the molecule gets taken apart before it gets deeper AND the formula vehicle, or carrier, is usually poorly thought out and combined with a lot of unnecessary actors and label smurfs that degrade the C activity when applied. That was a very long sentence.

What if I mega dose orally with Vitamin C, do I get a better topical effect? Not a good idea. Linus Pauling got that fiction going – great physicist, so-so biochemist. Hey, even Isaac Newton went off the rails. Goes with genius.

Recall that there are “super-responders” to about anything. People who legitimately reversed cancer by mega dosing with something – well, they really did. But will that work for you and me? Most unlikely and often enough, quite the reverse. We have to go with the percentages.

Which brings us to Mr. Big himself. The 302 molecule of legendary fame and history. Think of Vitamin A as the grounds and housekeeper, valet and footman. Vitamin B3 as the plumber, Vitamin C as legal and administrative.

302 owns the estate. Dramatic increases in cell population and the guiding hand in visible results – what you see when you drive by. Wow. Scars, gristle, thin skin, spots do not go there, fossils leave like Scrooge, renewed. 302 is synergistic with the other Bigs. 1 + 1 = 22. The morphology numbers are there at 302 Skincare. The user history is there: visible reversals of chronologic aging, lives and bank accounts improved, entire villages hold festivals. Seeing is believing.


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