Online Exclusives

Amino Acid Skin Care

April 29, 2008

Delivering to the skin what it can't provide for itself.

Amino Acid Skin Care

Delivering to the skin what it can’t provide for itself.

By Joanna Cosgrove
Online Editor

Amino acids are essential for good health, but according to Ron Cummings, founder of New York-based AminoGenesis, they are also essential for great skin. Mr. Cummings’ eight-product AminoGenesis skin care range is comprised of topical skin treatments for the face, eye area and body. The products contain 17 beneficial plant-derived amino acids which Mr. Cummings asserted are “essential for healthy skin and are crucial to the creation and maintenance of both collagen and elastin.” He said the skin of American consumers is suffering from a deficit in amino acids, which are crucial to the creation of collagen and elastin—both of which are known as key factors in the appearance of the skin.

AminoGenesis' formulas boast 17 amino acids.
“Amino acids are organic miracles of life. All life (plant and animal) are made of the same 20 amino acids,” said Mr. Cummings. “Amino acids are the smallest units of organic material in the human body. Because of their incredibly small size, they can easily penetrate the surface of the skin to re-nourish it with what it needs to function properly. No function, no interaction and no proteins in your skin (or in your whole body for that matter) can occur without the abundant presence of a multitude of amino acids.”

Mr. Cummings likened the topical role of amino acids as “skin fuel.”

“The skin functions by combining individual amino acids to form all the proteins and structures that make up the matrix of the skin,” he said. “Many factors such as the sun, wind, environment and the aging process can deplete the skin of amino acids. When that happens, the skin begins to break down and everything from dryness to wrinkles and discoloration along with all the signs of aging begin to occur.”

Amino acids are crucial to the creation of collagen and elastin—both of which are known as key factors in the appearance of the skin, asserted Mr. Cummings.

The eight-product AminoGenesis skincare line contains 17 plant-derived amino acids that are “essential for healthy skin and are crucial to the creation and maintenance of both collagen and elastin.” Seven of the amino acids are considered “essential” meaning the human body cannot create them on its own.

The amino acid blend used in each of the AminoGenesis products contains:
•    L-Lysine: a skin conditioning agent, good for tissue repair, needed for collagen production.
•    L-Histidine: protects the body from radiation damage, antioxidant.
•    L-Arginine: speeds the healing of wounds.
•    L-Aspartic acid: involved in building DNA (genetic structure in cells).
•    L-Threonine: important for the formation of collagen and elastin.
•    L-Serine: important in formation of cell membranes.
•    L-Glutamine: helps prevent muscle breakdown.
•    L-Proline: important in maintaining youthful skin.
•    L-Glycine: repairs damaged tissue, promotes healing.
•    L-Alanine: important in protein synthesis.
•    L-Valine: branched chain amino acid, important for muscular strength.
•    L-Methionine: antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
•    L-Isoleucine: branched chain amino acid, important in protein synthesis and tissue repair.
•    L-Leucine: branched chain amino acid, protects against muscle protein breakdown.
•    L-Tyrosine: a building block of protein used to help the moisturizing product penetrate the skin, converted by skin cells into melanin that protects against harmful effects of UV light.
•    L-Phenylalanine: building blocks for various proteins that can be converted to L-Tyrosine.
•    L-Acetyl tyrosine: bioavailable form of L-Tyrosine, a building block of protein.

In addition to a technical ingredient lineup, the products also feature a delivery system that encourages quick, “almost instant” penetration. According to company literature, the products have “a controlled viscosity,” that enables the formulas to become less and less viscous as shear force is applied. Secondly, the formulas’ “electrostatic properties are correct and compatible with the skin’s natural electro static charge,” and lastly, the formulas “temporarily reduce skin surface tension to allow penetration.” These factors, coupled with minute ingredient molecules, foster quick penetration into the skin.

Mr. Cummings said that perfecting the formulation of the products was a technical feat that took about a decade to perfect. “First of all amino acids must be extracted from plant material without destroying them. Then amino acids must be 100 percent pure and not retain any other by-products of the plant they came from,” he explained. “Each of the above listed amino acids has a different heating temperature by which it becomes water soluble. So emulsifying these amino acids into a stable water based formula required the invention of new technology. We are proud to say we accomplished this beautifully and to date no other companies have figured it out!”

The company’s research is ongoing. “As we learn more, we constantly improve the formulas,” he said. “For example, we discovered that changing the ratios of certain amino acids within the formula can boost collagen production by as much as 400 percent!”

Product Rundown

The eight AminoGenesis products are categorized into face, eyes and body preparations. There are five products for the face.

Photolagen ($89) is a full strength, non-prescription serum that addresses a wide range of skin concerns including sun damage, wrinkles, dryness, discoloration, skin firmness and texture. The formulation’s delivery system “transports vital moisture deep into skin.”  

Tripeptinon Facial Lift Capsules ($79) is a 40-day treatment cycle formulated to “lift, firm and strengthen facial connective tissues.” The product is enriched with Ceramide 2, Ubiquinone and amino-acid ogliopetides to help trigger “the skin’s own collagen-making and repair mechanism to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, often caused by sun damage.”

Therapeutic Facial Repair ($44) contains the most concentrated version of AminoGenesis’17 amino acid formula and boasts three times the concentration of amino acids. The product is said to penetrate the skin rapidly to provide “advanced moisturizing, nourishing and anti-aging qualities,” replacing the need for toning and exfoliating.

Perfect Reflection water-based anti-aging serum ($69) combines four antioxidants (vitamin A, C, D and CoQ10) with AminoGenesis’ base formula of 17 amino acids to moisturize and rejuvenating the skin.

Really, Really Clean Facial Cleanser ($24), is a dual purpose preparation that bathes the skin with AminoGenesis’ combination of 17 amino acids, while deeply cleansing to remove dirt, makeup and impurities, while maintaining the delicate balance of the skin’s natural moisture.

The company’s most recent product for the face is DermaScyne 2 Intense Daily Serum ($139), which is billed to deliver “25 key biological building blocks to the skin,” which are said to help support proteins such as collagen and elastin, as well as other key proteins like actin, cadherins, fibronectin, glycoprotein, keratin, laminins, demogleins, fillagrins and proteoglycans, among other things.

For the eyes, Counter Clockwise under-eye treatment ($40) is a gel/cream hybrid that is promoted to soothe and renews the gentle skin around the eyes. The product combines the concentration of a cream with the water-carrying capabilities of a gel to deliver moisture, nutrients and amino acids to the vulnerable skin surrounding the eye area.

And finally, for the body, Cocoon Total Body Emollient ($44) is the original incarnation of the company’s 17 amino acid base formula. Using low energy emulsion technology, the 17 amino acids in this formula have been purified and blended to create a stable, cohesive, non-greasy formula that won’t break down or separate over time. This rapidly penetrating lotion is said to dissipate into the skin immediately for quick and effective hydration and skin nourishment.

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