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The Power of Retinol

By Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor | November 26, 2012

StriVectin harnesses it with a new nighttime product

The future of anti-aging and skin health was the topic of discussion at the recent launch of StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment. On hand to bring the technology into focus were StriVectin’s Chief Scientists, Drs. Elaine L. and Myron K. Jacobson, well known in the field of skin cancer research and DNA repair.

According to Dr. Elaine L. Jacobson, the science that powers the new product features a stable form of retinol, which is activated by NIA-114, and contained in a multifunctional formulation designed to target skin repair. Introducing the panel, which discussed the science supporting the technology, was Frederic Arbel, Vice President Global Marketing, StriVectin, who welcomed Dr. Ellen Marmur, Dermatologist, Founding Director Marmur Medical, Drs. Myron K. Jacobson and Elaine L. Jacobson, StriVectin Chief Scientists, and Kathy Cheng, Marketing Director, StriVectin Operating Company.
The Science Behind the Formula
Dr. Marmur explained how retinoids regulate the top layer of the skin, regulate cell turnover, and balance the skin to keep it clear. “The problem with retinoids is in some cases, the ones that are used are too intense,” she said. She explained how she uses cosmeceutical strength retinoids in the topical form, which are converted into the active form, which her patients can tolerate. “Retinoids for dermatologists are like aspirin for regular doctors. It’s one of the main tools for the skin,” said Dr. Marmur, noting that the form in which it is prescribed for patients is key. “While Retinols offer many proven, anti-aging benefits, in some of my patients they tend to irritate and weaken the skin barrier causing dryness, redness, itchiness, and flakiness. It’s great to see there is an at-home alternative that can help strengthen the skin barrier without the harsh side effects,” she said.

StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Cream is recommended for use at night, explained Dr. Marmur. “It allows the skin cells to shed during sleep, helping to achieve normal looking skin, with improved texture and tone,” she said. In addition, she explained, skin is gently exfoliated over night, reducing some of the fine lines and wrinkles and giving firming benefit. It is the power of the new molecule, NIA-114, with its skin repairing properties that is at the center of the formulation.

Dr. Myron Jacobson said, “NIA-114 is a patented molecule derived from skin cancer research. It strengthens the skin barrier, and its structure contains an oily tail that allows the delivery of the active NIA-114, which enables its functionality.” The molecule is a patented form of niacin, more commonly known as Vitamin B3 and is claimed to promote the rebuilding of the skin barrier to enhance its ability to retain vital moisture and defend against damaging environmental aggressors.

Clinical studies have shown that NIA-114 helps repair skin damage and optimize skin’s natural defense responses by restoring and fortifying the skin barrier. It is a technology with which the Drs. Jacobson are very knowledgeable. “We’ve spent the last 30 years researching the skin care benefits of NIA-114, and when combined with powerful new actives targeting specific concerns, we saw extraordinary skin repair results.Our studies also showed a significant improvement in the important skin barrier function for overall skin health benefits,” said Dr. Myron Jacobson.

Because the proprietary Niacin delivery system is said to be so effective at activating skin’s natural processes, it helps enhance the effects of other actives. Each StriVectin formula combines NIA-114 with efficacious levels of other age-fighting ingredients and active complexes selected to target a specific skin concern. “My belief is NIA-114 will be a key skin cancer ingredient for the next 20 years,” said Dr. M. Jacobson. He discussed the delivery response to the skin of the new StriVectin-AR formulation, which combines two of the most powerful anti-aging actives, the NIA-114™ molecule and Retinol, to create a fast-acting nighttime treatment, tracing it from the non-active Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol, to the active forms of Retinaldehyde and Retinoic Acid. “NIA-114 is very active in delivering the retinoic acid to the skin. They are interwoven in how they provide the actives to the skin,” he said.

The doctors discovered that NAD, the bioactive form of Niacin or Vitamin B3, is required to convert Retinol (Vitamin A) to its bioactive, more efficacious form of Retinoic Acid in the skin. The proprietary NIA-114 molecule is claimed to be one of the most active forms of Niacin and compared to niacinamide, is able to increase the NAD content in the skin to help fuel Retinol conversion. In addition, it is said to have the unique ability to absorb into the skin to strengthen and build up the skin barrier, enhancing its durability and in turn improving its tolerability of Retinol and reducing sensitivity. As a duo, NIA-114 activates Retinol’s power to work harder and faster, without the irritating side effects commonly associated with Retinol usage.
Dr. Elaine Jacobson Cites Clinical Trials
“No product leaves our lab without an exhaustive clinical program period,” said Dr. Jacobson, and this product was tested in 12-week, independent placebo-controlled, double blind trials, using split-face trials, with one side of the face using StriVectin-AR™ and the other using another product. It was conducted among 35 women, ages 35-70, and analyzed utilizing corneometer measurements, TEWL measurements, and clinical self-assessment to determine results.

After 4 weeks a 40% improvement was shown in the peri-oral area, around the mouth and lower jaw, showing improved firmness, skin clarity, and improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, 100% had an improvement in skin texture, 88% had an improvement in skin clarity and radiance, 79% showed improved skin firmness, and 82% had fine line improvement. Further, Jacobson noted, after 12 weeks, there was a 26x improvement in skin tone, a 7x improvement in wrinkles, a 4x improvement in skin firmness, and a 3x improvement in texture.

Jacobson said, “The skin surface requires 4 weeks to turnover, so it’s a challenge to try to do that overnight.” She added, “Retinols are notoriously unstable, so it’s very important that we’ve paid attention to that and the data strongly supports the results.” She added that the product is also “quite emollient and spreads easily on the skin.”

Kathy Cheng, Marketing Director, StriVectin Operating Company, said, “It’s a blockbuster combination. Since it combines two powerful actives it is able to work smarter and faster. NIA-114™ acts as an accelerator and reduces Retinol sensitivity, with a peptide complex to stimulate collagen production, plus sodium hyaluronate and efficacious botanicals, it delivers performance without irritation,” she said. StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment, which launches at department and specialty stores in January 2013, retails for $109, 50ml/1.7 oz tube, and is recommended for use at night, with an SPF during the day.

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