The Future of Nutrition in Skin Care

Prescription-grade tretinoin (aka Retin-A) was the first of these breakthrough products. Then came alpha-hydroxy acids, which speeded cell turnover and prompted the appearance of healthy new skin. Though derived from fruit acids and other food sources, these powerful skin-sloughers were also essentially lab-made.



The nought-nought years of the new millennium mark the start of a kinder, gentler phase of the skin care revolution with ingredient philosophies like Nutricentials,™ "a promising new generation of rejuvenators that are driven by the world of nutrition rather than cosmetic science," says Lori Bush, Nu Skin Advisory Board member. Nutricentials ingredients are derived directly from foods. And though they're easy on the skin, they are proving able to help ward off future damage from the sun, from pollutants in the air, from smoking, from internal stress, and from general wear and tear.



So just what are these new skin rejuvenators? They're key tissue-nurturing antioxidants, and yes, they appeared in small doses, as vitamin A, C, and E additives, in late '90s beauty creams. But now that antioxidants have won mainstream scientific acceptance, Nu Skin and its sister company, the natural nutritional supplement supplier Pharmanex, are combing the world for unique food sources for these free radical fighters and skin fortifiers, and are beginning to use them in pure, concentrated doses in Nu Skin treatment products. The idea, explains Bush, "is to identify key nutrients found in local diets that contribute to the qualities of healthy skin, and then to leverage the differences in skin care around the globe by gathering together the best the world has to offer."



New Benefits from Olive Oil
Take the Mediterranean region for instance, where an all-important food basic is olive oil. For centuries, olive oil has also served locally as an excellent moisturizer for soothing parched skin. But recently it's been discovered that extra-virgin olive oil from that region contains a rich supply of polyphenols, amino acid derivatives that function as powerful antioxidants. One of those polyphenols, hydroxytyrosol, patented by Nicholas Perricone, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University, is now a key component (high up on the ingredient list) in Nu Skin's Celltrex® Ultra Recovery Fluid. This lush-to-the-touch, rapidly-absorbed serum helps diminish fine lines and ruddiness and gives the skin a new-found radiance.



Advantages of Algae
Moving eastward, Nu Skin is making use of another class of skin-protecting, food-derived antioxidants. These are carotenoids, natural vitamin A derivatives from algae that thrive in intense sunlight in the waters off the coast of Israel and are packed with powerful protectants. In the 1990s, carotenoids extracted from tomatoes and other food sources were mixed into skin care products, but without much success, as their characteristic orange, yellow, or dark green color made them highly impractical for topical use. Nu Skin's Israeli carotenoids, however, are unique in that they are colorless and therefore aesthetically pleasing in treatment products. Again, high on the ingredient list, they are the star constituents in Nu Skin's Moisture Restore™ Day Protective Lotion SPF 15, available in formulas for normal to dry and combination to oily skin. These are ideally suited as day light moisturizers that enhance the skin's natural resistance to the environment.



Preliminary scientific testing being performed at Stanford University in conjunction with Nu Skin shows promising results for several additional skin protectants and rejuvenating nutrients. The reason for such variety? "Each antioxidant has its own unique route and its own timetable for treating the skin," says Joseph Y. Chang, Ph.D., Pharmanex's founder, who now serves as Nu Skin Enterprises' Chief Scientific Officer and is a new member of the Nu Skin Professional Advisory Board.



Nutricentials™ raise the ante on skin care as healthy lifestyle components. They are not intended as temporary stopgaps, but as preventive maintenance. Indeed, these ingredients take effect gradually, over a period of weeks or months. What's more, they need daily replenishing, says Dr. Chang, who explains that once an antioxidant molecule makes its all-important free-radical linkage, it is spoken for, so to speak.



An Antioxidant-Rich Diet
Of course, we can certainly get antioxidant supplies from our food intake, particularly if it's rich in vegetables and fruits and low in sugar and saturated fats. And we can also top up our antioxidant supplies by taking nutritional supplements. But the benefit of antioxidants in creams and serums is that they're sent to work directly at their target areas, wrinkles…brown spots…sallowness, and, as a bonus, they feel extraordinarily good on the skin.