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Agera products were very popular amongst our trial panel. Many commented on the light feel and rapid penetration. A few felt that some of the products failed to moisturise but it is important to remember that the range is very much a treatment range and additional moisturisers can be applied after application if required. Some found the packaging refreshing in its simplicity and found this as a positive.
Others felt the packaging was minimalistic and lacked style. Products that were singled out for particular praise were the MagC Peptide Serum, the Ultimate Retinol Rejuvenators and the IGF Dermal Matrix Nanogel. The Daily Moisturising SPF 25 was a very popular sunscreen.
This is a very popular range amongst the many medical aesthetic clinics that have developed in the UK in the last 3 to 4 years. It has a strong background of laboratory testing and leads the world in the development of growth peptide and retinol technology that is proven to enhance collagen and elastin production as measured by human fibroblast assays. They clearly have done a large amount of work to ensure that the peptides selected are proven and that they are present in the correct concentrations. In addition the optimal levels of retinol and other supporting ingredients have been harmonised to attempt to achieve the maximal production of proteins from the human fibroblast cell.
This approach of optimising the skin’s own production of collagen seems a very logical way to slow the effect of the ageing process on the skin.
Ten years of research in dermal ageing has resulted in the development of a dermally active peptide – Myristoyl Hexapeptide-4. This has been patented and carries the Prolifersyn® trade mark. Prolifersyn® is a synthetically produced peptide which mimics the effect of Insulin Like Growth Factor (IGF). As we age the levels of IGF are declining and this decline in IGF makes the dermal fibroblasts less responsive. Agera scientists have unravelled the IGF molecule and isolated linear fragments from the IGF molecule. These fragments are smaller, very stable, easier to deliver and in some cases outperform the parent growth factors in their ability to stimulate the fibroblast.
Prolifersyn® posses the ability to stimulate both epithelial cells and fibroblasts to increase proliferation rates. In addition the growth factor mimetic properties of Prolifersyn® increase the responsiveness of the fibroblast to locally occurring cytokines. This allows the mature fibroblast to recover a significant amount of its collagen and elastin production.
These growth factor peptide mimetics, no matter how effective in human dermal or epithelial cell cultures, must when applied to the surface of the skin reach the desired depth. A phospholipid arm has been attached to these peptides to enhance delivery. This is necessary as human skin is essentially a lipid structure and although it repels water based molecules, lipid based particles can more easily penetrate. The development of Agera® bioemulsion technology allows rapid delivery of the Agera Rx® active components through the skin. A bioemulsion is a suspension of minute lipid based particles that are stable. Because of their size and lipid nature they penetrate rapidly into the skin. The peptides are essentially stored in a freeze dried, anhydrous state in the centre of the lipid particle. There they sit, protected and stable until they are applied onto the skin. Upon activation at the time of application, the small lipid particles hydrate and allows transdermal delivery of the active growth factor peptide.
Retinol and retinol palmitate are derivatives of Vitamin A. They are converted by enzyme activity in the human skin to the active ingredient Retinoic Acid. It is Retinoic Acid which has the favourable effects on human skin. Retinoic Acid is available in several prescriptive products but these are generally too strong or poorly formulated for routine daily cosmetic use.
Most commercially available skin care products contain small quantities of retinol or retinol palmitate but are generally present at such low levels that they are ineffective.
Agera has utilised new formulations of retinol that are much less irritant than previous forms. This in addition with the lipid delivery technology allows significant skin delivery of retinol without irritation.
Agera’s minute lipid particles penetrate easily into the skin carrying the retinol with them. Because the particles have slightly different charges in their molecular structure, the particles release the retinol at different rates allowing for a phased release of the retinol. This allows for a gradual delivery of the vitamin A derivative to the skin and the conversion to the active molecule – Retinoic Acid is a gradual one.
Advantages of Retinoic Acid
1. Reduces coarseness and wrinkling of the skin
2. Reduces the signs of sun damage such as unwanted pigmentation
3. Skin appears more radiant
4. Histologically the epithelial cells are arranged in more even rows and have less abnormal cells present
5. There is an increased blood flow to the skin
6. Enhances collagen production
7. Inhibits or down regulates the production of metalloprotease enzymes that destroy collagen.