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Skin health and science. Your Skin Actives e-newsletter.

January 2006 - Issue #9



We hope you will enjoy this newsletter.  If you do not wish to receive further issues, please reply to this email with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line, and we will take you off our list straight away.  If you would like this newsletter to reach other people, please feel free to forward it to them or send us a note at with their email addresses. Thanks!



A new year

Our articles of organization were filed and accepted at the beginning of January. Skin Actives Scientific is now officially Skin Actives Scientific L.L.C.;  the main effect of this change will be to make it more difficult for me to fit our logo on our labels (little joke).


We also received our eBay purple star. We now have a feedback rating of 661 with no negative feedback! Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and especially those of you who found incorrect or missing items in their order and had the patience to allow us to put things right.


I have been trying very hard to think of how we can improve our service and our offerings. Over the next couple of months I hope to have a new look for our product pages that will make it easier for users to find exactly what they need along with simpler instructions, sample recipes, and customer comments. I am also trying to rearrange the forum so that discussion topics will be easier to find.


Coming soon

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and amla are coming soon. I hope to have these up for sale this weekend. We will try to add one or two actives per month over the next few months.  Let us know if there is anything you are particularly interested in.


We are in the process of formulating a ‘serum’ base. My hope is to have the base ready to go by the beginning of March.


Lip revamp

We had suffered a few problems with regards to the packaging of our liquid crystal. A couple of weeks ago we revamped the whole line. Please let us know how you like the new options. We really love this line.


Thank you once again, we wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.





January Product of the Month: White liquorice extract

We are all familiar with the name liquorice: a favorite candy in some European countries, and a pharmacy all by itself.


  • b-Glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting DNA, RNA and protein synthesis.
  • glycyrrhizinic acid alleviates erythema, edema and itching
  • glabridin has antioxidative activity, and inhibits melanogenesis and inflammation
  • glabrene and isoliquiritigenin inhibit tyrosinase-dependent melanin biosynthesis


Knowing how valuable liquorice extract was, it was frustrating to get complaints about the problems clients were having with liquorice extract: changes in the color of the cream and disagreeable smell. I was familiar with the problems formulating liquorice. Formulators use a very low concentration of liquorice extract (about 0.5%) in skin care products but still have problems with color changes. We stopped selling it because liquorice, however good, was ruining our clients’ creams.


I was very lucky to be able to find a liquorice extract that is white (rather than brown) and does not change the color of creams or smell bad. How is this possible? After obtaining a crude extract of a plant material, it is up to the biochemist to decide the purification route to follow in order to increase the concentration of active chemicals (and decrease the concentration of inactive or problematic ones). Depending on the route chosen you will eliminate different chemicals.



Acne re-visited



Acne is a very common skin disorder in the USA, affecting about 85% of adolescents, with comedos affecting practically all teenagers. The number of older people suffering from acne is increasing slowly, affecting 8% of 25-34 year-olds and 3% of 35-44 year-old. Acne maybe normal but this does not make it any less painful psychologically for the young or older people that have it.


What is acne?

Acne is a disease of the follicles where the hair is formed and sebum is secreted. Keratinocytes accumulate and “plug” the pore with the sebum, resulting in a microcomedo.  Continued accumulation of materials will distend the pore, forming an open comedo, a blackhead. The dark color is the result of keratinocytes, oxidized lipids, and melanin.


Inside the comedo there is little oxygen and lots of sebum, an  ideal medium for the acne bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, to grow and multiply, and the activity of the bacteria leads in turn to inflammation and irritation.


Cysts can develop when the contents of the sick follicle (keratinocytes, sebum and bacteria) spills  into the surrounding dermis, producing a pustule (superficial), or, deeper papule or nodule.


What can we do?

First, remember that acne can leave scars, keloids and changes in pigmentation, so it is important to control acne before it leads to permanent changes in the skin. Second, serious acne should be taken seriously. See you your M.D., because some genetic problems show themselves as acne, and only tests ordered by your doctor can tell you whether your acne is “normal”, i.e. caused by the hormonal turmoil of adolescence or the menstrual cycle, or whether it is a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome or other health problems that cause an excess in the production of male hormones by the young woman.


To control acne:


1) Keep pores open, by controlling sebum secretion using niacinamide, EGCG from green tea.


2) Normalize keratinization and prevent the exfoliated keratinocytes from sticking together. Go for white willow bark extract, which will also reduce inflammation. Other helpful actives: sulfur, retinyl acetate. Chemical peels will also help but make sure that the glycolic and other acids are not neutralized using bases like sodium hydroxide, a common ploy to impress consumers with high concentrations of acid that have been converted into useless salts.


3) Decrease inflammation: white liquorice extract. Avoid steroids, the anti-inflammatories that everybody likes because they are so fast, because they with prolonged use they will cause skin atrophy and “steroid acne”.


4) Kill acne bacteria: tea tree oil, Coleus essential oil. Propolis should also work but many of our clients do not like the smell. Avoid benzoyl peroxide, which will kill bacteria but will also age your skin and increase the probability of skin cancer.


5) For women: stabilize the hormonal balance using oral contraceptives.





You can buy our products on Ebay or directly from us at (at a slightly lower price). If you prefer to buy through Ebay, please remember to leave feedback, to help us grow and be able to stock more great Skin Actives. Email us at if you have any questions or suggestions. If we do not know the answer

We welcome your compliments and hope to learn from your criticism.
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