Science Wrap August 2023

Science Hub

Science Wrap August 2023

01 September 2023

Ginni Mansberg

August has been another amazing month for ESK. This month I turned 55 and to celebrate Jade (my 26-year-old -married- daughter) shouted her mummy a hurly girly weekend away in the Blue Mountains. We are like 2 peas in a pod, and she told me just to pack a tracksuit and Ugg boots. Because there is NOTHING we like more than room service, a fire place and trashy 90s movies.

The absolute best birthday present ever!!! We had a wonderful AfterPay Day sale, followed by reality catching up with us. Having absorbed rising costs for skincare ingredients, bottles, postage, electricity in the warehouses and rent, we had to rise our prices.

We managed to keep this increase to under 15% and are grateful for the incredible support of our beautiful customers who were so generous in their understanding and messages of love.  

Meanwhile on with the science…..

What can retinal(dehyde) not do for your skin? Seriously!

You know how much we at ESK love our retinal! Well, a new study published in the Journal, Dermatopathology was FASCINATING. This study looked at a condition called dermatoporosis, which is extreme skin aging. Skin cells that die of old age are called senescent cells.

They release a chemical called p16 which is not only a biomarker for cell senescence, but also directly damages surrounding tissues. In this study applying a combination of retinal and fragments of hyaluronic acid saw a reduction of p16 in skin affected by dermatoporosis.

This indicates that the cells were dying less quickly and when they did die, they were causing less inflammation and damage to surrounding cells. Dermatoporosis is rare and this study doesn’t mean we can assume the same thing would happen to just normally aging skin cells. But it’s exciting nonetheless!

I think I look great for my age! Who am I kidding? A new study says I’m wrong!

I loved a new study published in the journal, Skin Research and Technology that found that women looking at pictures of themselves generally think they look 8.2 years younger than trained skin aging experts looking at the same photos.

We’re not talking about selecting the best of a bad lot- those pics you put on Instagram. In this study we had specialized photographers taking photos of the face minus makeup from multiple angles. The reason, say the scientists who wrote the article is simple.

Most of us look at our faces in a mirror. This front on view misses a whole stack of skin sagging that is visible from a side view. That gives us a bias that we don’t ignore when looking at photos taken from every angle!

When the side angles were pointed out to the women in the study, 70% said they were now more motivated to do something about their appearance. The authors’ conclusion was “looking at one's own face from a sideward angle, for example, by using a trifold mirror, is important for accurate perception of one's own aged appearance.”

I don’t need that level of honesty in my life!

Irregular cycle? How this affects your skin…

As someone who had a totally irregular cycle and major cystic acne as a teenager and in my 20s, I practically devoured a new study from the Shanghai Institute of Technology.

The study of 200 women found that 80% of women report some sort of skin change the week before their period- especially drier, or oilier skin with breakouts. But having an irregular cycle was linked to higher oil content in the skin as well as lower levels of skin hydration and a higher transepidermal water loss or TEWL.

They also had rougher skin. Another interesting finding was that women with an irregular cycle had lots of acne causing Cutibacterium and Golden Staphylococcus bugs while the diversity of the skin microbiome decreased. 

We know that lower microbial diversity in the gut is a sign of poor gut health.

You want a zoo in your guts, and we think that’s the case in the skin too.

While the researchers didn’t test hormone levels, they suggested that lower oestrogen and higher testosterone levels could be the route of both the skin issues and the irregular cycle.

So where does that leave those of us with hormonal acne?

Previous research suggests going on the pill helps with acne and it might be worth looking into!

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