Chemist and cosmeceutical expert; president and CEO of Pharma Management Corporation. Lewis oversees the management of five skincare companies, including Priori and Priori MD.
What is the most important breakthrough as you see it in skincare advances for 2014?
Most of us know that SPF is needed daily to protect against the damaging effects of the sun and that it is the most important step for anti-ageing protection. We also know that SPF is not enough; it’s like protecting your skin with Swiss cheese – it’s got holes in it. SPF does not provide protection against free radicals that constantly attack our skin from oxidative stress caused by ozone pollution, cigarette smoke, stress and diet; only antioxidants can do that.
However, no SPF or antioxidant is 100 per cent efficient, so damage to our cells still occurs, which can lead to premature skin ageing. That is why we now also have products with DNA repair enzymes, which act like a backstop to mop up any existing damage and also protect against new damage. DNA repair products are the third line of defence. Imagine one product that provides triple action protection – SPF plus antioxidants, plus DNA repair enzymes.
We all know about SPF, but why are antioxidants so important in anti-ageing skincare therapy?
Antioxidants are still the wave of the future in skincare anti-ageing therapy. Damage accumulation from oxidative stress is the fundamental cause of ageing (together with genetics), and antioxidants are our defence against oxidative stress. A wrinkle is born as a result of oxidative stress. Like it or not, we are slowly oxidising; in fact, you’re not ageing – you’re simply oxidising.
We revolutionised the skincare industry when we launched Idebenone Complex, which has been shown to correct oxidative stress on a cellular level, helping to block multiple pathways of cellular free-radical mediated damage, thereby allowing the cell the time for cell repair and rejuvenation. Idebenone Complex works differently to any other anti-ageing technology, Idebenone is a respiratory chain antioxidant, and thus targets ageing at its cellular source – the mitochondria. Idebenone provides a whole new level of skin rejuvenation not attainable with traditional cosmeceutical therapies such as AHA, vitamin A, vitamin C, peptides and so on.
Imagine if you had a “super Idebenone Complex” that not only protects mitochondria, but also helps promote healthy spontaneous growth of new mitochondria in ageing cells by stimulating genes that govern mitochondrial reproduction, protection, and repair? That to me would be groundbreaking.