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Skin Care Thinks Small to Deliver Big

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
An array of polymer microneedles 1,000 microns tall

Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Tech’s school of chemical and biomolecular engineering, one of the professors leading a U.S. team in finding a new mass delivery method for the flu vaccine, holds an array of polymer microneedles 1,000 microns tall. This photo, taken by Gary Meek and duplicated from the cover, is used with permission from Georgia Tech.

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However, when marketing complex scientific technology, more simplistic and gradual advertising campaigns may boost consumers’ understanding of a product line. Such was the case with luxury skin care line Amatokin. Gina Daines, director of marketing, Voss Laboratories, says although the company launched the Amatokin brand in January 2007 at Sephora’s flagship Champs Élysées boutique in Paris, it opted for a slower, multitiered PR approach in the U.S. to alleviate any confusion behind the products. Amatokin is just now advertising in print, and promoting the method in which the products work with skin stem cells to boost their renewal.

Cellular renewal claims are not limited to Amatokin. PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals (with StimulCell, composed of proteins, peptides and lipids that mimic signals delivered by skin’s stem cells for cell proliferation); Christian Dior (with marine-based actives in Capture R60/80 XP); and suppliers such as Mibelle Biochemistry (with PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, a patent-pending active based on apple stem cells that may ensure the longevity of human skin cells) are offering products with these claims.

When Peter Lamas, founder of Lamas Beauty Intl., realized that antiaging peptides were growing in popularity in the skin care market, his R&D team began working with a tripeptide from Brazil’s temple viper snake, to be released by winter 2008. “Unlike Botox, which paralyzes the muscles, this constricts the muscles, which is more comfortable for the user and still allows limited movement,” Lamas says. Using an active that limits muscular reaction when showing emotion may reduce this loss of skin elasticity, he says.

Likewise, companies serving the medical field also understand the importance of daily skin care, and are turning to physician-targeted brands into mass consumer branches. Dermazone Solutions, which sells clinical formulas to the medical field through its Celazome brand, expanded in 2003 by opening a consumer product division, Kara Vita, offering some of the formulas it sells to physicians. The formulas use patented nanotechnology, Lyphazome, to time-release pharmaceutical-grade botanical actives, such as algae and pineapple extracts, through encapsulation to the skin. “We’ve had liposome-based microsphere technology for more than 14 years now,” says Deborah Duffey, president of Dermazone Solutions. “We started in topical dermatological products, and now, with our all-natural encapsulation nanotechnology, we have the ability to move into nutraceuticals (vitamins and supplements).”

“We build our formulas on potency, penetration and purity,” Duffey says. And those formulas include an array of advanced cosmetics and cosmeceuticals that feature proprietary ingredients delivered with Dermazone’s Lyphazome nanotechnology.