Antioxidants may improve results from cosmetics procedures

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin

New opportunities for cosmetics companies may lie in products that accompany dermatological procedures, as new research suggests topical antioxidants can improve the results of intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy.

The study is a follow up to research published earlier this year suggesting that applying an antioxidant solution to the skin could help protect against negative side effects associated with the IPL treatment.

According to the new study, published in the recent issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the antioxidant treatment may not only help ease side effects but also improve the desired effects of the therapy.

During the study, thirty female volunteers were randomly assigned into three groups.

Group 1 received three full face IPL treatments at three week intervals, group 2 received six applications of a polyphenolic based antioxidant serum applied directly after microdermabrasion treatment to aid delivery at 7 – 10 day intervals, and group 3 received both the IPL and the antioxidant treatments.

After the treatment period the epidermal thickness, papillary dermal thickness, antioxidant levels and the moisture content were measured in all subjects, as well as the damage to the skin caused by the treatment.

The clinical effects of the treatment were also investigated to see whether the addition of the antioxidants had a noticeable affect on variables such as fine lines and pore size.

Enhanced effects with antioxidants

According to the study, the cellular mechanisms that are activated in the skin during IPL therapy were enhanced with the application of the antioxidant serum.

Papillary dermal (the top layer of the dermis) thickness was bigger in the group who received both IPL and antioxidants in comparison to those receiving just one or the other.

In addition, skin moisture content was higher in the group receiving both treatments.

When investigated by clinicians, fine lines and skin texture showed an improvement when antioxidant treatment was mixed with IPL therapy, over and above the difference seen in individuals only receiving one of the treatments.

Furthermore, the study results confirm the findings of earlier studies which suggested the antioxidant serum helped reduce the adverse effects associated with the IPL therapy.

Freedman claims the number of nonablative procedures such as IPL therapy are likely to increase as they are generally seen to be safe, versatile procedures with relatively short recovery times.

Collaborations make sense

With the growing popularity of these treatments, and increasing evidence to suggest topical products may help improve efficacy and reduce side effects, collaborations between cosmetic companies and treatment providers may grow.

In autumn last year, a joint venture between Botox manufacturer Allergan and skin care company Clinique, hit physician’s shelves. The range promised to prepare the skin pre-procedure, as well as aid recovery after the treatment.

Earlier this week, US-based company PL Thomas released a new topical ingredient nudremyl, which claims to help skin heal after non invasive procedures.

Head of cosmeceuticals at the company, Alda Brandao, explained that, although a few years ago it was relatively unknown to make claims about procedures, it is becoming an important market to serve due to the increasing numbers of treatments performed.

Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
​2009, volume 8, issue 4, pages 254-259
Topical antioxidant application augments the effects of intense pulsed light therapy
​Bruce M Freedman

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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