The question is of paramount importance because if an immune response is inadequate then overwhelming infections or tumours may ensue, but if an immune response is excessive then chronic inflammation and autoimmunity problems (such as stretch marks) may develop.
Original Image at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0171298507001362 - Mast cell functions in the innate skin immune system. Martin Metz, Frank Siebenhaar, Marcus Maurer. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. December, 2007
To prevent pregnancy stretch marks, strengthen fragile skin, firm sagging breasts and body areas. It also removes newly formed stretch marks and scars. It contains a higher concentration of the biological complex than BIOSKINCARE (our base product) which results in an invisible film that retains in moisture by occluding the area where it is applied but may feel a little tacky on the face. The cream dissolves damaged cells and tissues by the degrading action of enzymes, while it activates the fibroblasts in the basal layer of the epidermis which create a strong skin regeneration effect that rebuilds all the structures and molecules of your skin.
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At Home Microdermabrasion Cream. This cream resurfaces the skin by physical abrasion of the outer layer of the epidermis and dissolves damaged cells and tissues within the dermis by the action of enzymes, while it activates the fibroblasts which are the cells in the basal l;ayer of the epidermis that are responsible for skin regeneration. In this way a healthy skin matrix is rebuilt. Best for old and rough stretch marks and scars.
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Why Some of the Most Prestigious Dermatologists In the World Say It Works?
Link to Synapse 2008 - The website where the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York publishes research of their staff. Check this scientific research too: Synapse, Published on April 2012: "A secretion of the mollusc Cryptomphalus aspersa promotes proliferation, migration and survival of keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in vitro". Please note that our products are not endorsed by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center but their published research validates the regenerative properties of the immune serum conclusively.
Scientific screening of the mollusk's secretion confirms that it stimulates fibroblast proliferation, the cells responsible for creating new collagen, elastin and the water holding molecules in healthy skin and that it induces a rearrangenment of the dinamic structures of cells (actin cytoskeleton).
The secretion also exhibits antioxidant activity such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and multiple other antioxidant actions, acting at the level of free radical production and sequestering free radicals.
Chemists are not yet able to use the complex machinery of the immune system of a living creature, which is capable of generating tremendous chemical diversity through the processes of recombination and somatic mutation, to create effective new molecular functions for skin regeneration in the laboratory, and thus this natural immune serum is currently the best biological solution for skin regeneration and scar tissue removal.
The research published in English (January 2008) confirms previously published reports in Spanish Dermatology Journals (1999-2001) that claim the secretion or serum produced by land snails under stressful conditions have skin-regenerative properties. It has multiple modes of antioxidant action, acting at the level of free radical production and also sequestering free radicals. Stimulates fibroblast proliferation and rearrangement of the dinamic structures of cell's actin cytoskeleton.
Additional mechanisms involved in the regenerative effect of the secretion include the stimulation of extracellular matrix assembly and the action of regulatory proteins known as Tissue Inhibitors of Metalloproteinases (TIMPs) responsible for the reversible inhibition of metalloproteinase (MMP) enzymatic activities, which limits the extent of the damage during wounding and scar formation and attenuates the signs of aging by reducing the degenerative effects of excessive MMP activity.
Together, these effects provide an array of molecular mechanisms underlying the secretion's induced cellular regeneration and supports its use in skin regeneration treatments.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars left behind after collagen and elastin connective tissues were destroyed by enzymes and chemicals released by innate immune cells residing within the dermis and by other cells recruited from the blood stream in a skin matrix affected by atrophy, a condition characterized by weakness, thinning, roughness, stiffness, decrease in the size of tissues, diminished cellular proliferation, and decreased function, also called atrophia.
What you see on the surface are marks left behind by the formation of scar tissues deep within the skin.
The destruction or corrosion of skin tissues by chemicals and enzymes from within your immune cells can not be prevented with mere moisturizers and collagen boosters.
And stretch mark removal does not work by just exfoliating / abrading / resurfacing the outer layer of the skin; only by the action of enzymes that “digest” or dissolve scars and non-functional tissues, while simultaneously using the released amino acids to rebuild healthy tissues.
What prevents and heals stretch marks?
To prevent stretch marks your skin must remain or regain firmness, strength, suppleness, and elasticity.
This can be achieved with the help of a naturally occurring immune serum discovered by chance and keen observation (we will tell you all about it further below).
The serum orchestrates an orderly proliferation of all the structural elements of healthy skin: collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (complex carboHYDRATE molecules that hold in water and provide for the capacity of the skin to withhold stretching)
While treatment of stretch marks needs both messenger molecules to bridge communication between cells and allow them to differentiate scar tissues from functional healthy tissues and enzymes to degrade them into their amino-acid components so they can be used to rebuild healthy tissues.
What would help your body prevent or get rid of stretch marks?
The stretch mark removal and prevention products you find nowadays are aimed at replenishing skin matrix by stimulating the synthesis of collagen and elastin (e.g. those containing ingredients such as ascorbic acid, copper peptides, palmitoyl pentapeptide or oligopeptides).
Unfortunately, this approach fails or falls short in most people affected by atrophic skin, whereby skin is very thin and its elastin fibers are damaged and not strong enough to support stretching beyond what it has been accustomed too. This is presumably due to the particular chemistry of skin affected by changes in the glucocorticoid hormones (mainly cortisol). Glucocorticoids prevent connective tissues from forming the collagen and elastin fibers needed to keep the skin tight, and fibers in the dermal layer then tear.
Hormonal changes affect skin metabolism specially during pregnancy, growth spurts during puberty, weight lifting while also taking steroids, or sudden weight gains. Hormonal changes cause an inability to respond to skin matrix synthesis boosters.
Failure to respond to collagen and elastin boosters is also due to something crucial missing in almost every stretch mark cream; an element that would help your body get rid of scar tissues and that would help prevent stretch marks by strengthening your skin, counteracting the effects of hormonal changes, improving skin metabolism and thus helping your skin become more resilient.
What needs to be in a stretch marks cream to work?
Two things acting in concert. First, your body needs to be able to differentiate or identify scar tissue from the surrounding functional tissues in the skin matrix. Second, it must be able to degrade the proteins that those scar tissues are made off and separate their component amino-acids to then use them to create new skin matrix elements.
This can only be achieved by the concerted action of two types of ingredients in a stretch mark cream.
messenger molecules that are able to bridge communication between cells and allow them to differentiate scar tissues from functional healthy skin tissues.
enzymes that both dissolve or “digest” non functional cells, worn out or damaged skin cells AND trigger proliferation of new collagen and elastin fibers from within the skin matrix.
How Can Truth Be Discerned from Bogus Advertising?
Many companies selling stretch marks creams warn you there is no immediate and fantastic solution to prevent or treat stretch marks. But, they immediately add a sales pitch that subtly denies what they just said, “you are better off doing something to prevent them.”
Plus a new promise:
“A great product, such as our Stretch Mark Prevention cream, will significantly diminish the appearance of stretch marks, but we cannot guarantee they will be gone completely.”
And as they can’t refrain from their own evil giggling, they will add that this is finally, “a proven realistic result.”
Advertisers feel they are clever enough to try to make you believe the suite, “when using our stretch mark cream on existing stretch marks, best results are obtained on new scars that are still red and elevated. On older tissue it will take longer to see the full effects of this fantastic cream.”
Many women only start noticing what other women tell them about stretch marks when they first become pregnant. And unfortunately just a little after noticing the glee that sparkles in their eyes and glows on their face as a mother to be, they may remember something a sister, a friend, or a relative had once told them about her pregnancy. Then her exact words may start haunting their mind…"I am sick to death of these stripes I am getting all over my body!"
If these words are still fresh in your thoughts, you simply have to do your own research on stretch marks before it is too late for your growing belly. This is probably the reason you are reading this and browsing the Internet for information.
The sad news you will find is that there are too many promising products. With these findings, you can only ponder if there is any truth behind them. Do they really prevent and remove stretch marks? Is this the best product for me?
And goodness, you will find the
Dark, Daunting Truth
You might have already been warned there is no immediate and fantastic solution to prevent or treat stretch marks. "Most products and techniques you see out there are practically useless."
And after all the nonsense you've heard or know for sure others pay for, you're not ready to buy any of those “clever” concoctions, be it “botanical”, “herbal”, “pharmaceutical”, or the new fuzzy “cosmeceutical” category, are you?
We will at least assume you wish not to fall prey to the same nonsense
So, bear with us —and hold this in the back of your mind— while we search together for truth in the claims made by the many different treatments being advertised.
First, we’ll dismiss outright all those saying ,“this is a miracle in a bottle” and others alike. Our time and effort is better focused on the ones warning us, “not to get caught up in false promises, for stretch marks will never be gone completely, because stretch marks are in essence scars and are thus extremely difficult to eradicate completely.”
The full truth is stretch marks are visible linear scars. These form in areas of dermal damage produced when skin is too thin (affected by atrophy) and elastin fibers are damaged and not capable of withstanding over-stretching and reach tensile capacity. They weaken and ultimately fail resulting in tears in the dermal skin layer.
They show up on a thinned skin surface as visibly curled stripes and are actually bands of elastin broken beneath the skin. Essentially, stretch marks are scars that have formed from the inside out, rather than scarring from external wounds.
Scanning electron microscopy shows extensive tangles of fine, curled elastic fibers with a random arrangement. This arrangement is in contrast to normal skin, which has thick, elastic, fibers with a regular distribution.
Elastin is a protein that coils and recoils like a spring within the elastic fibers of connective tissue and accounts for the elasticity of structures such as the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, intestines, tendons, and ligaments. Elastin functions in connective tissue together with collagen. Whereas elastin provides elasticity, collagen provides rigidity to connective tissue.
Stretch marks occur frequently during pregnancy, growth spurts, bodybuilding while on steroids, or when other hormonal imbalances may be at work. It may surprise you to know that in the United States it is estimated that 90% of pregnant women, 70% of adolescent females, and 40% of adolescent males have stretch marks.
There does not seem to be an ethnic tendency toward stretch marks, as people of all skin colors can be affected. People who have fair to light skin typically have pink-tinged stretch marks, while the same marks on darker skin tones tend to take on a deeper pigmentation than the skin surrounding them. Discoloration from stretch marks does fade over time, but regrettably, their striated appearance rarely returns to its original smooth appearance.
It is speculated that the way each person's skin heals is a good indicator of the depth and severity of stretch marks they may eventually see. A person whose skin heals well with minimal scarring can expect less obvious stretch marks, while skin that heals poorly (or slowly) or tends to develop raised or thickened scars can generally expect stretch marks that are more pronounced.
Stretch marks are caused by TEARS in a thinned or technically atrophic skin, with fine dermal collagen bundles arranged in straight lines parallel to the surface, created by your own body to heal those tears.
Let me repeat that: stretch marks are scar tissue created by your own body to heal damage caused by overly stretching skin that is too thin. Your body creates them to heal itself as quickly as it can possible do with its own resources. Once those scars are formed and prominent because of their depth, length, discoloration, and texture it is very difficult to get rid of them.
Atrophic definition: a wasting or decrease in the size of an organ or tissue, as from death and re-absorption of cells, diminished cellular proliferation, pressure, ischemia, malnutrition, decreased function, or hormonal changes, also called atrophia.
Many different treatment creams have tried to prevent or improve the appearance of stretch marks. Most of them, as well as most of the abrading methods used to treat existing marks, do not have the slightest possibility of being effective.
Most Stretch Mark Creams Only Address The Symptoms:
• Skin Dryness: stretch marks are not caused because your skin is dry.
Rather stretch marks develop far below the skin's surface due to extreme strain, stress, and trauma that eventually breaks down the skin's support structure. No moisturizer in the world can prevent that kind of injury and damage to the skin from taking place.
• Treatment of superficial scar tissues: with harsh acids, dermabrasion, laser, etc., attempting to breakdown scarring but act only on the surface and not deep enough into the dermis where scar tissues have formed to reconnect teared skin fibers.
They can help with newly formed stretch marks a little, although they may all have adverse side effects such as redness and scaling.
One of the products widely used is tretinoin, but not for women who are pregnant or about to get pregnant for it may cause damage to the growing child in mom’s belly, and is also contraindicated for mothers that breastfeed their baby, so treatment can only begin when it may be too late for the body to act upon the scar tissues with its help.
• Products containing collagen and elastin. Consumers are catching on to the idea that if an active ingredient can't penetrate into the skin, what good is it? For years, companies touted collagen-rich products, saying that applying collagen would somehow stimulate more production of your own collagen, deep in the dermis. But collagen is such a big molecule it can't penetrate the skin's outer layer. And now that that's been shown through studies, we're seeing a lot less hype about collagen.
• Boosting collagen synthesis, with man made synthetic chemicals, which are not enough to prevent stretch marks or treat existing stretch marks. It is also necessary to degrade the existing damaged and worn out cells. And not only to get rid of them and their ugly marks on the body, but because the release of their components makes available the amino-acids or building blocks your system needs to create new collagen, elastin, and skin matrix cells to strengthen the skin.
Natural immune serum works because it addresses the root cause of stretch marks and not just the symptoms:
Restores skin's strength and skin metabolism: skin affected by stretch marks is characterized by weakness, thinning, roughness, sagging, stiffness, and decrease in the size of tissues, diminished cellular proliferation and decreased function, also called atrophia.
Dissolves Deep Scar Tissues with gentle enzymes that "digest" the non functional tissues and release amino-acids that help rebuild damaged tissues quickly and without peeling and no dryness. On the contrary, while moisturizing the skin deeply and triggering healthy skin regeneration.
Provides the skin the missing messenger molecules that are able to bridge communication between cells and allows them to differentiate scar tissues from functional healthy tissues.
Includes natural collagen and elastin synthesis boosters: those are also messenger molecules that trigger fibroblast proliferation, the cells responsible for the production of all structural elements in skin.
Combined methods that include some form of abrading —to physically break down some of the more superficial scarring—, plus collagen synthesis boosters, cell communicating ingredients and enzymes, ACTING IN CONCERT can ‘dissolve’ damaged cells and scar proteins, trigger collagen, and new elastin formation, improve skin metabolism and strengthen the skin's structure by replenishing the skin's glycosaminoglycans.
Glycosaminoglycans are the water holding molecules in the dermis responsible for providing binding, hydrating and swelling pressure to tissues enabling them to withstand compression and stretching forces and thus prevent tearing and scarring of the deep layers of the skin.
Let’s examine first why abrading methods purported to correct and even remove stretch marks fail.
• Dermabrasion is an abrasive procedure used to get rid of the superficial damaged skin layer with a diamond fraise. This method is performed superficially. If carried out more deeply, it can generate a condition called dyschromia (patchy pigment), some mild scarring or even rupture of the skin at the depth of stretch marks, making things worse.
• Microdermabrasion is a technique that evolved from dermabrasion and consists in blasting micro-crystals to abrade or sand the superficial layer of skin. It is good for rough superficial uneven skin texture, as it smoothes it out, but tends to give uneven results. It may be unpleasant and if done too deep scarring is likely to occur.
• Lasers get rid of the superficial layer of skin by burning it but are not that effective with old stretch marks, quite contrary they only work for new developed stretch marks. Still, even though the stripes might be pink or red, studies reporting the use of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) treatments emitting 585 nanometers (nm) of light conclude that after five sessions the improvement shown in the length, depth, and coloration of stretch marks is at most, moderate.
And although this type of laser carries a low risk of side effects and complications when operated at appropriate treatment parameters and time intervals, they are not recommended for use on darker skin tones (including African-American) because of the risk of hyper pigmentation.
Cost for a series of laser treatments can run upwards of $2,500 depending on how your skin responds and what the average fees are in your area.
• Superficial peels are generally performed with glycolic acid. The practice of glycolic acid treatment over stretch marks is disappointing. This is not unexpected as alpha-hydroxy acids act only superficially, mainly by lessening the bonds of the stratum corneum cells.
• Medium depth peels with standard Trichloracetic acid (TCA) at 35% to 50% (mass per volume) applied by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, skilled in the use of this type of peel, obtain very irregular results. The side effects have been scarring and dark spots. A benefit of TCA peels (and the reason it can help improve the appearance of stretch marks) is their skin-tightening effect.
• Deep peels with phenol are extremely dangerous for extra facial dermal tissue, because of their possibility for life threatening complications; local scarring and enduring hypochromia (a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin found in red blood cells) are some of the outcomes.
Topical creams for treatment and/or prevention
They range from those with ascorbic acid (10%) or tretinoin (0.05% tretinoin emollient cream - trans retinoic acid cream) to ointments with glycolic acid; biological moisturizing oils, like Emu oil, Rose Hip Oil; Olive Oil and Squalene and other of its derivatives, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Vera and Shea Butter. All those have been used to allegedly treat or prevent stretch marks.
Some creams also contain Vitamin E, although many studies have now shown that vitamin E does nothing to a scar. Biological Oils (Rose Hip Oil or Emu Oil), Plant Oils, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter do improve the lipid content of the skin, enhance water retention, and soften the skin texture for a while. Aloe Vera does have some anti-inflammatory properties and may also decrease the redness of newly formed stretch marks, but that is about it.
Many companies claim their stretch mark cream is superior for unlike others they do not contain water. Yes, right, theirs contain mainly Aloe Vera gel which is, naturally, mainly water.
Stretch marks are not caused because your skin is dry. Rather stretch marks develop far below the skin's surface due to extreme strain, stress, and trauma that eventually breaks down the skin's support structure. No moisturizer in the world can prevent that kind of injury and damage to the skin from taking place.
Topical creams for stretch mark removal or treatment in combination with chemical peels
Treatments that combine harsh glycolic acid peels and tretinoin or L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), or combinations with lactic acid, citric acid or some other such hydroxyl acids have been tested, albeit only on very few subjects: 10 patients in one of the few studies published, according to pubmed.gov : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed
The study says both tretinoin and L-ascorbic acid when used daily for 12 weeks after glycolic peeling —each and every day— can help with newly formed stretch marks a little, although it may have adverse side effects such as redness and scaling.
Now, tretinoin is not for women who are pregnant or about to get pregnant for it may cause damage to the growing child in mom’s belly, and is also contraindicated for mothers that breastfeed their baby.
What are these studies findings?
“Elastin content within the reticular and papillary dermis can increase with topical 20% glycolic acid combined with 0.05% tretinoin emollient cream therapy; increased epidermal thickness and decreased papillary dermal thickness is found in treated stretch marks when compared with untreated stretch marks; combined epidermal and papillary dermal thickness in stretch marks treated with topical regiments approaches that of normal skin.”
All right! The epidermis gets thicker with those after the fact professional procedures: 20% glycolic peels every single day (applied by a skilled nurse) followed by the topical application of a skin regenerating ingredient: tretinoin or ascorbic acid. Now, what do they do to existing scars —those showing up as stretch marks? Well, since the dermis gets thicker their appearance diminishes a little.
Read that again: what may diminish a little is their appearance, according to the subjects treated and the “researchers involved”, not the scar tissues within.
Let’s face it. In terms of treatment to existing tears to the dermis those methods do nothing. In terms of prevention they do not possibly do enough of what is absolutely necessary. The very best they can do, if and only if the ingredients are in enough concentration in the products and if they are applied with discipline at least two to three times a day, is to improve the skin barrier’s lipid content and seal in water for a few hours after application. They may also thicken and/or plump up the epidermis making it a little softer and may make the stripe lines that remain in the dermis less visible for a short while.
So, to be very honest, when you use these products to treat stretch marks, improvement, if any, is almost imperceptible. Some find a little improvement, especially in early stretch marks, whereas for most people they make no difference.
Why do stretch mark creams have such a low rate of effectiveness?
The explanation may very well emerge from understanding that the skin matrix is responsible for the skin's mechanical properties, including firmness, strength, suppleness, and elasticity. Stretch marks are tears in a skin matrix affected by atrophy, a condition characterized by exactly the contrary of those just mentioned.
Yes, skin affected by stretch marks is characterized by weakness, thinning, roughness, sagging, stiffness, and decrease in the size of tissues, diminished cellular proliferation, and decreased function, also called atrophia.
The skin matrix is a precious resource which is both produced and consumed quite frequently during our lives.
On one hand, skin matrix is continuously synthesized by fibroblasts.
On the other hand, whenever it is damaged, malformed or worn out, skin matrix -particularly the structural proteins collagen and elastin- is broken down into fragments by collagenase and gelatinase enzymes, also called matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and then recycled. By digesting or chopping up key matrix proteins, such as collagen and elastin, MMP enzymes play an underappreciated yet critical role in skin physiology.
In healthy, youthful skin, the synthesis and degradation of the matrix are in balance: damaged or redundant matrix is degraded while the deficit is replenished by the ongoing synthesis.
Unfortunately, this intricate balance gets disrupted because of hormonal imbalances, mal nutrition, or as we age, too little of the matrix is synthesized and too much is degraded. As with any supply-demand imbalance, it can be improved by either increasing supply (boosting synthesis of the matrix) or reducing demand (inhibiting the breakdown).
In particular, the synthesis of elastin is physiologically important, for although elastin is only 2% of the total protein in the dermis, those skin fibers provide the resiliency of skin. Elastin synthesis and the regulation of the quantity of cross-linked insoluble elastin and collagen fibers depend on the interaction between three factors.
The first is the presence of active fibroblasts, which secrete the soluble precursor of elastin, tropoelastin.
The second is the relative amount of several skin matrix components within the skin also secreted by fibroblasts. The third are enzymes that are responsible for both the cell degradation processes that allow for the breakdown of dead cells into their component amino-acids and their re-use for the creation of new proteins (amino-acid chains).
So beware of creams that contain soluble collagen and/or elastin for they will NOT do the trick. What is needed is the biosynthesis and proper self-assembly of complex skin structures from within your body.
The first step in elastic fiber formation is the appearance of small cell surface-associated elastin globules (soluble tropoelastin) that increase in size with time (microassembly). The elastin globules are eventually transferred to pre-existing elastic fibers in the extracellular matrix where, through an intricate and orchestrated biological process, they coalesce into larger structures (macroassembly) and become crosslinked funtional fiber-like polymers with reversible deformation and high resilience.
Collagen and elastin synthesis boosters may fail or fall short in people affected by atrophic skin
The newest stretch mark treatments and prevention products are aimed at replenishing skin matrix by stimulating the synthesis of collagen or elastin (e.g. ascorbic acid, copper peptides, palmitoyl pentapeptide, oligopeptides and other). Unfortunately, this approach fails or falls short in most people affected by atrophic skin, presumably due to the particular chemistry of skin affected by such condition and an inability to respond to matrix synthesis boosters.
Their failure to treat existing stretch marks is most probably due to something crucial missing in those products; an element that would help your body to get rid of scar tissues. In fact, your body needs two things to accomplish this.
One, your body needs to be able to differentiate or identify scar tissue from the surrounding functional tissues in the skin matrix. Second, it must be able to degrade the proteins that those scar tissues are made off and separate their component amino-acids to then eventually use them to create new skin matrix elements.
This can only be achieved by the action of two types of ingredients that act in concert. One is messenger molecules that are able to bridge communication between cells and allows them to differentiate scar tissues from functional healthy tissues and trigger fibroblast proliferation. The other crucial ingredient is enzymes that dissolve the non functional, worn out, or damaged tissues that were identified by the messenger molecules.
Combined methods that include some form of abrading —to physically break down some of the more superficial scarring—, and a topical product that contains not just moisturizing enhancers or collagen synthesis boosters, but also cell communicating ingredients and enzymes that ‘dissolve’ damaged cells and scar proteins that can yield significant improvements.
Such product can also effectively prevent stretch marks.
What needs to be in a stretch mark cream to prevent stretch marks?
One may think that boosting collagen formation from within would be a promising approach for preventing stretch marks, as it would strengthen the skin matrix and skin with enhanced strength which is the opposite of atrophic skin susceptible to tearing when over-stretched.
Palmitoyl pentapeptide —the basis of StriVectin-SD, a cream that with aggressive marketing as a youth-restoring alternative to Botox has become a big seller in the past years— seems to be the prominent ingredient of this new approach by the cosmetic industry in its quest to profit from consumer’s burning desires to have flawless skin.
Chemically speaking, palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 consists of five amino acids linked together and attached to a fatty acid to enhance oil solubility for the sake of better skin penetration. It is structurally related to the precursor of collagen type I (a.k.a. procollagen type I). Researchers found that when added to the culture of fibroblasts (the key skin cells); palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 stimulated the synthesis of the key constituents of the skin matrix: collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans. How exactly palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 did that remains unclear, although a number of theories exist.
Unfortunately, the ability to improve the productivity of skin cells in the test tube does not always translate into an effective skin treatment. Few promising test tube discoveries ever become an established therapy. Clinical studies of palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 do exist but all of them (to our knowledge) have been conducted or sponsored by the manufacturers (Sedema and Proctor & Gamble). This does not necessarily make the studies biased, but potential conflict of interests is always a red flag. Unfortunately, this situation is typical. Early studies of patented chemicals are almost always sponsored by manufacturers. It usually takes a long time before completely independent research is conducted.
So far testing has been done on only a few subjects and thus the clinical data is still too skimpy to view palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 as a proven stretch-mark treatment or preventative measure at this time. The molecule is an artificial man made chemical synthesized in a laboratory. It is reported to be safe but it has not gone through the extensive clinical trials necessary for it to be approved as a drug.
The manufacturers don’t seem to be seeking such approval as they prefer to market stretch mark treatments as cosmetic products —designed to change the appearance of skin and not its structure— which are not subject to the same approval by the FDA as drugs are.
In fact, they do not seem to be all that interested in the results of the pentapeptide chemical for stretch marks since they are using it as the grounds of a good story on how it happens to also be good for wrinkles, which is much larger market. They use high-tech claims to attract customers by highlighting the "science" and "technologies" behind their product.
Since the cosmetic industry is largely left to monitor itself and the Food & Drug Administration gets involved only when products have adverse reactions or change the structure of the body, the companies prefer to say they change the appearance of stretch marks or wrinkles instead of saying they diminish them which is a structural change. You and me continue to be hoodwinked by the cosmetics industry's ingenious marketing and are left to our own devices to monitor such claims.
Although the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitors advertising for unfair or deceptive claims, it isn't too aggressive on the cosmetics industry. "Our priority is to ensure that if a product is claiming a health benefit that there are enough trials to back that. If there are general appearance-enhancement claims, those are not high in our prosecution list," says Heather Hippsley, assistant director for the FTC's advertising-practices division in an interview published in Newsweek in November 2004.
Risks of man made synthetic chemicals
The problem with man made chemicals or isolates is not only that they may or may not be effective and require extensive and expensive clinical trials but also that they run the risks of having harmful effects in the long run. We have seen many products rushed to market on the back of inadequate studies and later withdrawn after years of use that may have affected some people’s lives adversely. We do not live in a perfect world and what scientists may consider as safe chemicals one day could well be banned the next day on the basis of new research.
Now, again: EVEN IF THE CHEMICALS ARE PROVEN TO BE SAFE, boosting collagen formation may not be enough to prevent stretch marks. It is also necessary to degrade the existing damaged and worn out cells. And not only to get rid of them and their ugly marks on our body, but also the release of their components makes amino acids available or building blocks our system needs to create new collagen, elastin, and skin matrix cells.
Scar Less Healing
"An abscess and its subsequent scar is not an evolutionarily optimized end point for today's injuries," Dr. Mark Ferguson, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor in the faculty of life sciences at the University of Manchester, England, says. The abscess and scarring response, with its massive inflammatory overdrive, is optimized for a very different type of skin lesion than those occurring nowadays where hygiene and clean bodies is the rule. The abscess and scar is induced by this inappropriate inflammatory response.
Surgery lesions, injuries to the cells lining the sebum ducts (which is the root cause of acne) and also wounds that emerge from overstretching the skin should therefore be ideal candidates for healing, without complications, by a regenerative wound healing mechanism rather than a scarring mechanism. And the outcome should be characterized by scar less healing.
The healing process should be very much like what our system accomplishes for fetal wounds which heal quickly by regenerating cells and leaving no trace behind, whatsoever. For the whole system there is signaling the growing baby that it is being taken care of properly.
This is what is missing in all the products out there. Something that would signal your body it is being taken care of properly, and does not need to react with its inflammatory weapons of mass destruction.
A Surprising Solution by Life's Genius
Fortunately there is a complete & balanced solution for stretch mark prevention and treatment. One packed with antioxidants, collagen, elastin boosters, enzymes, and cell communicating ingredients that contribute to orchestrate the intricate balance between the degradation of cells that are dying periodically and/or cells that have become damaged by overstretching and the use of their constitutive amino-acids for the reproduction of new cells and all the necessary structural elements of healthy skin.
It is not a chemical, man made drug, clever concoction of isolates, pharmaceuticals, herbs, moisturizing botanical oils, or extracts designed in a laboratory or cosmetic industry. No. It is a natural compound of biological active molecules that is already the most complete and balanced solution created by a living creature to protect and fully repair its skin when damaged. And although this creature is in an evolutionary stage different than humans, nevertheless its skin is made of the same structural elements we find in human skin: collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans.
Glycosaminoglycans are the water holding molecules in the dermis responsible for providing binding, hydration, and swelling pressure to tissues enabling them to withstand compression and stretching forces which thus prevent tearing and scarring of the deep layers of the skin.
The immune serum in this stretch mark prevention and treatment cream is natural, as it is in nature, not some isolate derived or extracted from it. It is not only effective for preventing stretch marks but is also safe since it is totally compatible with living cells.
The product comes in two versions. One plain to prevent stretch marks which is best used to treat newly formed stretch marks. The second is a home microdermabrasion version with is embedded with micro-crystals to abrade stretch marks that are older or rough on the surface as they help to break down or exfoliate damaged skin physically —while massaging the crystals—, and thereby facilitate the penetration of the cream deeper within the skin.
It Works As A Different Defense System
It works because it operates at a different level than our human immune or defense system when it is subject to stress and damage inflicted to the dermis by such events as overstretching of skin fibers to the point of breaking.
It is geared as a different evolutionary immune response and cell regeneration system by a family of invertebrates (spineless animals). It is known as the innate immune system; also present as a first line of defense and immediate response against infections and foreign matters in our human body, complementing our adaptive immune system.
The innate immune system is comprised of the cells and mechanisms that defend the host from infection by other organisms or from foreign materials in a non-specific manner. This means that the cells of the innate system recognize, and respond to, pathogens in a generic way, but unlike the adaptive immune system, it does not confer long-lasting or protective immunity to the host.
Although apparently less sophisticated than the immune systems of vertebrates, invertebrate immunity is much older in terms of its evolution. This likely served as the progenitor to sophisticated vertebrate systems and also has apparently served these animals well enough to keep their lineage alive for the past several hundred million years.
Invertebrates respond to injury and insult by regenerating damaged cells, and even full organs and their skin, without an immoderate inflammatory reaction and yield quick results and scar less healing! Yes, this is accomplished by little creatures that us, arrogant humans, many times consider an inferior form of life in a less evolved stage.
Unlike clever herbal, botanical, chemical or cosmeceutical concoctions designed in a pharmacy, or by the cosmetic industry, a complex natural substance secreted by spineless creatures of a specific family of land invertebrates has been proven to be a complete and balanced solution for scar less healing of skin lesions —and its effects on stretch marks and scars far exceed attempts to mimic life's genius in the laboratory.
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You may have stumbled upon this little creature in your backyard if you live in Mediterranean weather and soil conditions. Maybe you even noticed it has skin with the same structural elements that our skin is made of: collagen, elastin, and all the molecules our skin matrix is made of.
The Helix Aspersa Müller garden snail and its immune serum
But his modus operandi when its skin or some of its organs are damaged by accidents or natural predators and when attacked by micro-organisms is quite different than our internal inflammatory reaction. It copiously produces and bubbles and bathes in the ONLY natural fluid substance with soluble proteins and other more complex molecules created within the immune cells of a living organism to moisturize and protect its skin with an immune serum packed with antimicrobial peptides, antioxidants, enzymes, co-enzymes and complex molecules that trigger the orderly regeneration, rebuilding or renewal of whatever cells and structures may be damaged.
For human skin, it does, from the outside, something similar. It not only strengthen the body's ability to ingest and kill infectious particles or dead/dying cells and reinforces the action of the antimicrobial peptides that our skin secretes, such as the ß-defensins, but it also surprisingly restores balance to skin disturbed by internal hormonal disorders, such as in stretch marks, acne and rosacea. This apart from healing skin affected by lesions and injuries arising from accidents, hazards or environmental pollution, damaging UV radiation, free radicals, parasites, bacteria, fungus, virus or chemicals.
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The molecules in the biological substance signal the body that it is being taken care of and need NOT respond to disturbing agents with uncontrolled inflammatory reactions, for it is being supplied with the proper proteins, enzymes and nutrients necessary to quickly control bacteria and to trigger scar less healing. Thus in a totally different way than our evolutionary drive has conditioned us humans to over-respond to those factors, from within, as the most effective means to thrive in an environment that was dominated by infectious bacteria.
For such was homo sapiens reality during millions of years and until society learned hygiene and modern science discovered antibiotics —which by the way have an anti-inflammatory effect that is now deemed to be a far more important effect for people who suffer severe acne and rosacea than it is the anti-biotic effect (which means anti-life) that kills bacteria.
Topical application of the substance created by this little creature, soon after the first signs of lesions prevents the cells from initiating the signaling cascade that leads to inflammatory reactions and healing through the scarring pathway. It accomplishes so by altering the local environment in a way that favors a scarless healing pathway.
Treatment with this STRETCH MARK CREAM operates through a removal process called hydrolysation. By continued application on damaged tissues messenger molecules recognize damaged proteins and act in concert with enzymes that gently strip the skin to remove the build-up of scar tissues.
These enzymes go to work like biological catalysts on each individual cell. They clean out the debris, open clogged pores, consume the dead material, open up the vascular system to bring new oxygen into the cells. And trigger and speed proliferation of fibroblasts and all the structural components of healthy skin including the water holding molecules, collagen and elastin skin fibers which finally get assembled in an orderly or orchestrated way, thus minimizing scars and marks.
"Skin is not in tight layers like everybody thinks". "We're not just onions, you can't just rip off a layer and voila - there's everything new. If you viewed a section of skin under a microscope it would look like a series of hills and valleys." says Dr. Danne Montague-King, the man who zapped Brad Pitt's scars and made Gwyneth Paltrow even prettier.
And when referring to the action of enzymes on skin he adds:
"The remaining cells are 'fed' or 'rebuilt' using the amino acids that are released from the metabolic digestion of the damaged and dead cells. This rejuvenates the skin too, for it's rather like charging a battery. The end result is like making the 'cleansers' of the cells strong again. If they're strong they'll dissolve things that aren't supposed to be there like abnormal scar tissues, pore plugs, excess and hardened sebum, injured and worn out cells, pollutants and free radicals. If they're weak they won't.
We have now described the problem, which is already the first part of any solution
The immoderate inflammatory response of our body when hormonal imbalances weaken the skin or deplete it of the collagen synthesis boosters, the cell communicating ingredients and the enzymes, that need to act in concert to strengthen and repair your skin.
They are the molecules that protect the skin from overstretching and are capable of ‘dissolving’ damaged cells and scar proteins, trigger collagen and new elastin formation, and make the skin's structure strong by replenishing glycosaminoglycans, the water holding molecules in the dermis responsible for providing binding, hydrating and swelling pressure to tissues, enabling them to withstand compression and stretching forces and thus prevent tearing and scarring of the deep layers of the skin.
Now you may stop procrastinating and go get the second half of the solution with confidence.
Order BIOBODYCREAM now! And strengthen your skin to avoid having to use the product to get rid of scars and stretch marks when it may be too late for optimal stretch mark removal!