Replenish, smooth & refine your skin without leaving it vulnerable and compromised.

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exfolation3The skin has a built in epidermal renewal ability whereby the cells differentiate and migrate from the basal layer to the horny layer and eventually desquamate from the surface. The purpose of the stratum corneum (SC) is to prevent water loss. The capability for this to naturally occur is dependent upon the hydration of corneocyte proteins. Water is essential for these metabolic occurrences as well as creates the elastic properties of the cells and the natural moisturiser factors (NMF). Additionally, the presence of adequate water balance promotes the necessary enzyme activity to break the desmosomes at the horny layer so that the cells can properly desquamate (slough). Proper desquamation also sends the signal to the basal cells to regenerate new keratinocytes.

Cells in the stratum corneum layers continuously adjust to external and internal atmospheric conditions. During dry conditions, the cells hydrate from the available water within the body. When deprived of adequate water supply, these upper layers may become dry, chapped and patchy. This condition also increases the susceptibility of penetration of external substances. The lipid-rich extracellular spaces of the SC make up the most important component of the barrier to water loss. There is a requirement for relative proportions of water within these layers. Consistent atmospheric dryness interferes with the normal functioning of the skin barrier.

Remedial care for this skin condition requires restoration of the barrier. It necessitates a careful analysis by trained skin care therapists to determine underlying causes so that an accurate corrective program can be implemented.

Summary of Exfoliating Agents

Many skin care treatments involve a process called “exfoliation” or “peels” that is normally performed for several skin conditions including ageing, sun damaged, and mild acne. Most people have at one time or other experienced glycolic or lactic acids as a clinic treatment with their beauty therapist or used other types of exfoliation products at home. The purpose is to “force” any buildup of skin cells at the top of the skin to exfoliate. We are summarising several types of exfoliation treatments as an education process. There are both mechanical and chemical agents that help to remove buildup on the stratum corneum.

Summary of Exfoliating Agents in Skin Care Treatments
Mechanical Exfoliation: Indications: Oily skin, ageing skin, hyperkeratinised skin, preparation for treatment.
Scrubs or peeling creams Scrubs/peeling creams: Contain micro beads made from rice or jojoba, ground almond meal, corn meal, and ground shells of apricots or walnuts. They are applied to wet skin and gently manipulated in a circular motion with the fingertips to remove excess cell buildup and oil. They are normally used once to twice weekly in a skin care routine. The skin feels more refreshed and looks brighter.
Microdermabrasion Microdermabrasion: This professional treatment uses pharmaceutical grade corundum crystals (tiny granules) to improve the overall appearance of the skin.  It is used at the stratum corneum level of the skin.  The results tend to improve the smoothness of the skin as well as stimulate microcirculation and rejuvenation. It is often used prior to a professional treatment.  Post care is vital to support repair of the skin barrier.Contraindications: Do not use on highly sensitive skin, sun burned skin, skin lesions, acne, eczema, psoriasis, herpes breakout, pigmented solar keratosis, insulin dependent diabetes, users of anticoagulants and certain prescription drugs. A good practice to follow is “when in doubt, don’t”.
EnzymesEnzymes are biological protein molecules referred to as biocatalysts that increase the rate of chemical reactions in cells. Made up of a complex protein structure, they compose or degrade substances.Proteases and hydrolases are found in the stratum corneum. They participate in the formation of free amino acids belonging to the NMF factor and support the conversion and balance between triglycerides, diglycerides, monoglycerides, glycerin, and fatty acids.  Indications: Sun damaged, dry, acne prone, oily, seborrheic and some sensitive skin. Normally they are safe for all skin types.Action

  • Proteolytic – They break down cell bonds through a digestive process with the proteins in the stratum corneum (corneocytes) and remove superficial cells.
  • Lipolytic – breaks down triglycerides and triglycerides in the skin.
  • Softens the skin.
  • Act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Helps increase miroculation, bringing nourishment to the skin
  • Used for preparation of cleansing facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and other ageing and acne treatments for greater effectiveness.

Other combined ingredients can be included in the enzyme for specific skin conditions and benefits. They include brightening agents, antioxidants (polyphenols – flavanoides), humectants, and anti-inflammatory agents.

  • Bromelain (pineapple): A proteolytic enzyme found in fresh pineapple that has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties.
  • Papain: A proteolytic enzyme isolated form the latex of the green fruit and leaves of the Carica papaya. It cleanses, exfoliates, is antiseptic, moisurises, softens, and rejuvenates.
  • Chocolate contains flavonoids (antioxidants). It is anti-inflammatory.
  • Raspberry is an antioxidant and supportive to ageing skin.
  • Pumpkin contains a spectrum of vitamin A derivatives that address the retinoic acid receptors in the skin.
  • Cherry contains natural polyphenols (flavonoids) and antioxidants.
  • Trypsin/Pepsin is an acidic protease that is often added to bromelain and papain formulations to enhance the keratolytic action. It is sourced from bovine or porcine.
PumpkinA fruit-acid/enzyme called a protease that is used an as exfoliation accelerator and powerful antioxidant. Pumpkin is a mild retinoic acid substitute that targets retinoic acid receptors in cells, activating cell-turnover. It has a full complement of natural vitamin A derivatives and their precursors (beta carotene) that make it effective on its own or used as a preparation for other treatments. Pumpkin assists to decrease the oxidating and free radical stresses associated with chemical peels or other treatments.
Chemical Peeling Agents:Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)
Beta Acids
Jessner’s solutions
Indications: Sun damage, acne, photo ageing, wrinkles, poor skin texture, oily

  • They are either acid or alkaline and vary in penetration depth dependent upon the concentration and pH value.
  • Keratolytic: Loosens corneocyte cohesions (desmosomes) that link the cells together in the stratum corneum, accelerating the desquamation process.
  • AHAs are water-soluble and require neutralising. Single layer peel.
  • BHAs (beta acids – salicylic) are oil soluble and self-neutralising. May be layered.
  • Jessener’s solutions contain lactic acid, salicylic, and resorcinol.
  • Softens the skin and helps reduce the appearance of scars, pigment, and supports stimulation of collagen

Contraindications: Allergy to aspirin (when choosing salicylic peel); pregnancy, Roaccutane, antibiotics, laser within past 3 months, use of keratolytic products (Retinoids), herpes simplex (cold sores), poor health and disease.

Levels of Peels and Post-Care There are numerous levels of peels and approaches to applying skin peeling solutions. There is a superficial level whereby they do not penetrate beyond the epidermis or papillary dermis. Medical levels are physician-strength peels that affect the reticular dermis.

  • Progressive: Refers to a treatment that only remove the outer layer of the stratum corneum.
  • Mid-Depth: A peel affects the intra-dermal layer with exfoliation occurring within 2-3 days after application. Peeling is normally a light flaking.
  • Deep: This peel affects the deepest intra-epidermal layers. The skin may become brown and crusty with considerable peeling. This process takes 7-10 days.

Specific instructions are to be followed post-peel to ensure restoration of the skin barrier as soon as possible after the treatment. Wound-healing balms, epidermal growth factors, calming and soothing products are to be applied as directed by the beauty therapist. Sun block must be worn.

Peeling cream Often contain enzymes such as pineapple and papaya that is applied to the skin and removed through a gentle rolling motion using the fingertips. It helps to remove cellular buildup, sebum, and soften blackheads.


The dermaviduals® approach

exfolation2After determining the underlying cause of a skin condition, a customised program for repair may include in-clinic treatments using specific masks containing enzymes, peeling cream with a home care regimen that includes DMS® base creams, Oleogel Plus, Novrithen®.

Many of the peels listed above have a tendency to over-exfoliate, and can thin the skin leaving it vulnerable, stressed and compromised.

For benefits of a fresh, revitalised skin without any negative side effects, our dermaviduals® enzyme peel or MTS Porex Pumpkin Mask provide perfect solutions. These peels gently refine the surface of the skin, preparing for the infusion of your pure, active dermaviduals® ingredients.

Peel benefits:

  • Refines the pores
  • Clarifies and evens skin tone
  • Gentle, safe and effective exfoliation
  • Increased receptivity for subsequent active ingredients
  • Actively dissolves and prevents comedones, milia and pustules
  • Anti-inflammatory

The skin will appear fresh and radiantly smooth after this in-salon treatment. No skin flaking, or ‘down time’ is expected, however, a slight tingling sensation may be felt when the mask is applied.

Rawlings, A.V. (2006) Chapter 24: Sources and Role of Stratum Corneum Hydration. Skin edited by Elias and Feingold, Taylor & Francis. p. 399, p. 401, p. 405

Zani, A. J. (July 2008) Advanced Skin Rejuvenation. beautyNZ Magazine, New Zealand.

Elias, P.M., Feingold, K.R., Fartasch, M. (2006). Chapter 16: The Epidermal Lamellar Boyd as a Multifunctional Secretory Organelle. Skin edited by Elias and Feingold, Taylor & Francis. p. 264

Lautenschläger. H. (2007). Enzymes, – the silent brownies. Kosmetik International (1), 46-48. Ibid  Allison, Rhonda


This dossier has been prepared on behalf of dermaviduals Australia and New Zealand as a reference that relates to various skin conditions. In no way does it replace the advice of your medical practitioner or a dermatologist. All views represent the research and findings of the writer in conjunction with derma aesthetics.

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