Skin Cop - Constance Campion - Understanding Chirality: Part 1

It would be difficult not to notice the vast array of innovative technologies that have sprung up since the birth of medical aesthetics in the early 90’s.  Steadily developing over the past twenty years, the menu continuously expands unabated. What professionals are now starting to note more seriously, however, is the resulting information emerging about what our advanced beauty shoppers’ and aesthetic patients really want.

Most notably evidenced by Clairol and P&G Beauty Research is the fact that 87% of those surveyed stated that they would like better skin, with women worldwide being concerned most about the effects of ageing facial skin, including fine lines, wrinkles, poor texture, blemishes and hyperpigmentation. If advanced skin services are now the critically acclaimed winning factor within advanced rejuvenation multi-million dollar industry, one can deduce that skin health restoration should be taken far more seriously.

I have met a number of aesthetic patients over the twenty years that I have worked at Plastic Surgery Associates UK and at The London Wellness Anti-Ageing Medicine Centre in London. The clinical approach that my medical colleagues and I advocate is evidenced by the practice’s philosophy, that skin health shares the same parameters as wellness and good ageing. The vast majority of our patients seek treatment, because skin health restoration has been at the forefront of the practice activity since the practices’ inception.  What patients request most is an even skin colour, balanced tone and even texture with a more healthy youthful appearance.  Very few ask to look 10 years younger, although they display what they perceive would make them look much better.  We measure notion of expectation, but have integrated patient education, and informed choice, in risk management, patient perception scenarios.

N996434_NIH_C1tif“Skin is an organ and not just a face," is our practice’s mantra. The health status of how a patient interfaces with their skin, is an important factor, when it comes to successfully resolving common cosmetic skin conditions.  The success to achieve results, relies on the early identification of disease pathologies, hormonal balance, and levels of inflammation.

The 'one size fits all' approach, often using skin rejuvenation devices, does not help to achieve a successful skin result, or skincare practice.  For example, the ad hoc wide use of microdermabrasion, lasers and chemical peels are harmful.

Treatments must target the root of the condition, rather than mask the symptoms (or indeed cause further damage). Results of such treatments are marred by a free radical attack, which damages and prematurely ages skin in the long-term.  Treatment choice comes from understanding the critical role of inflammation in the skin and body, common cosmetic skin concerns are by their nature rooted in inflammation.  Therefore, moving away from the caustic approach to wounding and annihilating skin, in the mistaken belief that a wound healing response once generated, can lead to good results – is only a short-term fix due to intrinsic-extrinsic factors.

The skin treatments and products that we utilize at work are applied in conjunction with how accelerated a patient’s wellness optimization is set, in order to assists and supports the skin. Understanding cellular health and human body function runs in tandem with this. The drivers of intrinsic silent inflammation exacerbates skin conditions further, whilst the patient’s real health may also be diminishing whilst they are pre-maturely ageing.  Crucially, genetics also plays a role and most importantly, dictates how much protection the skin has from inflammation.

Once a simple programme of skin-health exchange has been put in place, the first line of defence in basic skincare is ingredient and product. Ingredient combining with an effective slew of antioxidants, pepoxides, growth factors, retinoids, and enzyme inhibitors, to deal with skin, which is overwhelmed by intrinsic inflammation and exposure to UV radiation and harmful pollutants is a deciding factor. We are also pro-active in educating our patients about how to use sun-block, whilst also gaining the benefits of the healthy rays of sunshine. Melanin provides the second immune response to protect vital DNA in skin cells, as it prevents them from being corrupted by ultra violet rays, particularly if patients sunbathe or use tanning beds. Disrupting or abusing the stratum basal however is not advised, so patients are instructed in how to understand it properly. The role of an advanced educated skincare professional is therefore vital for patient/client support.

Skin correction occurs through the intrinsic and extrinsic reprogramming process, which influences the behaviour of skin cells in order to normalise cell function.  What is being sought is an effective treatment journey that utilizes ingredients and the correct technology that allows molecules to penetrate.  The objective is to activate the cell function, so as to mimic that which was present when that patient was a child.

198700_262306443795082_394829_nFinding the right  balance in the formulation of the skincare being used, in order to provide stimulating effects, remove unhealthy tissue and crucially, to replace the former skin with healthier functioning skin, without causing irritation or excess dryness, despite an increase in proliferation is key. The competent practitioner must set forth with the right ingredients, the correct formulation and the very best technology available, so as to start to reduce inflammation, otherwise the condition flares, or rebounds. A blend of active ingredients that target the root cause of the skin condition, but that can also correct and restore the barrier function is vital for success that will normalize skin cell function

S A F E   I N G R E D I E N T    C H E C K L I S T   F R E E    F R O M

Synthetic preservatives, such as parabens or phenoxyethanol

Harsh surfactants, such as sodium, ammonium and lauryl/ laureth sulphates

Petrochemicals, including PEGs, paraffin and other glycols


Mineral oils

Genetically modified or irradiated ingredients

Artificial fragrances

Grain alcohols

Chemical sun protection filters

E X P E R T S   O N   C H I R A L I T Y

Eva Lana is a Harvard-educated prolific chemist with extensive experience in organic chemistry and pharmaceuticals. She is an expert on the physiology of the skin and the chemistry of skin care ingredients. This is what she had to say on the subject; “In recent years, many dermatologists and skin aestheticians have been using laser and infrared technology to alter the skin on a cellular level – either via “resurfacing” or by stimulating cellular activity. With optically active compounds, we can achieve these same effects, not on a cellular level, but on a molecular level, deep within the structure of the skin – without the need for lasers.”


In the autumn of 1996, a forward thinking British marketing expert with a scientific background called Nigel Allan, became interested in chirality.  Allan recognised that a great deal of the potential advantages in skincare products that could assist were being wasted in the careless way in which most skincare products are formulated.  He got together with a leading sought after chemist called Mike Bollman, and together they created the world’s first chirally correct cosmetic line in 1998.

The term CHIRAL describes the nature of a molecule, which makes it non-super imposable on its mirror image and does not refer to the sterochemical composition of bulk material, i.e. drugs, compounds, substances etc.  Chirality is not new; Louis Pasteur discovered chirality in 1848, while studying tartaric acid, which results from wine making.  He found two forms of tartaric acids one the mirror image of the other.

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Chirality is the fastest growing investment in the pharmaceutical drug industry.  Millions, if not billions of dollars have been spent by pharmaceutical companies analyzing the difference between a molecule’s left-handed and right-handed parts.

Having admitted the mistakes of ignoring chirality for so long because of the expense of making ingredients chiral, Big Pharma are now embracing the FDA mandate that all pharmaceutical medications should be chirally corrected. After all, the body’s receptors are all chiral. When skincare ingredients are chirally corrected, they are more compatible with the natural cells’ receptor sites. The skin’s receptor sites are no different in how chiral compounds are recognised.

Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis and an innovator in medical aesthetics for the last decade has several patents pending related to innovations in skincare and radio frequency medicine.  Dr. Johnson says, “Chiral correction only applies to a relatively small group of ingredients and is not a castigation of the other 99% of available ingredients being used by all of us… including chirally correct skin care lines.

Everything in nature is chiral, some things are chirally neutral but most ingredients contain left and right-handed components in their makeup. The research has continued to prove, however, that there can be remarkable benefits from using one over the other.  The FDA mandated some years ago that all drugs should be manufactured from chirally correct ingredients. The suggestion in a recent article that the rest of the body is very responsive to the differences in spin and that the body’s largest organ, the skin, is somehow exempt, is naïve.

In my nine years experience of using chirally correct skincare lines, experience shows that chiral ingredients cause less irritation, and that chirally correct treatments are safer, and have low or no downtime. Customers today give us feedback and many are perceptive, credible reporters who attest to the negativity or benefits that they derive from their treatments and product use. Patient compliance is a crucial part of any skin health restoration process, because it drives results.

Chiral technology assists in reducing the possibility of irritation and downtime, with homecare and treatments, which involve retinoids and tyrosnaise inhibitors.  Utilising chirally correct products in treatment scenarios, is akin to driving an automatic car as opposed to a manual. At  a fraction of the cost of more expensive technical skincare modalities, they are the effective means to inexpensively operate a results driven service without shelling out on an expensive device, which may not live up to the notion of expectation.   The main test that I apply to a technology is short-term benefits and long-term results.

Constance Campion is an analyst with an interest in medical private equity. Her position in the area of rejuvenation healthcare sciences is rooted in her education, knowledge, and experience as a specialist nurse practitioner in plastic surgery, medical aesthetics and anti-ageing wellness medicine. Described by Vogue magazine and Storm as one of their top beauty secrets, she has successfully merged two distinct careers as a market analyst and as a nurse, working alongside her husband and others at Plastic Surgery Associates UK and The London Wellness Anti-Ageing Medicine Centre. A champion of safe technologies in rejuvenation medical enterprise, nursing status and professional education, she is Vice-President of AIMA and a Director of Medico Beauty Ltd.

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