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Effect of Cosmetics on Facial Skin

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L-Ascorbic acid (chemical formula C6H8O6), also known as Vitamin-C, is a powerful antioxidant found in human tissues. However, it cannot be synthesized by the human body. So it must be ingested from its natural sources such as citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. It can also be topically applied to the skin in the form of a uniform film for skin-protection and repair. Vitamin-C is an essential factor in the normal production and functioning of collagen, a deficiency of which may lead to a skin-ailment called scurvy. Instability and water solubility of ascorbic acid complicate its topical application on the skin. Hence, stable lipid-soluble ester formulations or compositions of anhydrous polysilicone-gel containing suspended ascorbic-acid are commonly used. These formulations provide effective UV-protection, reduce photo damage, and have anti-inflammatory action. Evidences show that regular application of these ascorbic acid formulations may effectively counter wrinkling and other signs of aging.

Idebenone is a complex synthetic variant of the naturally occurring co-enzyme Q10 (chemical formula CoQ10), which is one of the most essential life-sustaining biochemical. CoQ10 is important as an antioxidant and surrounds living cells and organelles thus protecting them from the ill-effects active oxidation. Idebenone is a preferred variant because it performs all the functions desired from CoQ10 without the under-stress pro-oxidant anomalies of the latter. Experiments establish that idebenone can correct oxidative stress on a cellular level, in effect blocking several pathways of cellular damage, thereby allowing the cell the time for cell repair and rejuvenation. It has found varied uses in recent skin-care products because of its protective action against environmental damage including pollution and photo damage. It offers high protection against harmful environmental free radical stress with an Environmental Protection Factor of EPF 95, the highest rating of all antioxidants tested.

Methods: Thirty-one female volunteers from the age group of 20 yrs. to 50 yrs. were chosen non-randomly and each was provided with two freshly prepared separate formulations of L-Ascorbic acid and Idebenone. Readings for their facial conditions were noted prior to the commencement of the test application. Each volunteer applied the formulations twice daily (am and pm) on a pre-cleansed face – the Idebenone complex formulation on the left side and the L-Ascorbic one on the right. Their facial condition was closely monitored for any irritation or other related side-effects. They were prohibited from using any other product during the test period. After six-weeks the test results were summarized along with the personal experience of the volunteers. The statistical findings of the test after six-weeks of application have been stated in the following.

Results:

L-Ascorbic Acid:

Evaluation Criterion

Applicant Rating

No. of Applicants reporting the rating

Comfortable for application

Heavy

Light

Comfortable

 

01 (3.25%)

17 (54.83%)

13 (42.93%)

Pigmentation

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

12 (38.70%)

17 (54.83%)

 

02 (6.41%)

Fine Lines

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

 

22 (70.96%)

09 (29.03%)

00 (0%)

 

Skin Moisture Content

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

 

07 (22.53%)

22 (70.96%)

 

02 (6.41%)

 

Skin Surface Texture

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

 

06(19.35%)

17 (54.83%)

08 (25.80%)

 

Initial Side Effects

Uncomfortable

Mild Discomfort

None

 

02 (6.41%)

14 (45.16%)

15 (48.38%)

 

Prolonged Side-Effect : Erythema

Uncomfortable

Mild Discomfort

None

00 (0%)

03 (9.67%)

28 (90.32%)

Other Side Effects :

Increase in acne lesions

Mild erytema

Increase in skin dryness

Yellowing of fingers

Congestion

Oxidation, blocked pores

2 (6.41%)

1 (3.25%)

2 (6.41%)

1 (3.25%)

1 (3.25%)

1 (3.25%)

The product’s general consistency has been found to be very light. Individuals with dry skin may need to use a heavy moisturizer to compensate. 3 participants reported it to be inappropriate for oily-skin types. 2 others found it sticky and reported that it could not be spread evenly; while 1 participant found the odor to be unpleasant.

  • Idebenone :

Evaluation Criterion

Applicant Rating

No. of Applicants reporting the rating

Comfortable for application

Heavy

Light

Comfortable

 

00 (0%)

24 (77.41%)

07 (22.53%)

 

Pigmentation

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

24 (77.41%)

07 (22.53%)

00 (0%)

Fine Lines

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

 

19 (61.29%)

11 (35.48%)

01 (3.25%)

 

Skin Moisture Content

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

 

08 (25.80%)

17 (54.83%)

06 (19.35%)

 

 

Skin Surface Texture

No Change

Slight Improvement

Significant Improvement

 

04 (12.90%)

18 (58.06%)

09 (29.03%)

 

Initial Side Effects

Uncomfortable

Mild Discomfort

None

 

00 (0%)

03 (9.67%)

28 (90.32%)

Prolonged Side-Effect : Erythema

Uncomfortable

Mild Discomfort

None

01 (3.25%)

02 (6.41%)

28 (90.32%)

Other Side Effects :

Skin shows a yellow tinge

2 (6.41%)

The product’s consistency and texture have been reported to be superior to that any other moisturizer. 2 participants found the hydration insufficient. 2 found the texture and smell strange. 1 reported decrease in acne lesions; 1 reported that the product improved the facial lines while 1 said the wrinkles hurt after she discontinued use of the product. 2 participants enjoyed the product and were more satisfied than any of their past products.

Discussion: The results clearly indicate the experiences of the volunteers who tried both of the products. While most found the idebenone formulation slightly uncomfortable with respect to its texture, odor and consistency, the L-Ascorbic acid preparation too was rated only mildly satisfactory. However the idebenone formulation shows significant improvement in most of the signs of aging and photo damage when compared against the latter. Also, the L-Ascorbic preparation was suited to a select skin-type unlike the idebenone one which was not discarded by any of the skin-types in particular. Since, the experiment was limited to feminine participants, the effect of the same products are likely to vary depending on the age, gender and inclination (to therapy) of the patients.

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