how smoking impacts the skin

November 4, 2014

Smoking is one of the most controllable causes of disease and death today. It is also a major contributor to many skin conditions and complications, such as skin discoloration, breakdown of collagen and elastin, deep wrinkling, skin aging, poor wound healing and abnormal skin growths.

Our skin relies on oxygen in order to function properly. Air is pulled into our lungs, travels down to the smallest air sacs in the lungs, and is then carried throughout the body via the tiny and intricate network of capillaries. Without sufficient oxygen, the body and the skin suffer.

Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes vasoconstriction or blood vessel contraction, which limits the actual size of the vessel. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes bonds with oxygen, greatly reducing the amount available to the body. This combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide not only limits the size of the vessel, but also the amount of oxygen flowing through them.

some not so fun facts

  • Just one cigarette restricts blood flow for up to 90 minutes.
  • The body produces more blood vessels to compensate for the oxygen restriction due to smoking.
  • De-oxygenated skin often exhibits a grey or yellow tone.
  • It only takes 15-20 seconds for cigarette smoke to impact each part of the body.
  • Blood circulation is significantly decreased due to the vasoconstrictive nature of nicotine.

The sooner a smoker decides to quit, the sooner the vital organs and the skin start to heal. However, the breakdown of the dermal layers is not easily recovered by simply putting out the cigarette. Rebuilding of collagen, repairing elastin and improving the overall function of the dermis must be instigated.

Regular chemical peels will improve not only the production of collagen, but will also improve the tone and texture of the skin. Daily use of collagen-building topical products is also a vital component to reversing the signs of aging due to smoking. Integrating ingredients like vitamin C during the morning and retinoids at night, along with advanced peptides and epidermal growth factor, will prolong the benefits gained from monthly chemical peels.

The effects of cigarettes reach nearly every organ of the body, including the skin. The sooner a smoker puts down the cigarettes, the sooner the body will begin healing from the damage of the nicotine and various chemicals contained within. The skin, however, typically requires more attention. With monthly chemical peels and a comprehensive collagen-building daily care regimen, the skin can begin the recovery process.

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Perfecting Neck and Décolleté: FAQs

December 12, 2013

If you weren’t able to join us during our live Facebook Q&A session with Dr. Jennifer Linder on Monday, December 9, 2013, we have compiled all of the questions about the newest product in the PCA SKIN line into one blog for you. Enjoy!

Q: Can you tell us a little more about Perfecting Neck & Décolleté?

Dr. Linder: Perfecting Neck & Décolleté is a rich and luxurious formulation that delivers rapid, unmatched results across a wide range of conditions. Twice-daily use of this unique blend of ingredients designed specifically for the neck and chest helps strengthen this fragile skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration and redness. Perfecting Neck & Décolleté also includes an advanced combination of hydrating ingredients to boost overall results and leave skin firm, youthful and glowing.

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Q: How quickly can I expect to see results with this product?

Dr. Linder: Some patients see results in as little as one week with twice daily use. Most patients will see results in five weeks.

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Q: How long will the full-size Perfecting Neck & Décolleté last?

Dr. Linder: With twice daily use, using a dime-sized amount, the full-size of Perfecting Neck & Décolleté should last approximately 6-8 weeks.

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Q: Can this product be used on other parts of the body?

Dr. Linder: Yes, because it’s so emollient and an all-around fantastic product to boost skin strength, another great area to use this product is on the hands.

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Q: How can we explain this unique formula to our clients? What are a few words that say it all?

Dr. Linder: Perfecting Neck & Décolleté is a new neck and chest product that provides unmatched, rapid results in as little as one to five weeks. This unique product improves laxity, wrinkling, hyperpigmentation and has even been shown to improve persistent redness.

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Q: With such a formula, can these actives work on photodamage or age-related conditions on the skin of the face?

Dr. Linder: For patients that tend to be dry on the face, they can probably tolerate this on their facial skin. This is a product, however, that was formulated specifically for the drier, more vulnerable skin of the neck and chest. It is a very rich cream.

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Q: What is the short chemical explanation about Perfecting Neck & Décolleté’s action to further educate our clients?

Dr. Linder: Palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is a newly developed amino acid chain that has demonstrated the ability to increase the production of six highly important dermal and epidermal components (collagen I, III and IV; fibronectin; hyaluronic acid; laminin-5) as well as an important protein, heat shock protein 47. Calcium hydroxymethionine increases firmness and elasticity, decreases crêpe paper skin appearance and sagging of the neck tissue.

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Q: I have been using the cream and loving it, and understand that it is such a delicate balance to improve collagen I; so how does the product work to create change on the cellular level?

Dr. Linder: In addition to my answer above, another exciting aspect of palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is Heat Shock Protein 47, a “chaperone protein” functioning as a support for maturing collagen and other matrix components to ensure they reach maturation; HSP47 acts like a project manager, making sure the synthesis of these six major components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) work at their highest potential.

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Q: Are there any different waiting times to use this product after neck masks, peels or revitalizing treatments?

Dr. Linder: It can be used as part of a peel protocol, but after a peel when used as home care, a patient will want to wait until the skin returns to baseline. If the mask is an exfoliating mask, you’d want to follow standard protocol and wait until the skin returns to baseline. If it’s a hydrating mask, you can use afterward without a problem.

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Q: If a client applied another cream with vitamin C, for example, does it interfere somehow with the absorption of Perfecting Neck & Décolleté?

Dr. Linder:  As long as you are applying the products in order of thickness (water, serum, gel, cream), there should not be a problem with absorption.

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Q: Is the cream to be spread to the back of the neck?

Dr. Linder: Absolutely, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t!

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For more information, please contact a member of the PCA SKIN Practice Development Group at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or visit neckanddecollete.com now.


introducing Perfecting Neck & Décolleté

October 4, 2013

Specifically formulated for the delicate skin on the neck and chest, PCA SKIN’s newest corrective product, Perfecting Neck & Décolleté, provides rapid results for smoother, younger-looking skin. This luxurious cream delivers unmatched results in as little as one to five weeks. A truly unique treatment product, Perfecting Neck & Décolleté treats a wide range of conditions commonly seen on the neck and chest, including wrinkling, laxity, hyperpigmentation and persistent redness.

ingredient profile

One of the most compelling new ingredients included in the new Perfecting Neck & Décolleté is the latest generation of matrix-building peptides, palmitoyl tripeptide-38. This newly developed amino acid chain has demonstrated the ability to increase the production of six highly important dermal and epidermal components, as well as an important protein:

  • Collagen I
  • Collagen III
  • Collagen IV
  • Fibronectin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Laminin-5
  • Heat Shock Protein 47 (HSP47)

This remarkable product also boasts calcium hydroxymethionine, formulated and tested specifically for the delicate tissue of the neck and chest; grape fruit cell extract; niacinamide; rye seed extract; and retinol.

incorporating Perfecting Neck & Décolleté

For optimal results, apply a dime-sized amount of Perfecting Neck & Décolleté twice daily. Although there are myriad PCA SKIN product combinations, the following product pairings address the more apparent signs of aging: wrinkling and laxity, hyperpigmentation and persistent redness.

Questions? Head on over to neckanddecollete.compcaskin.com or call a member of the PCA Practice Development Team at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546].


treating a sunburn

September 10, 2013

No matter how diligently patients apply sunscreen year-round, it seems inevitable that a handful suffer from sunburn. By the time sunburn is noticed, the damage has already been done and it is important to educate your patients on the various ingredients to look for when correcting the UV damage.

Image courtesy of medicinenet.com.

Image courtesy of medicinenet.com.

Low percentage (0.5%) hydrocortisone can help to relieve redness, inflammation, itching and irritation, allowing the skin to heal. This ingredient should only be used for seven days in a row because of its ability to thin the skin with persistent use.

Antioxidants are powerful in correcting UV-induced free radical damage. L-ascorbic acid, glutathione, ergothioneine and resveratrol are just a few of the potent antioxidants to add to your patients’ daily care regimens; each having their own role in healing damaged skin cells. For example, L-ascorbic acid is one of the most widely used antioxidants because of its myriad benefits, such as protecting against UV damage, reducing inflammation and providing melanogenesis inhibition. Glutathione is a strong antioxidant that is thought to play a key role in slowing the aging process because of its ability to strengthen and rebuild collagen bonds.

Using products that include stem cell growth factors can decrease the effects of damage after the skin has healed. These plant-derived stem cells have the ability to protect epidermal cells in human skin. Plant stem cell cultures provide antioxidant protection, while preventing inflammation and protecting human DNA by neutralizing free radicals. These amazing ingredients include grape fruit stem cell extract, lilac leaf stem cell extract and Swiss apple stem cell.

PCA SKIN formulates with  lilac leaf stem cell extract, (C-Quench® Antioxidant Serum and Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night), as well as grape fruit stem cell extract (Rejuvenating Serum).

Hydration is also a key part in healing sunburn. A well-formulated moisturizer should contain both humectant and occlusive ingredients. Keeping the affected area hydrated with humectant ingredients, such as sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA and glycerin, will help keep the skin from losing its natural moisture factor. Avena sativa (oat) kernel extract is high in essential fatty acids and helps to decrease inflammation while retaining vital moisture, providing antioxidant protection as well. Occlusive ingredients such as jojoba seed oil and hydrolyzed silk will help to lock the moisture in.

Most importantly, stay out of the sun! The worst thing for sunburn is more UV radiation, even if the skin is protected. The heat from the sun alone will cause more inflammation on the area, reactivating the burn. Try to stay indoors, but if going outside is a must, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen, keep the area covered with clothing and stay in the shade as much as possible.

For more information, call a member of the PCA SKIN Practice Development Group at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or visit pcaskin.com.


Total Strength Serum: FAQs

September 3, 2013

If you weren’t able to join us during our live Facebook Q&A session with Dr. Ivana Veljkovic on Monday, August 26, 2013, we have compiled all of the questions about the newest product in the PCA SKIN line into one blog for you. Enjoy!

Question: Did Total Strength Serum replace another PCA SKIN serum?

Answer: No, Total Strength Serum did not replace any other serum in the product line. This is a brand new, full-face anti-aging serum with a host of advanced corrective ingredients to address a multitude of aging concerns.

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Question: What are the key ingredients in Total Strength Serum?

Answer:

  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 – a peptide that stimulates collagen I, III and IV; fibronectin; hyaluronic acid; and laminin 5 to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) – aids in the proliferation of healthy skin cells and improves the appearance of aging skin
  • Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) – important hydrating components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that also provide MMPi action
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice – a lipid, mineral and fatty acid-rich emollient agent
  • Silybum Marianum Extract – a potent antioxidant from milk thistle
  • Tocopherol and Tocotrienols – fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins and emollient ingredients
  • Sodium Hyaluronate – a naturally occurring GAG with exceptional lubricating qualities; it has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water and plays an important role in skin hydration

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Question: Is Total Strength Serum safe for pregnant or lactating patients?

Answer: Yes, Total Strength Serum is safe for patients who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or who are lactating, though we always recommend patients check with their OB/GYN.

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Question: How does Total Strength Serum pair with other PCA SKIN serums?

Answer: Although there are myriad ways to pair Total Strength Serum with other PCA SKIN corrective serums, we have compiled what we feel will provide the most benefits to patients with age-related concerns:

Total Strength Serum + ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum

  • Spot treat areas of fine lines and wrinkles with ExLinea®, followed by full-face application of Total Strength Serum, each of which utilize different peptides. For optimal benefits, use this pairing morning and evening.

Total Strength Serum + C-Strength 15% or 20% with 5% Vitamin E

  • Apply in combination or layer twice daily to address fine lines and wrinkles, and to promote an even skin tone.

Total Strength Serum + Intensive Age Refining Treatment™: 0.5% pure retinol night

  • Apply Total Strength Serum in the morning and combine or layer with Intensive Age Refining Treatment™ in the evening to reduce hyperkeratinization, photodamage and textural variances.

Total Strength Serum + Hydrating Serum

  • Pair Total Strength Serum with Hydrating Serum morning and evening for those suffering with dehydrated skin, fine lines and wrinkles.

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Question: Will this product be available online and at the upcoming tradeshows?

Answer: Yes, Total Strength Serum is now available for purchase online, by calling in to our Practice Development Group and at all of our upcoming tradeshows.

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Question: Can I use Total Strength Serum with PCA SKIN products containing retinol?

Answer: Yes, using Total Strength Serum along with your PCA SKIN retinol products is safe, and will assist in minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Question: Can a patient use Total Strength Serum right up until receiving a peel?

Answer: Yes, using Total Strength Serum right up until the day of a peel is safe. The patient may resume use of their daily care routine after three to five days of using The Post-Procedure Solution, or once the skin returns to baseline.

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Question: Do I still need to use ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum and C-Strength 15% or 20% with 5% Vitamin E if I use Total Strength Serum?

Answer: Yes, ideally you are pairing Total Strength Serum with ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum, which is used primarily as a spot treatment for areas of laxity, fine lines and wrinkles. Total Strength Serum is indicated for full-face application and contains a completely different peptide. C-Strength 15% or 20% with 5% Vitamin E also pair well with Total Strength Serum due to the added antioxidant and skin evening benefits vitamin C provides.

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Question: Who do I sell this product to?

Answer: Total Strength Serum is indicated for patients concerned with laxity, wrinkling and enlarged pores. It can be used as a preventative anti-aging corrective or added to a current anti-aging regimen.

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Question: How does this product fit in with other PCA SKIN correctives?

Answer: Total Strength Serum is unlike any other PCA SKIN corrective serum. Its benefits include full-face application, facilitating the synthesis of collagen I, III, IV; fibronectin; hyaluronic acid and laminin-5. Due to the thin, serum-like consistency of this product, it should be applied before gels and creams.

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Question: How is epidermal growth factor derived?

Answer: rh-Oligopeptide-1, or epidermal growth factor, is produced in a lab using vector DNA. Vector DNA is a fragment or piece of a signaling molecule that is responsible for producing epidermal growth. The vector DNA is completely identical to the signaling molecule responsible for human epidermal growth factor, but is synthesized and is in no way derived from a human or animal source. The vector DNA is then inserted into bacteria, which is then fed glucose, or sugar. The bacteria act as a “factory,” creating exact replicas of the vector DNA signaling epidermal growth. This process maintains efficacy and consistency while also upholding the highest ethical standards.

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Question: Is there any new technology in the Total Strength Serum?

Answer: Yes, palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is a next generation peptide that was developed following a new concept in anti-aging. It stimulates multiple dermal components and provides chaperone proteins that organize the components, ensuring they reach maturation.

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Question: When would a patient use just the Total Strength Serum?

Answer: Personal preference plays a role, plus the patient looking for just one optimal full-face anti-aging serum.

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Question: What are the key ingredients in both Total Strength Serum and ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum?

Answer: The key ingredients in Total Strength Serum include palmitoyl tripeptide-38, a peptide that stimulates collagen, and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; and epidermal growth factor (EGF), which improves the appearance of aging skin. In ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum, we use acetyl hexapeptide-8, which works to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Learn more at pcaskin.com.

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Question: Why would someone need to use the C-Strength 20% Vitamin C with 5% Vitamin E and/or the Intensive Age Refining Treatment™: 0.5% pure retinol night in addition to the Total Strength Serum? If someone between the ages of 30-50 were going to limit themselves to one of the three products for wrinkles, which would you recommend?

Answer: Vitamin C is best used in the morning while retinol is for nighttime use only; Total Strength Serum is for AM and PM use. All three products have different mechanisms of action and exert their benefits on different parts of the skin’s physiology. These three products are not redundant, but complimentary. Choosing one would be a matter of preference.

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Question: Can you explain the difference between the Total Strength Line & Pore Minimizer and the new Total Strength Serum?

Answer: Total Strength Serum utilizes a primary peptide that is the newest generation of peptides, far superior to the peptide in Total Strength Line & Pore Minimizer. Additionally, the base, delivery vehicle and many support ingredients are newly formulated. Those using Total Strength Serum will notice much more dramatic results.

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Question: Would you recommend Total Strength Serum for your male clients who currently use the Total Strength Line & Pore Minimizer?

Answer: Yes, Total Strength Serum is an optimal product for both male and female patients alike.

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Question: I have a lot of clients who only want to use one serum. Could Total Strength Serum replace Rejuvenating Serum since Total Strength Serum has epidermal growth factor as well?

Answer: It depends on the patient. For younger patients looking for a more preventative serum, Rejuvenating Serum would be a great choice. For more mature patients with more laxity and wrinkling, Total Strength Serum would be a better option.

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Question: Should Total Strength Serum be used only at night, or in the AM and PM?

Answer: Total Strength Serum should be used in both the AM and PM for optimal results.

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Question: Will Total Strength Serum used in conjunction with ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum produce results comparable to Nerium AD?

Answer: Because Nerium AD is essentially only an antioxidant serum with some moisturizing properties, even Total Strength Serum used alone will deliver much more dramatic, visible results. If used in conjunction with ExLinea®, you can expect even more dramatic outcomes.

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Question: Is the new serum beneficial for patients with psoriasis?

Answer: While Total Strength Serum can certainly be used for psoriasis, Hydrating Serum and Body Therapy would be better choices.

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Question: How long will the full size serum last?

Answer: The full-size Total Strength Serum will last approximately two months give or take, depending on usage.

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Question: Are you no longer selling the Total Strength Line & Pore Minimizer?

Answer: Correct, we have discontinued the men’s line Total Strength Line & Pore Minimizer. We are confident that patients who enjoyed that product will find even greater results with Total Strength Serum. All of the benefits patients saw using Total Strength Line & Pore Minimizer are exponentially increased with this new product.

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Question: What is the growth factor in Total Strength Serum? How is it derived?

Answer: Total Strength Serum contains rh-Oligopeptide-1, which is a synthetically produced human epidermal growth factor that is identical to the growth factor found in human skin. The “rh” stands for “recombinant human,” which indicates the technology used to produce the growth factor. This is the same technology used to produce insulin, for example. This technology allows us to use human growth factor without having to source it from human tissue.

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Question: Does Total Strength Serum contain stem cells? What are the three products that do?

Answer: Often stem cells are confused with growth factors. Human stem cells provide growth factors to the skin, while plant stem cells provide protective antioxidant benefits. C-Quench® Antioxidant Serum, Intensive Clarity Treatment™: 0.5% pure retinol night and Rejuvenating Serum contain plant stem cell extracts, while Total Strength Serum and Rejuvenating Serum contain epidermal growth factors (as well as some great antioxidants).

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Question: I use Total Strength Serum at night before Intensive Age Refining Treatment™: 0.5% pure retinol night. Am I using it correctly?

Answer: Yes, that’s exactly how it should be incorporated into your nightly regimen. For optimal results, use Total Strength Serum during your morning routine as well.

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For more information, please contact a member of the PCA SKIN Practice Development Group at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or email totalstrength@pcaskin.com.


the strength of an anti-aging peptide

August 27, 2013

One of the most compelling new ingredients included in the new Total Strength Serum is the newest generation of matrix-building peptides, palmitoyl tripeptide-38.

This newly developed amino acid chain has demonstrated the ability to increase the production of six highly important dermal and epidermal components:

  1. Collagen I – the most abundant form of collagen in the human body, present in scar tissue, healing and repair; it is estimated that over 90% of all collagen found in the body is type I.
  2. Collagen III – often called the collagen “of youth,” produced by young fibroblasts and during the early phases of wound healing.
  3. Collagen IV – forms the bases of cell membranes and works closely with laminin-5, anchoring keratinocytes.
  4. Fibronectin – involved in many processes, including tissue repair and cell migration/adhesion, and found in the extracellular matrix (ECM); fibronectin acts as an anchor, adhering cells to collagen and binding various components within the ECM.
  5. Hyaluronic Acid – key component of the ECM, necessary for proper dermal function such as water retention in the tissue; it also regulates activity in cell proliferation and migration (wound healing) in the dermis and the basal layer (dermal-epidermal junction).
  6. Laminin 5 – also a key component of the ECM, involved in the healing of injured epidermal cells; also plays a role in migration and anchoring keratinocytes.

The final component is Heat Shock Protein 47 (HSP47), a “chaperone protein” functioning as a support for maturing collagen and other matrix components to ensure they reach maturation; HSP47 acts like a project manager, making sure the synthesis of these six major components of the ECM work at their highest potential.

With all six of these components, as well as HSP47, synthesizing in an organized fashion, patients will see a lifting, smoothing effect when Total Strength Serum is used twice daily. Due to the advanced capacity of this peptide, patients will also see a noticeable reduction in the appearance of wrinkle volume and an improvement in the appearance of cutaneous roughness.

Questions about PCA SKIN’s new Total Strength Serum? Call us at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or visit pcaskin.com.


PCA SKIN’s Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night

July 10, 2013

Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night is a nighttime treatment that pairs 0.5% pure retinol with antioxidants and lightening agents to promote an even skin tone and a clear complexion. Lilac leaf cell culture extract is a potent antioxidant derived from the stem cells of the lilac plant. Verbascoside is the major component of this particular stem cell extract, responsible for inhibiting P. acnes bacteria, minimizing inflammation and supporting the wound-healing cascade. Phytic acid, bakuchiol, phenylethyl resorcinol are powerful lightening ingredients to assist in minimizing all types of abnormal pigmentation such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or sun-induced hyperpigmentation.

Due to the 0.5% pure retinol, it is recommended to use this product 1-2 times per week initially, slowly adding in additional nights until nightly use is achieved. Although retinol is not as topically irritating as retinoic acid, when used in its pure form, retinol can cause some to feel increased dryness and slight flaking as the skin acclimates. Educating your patients on proper use of a vitamin A product is especially important.

Be sure patients know to use this product at nighttime only and to always use a PCA SKIN® broad spectrum sunscreen product during the daytime to protect from harmful UV rays.

To help facilitate patient education around stem cell extract and broad spectrum sunscreen use, PCA SKIN has paired the following SPF products with Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night:

Intensive Clarity Treatment™ + Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45

  • For acneic hyperpigmented skin

Intensive Clarity Treatment™ + Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30

  • For hyperpigmented or photodamaged skin

Intensive Clarity Treatment™ + Protecting Hydrator Broad Spectrum SPF 30

  • For adult acne

Intensive Clarity Treatment + Hydrator Plus Broad Spectrum SPF 30

  • For dry, hyperpigmented skin

Intensive Clarity Treatment + Active Broad Spectrum SPF 45: Water Resistant

  • For acneic or hyperpigmented skin when outdoors

Please consult a PCA SKIN Certified Professional to determine the best products for your unique skin type and condition.