Volume XIX - Nr.1 - September 2004


A set of problem elements

We will now discuss the skin from the physiologic viewpoint, without considering it an organ whose single structures are bonded so as to ultimately form a biologically active multi-stage unit.

This means that in the short run, every functional disorder affects its surrounding environment, and jams the delicate mechanisms of mutual regulation. In the history of its evolution, the skin cell characterizes the various skin layers by a series of maturation stages that gradually and with great precision result in the keratinocyte plate of the anuclear, dehydrated stratum corneum, and therefore make its barrier function more efficient.

Cutaneous cytomorphosis takes 15 to 30 days, depending on the area of the body, as well as on several factors. An example of this is a wound, i.e., a local traumatic condition which requires prompt cell afflux to the surface in order to restore structural integrity as quickly as possible. Indeed, the presence of a cut or any other solution of continuity interrupts the defence barrier that separates the internal environment from the external one.

Thus, the first consequence is dehydration because the cells are structurally unable to support the attack of the atmosphere and therefore remain freely exposed to it. If we exclude the infectious problem caused by non absorption, the loss of water alone causes very serious damage to the skin and may rapidly block even the most elementary biochemical development and cell maturation phases.

This is why it is so important to maintain and possibly to increase the water content in the skin. Poor elasticity and lack of tonicity, as well as a senescent appearance are difficult to resolve and cannot be preserved without adequate, correctly compartmented moisture content., i.e. uniform intra- and extra cellular distribution in normal tissue immersed in its humoral habitat.

Vevy Europe has carried out in-depth studies on this problem and our approach has been confirmed by recent scientific progress. Continuous exchange of the water in the tissue with the external environment is an essential quod vitam condition.

Passive or active moisturizing? This question is often posed but its limits and prerogatives are not always well defined. Thus raised, the query might suggest that there is a choice, although two complementary aspects of the same objective, which neither exclude nor compensate each other, are actually involved. The aim of “passive moisturizing” is to limit the loss of skin moisture caused by occlusive, chemical, or mechanical action. In other words, intervening in order to prevent water from passing into the outer compartment, without taking the cause into consideration at all.

This is achieved by PME - Vevy codex 03.0775 (and PME-1 - Vevy codex 03.3392 ), which is capable of forming a continuous surface layer that blocks evaporation. Of course, this interrupts the outflow, but since it does not act on the disorder, be it of a physiological nature or otherwise, its action is limited to the duration of the application and to the efficacy of the product that is being applied.

Paradoxically, these raw materials must be carefully chosen because of the risks involved in using a substance whose efficacy is linked to perfectly covering a tissue in continuous metabolic and informative exchange with the external environment. Besides this priority, extremely consistant and accurate application is needed, which is difficult to achieve, thus leaving the primitive alteration problem unresolved. Indeed, rather than being caused by a decrease in the moisture content, dehydration is often the result of an alteration in the distribution of the moisture itself.

If no proper action is taken to eliminate this cause, the skin will be imbibed without rationalizing the relation between cytoplasm and the extra cellular matrix. This is exemplified by dermal mucopolysaccharides, which are fundamental, amorphous substances. Ialuronic acid is one of the essential components, and adsorbing considerable amounts of water is its main task. Impoverishment of these substances would go hand in hand with a loss of water content.

Mucopolysaccharides are present in three, biologically balanced forms (i.e., bonded to proteins in macromolecular complexes, or to metal ions, or to free proteins). Shifting in favor of the protein bond releases osmotically active metal ions, which can facilitate tissue moisturization. Intervening at this level means keeping the retention capacity constant by direct mechanical action.

As forerunner of the synthesis of acid mucopolysaccharides, Hyaluramine - Vevy codex 17.0255 has enabled us to improve the performance of the basic substance and to stabilize water enrichment, thanks to the biocatalysts that favor protein bonds. We have seen how Hyaluramine, like some aminosugars, plays a role in the keratinocyte differentiation process, thus confirming that glucosaminoglycanes are also located at the epidermal membrane level.

The next step is to use these results to achieve an optimal contact relationship between fibroblasts, especially in the dermoepidermal junction at the basal membrane level. Fibronectin is the most directly involved molecule in this step, and it is fundamental for both the formation of the extra cellular matrix and for adhesion of the cells to this matrix. It is a binding protein, capable of acting as a reference point for the fibroblasts to apply tension on in order to promptly eliminate any gap between cells.

Dermonectin - Vevy codex 18.1926 is an effective and specific oligopeptide of fibronectin (the protein itself is inert), and also contains a certain number of selected protein fragments. The activity of the whole molecule is perfectly reproduced only when fragments including domains, even the one bonding heparin, are used in sequence or simultaneously, thus favoring proteoglycane settling.

Therefore, when we apply Dermonectin we complete hydroelasticity in the critical dermis-epidermis transit zone. As we follow this continuously evolving procedure, we reach the delicate surface area, which is immediately affected by even the slightest alteration on either side of its boundary. Since this area is no longer nourished directly, it is constantly at risk of dehydration.

Adequate moisturizing is therefore important to provide tonicity, elasticity, and perfect compartmenting of the water in the rapidly involuting escalation of the cells. Even the slightest imbalance causes unrestrainable blocking of the metabolism due to changes in the time span of the cycle. A proper, mainly filaggrin controlled keratinic wrapping is one of the crucial points when the granular skin cells start changing into the stratum corneum.

Applying Filagrinol - Vevy codex 13.2423 a derivative of particular, unsaponifiable fractions of olive oil, soy, wheat germ and pollen, timely intervenes at this point to complete the organization of fibrous keratin filaments. This occurs thanks to the modulation applied to the quantitative expression of the filaggrin itself.

It is interesting to observe that Filagrinol thus actively partakes in epidermal moisturizing. Therefore, having completed its task of fibrous organization, Filagrinol degrades at the stratum corneum level in the pool of free aminoacids and their derivatives, which play an integral part in keeping the surface layers properly moisturized and hence, integral and flexible. These low molecular weight, hydrosoluble substances are water enriched at the deepest part of the stratum corneum, thus maintaining high osmotic pressure which draws solvent, i.e. water into the cells.

This pressure causes tensile stress which is transmitted from one cell to another by intercellular junctions to provide elasticity to the tissue. By listing the sequence of descriptive steps we wanted to explain why a cosmetic, and hence physiological intervention, must be a targeted and causal treatment. The skin is a delicate system, and each phase is the result of a specific evolutionary cycle, which then leads to an involution that must unfailingly fulful certain imperative requirements. Each topically applied product has to fulfil a well defined aim.

Although the elements are apparently differentiated, they are all part and parcel of an approach to solve the same set of problems.



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