About Skin Station

Our Chairman and CEO, FRED C. REYES has been doing research and developing new advanced skin care products for SkinStation, which are now available under the DERMAX Professional brand. He is a multi-awarded cosmetic Chemist. In 2008, he was the recipient of Achievement Award in Industry conferred by the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, the umbrella group of Chemists associations in the country. The Outstanding Professional Award in Chemistry came next, in 2011, from the government's Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

DERMAX Professional is the exclusive skin care line of SkinStation. It has established a cult following among the urban sophisticates. “DERMAX uses only the best, the latest, and the safest ingredients at clinical strength, definitely at par with the world’s best. With DERMAX, we have no cost constraint. Our only aim is to delight our customers,” declares Fred Reyes.

We present to you articles written by Fred Reyes himself which appeared in the SKIN SMART column in Manila Bulletin, Lifestyle Section.

Huwebes, Abril 26, 2012

Stretch Marks: Prevention and Cure


Between 75% and 90% of women develop some degree of stretch marks during pregnancy. The rapid weight gain during pregnancy subjects skin to more stretching force than it can handle. Stretch marks usually appear during the sixth or seventh month, as that is when a quick increase in weight is experienced. Stretch marks may also occur during puberty and in transsexuals undergoing hormonal replacement therapy.
Cause. Stretching alone is not the cause. The glucocortinoid hormone has been identified as responsible for the development of stretch marks. It prevents the formation of collagen and elastin fibers necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal and epidermal tearing.
Prevention. Can cocoa butter prevent stretch marks? A study on the popular ingredient produced no significant difference between those who applied cocoa butter cream and those given placebo. The clinical trial was done on 300 women, randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blind. There maybe hope in creams containing Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) extract and vitamin E. A randomized controlled study found a daily application of the cream produced fewer stretch marks during pregnancy. Another study on a cream containing vitamin E, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, elastin and menthol showed similar stretch marks prevention activity. 
Removal. There are various treatments being offered claiming to improve the appearance of stretch marks, including creams & oils, micro-needling, and fractional laser treatments. Many cream manufacturers claim having the best results especially on recent stretch marks; however, few studies exist to support claims that these topical treatments can cause statistically significant improvement.
Micro-needling (dermaroller) and fractional (non-ablative) laser resurfacing treatment are similar in their approach: they trigger the body’s natural ability to heal itself and produce collagen and elastin. They both create microscopic wounds, but the laser option produces faster and better results. Micro-needling may require 8 to 10 sessions; fractional laser, 5 to 6 sessions, with improvement of up to 75% reported.

Fractional laser, with the advantage of faster healing, has replaced the ablative laser approach. Many fractional laser manufacturers have collaborated with various clinics for their clinical studies, all reporting good results with erbium and CO2 fractional lasers. The USFDA has approved a fractional laser brand for stretch marks removal, giving credibility to the results of these clinical trials. A novel approach to fractional laser treatment is the addition of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum to the procedure. This has resulted in significant improvement versus the modality of laser alone.
Bottomline. Stretch marks are difficult to prevent, much more difficult to treat. In fact, stretch marks are permanent breaks in the skin and improvement in appearance is the best that can be hoped for. Creams may work in prevention, but they cannot be relied upon for cure. What will work are the more expensive procedures. Fractional laser resurfacing appears to be the best option, with assistance by serum that helps boost collagen production.
______________________________________________________________________________________This column was published on May 1, 2012 in the Lifestyle Section of the Manila Bulletin. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. He can be reached at fred.reyes@skinstation.ph.


Lunes, Abril 23, 2012

Can Light Therapy Clear Acne?

Can Light Therapy Clear Acne?

The sun has been a subject of worship and study for thousands of years.  Sunlight can lift your mood and make you feel happy. And light can have antibacterial effect.
It was discovered that some of the blue light present in sunlight (415–430 nm) can eliminate acne bacteria from the inside out. When blue light reaches the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin, it activates porphyrins, which are compounds inside the acne bacteria. These excited porphyrins release singlet oxygen, resulting in self-destruction of the bacteria. Being anaerobic, acne bacteria cannot survive the presence of oxygen.
The USFDA approved for the first time in 2004 the use of blue light as a medical device for the treatment of mild to moderate acne. The first blue light system was based on metal halide lamps custom made to emit most of its energy at 405-420nm. Now, blue light systems use LEDs, with very minimal level of UV light.
The USFDA approval was based on a peer reviewed clinical study on effect of blue light on acne lesions done in Israel on 2003. Current literature points toward blue + red light therapy showing slightly better results than blue light alone. Red light (620-660nm) has been shown to effectively reduce inflammation. A combination of blue and red light provides both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action. This is the best light therapy option for inflammatory acne breakouts.
Overall improvements of an average 76% for 80% of patients occur over three months. Some studies show that it performs better than benzoyl peroxide and the treatment is far better tolerated. However, approximately 10% of users see no improvement.
At-home light therapy devices require much patience to use: 30 minutes to 1 hour twice daily. With medical grade equipment, 15-minute treatment done 2 - 3 times weekly is recommended. Eye goggles should be used to protect the eyes. No short-term significant adverse side effects have been reported except for redness and irritation for light sensitive individuals, especially those on Roaccutane.
One positive side effect is the significant decrease in melanin levels during the course of treatment, with brightened skin tone and improved skin texture reported by patients in one study.
Conclusion: Light therapy is a safe and effective option for acne clearance. It is most especially useful when patients want to avoid antibiotic medication or are pregnant or breastfeeding. For the first three months it is necessary to have the 15-minute treatment done 2 - 3 times a week.  After that, the frequency of treatment can be reduced.
____________________________________________________________________This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on April 24, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. He can be reached at fred.reyes@skinstation.ph.


Linggo, Abril 15, 2012

Treatment Options for Warts

Treatment Options for Warts
wart is generally a small, rough growth on the skin that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts, caused by one of the many types of human papillomavirus. Warts are contagious. The virus love warm and moist environments, and can be transferred by sharing towels, slippers, and make-up sponges for example. You can also spread the warts on your body by rubbing a towel on the infected site and then rubbing the same towel on your entire body.

Most warts are easily treatable but they can regrow if not thoroughly removed. Very often, creams, gels or pads with high level of salicylic acid can be sufficient to treat warts. Salicylic acid is applied to the surface of the wart on a regular basis. A few weeks of regular application will be sufficient but there are some warts that may take up to a year to treat. You will need to use emery board or pumice stone to clear the dead skin the wart leaves behind. The average cure rate is 75%. A less popular product is silver nitrate, which can cause staining of skin and clothing. Occasionally, pigmented scars may develop. Silver nitrate method has a cure rate of 43%.

There are prescription treatments available. Imiquimod cream works by encouraging your body’s immune system to work against the wart. It is approved for use in genital warts by US FDA but is very expensive. If you have genital warts, have a check up with a doctor. Dinitrocholorobenzene (DNCB) is a much stronger option to salicylic acid, with a high cure rate of 80%. However, DNCB is a known mutagen, able to cause genetic mutations. Only a doctor should apply it.

Some individuals will want a more aggressive approach, which is where procedures can be used in removing warts. Cryosurgery can be used to freeze off a wart by exposing it to liquid nitrogen.Complications include blistering of normal skin if excess freezing is not controlled. Laser treatment - often with a pulse dye laser or carbon dioxide (CO2) laser can be quite effective but can also be very costly. Duct tape occlusion therapy is an option that remains controversial at the moment with regards to its effectiveness.

Electrocauterization is a popular procedure offered at SkinStation. Pinpoint and complete removal of warts is accomplished with virtually no pain and relatively low cost. Topical anesthesia is applied which requires 30 minutes to numb the skin. Then, a needle-like tip heated by electric current is applied over the wart. The actual procedure will take from 15 to 60 minutes depending on the number of warts to be treated. Scabs will form over the warts treated. The scabs should not be forced out to avoid scarring. They will drop off in 5 to 7 days, leaving small reddish marks that will disappear in a week or so.

With so many options available, the choice is yours. You may even opt not to do anything and wait for the warts to simply disappear. However, if you have the persistent kind, it’s best that you have them treated lest the warts multiply and become ugly and bothersome skin appendages.
______________________________________________________________________________________This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on April  17, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. He can be reached at fred.reyes@skinstation.ph.


Huwebes, Abril 12, 2012

How AcneX Soap Was Developed

How AcneX Soap Was Developed

Among Filipinos, soap is still the preferred product over facial wash. We therefore decided to develop a soap formula, which we call Project AcneX, to address the exfoliant need for anti-acne maintenance. Adding scrubbing particles was ruled out because of possible adverse reactions from people with sensitive skin.
We looked at anti-acne soap products in the market. One intriguing concept invited scrutiny, the salicylic acid soap. Salicylic acid is a commonly used anti-acne ingredient. It is highly effective in treating acne because of its ability to penetrate the follicle. It encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle. Pores are cleared of blockages thereby controlling acne breakouts.
There is a big problem though. Salicylic acid is effective as an exfoliant only if it remains an acid. It’s a puzzle how that can be done in an alkaline soap. Acids and alkali are very reactive. In soaps, the acid is neutralized into its sodium salt. Most, if not all, of the old salicylic acid soaps in the market have not addressed this critical concern.
With the new micro-encapsulation technology,the acid-in-a-soap concept is now possible. For our AcneX soap project, we decided on using the more advanced double encapsulation of salicylic acid to address two concerns: stability in an alkali base and efficacy in a wash off product. 
How it Works. The salicylic acid microcapsule has two layers. The outer layer protects salicylic acid from reacting with the alkaline soap base. During washing, the outer layer breaks up when rubbed on wet skin, releasing the inner microspheres with salicylic acid. The microspheres are designed to adhere to skin even with rinsing. It disintegrates at skin’s acidic pH,slowly releasing salicylic acid. This time-release feature makes the product much more effective and skin friendly.
Although AcneX soap is formulated to maintain clear skin, it has high enough level of salicylic acid at 1% to be as effective in clearing acne as any gel or cream acne product. If you are acne-prone, continuous twice-daily use of AcneX soap is necessary to obtain and maintain clear skin. If you stop the anti-acne treatment, the pores will again clog with excess oil and dead cells, and acne can return.
_____________________________________________________________________This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on April 10, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. He can be reached at fred.reyes@skinstation.ph.

Nanotechnology in Skin Care

Nanotechnology in Skin Care
Nanotechnology is not a new concept. This technology has been in use for many years in various scientific applications. Skin care is just a new dimension of the technology. With nanotechnology, active ingredients are converted into very tiny microscopic particles, so tiny that they can penetrate deep into the skin, giving astonishing results.
Ordinarily, skin care actives only lay on the surface of the skin. This is good enough for sunscreen products.  Sun protection should happen at the outermost layer of the skin. But for anti-aging or lightening products, they must work inside the skin to have any effect at all.
Nanotechnology enhances the benefits of many skin care products. Nano-sized natural whitening actives like licorice extract and ellagic acid are used in the DERMAX NanoWhite line, which is available exclusively at SkinStation.  These nano sized lightening actives can better penetrate the dermal and epidermal junction where melanin formation can be effectively minimized. Many anti-aging actives are now also being used in nano form. Examples are the antioxidants from green tea and grapes and the anti-irritant ursulic acid. DERMAX HYAL-C serum has nano-sized hyaluronic acid to provide lifting and dermal-filler like effects. Topical lip plumper using nanotechnology is now possible. Although effect can be transient, it could provide a way to avoid expensive lip augmentation procedure.
Nanotechnology products are also used for treating dark circles under the eyes. Dark eye circles occur due to problem with microcirculation of blood. They look ugly and are difficult to eliminate. A blend of nano-ingredients can much more readily penetrate to improve blood circulation. Also, nanotechnology is being explored to treat spider veins and to prevent stretch marks. Many more exciting breakthrough developments are forthcoming.

Encapsulating nano particles is a very recent development. This has tremendously boosted effectiveness and stability of new skin care products. Encapsulation protects the degradation of nano-actives, keeping them as fresh and as effective as when they were first added into the blend. Nano encapsulated active ingredients are used extensively in SkinStation's DERMAX line of professional skin care products. 

Definitely, the future of skin care lies in tapping advanced technologies. That future is now available in SkinStation.

(In July 2012, the author spoke before the members of Philippine Society for Cosmetic Science (PSCS) on the same topic, with the title, "Nano+Encapsulation Technology in Personal Care Products". The updated and modified version of that presentation before the PSCS can be accessed here:  https://app.box.com/s/7igjxmfyh5olyz6ktlv7.)
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This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on April 3, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. He can be reached at fred.reyes@skinstation.ph.

Miyerkules, Abril 4, 2012

Hyaluronic Acid: Fountain of Youth?



What gives skin the volume to make it look healthy and young? What acts as a lubricating fluid in our joints and eyes? Hyaluronic acid (HA) does both. It’s a kind of amino polymer naturally present in our body, a building block for collagen. However, our body’s ability to produce HA diminishes as we age.
When HA was successfully extracted from rooster comb, a lot of interest in its anti-aging use began. In fact, HA has been promoted as a “fountain of youth.” Now, it is commercially produced by synthetic process or by natural fermentation.
Certain injectable brands were approved by US FDA  as dermal filler, to fill up lines and wrinkles, and to plump up lips. For osteoarthritis, it is injected in joints to replace lost lubricating fluids. It is also used during removal of eye cataract to help replace natural fluids. The effect of injectable HA typically lasts for 6 months or so.
With its ability to attract water, HA is the favored moisturizing ingredient in high-end skin care products. Well, only in high-end products simply because it is so expensive. It has been noted that it also helps in healing skin with burns, wounds, or ulcers.
For anti-aging skin care, the challenge is how to improve skin penetration of HA, thus improving its efficacy. HA is a polymer that repeats itself, creating a very long chain molecule. Big molecules will just stay on top of the skin, with limited anti-aging benefits when used in creams and serum.
The breakthrough solution: control the polymer size. That paved the way for the development of the new HA with low molecular weight (LMW) that can work from within to smoothen out fine lines. The LMW grades come in different sizes, with increasing effectiveness as molecular size decreases. 

HYAL-C contains LMW hyaluronic acid and stabilized Vitamin C.


HYAL-C serum from SkinStation is an excellent example of a product with the new LMW hyaluronic acid. It contains nano-sized hyaluronic acid, the LMW grade with the smallest molecules. The nano-grade can go deep into the dermal layer of the skin where hyaluronic acid is needed most. The name HYAL stands for hyaluronic acid, while C refers to vitamin C,a popular anti-aging and lightening ingredient, also present at high levels in the serum. HYAL-C serum is a consistent best seller, loved for its instant lifting effect.It might just be the“fountain of youth” you have been looking for.
How about HA as a food supplement? Say, for joint pains? So far, results from clinical studies on oral HA supplements have not been encouraging. Orally taken HA do not simply migrate into the affected joints. However, there are suggestions that the new LMW grades may yet provide positive results.
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This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on March 27, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation and Chemworld Fragrance Factory. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart will clarify facts and myths on skin care. Questions sent to info@skinstation.ph maybe featured in future issues.

Martes, Abril 3, 2012

Is Squalane Oil Good for Your Skin?

Is Squalane Oil Good for Your Skin?


Squalane oil should not be confused with the popular squalene health capsules. As a food supplement, squalene may prevent cancer and promote heart health. In certain flu vaccines, it is used as an adjuvant to boost immune system.

In the beginning, the primary source of squalene is shark liver oil from deep ocean sharks. Environmental concerns over shark hunting have motivated its extraction from vegetable oils such as olive, rice bran and wheat germ. These plant sources contain much less than 1% squalene oil, making the extraction process expensive and wasteful.

Recently a patent was issued for biofermentation of molasses,which produce high purity squalene oil. This augurs well for having a renewablesource of organic squalene oil. 

DERMAX Squalane Oil is ECOCERT.
Squalene is the most common oil found in our sebum. This makes squalene a natural candidate for skin care preparations. However, it is so unstable when exposed to air. Through hydrogenation, squalene is transformed to the more stable form called squalane, which is now widely used in luxury cosmetics.

Squalane oil is prized as an organic moisturizing ingredient. It is used sparingly at 1% to 4% in many high-end skin care products in Japan, Europe and the USA.

Some would rather use the pure squalane oil. Easily absorbed, the odorless non-greasy oil is an excellent skin moisturizer with silky feel. It helps condition skin, nails and hair. Instant relief has been reported for sensitive skin conditions such as skin cracks, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. During pregnancy, it is applied on the belly to help improve skin elasticity and avoid stretch marks.

If you don’t mind the price, pure squalane oil can be an enjoyable pure indulgence for your skin.
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This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on March 20, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation and Chemworld Fragrance Factory. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart will clarify facts and myths on skin care. Questions sent to info@skinstation.ph maybe featured in future issues.

Top Causes Of Dark Underarms

Top Causes of Dark Underarms

How many times have you been embarrassed by dark underarms? Know the causes and learn what you can do to finally say goodbye to dark underarms. Here are the most common causes:

Shaving. When you shave, you cut most of the hairs off at just below the surface of the skin.  This can give the appearance that your skin has a dark stain when it`s really just sub-surface hair.

Scratching. The hairs grow back after shaving, or plucking, or waxing. They can cause itchiness that results in “pleasurable” scratching. The constant friction from scratching can cause skin discoloration.

Skin cells build up. Dark spots can be the result of dead skin cells that are trapped in microscopic “hills and valleys” on your skin.

Antiperspirants. The aluminum salts and the fragrance ingredients in antiperspirants  could be reacting with skin to cause discoloration. Many claim that when they stop using their antiperspirant, the darkness goes away.

Overweight.  Fat people tend to have light-brown-to-black markings not only in their underarms, but also on the neck and in the groin. Friction is an obvious cause, but there is the more serious issue related to insulin production.

Pregnancy. A number of physical, chemical and physiological factors can induce your skin to produce excess melanin pigment during pregnancy. 
The Advanced NanoWhite Intensive
Underarm Cream in the New Airless Jar
What To Do: 
  1. Stop shaving, waxing, and plucking. Once the hairs start growing back, scratching can be a problem.  
  2. Go for the more permanent solution: laser hair removal (LHR). Prices of LHR have gone down tremendously. Check the very affordable packages offered by SkinStation, the leader in painless diode laser, the gold standard in laser hair removal.  
  3. Exfoliate and apply underarm whitening cream such as DERMAX NanoWhite UA cream with retinol to prevent formation of excess melanin.
  4. Use a deodorant like DERMAX deowhite natural deodorant instead of an antiperspirant. You may get wet in some adverse conditions, but that is probably less embarrassing than having perpetually dark armpits!
  5. If you have weight problem, go on diet and exercise, and monitor your insulin level.  ____________________________________________________________________________________________This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on March 13, 2012. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulations Commission for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry.  (Updated on April 24, 2013.)