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.

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Lunes, Hunyo 25, 2012

Radiofrequency For Skin Firming

Radiofrequency for Skin Firming

Radiofrequency (RF) in dermatology gained popularity in the last decade. RF is a popular treatment option for skin firming and tightening on face and body. RF energy is delivered to the deep dermis and sub-dermal layers of the skin, while protecting the outer layers of skin. Heating the deeper dermis and subcutaneous layers causes collagen contraction. Over time, new collagen is produced by the body to further tighten the skin.

RF machines are either monopolar (unipolar) or bipolar, which refer to the number of electrodes on the handpiece. In a monopolar device, the current from the RF machine flows through the body from a single electrode in the handpiece. A grounding, or “return pad” is used, attached to the patient’s lower back or ankle, to provide a low resistance path for the current to flow back to the generating machine, to complete the electrical circuit. Thermage is an example of a monopolar RF device used for facial rejuvenation.
A biopolar device has two electrodes on its handpiece. With bipolar delivery, the current from the generating machine flows only through the tissue which is between the two electrodes on the handpiece; these electrodes start and complete the electrical circuit. Hence, with bipolar delivery, no current flows through the rest of the body, so no grounding or return pad is needed.
In all cases of RF delivery types, it is the resistance to the current flow in the tissue, not the electrode that generates the heating effect.
Newer improved treatment methods to further enhance patient comfort and results have been developed since Thermage was introduced in 2004. Some variations of these RF devices are:
a) Dual Handpiece. A biopolar handpiece is used for volumetric dermal heating for skin tightening treatments; and a monopolar one for a deep controlled penetration depth of the RF energy for fat reduction and cellulite treatment.
Multipolar RF in SkinStation
b) Tripolar (or Multipolar). The handpiece simultaneously combines the effects of mono-polar and bipolar radiofrequencies in a single treatment. The use of multi-frequency RF is claimed to produce better results with less pain.
RF treatment is best suited for patients with mild to moderate sagging of skin, usually those in their mid 30s to 50s. It is commonly used to lift brows and tighten forehead skin, tighten and lift the upper cheek skin, diminish jowling and sagging along the jaw line, and lessen wrinkling of the neck. It is also used to firm up loose skin around the belly, especially after a weight loss regimen. In combination with vibrating mechanism, RF can temporarily lessen cellulites.
Some people may experience mild redness immediately following treatment, but this usually disappears quickly. Most people find that they can return to normal activities immediately after treatment. 

A treatment session can last about 25-30 minutes and are usually recommended once every 2 weeks with an average of 6 sessions in a facial firming program. This may be followed by a maintenance session once every 2 months. For body shaping, it is recommended to have a course of 8 to 10 sessions, once every 1 to 2 weeks, in conjunction with a slimming regimen.
_________________________________________________________________________This was published in the June 26, 2012 issue of Manila Bulletin Lifestyle section. 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.  Questions sent to info@skinstation.ph maybe featured in future issues.

Lunes, Hunyo 18, 2012

Laser Hair Removal 101 (Part 2)

Laser Hair Removal 101 (Part 2)
What was once thought as impossible, virtually painless diode laser hair removal is now available. To avoid the pain associated with conventional lasers, the breakthrough technology called Super Hair Removal (SHR) uses low energy and rapid pulsing diode laser. Single pulsed lasers use high energy to be effective, and would require the use of numbing creams to ease the pain. The use of numbing creams can be harmful if applied over large areas. 

Epidermal cooling is also used to reduce pain and prevent skin damage. Cool gel is applied on area to be treated, and the chilled tip mechanism of the laser ensures the surface of skin stays cool and comfortable throughout the treatment. 

The number of sessions needed depends on the area of the body being treated. Notably, the face requires around 8 to 10 sessions to achieve desired results compared to 5 to 6 sessions for the legs. After that, 1 to 2 touch-up treatments every year maybe needed. Other factors to be considered are skin color, coarseness of hair, and gender. Coarse dark hair on light skin is easiest to treat. 

Hair grows in several phases: anagentelogen, and catagen. Laser treatment works only on the currently active growing hair follicles, called the anagen phase. The hair population has only between 10 and 20% in anagen stage. Hence, several sessions are needed for effective long term result. Treatment sessions should be timed when inactive follicles are just starting to grow again.

Treatment intervals can be from 4 to 8 weeks depending on the area being treated. The face usually requires more frequent treatments at 4 weeks apart, whereas arms and legs require around 6 to 8 weeks. 
Painless diode laser hair removal on legs

The hairs may appear to grow faster after the treatment, but most of the treated hairs will shed in about 2 weeks or so. If you pull the treated hairs with tweezers, there will be no more resistance which means the follicles have been damaged. Subsequent sessions will have longer treatment intervals as hair becomes thinner and regrowth slows down. 

Once you have decided to have your laser hair removal, you should not pluck or wax at least one month prior to the treatment. That's because the laser targets the hairs' roots, which are temporarily removed by waxing or plucking. You should also avoid unnecessary sun exposure on areas to be treated for one month before and after treatment. Sun exposure increases the risk of complications during and after treatment. 

SkinStation offers the best value in laser hair removal with the painless SHR available in all its branches. Compared with a lifetime of shaving, waxing or plucking, SkinStation can save you both time and money. Check out the very affordable packages being offered.
______________________________________________________________________________________This was published in the June 19, 2012 issue of Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section. 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.

Martes, Hunyo 12, 2012

Laser Hair Removal 101 (Part 1)

Laser Hair Removal 101 (Part 1)
Next to facial, laser hair removal is probably the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the Philippines, with underarm hair as the most unwanted. The basic principle behind laser hair removal is selective heating of melanin in the hair follicle, while keeping the rest of the skin unharmed. Dark objects absorb light, so laser energy can be absorbed by melanin in the hair and skin. Light skin and dark hair is an ideal combination, producing the best results, but new lasers are now able to target black hair in darker skin tones.
Many clinics still offer hair removal by intense pulsed light (IPL) and commonly but incorrectly promote this as "laser hair removal.” IPL devices use full light spectrum from xenon lamps, and are therefore technically not lasers.  Lasers use a single wavelength, leading to a more precise and effective targeting of hair follicle.
Laser hair removal has become popular because of its speed, safety, and effectiveness, although results will depend upon the choice of laser technology used. These lasers are characterized by their wavelength, measured in nanometers (nm).
Alexandrite (755 nm) is used only on pale skin and has the highest pain score. Nd:YAG (1064 nm) is the gold standard for olive (type IV) and dark (type V) skin. Diode (810 nm) laser is the gold standard for pale (type I) to medium (type III) skin, and has now been made safer and virtually painless with the new Super Hair Removal (SHR) technology. 

Diode laser is the best option for the typical Filipino skin, which has light brown (type III) to fair (type II) skin tone. Painless diode laser is available at all SkinStation branches.
Spot size, or the width of the laser beam, affects treatment. The width of the beam should be about four times as wide as the depth of the target. Usual spot size used is about the size of a fingertip (8-18 mm). Larger spot sizes help laser light penetrate deeper and make treatments more effective.
Lasers must have a range of pulse width or pulse duration of 5 to 100 milliseconds. Longer pulse widths are safer for darker skin, but shorter pulse widths are more effective. Pulse width must be matched with the right fluence or energy level (measured in Joules/cm2) necessary to disable the follicles. Fluence levels of 10 to 30 J/cm2 are typically used. Although a higher fluence level can be more effective, it can also mean more pain.

Laser energy can have cumulative effect when introduced repetitively in the same target area. Using this principle, it is now possible to avoid painful laser procedure with the use of low fluence (4-8 J/cm2) and high repetition rate (10 pulses per second). This is commonly referred to as Super Hair Removal (SHR). Diode lasers with this new technology are virtually painless and as effective, making SHR a popular alternative to waxing in Brazilian hair removal. (Part 2 will be published on June 19, 2012.)
______________________________________________________________________________________(Updated on February 21, 2013) This was published in the Lifestyle Section of Manila Bulletin on June 12, 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.

Lunes, Hunyo 4, 2012

Retinol Treatment for Aging Skin

Retinol Treatment for Aging Skin

Topical vitamin A in the form of retinol and retinoic acid is probably the most studied anti-wrinkle ingredient. Retinoic acid speeds up cell division thus quickening skin renewal, prevents collagen from breaking down, and helps improve skin tone. However, retinoic acid has many side effects, including skin redness and irritation.

To minimize side effects, retinol is used instead in non-prescription anti-aging creams and lotions. Retinol is slowly converted to retinoic acid once it penetrates the skin, causing retinoic acid-like skin rejuvenating effects. The slow conversion to retinoic acid makes incidence of skin irritation much less.

Old retinol formulas have encountered stability and efficacy issues. Retinol is highly unstable when exposed to air and may get degraded even before skin application. New formulations now use advanced nano-encapsulation technology to address this important retinol stability concern.

Nano-encapsulated retinol makes
DERMAX Retinol C highly effective.
Of all the clinical studies on retinol, one stands out for having geriatrics as its subjects. The study published in the Archives of Dermatology describes the clinical effect of retinol lotion (0.4%) on 36 subjects with ages 80 to 96. “Safe and effective therapies to reverse the atrophy of natural skin aging do not exist currently,” the investigators led by Dr. Kang wrote, “possibly because skin aging is poorly understood, and conducting clinical studies in a geriatric population represents a considerable challenge.”

At each visit, topical retinol lotion was applied to the upper-inner (sun-protected) portion of one arm and its vehicle lotion (a popular brand of body moisturizer) was applied to the other arm. Lotions were applied up to three times a week for 24 weeks.

The fine wrinkles of intrinsic aging began to improve after four weeks of retinol use, with continued improvement throughout the study, the researchers reported. The four-week response was faster than that observed in photoaging studies. Typically, at least two to three months of topical retinoic acid therapy is needed before noting any significant improvement in wrinkles caused by photoaging.

After 24 weeks, there were significant differences between retinol-treated and vehicle-treated skin for changes in fine wrinkling scores. Retinol treatment significantly increased collagen production in six patients by about 40% compared with vehicle treatment.

The improvement was not permanent. Three months after the therapy was discontinued the difference in fine wrinkle severity had lessened between the retinol- and vehicle-treated sides but remained significant. Six months after the discontinuation of retinol treatment, no significant differences remained between the 2 sides. 

If topical retinol can improve fine wrinkles, collagen deficiency, and atrophy in the fragile skin of elderly subjects, it should be able to do more on younger, less challenging skin.
______________________________________________________________________________________This was published in the June 5, 2012 issue of Manila Bulletin, Lifestyle Section. 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.