Israeli researchers and a cosmetician say they have made a breakthrough in fighting wrinkles and sagging skin by finding a way to insert a water-absorbing acid into deep layers of skin without the need for injections.
A Bar-Ilan University research team headed by Prof. Rachel Lubart and Prof. Aharon Gedanken from the departments of Chemistry and Physics and the Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA) have been involved in the past few years in the development of a technology that allows the production of hyaluronic acid in different-sized particles.
Cosmetician Hava Zingboim licensed the technology and says she has succeeded in creating a “first ever” formula that allows hyaluronic acid to penetrate into the deeper skin layers by means of cream application and without injection. Until now patients looking to fight wrinkles have had the acid injected into their wrinkles.
A key property of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally present in the human body, is its ability to adsorb large quantities of water. Hyaluronic acid is also an effective antioxidant, which means it can trap the free radicals formed in the skin during inflammatory processes or as a result of exposure to UV rays. These properties make it an important anti-aging agent, Bar-Ilan and Zingboim said in a joint statement.
The look of young skin can be measured by the amount of hyaluronic acid between the cells. As we age, our body gradually loses its ability to produce hyaluronic acid. The decreasing availability of hyaluronic acid directly results in wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin.
The skin, which plays an important role in protecting our organs, is impenetrable. Finding means to penetrate the skin barrier has challenged the medical field for years, and until now efforts to develop ways to introduce hyaluronic acid into the skin have been unsuccessful, since the acid cannot penetrate it naturally.
An existing powder form of hyaluronic acid with small particles capable of penetrating the skin needs to be dissolved in water first, which causes the acid to lose its small molecular structure and its ability to absorb water. This makes it incapable of penetrating the skin and also it loses its ability to smooth out wrinkles and trap free radicals, the statement said.
Now the researchers say their technology allows the micronization — size reduction — of these molecules and once they reach nano size, the hyaluronic acid molecules are transferred into the formula, which enables them to remain nano-sized throughout the process. To date, this is the only technology in the world capable of creating small molecules that remain small even when applied to the skin, the statement said.
The effect of the micronized hyaluronic acid applied to the skin is “identical to the effect achieved when injecting hyaluronic acid into the skin,” the statement said.
A spokeswoman for Zingboim said the product, called Prophecy, will start marketing in Israel in the next two weeks and globally in September.