SerumScoop: Tips, tricks and news
A number of our serums utilize the remarkable properties of enzymes. Components like Superoxide Dismutase, CoQ10, and Catalase provide great benefits to skin, scalp & hair.
Here are just some of our products with phenomenal enzyme components:
TelomErase 6-in-1 Multi-Corrective Serum
RevivHair Stimulating Shampoo
RevivLash Lash & Brow Stimulating Serum
All about Enzymes
The purpose of enzymes in a cell is to increase the rate at which reactions occur, to allow the cell to build things or take them apart very quickly. This is because at the temperature and pH level of most cells, chemical reactions such as for cell growth and reproduction do not proceed fast enough to maintain cell viability. Enzymes accelerate the rates of reactions by more than a million-fold, so reactions that would take years can occur in fractions of seconds with the appropriate enzyme.
An enzyme is formed by stringing together 100 to 1,000 amino acids in a specific order. The chain of amino acids then folds into a unique shape. This shape is what allows the enzyme to carry out specific reactions. Enzymes work by a shape recognition; the substrate must form a complex with the enzyme so they can lock together to transfer energy and form a reaction. This reaction is what binds the substrate to the enzyme’s reactive site.
Enzymology in Cosmetics
The cosmetics industry has been using enzymes such as pumpkin for resurfacing and smoothing skin for many years. Enzymes have also proven useful to treat skin conditions related to skin aging, acne, congestion and pigmentation. Their most common benefits, described in detail below, include free radical scavenging, protein breakdown, structural reinforcement, antibacterial benefits and exfoliation.
While the benefits of enzymes have long been known, interest in enzymology for cosmetic and dermatology applications has more recently grown. This is due in part to advances in optimizing their functionality, safety and stability in cosmetic systems to provide skin and product protection—not to mention their natural and renewable status.
Indeed, coenzymes and cofactors in cosmetics, such as the well-known coenzyme Q10, represent a safe way to promote the efficient functioning of skin’s enzymes. Coenzymes and cofactors generally have low molecular weights, enabling them to penetrate through the stratum corneum to help activate the enzymes that are present. They also are stable and relatively easy to formulate into cosmetics.
Free Radical Scavenging
One area where topical enzymes have shown significant benefits is in skin protection. Enzymes capture free radicals, preventing damage to the skin caused by environmental pollution, bacteria, smoke, sunlight and other harmful factors. In this capacity, enzymes work successfully on the surface of skin, without the need to penetrate deeper to reach living cells.
Perhaps one of the most ubiquitous protective enzymes is superoxide dismutase (SOD). This enzyme, often extracted from yeast, is found in almost all living organisms and works to protect the cells from free radicals in aqueous environments. It also is found in barley grass, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass and most green plants.
SOD, in combination with catalase, is responsible for protecting skin proteins from aging due to oxidation. It works by dismutation, a process by which a highly reactive oxygen free radical is converted to a less reactive form. This is important to aerobic cells. If the oxygen molecule is not completely reduced to two water molecules (by accepting four electrons), the partially reduced superoxide radical will remain and can cause damage to skin.
SOD is used in cosmetics and personal care products as an anti-aging ingredient and antioxidant. It has been shown to prevent wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, help with wound healing, soften scar tissue, protect against UV rays and reduce other signs of aging.
— Excerpted from Cosmetics & Toiletries:
Addressing greying hair isn't just a vanity issue; it's a scalp and skin health issue too.
Premature greying of the hair is a condition known as canities; the diminishing of pigment in hair producing a range of colors from normal to white that is perceived as gray.
It is a complex multi-factorial process mainly considered to be an interplay of nutritional, genetic and environmental factors. Nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B12 deficiency, severe iron deficiency, chronic protein loss, copper deficiency are often found associated with premature greying of hairs. Other factors that have been incriminated are low serum ferritin, and low serum calcium and vitamin D3 levels.
Smoking is another factor that is considered to be related to premature greying of hair. Smoking results in generation of huge amount of reactive oxygen species leading to increased oxidative stress culminating into damage to melanin producing cells, melanocytes. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays is considered to initiate similar processes in hair follicles resulting in premature greying of hair.
It turns out that a key factor in hair color loss happens to be the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the scalp and hair follicles. As we age, our bodies become less able to neutralize that hydrogen peroxide, which interferes with an enzyme that is responsible for producing the pigment in hair. The graying begins when the synthesis of melanin (the natural pigment that gives hair its color) is disrupted.
Another recent study in Nature Medicine suggests that sun damage may very well speed up the graying of hair. The study found that when UV exposure damaged skin, melanin-producing stem cells migrated upward to the skin to produce protective pigment (a tan) but abandoned their position in the hair follicle.
While there are many other factors that can contribute to graying hair (genetics, ethnicity, stress etc.), these studies suggest there are steps you can take to slow down or minimize graying hair:
The revolutionary ingredients, like Greyverse and Darkenyl, found in our RevivHair REV Stimulating Serum may help prevent hydrogen peroxide buildup and target tyrosinase to help prevent the loss of hair color and the appearance of darker hair, naturally without dyes or pigments. Another included ingredients (also mentioned in the study) may help: Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase.
Additionally, wearing a hat or applying a UV protection product for the hair (more specifically, the scalp) whenever you're outside, may help as well. Wearing a hat to shield UV damage is something we should be doing anyway!