Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anti-Aging Creams with Synthetic Snake Venom



Anti-Aging Creams with Synthetic Snake Venom - Article written by Alexandra Drosu for the Los Angeles Times.


Skin-care companies such as Sonya Dakar, Syence, Borba and Planet Skincare are making lotions that contain a synthetic venom called Syn-ake. They say the products smooth wrinkles by relaxing facial muscles.

Maybe we can blame snakes for our wrinkles. After all, as the story goes, it was a snake that tempted Eve, getting her expelled from Eden and doomed to a mortal life filled with fine lines and wrinkles. So isn't it about time that the slithering serpent made amends? More than a half-dozen skin-care companies think so, incorporating a synthetic venom into their formulations to help diminish signs of aging.

The products sprang from an "aha!" connection: When poisonous snakes strike, they paralyze their prey by injecting them with a toxin through hollow fangs. And if snake venom can paralyze muscles, couldn't a targeted version work like a topical Botox?

Enter Syn-ake, a compound developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Pentapharm, to mimic a protein found in the venom of the temple viper.

"I wanted to develop a Botox alternative for my clients who complained of side effects or wanted to avoid the injections all together," says Sonya Dakar, co-founder of Sonya Dakar Skincare, who incorporated Syn-ake into her UltraLuxe-9 Cream. According to Pentapharm, the ingredient works as a neuromuscular block, preventing sodium ion uptake in the muscle and keeping it in a relaxed state. Relaxing the facial muscles can help prevent deeper expression lines, while smoothing skin in the process, says Sean Campbell, director of Syence Skin Caree, which produces Skin Venom.

Pentapharm measured the smoothing effect of a Syn-ake-infused cream compared with a placebo in a 28-day trial. According to the company, 67% of the participants using the cream reported a decrease in muscle contraction, and wrinkle size was reduced by 52%. Borba, which incorporates Syn-ake into its Advanced Aging Reverse and Tone Serum, did its own blind consumer testing study. "Seventy-nine percent of women reported they could feel the product working, tightening and firming the skin," says the company's founder, Scott-Vincent Borba.

But experts wonder whether the topical formulations penetrate deeply enough to effectively inhibit muscle contraction. After all, Botox is injected for a reason -- to deliver the compound directly into muscle tissue.

"Is the active ingredient really absorbed into the skin like Botox?" asks dermatologist Dr. Vermén Verallo-Rowell. "The action may just be as a good moisturizer, which does soften wrinkles."

"Skin is programmed to keep proteins out," adds Dr. Leslie Baumann, author of The Skin Type Solution. And the chemical must travel through several layers of skin and subcutaneous fat to reach and penetrate the muscle.

"The smaller the molecule and the more fat-soluble, the deeper that chemical can get into the skin," says Dr. Corey Maas, fellow of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. After evaluating Syn-ake, Maas says the molecule appears to be small enough theoretically to penetrate; however, without more studies, he says, it's difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the ingredient.

He also points out another dilemma for skin-care companies incorporating the synthetic venom formulation. Once a compound "goes through the skin and becomes pharmacologically active working as a drug to relax muscle, it could in theory be absorbed through the body and affect other" areas, Maas says. "It's a Catch-22. It goes from the cosmaceutical-you-don't-need-FDA-approval range to a range where it needs to be studied for its safety and its efficacy."

Skin Venom's Campbell, for his part, compares Syn-ake to Retinol, the less active version of Retin-A found in many beauty products, and not regulated by the FDA - The US Food and Drug Administration.

With so many skin-care companies using Syn-ake, what sets one cream apart from another? "You can make two cakes and have the same ingredients, but it's the way in which these ingredients are put together that makes the difference," says Caroline Clapperton, founder of Planet Skincare. Planet Skincare's daily moisturizer incorporates argireline and GABA to help relax muscles, antioxidants such as vitamin A and C, and retinoic acid, which speeds up cell renewal. The creamy formulation spreads easily, comes packaged with a plastic scoop and smells like roses.



Anti-Aging Creams with Synthetic Snake Venom - Article written by Alexandra Drosu for the Los Angeles Times.

35 comments:

h said...

wonder if that works...

Elizabeth Marie said...

What. The. Hell.

I'm scared of snakes to the point where this post made me feel like a rattlesnake is biting my face off. Thx.

I want BOTOX and I want it nowwww!

Char said...

sounds scary

The Seeker said...

Interesting, I wonder if it's good...

Hope you're having a fab weekend

Luv
xoxo

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Very interesting!...but isn't as bad at all compared to that Bird's poop which supposedly Big in Japan...It was featured on Oprah once! Please do have a good weekend okie sweetie! I've just finished my lunch & now back to work...sigh! ~XO*

g. said...

You try it first.
Deal?

Lynn said...

OK, Now. Which is it? In one part it says it relaxes the muscle to ease wrinkles. In another part of the article it says that women report that they can feel it tightening and firming.
Well. Sign me up for it!

Are you an Okie?
Ada, here, 40 years ago.

diane said...

My face wash & moisturizer are organic. The first ingredient is white grape seed extract, which I believe is a powerful snake repellent. Yikes!

Diana said...

how about we just wear sunscreen everyday and moisturize to avoid nutty stuff like this?
this reminds me of that shampoo that has placenta in it. YUCK.
women are crazy!!

down and out chic said...

i have goal of aging gracefully, sans snake venom!

...love Maegan said...

the title of it is KILLING ME
...Syn-ake?!??!?!?! bahahhhahaah

which is worse, injecting venom or bacterial toxin? ...both kinda scary

...love Maegan said...

um...I just read Elizabeth M's comment ...and it's killing me. lol.

Gary Heller said...

Snake oil salesman are alive and kicking . . .
Actually there seems to be something to this and i would not doubt that it could work.
But have you seen some of the crap they try to sell on late night infomercials. . .that might make a great blog topic.

one little simitopian said...

Woah. That is some weird shit! I don't think I like the idea of anything venomous on my face! I think the only solution to ageing is to become a vampire.

La Couturier said...

Wow. Interesting, I must say!

Bisous,
La C.

one little simitopian said...

P.s. I just read your landlord horror story..... Oh the shame!!!! How embarrassment!
Once, I had a landlord whose old dog died. I felt bad for him....until he wrapped the dead dog in a blanket and LEFT IT IN OUR LAUNDRY OVERNIGHT because his girlfriend didn't want the corpse in THEIR place.
How thoughtful of him.

Carlotta said...

even if that cream would give me a dream skin I would never ever ever put that on my face no way!! I'm so scared of snakes but they're animal too and they need to be resepected I don't use products tested on animal only cruelty free and that venom thing is very cruel the snakes needs their venom to defend them selves
I don't understand why humans thinks that nature is like a supermarket it's not!

hanna said...

interesting article! i wouldnt mind trying that if there was sufficient clinical proof of its effectiveness :D

Girl Japan said...

Oh goodness, how do you find these droll girl? lol

Oh goodness, you said synthetic right? was that right? lol

h said...

Thank you, I love it too:)

Hope you have a nice day

Pop Champagne said...

that's very interesting! I remember being in Taiwan a few years back and tasted Snake Venom and the chef at the store said the same thing too. Apparaently snake is just very good for your skin over all. So weird eh! Thanks so much for the post, I learned a thing or two :)

Savvy Mode SG said...

i heard about Sonya Drakar... always wonder about that. hm.. interesting.

The Cottage Cheese said...

This is kind of scary, but it does smell like roses, so perhaps I'd slather it on. It sounds just slightly more appealing than botox (eek - botulism filled needles!).

Diane said...

syn-ake! what a hoot!

i'll try anything at this point!

Sister Wolf said...

Just give me Restylane (and find someone to pay for it)

Keeley said...

Nooooooooo way, couldn't do it!

alissa said...

i think its yucky. even if its synthetic...i dont know.

Awesome Sara said...

hmmmmmm..... i would try it. that sounds better than that bird poop facial and the placenta moisuterizer

♥ fashion chalet said...

Wow that's creepy but also interesting.


x

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Frickin Eve...

Chessa! said...

um...what?

LipstickOne said...

ummmm...how far are we willing to go...really!

Milly said...

uuhhhhmmm, no thanks, i'll pass...creepy

graphics tablet said...

I think this is so cruel, I hate cosmetics that get ingredients from animals and I hate cosmetic producers that test their products on animals.

wrinkle venom said...

A well written page, just keep on posting...