SYN-AKE Peptide – Mizon S-venom Wrinkle Tox Cream

Syn-ake is supposed to be the “botox in a bottle” solution.  It’s an anti-wrinkle chemical, a synthetic protein fragment that is meant to replicate part of the venom of the Malaysian Temple Viper.  It’s been found to work similar to botox – like how botox paralyzes the muscles that cause expression lines.

Technical details:

Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl:  Active compound is based on a synthetic tripeptide that mimics the effect of Waglerin 1, found in the venom of the Temple Viper. The activity of snake peptide reduces the contraction frequency of muscle cells on the face, thereby decreasing the appearance of expression lines. In vivo testing showed an impressive reduction of over 50% in wrinkle size after 28 days. Does not contain preservatives. Clear liquid, no odor. pH value 4.5 – 5.5. Easily water-soluble. CAS# 794590-34-4, 883558-32-5, 56-81-5.

Has been found in clinical studies to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines due to reduction of contraction frequency. Best added to skin serums and creams to target wrinkles around eyes, mouth and forehead.

The Purchase:

This was what I bought:

http://www.amazon.com/Mizon-S-venom-Wrinkle-Cream-Syn-ake4%25/dp/B00HKEY7Q2/ref=sr_1_9?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1399417947&sr=1-9&keywords=syn-ake

 IMG_2896 IMG_2901-001

I have some fine lines, and I guess I’m pretty obviously obsessed with getting rid of them.

Mizon products are pretty high quality, have good reviews, and my skin seems to like them.  This one is about $30 on Amazon (shipped from Korea) which at 50ml isn’t cheap, but it’s not as high priced as some others I found.

Use:

I used this daily, applying pretty liberally (I have dry skin so I can put on a pretty thick layer of moisturizer) over my C-Serum, and under my sunscreen.  The instructions say to give it some time before putting anything over top, so I waited about 10 mins before adding the sunscreen.

Texture:

This is a pretty greasy feeling moisturizer, but it layers well under sunscreen without pilling.  In the 10 min wait time it didn’t absorb all the way in.

Once applied, it doesn’t seem to relax or paralyze anything…

My fine lines before:

IMG_2805-001

This photo is 6 months old.  From when I started with the sny-ake.

Yep.  Definitely there.  This is with the syn-ake on it, that’s why I look SO SHINY.  I cover all this with makeup.

Right after application, I wasn’t able to see any real difference.  It’s supposed to be able to relax the lines that come from expression…. but my expressions weren’t hindered in the least, so I don’t think it’s doing what it’s supposed to.

My Fine Lines Now:

photo 2 (7)-001

Harsh Lighting

I can still see them, the 11s are alive and well.

Verdict:

I think this product is an interesting gimmick, but I don’t see enough of a difference to continue its use.  If I like the product as a moisturizer more, I’d probably keep using it, just in case it’s doing some kind of work behind the scenes, but as it is, I’m not going to keep using this one.

Just spring for botox, for actual botox effect.

References:

http://www.makingcosmetics.com/msds1/msds-snake-peptide.pdf

http://www.makingcosmetics.com/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-snake-peptide.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2923951/

http://www.cosdna.com/eng/cosmetic_bc4c89320.html

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Seeking the Fountain of Youth: Adventures in Tretinoin (Stieva-A) Week 6, Tretinoin and Flaking Skin

Flaking skin is a pretty widely accepted part of tretinoin usage, and I’ve found a few ways to combat this unpleasant side effect.

 

Do what you can to prevent the flakes:

1. Let your skin dry completely before application. Moisture left on the skin can, and in my experience does, increase skin irritation. Since the tretinoin is the first product applied (to bare skin) that means starting the skin care routine early.

2. Use it consistently.  There is no fun in constantly being in the beginning stages of retinoid use (the peeling, purging, dry, no results yet part.)  Consistent use means getting through the adjustment.  For me it was a little over 6 weeks (I still flake if I get impatient and apply it to semi wet skin though, and keep in mind I’m on a 0.01% product) but up to 3 months adjustment time is considered normal.  (More, and I’d ask my dermatologist.  You may need a lower concentration.)

3. Products might start to sting, may need to be replaced.  “If it burns it’s working.”  No, no, no.  There is no reason to be in excessive pain from skin care products!  Again, the adjustment time may vary, but some products may just not be right any more.  From the directions I was given, a bit of stinging is considered normal and OK (that will subside with the adjustment period) but anything that causes further irritation and “burns” should be dropped for the time being.

4. Products with chemical exfoliants should be dropped.  For now.  Once a few months have past, they can be spot tested and possibly re-introduced, but while adjusting to the tretinoin, BHAs and AHAs should be left off the menu.  Anecdote time!  I got so sick of the flaking that I said “fuck it” and applied some Weekly Resurfacing Treatment AHA by (who else?) Paul’s Choice.  It just made the flaking worse and made me red and angry at myself.  Patience is key.

5.  Sunscreen.  Don’t get burned on top of dealing with flakes and irritation.  That will only compound the irritation, cause or worsen PIH (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) and sun damage, and if you burn in the way I do, it could cause more peeling and flakes.  Sunscreen is super super important to use with tretinoin.

6. Ease into the usage by mixing or layering it immediately (under or over) with moisturizer.  This can be a good way to get used to the tretinoin and is called buffering it.  It reduces the products effectiveness by decreasing it’s penetration into the skin, but it can really help with the symptoms that come with the adjustment.  Including the flaking.

 

Dealing with the flakes

1.  Leave them alone as much as possible.  It’s soooo tempting to scrub them away, but that can just cause more irritation, which can cause more flakes.  My sugar scrub is banned from my bathroom for the time being because it’s too tempting.

2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  And then moisturize again.  I’m having some luck with CeraVe in the tub topped with Vaseline.  It’s a thick, somewhat unpleasant feeling pile of products on my face, but it’s better than flaking.  I try to spare my husband the shiny very very transferable layer of vaseline by applying it right before I got to sleep.

3. Cheat and very lightly exfoliate.  I’m not going to pretend I don’t buff the flakes away with a very soft wash cloth.  Do this with caution, your milage may vary, and it you starting making things worse STOP IT and let the flakes be.  This doesn’t work long term, but it can help a bit for a few hours.

 

Covering the flakes.

I’m by no means a makeup guru, but I have found a way that I can cover the flakes and keep them pretty well managed throughout the day.

First, skip serums unless you already know they play nice with sunscreen, makeup, and moisturizer.  I find that most of them cause the sunscreen especially to ball up and create what looks like even worse flakyness.

The order I’ve found works well is

1. Oil.  A really light layer of oil, like miniscule, but focused on the dryest areas.  I use a combo of jojoba, argon, and almond.  

2. Moisturize like crazy.  My next layer is CeraVe in the tub.  This helps more than anything because if your skin is too dry the makeup itself will be the “moisturizer” and the moisture in the makeup will become absorbed into the skin.  This leaves the “caky” look that some foundation can give.  Not a good look.  My theory is that since no one is going to be touching my face during the day, it doesn’t need to be touchable. Moisturizer can go on over the oil, or under.  I put a generous amount on and let it sink in for about 10 mins before the next step, but if you aren’t into the “dewy” look you can probably ease up on how thick this is applied.

3. Sunscreen.  I like asian ones, and I’m using one from biore at the moment.  It’s chemical only though, I’m kind of still in the market to find my perfect physical sunscreen.  (Sunscreen needs about 20 mins to sink in before applying anything else on top of it.)

4. Vaseline.  Dabbed on, pretty light, but not rubbed in.  Dab dab dab dab dab onto the flaky spots.  This is where things get a bit heavy and greasy feeling.  I don’t mind because during the day no one is going to touch my face, and I just want it to look good.  

5. BB cream mixed with my Paula’s Choice foundation.  These are other products I’m still not totally in love with, but they work for now.  Eventually I’ll find my perfect foundation.  This step needs to be applied by dabbing and dabbing and dabbing, like the vaseline.  The dabbing both helps keep the vaseline in place, and helps to not bring out new flakes or cause any of the previous products to ball up.  I put it onto my finger tips and just pat it on everywhere.  It takes a while to get it to look smooth, but eventually it will.

6. Powder if required.  Ideally I don’t use powder, since the brush can actually bring out the flakes like rubbing can, but if I overdid it with the vaseline and look super shiny I might pat on a bit.  

7. Rest of the makeup. Eyes, ect.  I flake on my chin and around my mouth more than anywhere else, so adding blush has been OK.  Again your mileage may vary.

 

This keeps the flakes away for several hours, at least in my fairly mild case.  The key I think is to keep the layer of vaseline over the flakes, it seems to keep my skin kind of moist so flakes can’t form.  

 

For mid-day touch ups, I keep samples of BB cream around to mix with a bit more vaseline and dab it onto the flaky patches. If things get really bad, and I’m going somewhere after work (out for dinner or something) I’ll re-do the really bad spots by using Vaseline as a crude oil cleanse, and reapply my foundation using as many of the above steps as I have available.

 

I hope this helps someone, I know the flaking is really unpleasant.  Take solace in the fact that it will be over soon!

 

Sources:

https://skintreatment.com/info/page/view/how-to-use-retin-a-without-your-face-peeling-off

http://www.skinacea.com/retinoids/use-retinoids-right-part-one.html#.U67W5ZRdU9g

http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/how-to/2012/top-solutions-for-your-hair-skin-makeup-emergencies#slide=19

Seeking the Fountain of Youth: Adventures in Tretinoin (Stieva-A)

There was a mixup at my pharmacy that resulted in me getting the wrong strength of Retin A, and an irritated face.  After several days of TLC and waiting for the irritation and peeling to stop, I am ready to add the correct strength of Stieva-A 0.01% (this is the brand name that comes in the concentration I am starting with.)  My start date for this is Monday, May 19 – tomorrow.  I’m going to apply every three days to start (so Monday, then Thursday, then Sunday) and see how that goes.  The irritation from the mix-up is pretty much cleared up by this point, so I feel pretty confident that I can get started tomorrow.  I’d prefer not to peel or flake any more, so that’s why I’m starting so slow even with such a low dose prescription.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on this product, so I want to share that so anyone else looking to try it out for anti-aging can have a quick overview of the what, why, how, and what to expect from treatment.


 

What is Stieva-A?

This is a prescription product with 0.01% concentration of Tretinoin.  This is the particular version of this product that I was prescribed.  It’s the lowest dose that they make.

What is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is the carboxylic acid form of vitamin A and is also known as all-trans retinoic acid or ATRA. The common use for this product is to treat acne vulgaris and keratosis pilaris.

Why use it?

The Anti Aging benefits of Tretinoin: Over 20 years ago users began finding that in using Retin A their skin showed improvements in texture that included diminished wrinkles and lightened brown spots. In 1988, Dr. Voorhees and his colleagues at Michigan published the first double-blind study of Retin-A’s effect on photodamaged skin and found that all 30 patients who completed the 16-week study showed statistically significant improvement.

Why does it work?

According to Dr Gerrish on everydayhealth.com, tretinoin works by increasing skin-cell turnover, thickening the layer of skin below the outer protective layer and stimulating the cells that produce collagen.  Collagen is a protein in the dermis of the skin. It is the collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin that maintain the skin’s structure, firmness and elasticity.  These are also the parts of the skin that’s production declines over time, starting in our mid twenties.  Sun exposure expedites this break down , which is why it’s also important to avoid exposure to UV.  

Correct Usage:

  • The first recommendation is to always apply it at bedtime, not during the day.  Tretinoin increases photosensitivity.
  • Don’t use chemical exfoliants at the same time, at least to start.  That is products that contain glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide (AHAs and BHAs).  You can add them back in after about 3 months of adjustment time using the Tretinoin, if you like though.
  • Wait 15 to 30 minutes after washing your skin before you apply tretinoin.  This has been found to decrease the peeling/flaking, and irritation from the product.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.  Even if you don’t go outside, you can still get incidental sun exposure from windows, the car window, even just walking into a building.  Tretinoin will decrease the effects of sun damage, but if you get burned (which you easily can while using it, since it’s increases photosensitivity) sun damage will get even worse.  This increased sensitivity is because the skin is very very exfoliated.
  • Moisturize:  Wait 20 mins after the product has been applied, and follow with a moisturizer.  This can make your skin dry, dry, dry, and stacking on a good moisturizer can make sure you don’t peel and flake excessively.
  • Don’t wax skin that’s being treated.  Seriously, don’t.  When I was a teenager and on Retin A for acne, I didn’t know that this was such important advice, and I got my eyebrows waxed.  The top layer of my skin got pulled off with the wax and it looked like I had tiny burns on my face.
  • Keep at it.  This is a long term commitment.  There won’t be instant results, there won’t even be results in a month.

I’m going to keep posting as I use, adjust, and hopefully start to see some results from my prescription.  I’ve got some before photos of my trouble areas (mainly around my eyes, between my eyebrows, along my chest below my collar bones and across my forehead,) and I’m hoping to take progress pictures as I go.  I won’t post the befores yet.  I want to see a change first!

 


 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/30/fashion/30skin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/retinol-anti-aging-wrinkles_n_2002971.html

http://beauty.about.com/od/antiaging/a/How-To-Use-Retin-A-And-Other-Retinoids-Safely.htm

http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/use-retin-a-tretinoin-for-acne-anti-aging-skin-care/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/retin-a-for-anti-aging.aspx

http://www.news-medical.net/health/Collagen-What-is-Collagen.aspx