Our Zit Ender should become a “disruptor” in the skin care world. In business, a disruptor is a “theory, a disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.” Our Zit Ender should end the reign of benzoyl peroxide, a Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS*) producer, as a go-to ingredient for acne. “Should” does not mean that it will happen but here I present you the reasons why it should happen.
Benzoyl peroxide. How does it work?
Benzoyl peroxide is a bully of an ingredient that ages your skin as it gives some (temporary) relief from acne. The oxygen–oxygen bond in peroxides is weak, and benzoyl peroxide readily undergoes symmetrical fission, forming two free radicals as follows:
(C6H5CO)2O2 → 2 C6H5CO•2
The symbol • indicates that the products of the reaction are radicals; i.e., they contain at least one unpaired electron. Such species are highly reactive. The half-life of benzoyl peroxide is one hour at 92°C.
(You may be familiar with another peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, which is formed in human and animals and is toxic because peroxide ions damage cellular components like DNA and proteins. It used to be ubiquitous as a disinfectant a long time ago).
Benzoyl peroxide breaks down in contact with skin, producing eventually benzoic acid and oxygen. The free-radical reaction of benzoyl peroxide can break down the keratin, helping unblock the clogged pores (which is good) and it causes nonspecific peroxidation of P. acnes, making it bactericidal (also good). But this reaction is non specific and the free radicals will damage the skin of the user just as they damage the bacteria.
It is obvious, at least to me, that benzoyl peroxide should go away, buy why should our Zit Ender replace it? As usual for an Skin Actives product, look at the ingredient list.
What’s so special about Skin Actives ZITEnder?
It was designed with a completely different aim. Zit Ender does NOT contain: benzoyl peroxide, that ferocious oxidant. Nothing to age your skin.
What it does contain is a synergistic combination of active ingredients that
- kill bacteria without killing your cells,
- stregthen the immune response of your own skin so it can fight infection
- decrease inflammation (acne is essentially an inflammatory disease)
- decrease sebum secretion (decreasing food supply to the bacteria)
- normalize pores (making it harder for the bacteria, which prefer an anaerobic environment, to colonize the pores)
Sea Kelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Salix Alba (White Willow) Bark Extract, Water, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Epigallocatechin Gallate, Kaempferia Galanga (Galangal) Root Extract, Oleanolic Acid, Zinc PCA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Extract), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Galactoarabinan, Fucoidan, Beta Glucan (Yeast), Beta Glucan (Oat), Opuntia Ficus Indica (Prickly Pear) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Pectin, Arthrospira Extract, Porphyridium Polysaccharide, Coleus Forskohlii Oil, Granulysin, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid.
This is (as usual for Skin Actives) a very complicated formulation, but every ingredient has a function. What are they?
White Willow Bark Extract (salicin) normalizes keratinization keeping pores open and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Epigallocatechin Gallate and zinc (as Zinc PCA ) are inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase activity and decrease sebum secretion. EGCG is also an antioxidant, helping predent hyperpigmentation that often follows an acne lesion.
Galangal Root Extract and Coleus forskohlii essential oil have antibacterial activity.
Fucoidan and oat beta glucan have anti-inflammatory properties.
Yeast beta glucan is an immune response enhancer.
Oleanolic acid has antiinflammatory properties and it may also help with atopic dermatitis.
Dipotassium glycyrrhizate from licorice has antiinflammatory and antioxidant activity.
Aloe Vera leaf extract improves skin hydration, has anti-inflammatory properties and aids healing of cuts, grazes, burns and insect bites. The polysaccharides in this extract include acetylated mannans.
Galactoarabinan stimulate dermal fibroblast activity and proliferation, promote keratinocyte differentiation and the production of keratinocyte growth factor.
Prickly pear extract contains methylated rhamnogalacturonans (L-arabinose and D-xylose are also represented) benefiting inflamed skin.
Apple pectin is a complex polysaccharide that contains rhamnose. Skin fibroblasts contain receptors for rhamnose and the binding of rhamnose to the receptor leads to increased synthesis of collagen and strengthened epidermal-dermal junction.
Arthrospira extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties
Porphyridium polysaccharide has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Granulysin. Last but certainly not least, granulysin is a special active developed by Skin Actives to target blemish prone skin. It is bioidentical lysosomal proteins and it will help keep at bay the bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, by creating holes in the target cell membrane.
Although several of these actives are available to other skin care manufacturers, they don’t use them. It simply takes a long time for the big guys to change course, when most of the acne suffering population goes automatically for benzoyl peroxide.
The ZitEnder is very effective, but it should be part of a comprehensive plan for your skin. Acne is best prevented rather than cured. Please see my blog post about this subject.
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DISCLAIMER: These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.