True Confession

The People's Skincare Newsletter, Vol. 11, No. 2 June 2018

Inside this issue:

True Confession

Epionce has been my skincare of choice for at least fourteen years. I’ve loved it for its quality, integrity, value and best of all, results. Every once in awhile a new product will come along that seems tempting but up until April of this year, I’ve resisted any urge to try the latest miracle in a jar. Then a highly respected dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, wrote an article called “The Role of Defensins in Treating Skin Aging”. Her article was highly technical but the gist of it is that defensins are a type of peptide that have been shown to stimulate keratinocyte proliferation, migration and wound healing (assuming that aging is like a wound). Rather than entering the skin through the epidermis, they penetrate the hair follicle to quickly stimulate our own stem cells which play an important role in keratinization.

Dr. Baumann reviewed a double-blind clinical study which followed a small group of women, aged 41-70, with “little or no history of quality skin care” (keep that in mind please). After 12 weeks, most participants experienced significant improvement in coarse and fine wrinkles, pigmentation, pore prominence, epidermal thickness as well as skin texture and evenness. I went onto the website of the company that developed the skincare line called DefenAge and saw very convincing before and after photos, plus ordering information for the three products (a cream, serum and mask) containing the new ingredient. The system was quite expensive but in the name of science (ha!), I decided to splurge and see for myself if this was the next best thing.

Well, I now see where people with “little or no history of quality skin care” could see improvement. However WE are used to using the good stuff, right? After one month of only using DefenAge (plus Epionce SPF 50), I noticed no improvement whatsoever. I attribute that to my history of venturing past Clinique forty years ago, using pre-Epionce cosmeceuticals then only using Epionce for the past decade plus. Sometimes a short foray into new territory reveals you’re better off where you were.

Epionce Advanced Training/Nashville

In May I attended a one-day workshop in Nashville taught by Epionce founder, dermatologist, researcher and chief formulator Dr. Carl Thornfeldt. It was an update on the science behind Epionce and a wonderful reminder of how medicinal botanical ingredients that are properly formulated, tested and packaged can change people’s skin for the better. Dr. T. reminded us that his research background started with studies alongside Linius Pauling and Lester Packer, pioneers in antioxidant research on humans, as well as his multi-year National Institute of Health grant with 25 PhD. researchers studying the skin’s barrier repair function vs. inflammation. I learned that two of those researchers went on to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry and medicine! Their research eventually resulted in Epionce’s signature product, Renewal Facial Cream.

With his scientific bent and practical dermatology experience, Dr. T. developed pharmacological formulas for rosacea and other inflammatory skin disorders that are commonly prescribed by dermatologists today. He formulated medicinal compounds using herbs that had been the basis of the NIH research and offered them to his patients in Nampa, Idaho. Not only did patients’ skin conditions (such as rosacea and acne) improve but so did their wrinkles. The genesis of Epionce developed out of these topical formulations.

Two “functional abnormalities” … chronic inflammation and a disrupted skin barrier...account for at least twelve skin conditions and diseases including visible skin aging, winter itch, sensitive skin, dermatitis, melasma, acne, and rosacea. Epionce helps block the damage by (1) repairing and strengthening the skin’s natural protective barrier, (2) blocking the formation and actions of destructive inflammatory factors, and (3) optimizing the skin’s natural repair system and function by adjusting lipid ratios to 3.1.1 to protect and fortify. This is accomplished by using over 130 different herbs that are active in repairing the skin’s barrier repair function!

Epionce is clinically proven by rigorous scientific standards for effectiveness and safety and accepted by international regulatory agency criteria. It is built from basic research conducted by the NIH grant and focused on disease mechanisms, including photoaging. Epionce is manufactured in small batches in its drug-manufacturing compliant facility in Eagle, Idaho. Epionce is currently sold throughout Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada and has 80 employees. Dr. T. is 67 years old and says he intends to continue his dermatology practice as well as lead the helm at Epionce for at least five more years. Let’s make that 20 years please!!!

These updates are always inspiring and new little nuggets of information are revealed. Dr. T’s presentation and handouts are excellent although he does make an assumption that you understand the basic science behind his research. I looked around the beautiful Westin Hotel banquet room where our workshop was held and noticed lots of nods from the estheticians in attendance. The majority of them work for doctors and are the “front line” of information for patients so it’s important that they understand the product line. They must because Epionce is one of the most respected and fastest-growing cosmeceutical skincare lines on the market.

On a personal note, I had a few moments to chat with Dr. T. and asked him about the red pigment I’m experiencing on both sides of my cheeks and jawline. He thought it was Poiklioderma which is a benign condition of redness commonly associated with high levels of sun exposure (in my case, growing up in Southern California and living on a Greek island for a summer). He recommended using the Intense Defense Serum (a multi-vitamin serum), followed by the new Renewal Calming Cream and SPF. He also suggested taking Quercetin, a supplement that protects blood vessels and provides protection against free radical damage. I’ve been using this new protocol for a few weeks, too soon to notice much change yet. That’s OK, I’m a patient person and know the damage has had many years to percolate. If any of you have noticed similar redness at the sides of your jawline, you may want to try this approach too. Please let me know your experience!

How was Nashville? It was OK, a big city with a booming skyline, congestion and tons of tourists. I was only there for two days and spent the rest of my 10 day vacation exploring Tennessee from west to east. Loved Knoxville and the Shiloh Battlefield in particular and found Tennesseans extremely welcoming and friendly. I also popped into Lexington for two quick days to attend a garden party sponsored by the Bourbon Women’s Association (yes, I joined!), explore more Civil War monuments and do laundry before flying back to Las Vegas and finally home to St.George. All in all it was a great trip.

Epionce Flash Sale on Intense Defense Serum

Occasionally Epionce will have a flash sale on a product. This time it’s for 25% off their wonderful Intense Defense Serum! While the official website sale is over, I currently have six Serums in stock. The price while available is $99 rather than $136. To recap why you need IDS, the multivitamin for superior anti-aging results:

  • Contains botanical sources of vitamins A, B, C, D and E
  • Highly concentrated stable formula does not compromise the skin barrier
  • Clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles better than leading serums (SkinMedica, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic)
  • Boosts the benefits of Renewal Facial products for maximum rejuvenation
  • Ideal for all skin types, dry to oily
  • Key ingredients include niacinamide, melon fruit extract, raspberry seed oil, shiitake mushroom extract

Best of all, noticable results with Intense Defense Serum are visible within 8 weeks!

ThreadLifts: A Facelift Alternative or Not?

Advertised as a “lunchtime” facelift, how effective are threadlifts really? If you are not familiar with the treatment, it’s a fast in-office procedure in which a barbed suture thread is inserted into the skin through a tiny incision and hooked to the skin. With a minimal amount of tightening, the skin is lifted and the thread is cut at the insertion point. It can be used for the neck, jowls and lower face; the sutures dissolve over time without producing noticable scars.

Similar to fillers that provide a “liquid facelift”, the downtime is minimal. Dimpling of the skin can occur and while rare, can cause some disfigurement. Results can vary based on the tissue laxity and the type, amount and location of the threads used. While results have been reports to last 18 to 24 months, the treatment is not a replacement for fillers. “Facial aging is caused by a combination of skeletal, soft tissue and skin changes that lead to soft tissue laxity and volume loss”, says Dr. Lily Talakoub publishing in the December 2017 issue of Dermatology Times.

Fillers restore volume loss and are particularly helpful when combined with tissue-tightening lasers, facelifts and threadlifts. Studies show that the combination of threadlifts with tightening and volume enhancement will product the best results. An independent, blinded study showed that threadlifts alone resulted only in short-term improvement because of the edema and inflammation related to the procedure. They were basically not effective because they did not produce any volumetric change and only superficially repositioned the soft tissues without addressing excess skin. In other words….why bother?

Odds and Ends

I will be in St. George all summer for anyone wanting facials, dermaplaning, peels, facial waxing or a skincare consultation. The summer climate in southern Utah is brutal so sometimes switching up your products will help with dehydration and excessive sun exposure. Many clients are discovering how effective the Epionce Tinted SPF 50 is, not only for sun protection but for its hydrating properties. If you haven’t tried it yet, try a sample and you’ll see for yourself! A pump container lasts for months and at $38, a bargain.

In September I’m taking another extended road trip back to the Midwest and Kentucky then returning to Utah through the Ozarks and Texas. Yes I am still fascinated with the bourbon industry and plan to visit distilleries along the way using Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, Susan Reigler’s Bourbon Tasting Notebook and Barrel Strength Bourbon by Carla Carlton as guides. I’ve also signed up for a course in Louisville to become a Certified Bourbon Steward, whatever that is and whatever I make of it!

I hope you all have some exciting summer plans and adventures along the way. Don’t forget your Renewals and your SPF 50 and most of all, stay healthy and have fun!!!


Peels to the People