New ground-breaking technology at your fingertips that can be used SAFELY in the comfort of your own home
Author Courtney Broder / Category NEW Products / Published: September 14, 2020
Author Courtney Broder / Category NEW Products / Published: September 14, 2020
Breaking down growth factor serums with Neocutis Bio Serum Firm and SkinMedica's NEW TNS Advanced + SerumContinue reading
Cyspera is the first topical pigment corrector formulated with cysteamine, an ingredient that corrects stubborn pigmentation issues for those with melasma, post-Inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), within the U.S. skincare market that just recently became available. This new addition is thanks to SENTÉ Skincare's partnership with the Scientis dermatology group based in Switzerland, and due to the fact that it has already been launched in other countries, the raving response for this product has been heard worldwide.
Clinical studies backing the product are vast and impressive, and even from Harben House's product page, numerous reviews show how truly effective Cyspera has been for our patients/customers. These clinical studies include multiple, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials performed comparing Cyspera to other hyperpigmentation ingredients, like Klinger’s formula & to a placebo. In every study, Cyspera has proven to be more effective than current products on the market, and significantly more effective than the placebo.
Cyspera is the brand name for Cysteamine, which is the main ingredient. Cysteamine is a chemical compound present in human tissue, and interestingly, it's highest concentration is within breast milk - tested and clinically proven as SAFE and well tolerated for long-term topical use.
Cysteamine’s natural presence in human tissues and a long history of human use make it a safe product for cosmetic and aesthetic use. Now cysteamine is proving, through numerous studies, its high efficacy in skin pigment correction, and is a serious contender as a novel first-line non-hydroquinone option for the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders.
— Dr. Jennifer David, Dermatologist, Schweiger Dermatology Group
Cyspera is a cream product that is used on dry skin for 15 minutes and washed off using a gentle cleanser. It is important to only use the product on skin that is DRY and has not been washed or wet for over 1 hour, so the best time to use is first thing in the morning or over your makeup before beginning you skincare routine in the evening.
After application, you will need to wash it off with a gentle cleanser, and make sure a good moisturizer or hydrator is applied in your routine after. It is recommended to not use any irritating ingredients in your skincare routine immediately after. So no acids, tretinoin, etc. However, you can use these in your alternate routine. As an example, if you use Cyspera in the morning, you could use tretinoin or acids in the evening, just not within the same routine.
SENTÉ is a physician-only skincare brand and may be distributed solely by request from businesses owned and backed by a medical aesthetic practice (that’s us!). For the best product matching for your specific skin type/concerns please use the contact form below to request a product purchase or tell us more about your skin concerns for customized SENTÉ recommendations.
Forms submitted after-hours or on weekends will be answered the following business day. May call during business hours at 512-953-0512 to speak with one of our expert skincare enthusiasts.
Additional Information & Clinical Trials:
Posted 09 Jan 2020 • Courtney Broder
It comes as an extreme surprise to me that there is not more hype around DefenAge products/technology as it has quickly become one of my favorite medical skincare brands throughout my 11 years of managing/ownership in the medical aesthetics field. I believe in 5+ years DefenAge will be in most all medspa & dermatologist offices across the country. Secretly, I like that it is not a big, well-known brand yet because when I suggest it to someone who has never heard of or tried it, they think I’m a magician or a true skincare guru – it has provided such great skin correcting results!
DefenAge Skincare has 3 products that contain their patented active peptides, called α-defensins & β-defensins, of which I personally use all 3 products every single day. These include the 3D Eye Radiance Cream, 24/7 Barrier Repair Cream (1% Defensins), and the 8-in-1 BioSerum (5% Defensins). In addition, they do have a mask & cleanser which I’m also obsessed with (I seriously use them both almost every day!)
Now for the juicy part - the fascinating technology that powers their serum, repair cream and eye cream!
It begun with the founder of DefenAge, Nikolay Turovets, PhD, who has a wealth of experience in scientific developments including cancer research, stem cell therapies, and IVF. During his research he found a stem cell responsible for regrowing hair. After conducting further research, he found that there are actually two dormant stem cells located at the bottom of the hair follicle shaft. The large one at the very bottom was responsible for regrowing hair, and the one atop of that was responsible for regrowing skin (master stem cell LRG 6+). However, these are only active in utero and once we are born, these stem cells remain dormant. In order to “wake up” these stem cells found within the hair follicle, there must be some type of activation.
During Nikolay’s work, an article came out about a newly discovered messenger peptide found in the gut - Defensins. He was able to use this messenger peptide to active the LRG 6+ growth factor but couldn’t get it deep enough to active the lower bulge responsible for hair growth. Therefore, there is still no cure for baldness, but lucky for us skincare addicts there is a way for us to actually produce new keratinocytes, a.k.a new skin!
Additional claims found during clinical studies that this technology can provide benefit:
• Smooth Lines
• Replenish Moisture
• Diminish Wrinkles
• Unclog & Minimize Pores
• Refine & Correct Texture
• Calm Redness
• Revitalize Dullness
• Correct Surface Imperfections
• Even Skin Tone
• Brighten Age Spots
A 3-product skin care regimen containing alpha and beta defensins globally improves the visual appearance and structure of aging skin without irritation, dryness, or inflammation. Specifically, this regimen increases epidermal thickness, reduces appearance of pores, reduces wrinkles, and reduces melanin.
Journal of Drugs and Dermatology (Clinical Trial)
Lastly, let’s talk about how to use the products since the order of application may seem contradictory to what is typically recommended. What is unique about this line is the serum product is used LAST in your skincare routine. This is due to the alpha & beta defensins causing a tightening of the dermal junction (DEJ). Therefore, once you apply the 8-in-1 BioSerum, no other product will have the ability to penetrate the dermis, thus rendering the other skincare less effective. There is just one exception to this rule and that is sunscreen. Picking a physical sunscreen that does not require the active protecting ingredient to be absorbed should be applied after the 8-in-1 BioSerum in the AM. A basic DefenAge centered routine would be applied like so:
With the 8-in-1 Serum, you also want to mist your face before application, to open up the pores/hair follicle for better penetration. Any mist will do, but our favorite happens to be the Truth Treatment Systems Biomimetic Priming Mist.
You really can't go wrong with any of their products. I can honestly say this is one of the only lines where I love every single product in the line
Acid exfoliation is the most common and well-known type of exfoliation. While extremely effective, it is a type that is easy to overuse and is the most susceptible form to user error. The two primary types of acid exfoliation are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs).
Many skincare users either use the wrong type of acid for their skin type, causing a reaction resulting in the discontinuing of acid use altogether; or they use too many formulations at once (many treatment products, even if not specifically marketed as an exfoliant, have some type of acid, so it’s easy to unknowingly stack many within a single routine), or use too strong of acid products that compromise their skin barrier. Both incompatible products and overuse are equally detrimental to the skin.
Currently, exfoliating acids are seen everywhere in the marketplace – and for good reason! You can find strong acids on shelves of department stores, physician offices, and in drugstores. Why is this? First, they are clinically proven ingredients that work for a variety of skin issues ranging from acne to wrinkles. Furthermore, they are relatively inexpensive ingredients, so it doesn’t cost much to add them to a product’s ingredient deck. However, not all acids are created or formulated equal. The acid type used is only as good as the formulation it sits in. Also, there are now a plethora of ways that acids are formulated, utilizing varying patented transportation systems. You will see ‘encapsulated’ acids, which are used to time-release the acid in small doses over a longer period of time. In this way, it reduces side effects from acid use which is a plus as it allows the user to incorporate more treatment products without over exasperating the skin for maximum benefits.
When choosing acids, it is best to focus on percentage and pH. These two factors are what determines how ‘strong’ the acid will be. If you are new to acids, it is important to start with a lower percentage acid with a higher pH. The percentage of the acid is typically listed on the product packaging or website. However, the pH of the product can sometimes be harder to find. When it is unknown, choose one that says it is ‘gentle’ or for sensitive skin. A good and normal acid pH is typically 3-4. The pH level of various acids will play a large role in the good and adverse effects of acids.
Consumers need to make sure they are aware of the acids in their skincare and choose one from a trusted brand or a clinically proven product. Also, make sure that you are not layering acids that are not meant to be used simultaneously. Sometimes using too many acids can cause superficial burns or degrade the skin’s barrier. Other times, using acids with various serums and active products can make the product ineffective. There is no point in spending $300 for a serum that is rendered ineffective due to the acid applied before or after. When in doubt, consult a skincare professional or use products that are formulated or know to be used together. Also, it is recommended not to use an acid in the same routine as an active serum.
When an ingredient can cause you to burn from standard sun exposure it is known as being photosensitizing. There is much debate on the photosensitivity of acids, and that debate is often centralized in when you should apply certain acids. Historically, it has been advised to use acids exclusively at night, due to the fact they can cause this sun sensitivity or photosensitivity, ultimately contradicting the application of skincare as it will increase the rate of skin aging. However, some modern acids, like Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHAs) do not cause the same sun sensitivity as their predecessors - AHAs & BHAs - due to being a less aggressive acid.
Another modern debate of acids lies in whether they themselves are actually photosensitizing to the skin. The debate can get lengthy, but the main take away is that the acid itself may not cause sun sensitivity, but rather the side effect of strong acids on unexfoliated skin can strip the skin of a natural SPF (the dead skin layer) and cause some to burn more easily. Typically, it is still widely advised to use acids at nighttime, unless the specific product or manufacturer states otherwise.
Currently, AHAs & BHAs are ingredient types used the most in skincare and are in almost every category of product, including cleansers, masks, moisturizers, serums, and even alongside retinols. Consequently, the overuse of acids is increasing as well. It is important to be mindful of the skincare ingredients in your products and try not to use too many sequential steps containing various acids. For example, you wouldn’t want to use an acid cleanser, toner, serum, and/or moisturizer all in the same routine. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate an acid product in either your morning or nighttime routine 3-4x/ week and build up to once a day. Some thicker, less sensitive skin types can tolerate multiple exfoliating ingredients in the same routine, but a lot depends on the strength and pH of the products being applied..
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs are used for a wide variety of skin concerns, and they are a powerful tool for skin health and anti-aging. However, they are probably the most overused acid in skincare. These acids include glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, mandelic, and malic acid. AHAs are extremely beneficial to the skin and can be tolerated in small quantities by most all skin types, excluding those with extremely sensitive or dry skin.
Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
Most notoriously used for acne, BHAs are a powerful tool that clears out pores by absorbing oil and removing dead skin cells. However, BHAs are also good at combating hyperpigmentation and rosacea. The most primary form of BHA used in skincare is Salicylic Acid which is derived from willow bark. The percentage of Salicylic Acid should be between .5%-2%. Some products will contain higher percentages, but unless known to be formulated gently, I wouldn’t exceed a 2% BHA.
Most have heard of top chemical exfoliators Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), but enzyme exfoliants haven’t yet received the notoriety they deserve. Active enzymes are just as important as other prominent cell-sloughing ingredients, and for some, are a powerful everyday solution against accelerated skin aging.
An enzyme is a protein substance formed by organic matter to catalyze a certain chemical reaction. More simply put, enzymes cause and speed up the many vital functions of our body, including the break down process of some protein substances within the skin. Most enzymes in skincare come from a variety of plant-based sources such as fruit-types like papaya, pineapple, and cranberry; from grass-like plants such as bamboo and lemongrass; while some enzymes are even gathered from animals, like baby salmon!
Also of note, enzymes are extremely active to the point where scientist have debated describing them as being alive. We won’t get into the debate now, but what is important to note is that enzymes remain active when in suitable conditions. Therefore, if you apply a serum or cream with an active enzyme, it will continue to chip away at dead skin cells until it is physically washed away or destabilized.
Enzymes work to gently break down protein buildup on your skin – a perk compared to acid exfoliants that can be too harsh for healing skin or those with sensitive skin. Like we discussed in our first blog on exfoliation, our skin is constantly removing dead skin at its own pace (which is good!), but we should either physically or chemically assist in this process to quicken cellular turnover, which is ultimately anti-aging. The dead skin on the outer surface of our skin is held together by proteins, which enzymes work to exfoliate by breaking down these proteins. In doing so, it loosens up the bonds and helps release the dead skin without physically scrubbing it away or using a stronger, deeper acid exfoliation. Hence the reason enzymes are a much gentler approach to exfoliating. However, due to being gentler, they can take longer to take effect than other forms of exfoliation.
Like other exfoliants, most enzyme exfoliators come in cleansers and masks, but enzymes can also be found in some serums and moisturizers. Formulating products with enzymes can be tricky due to their unstable and ever-changing nature. Some enzyme ingredients are easier to work with than other active forms.
Top skincare brands, like Restorsea, have based their entire skincare line around enzymes. Restorsea’s enzyme, Aquabeautine XL, is derived from salmon roe. This enzyme is released upon the hatching of baby salmon within the shell and is unique because it is strong enough to break apart the outer, hard shell layer but gentle enough not to harm the delicate salmon roe. More information about Restorsea’s enzyme, AqubeautineXL, can be find on our blog titled, "Salmon Egg Skincare? Restorsea’s One-Of-A-Kind Aquatic Exfoliant".
All of Restorsea’s products contain this patented enzyme, however, they have had to discontinue some of their products in the past due to the overactive state of the enzyme. Since the enzyme is somewhat ‘alive’, or continuously active, it has caused erratic color changes to some products and has even caused deterioration of some of the product’s packaging. Therefore, Restorsea had to discontinue the products due to the inconsistent output of the products color and state. Though these may be considered examples of faults, it has absolutely piqued our interest as you can see the product at work and know that the active ingredients truly are active!
Personally, I like to use enzyme exfoliants in cleansers and mask, with an occasional lotion or serum. Masks like the Osmosis Polish Mask and iS Clinical’s TriActive Exfoliating Mask are among my favorites. Enzyme cleansers are some of my favorites as well, although you are not getting the full effect of the enzyme by washing it off so quickly. I do, however, think that enzyme cleanser are a great tool, because really anything in your cleanser is getting washed off as well. Some of my favorite enzyme cleansers are the Revision Papaya Cleanser and LeahLani Tropical Enzyme Cleansing Oil.
Leave-on products will give the enzyme the most time to work, but you want to be careful if you have reactive skin. Since the enzyme is active, it can continuously chip away at the dead skin, and can cause some skin sensitivity at first. However, some find that using leave-on enzymes can replace and be an alternative to some other exfoliating products, like retinols, for those who don’t tolerate it well. Restorsea’s Rebalancing Lotion is a great retinol alternative and leave-on enzyme product as is their All Day Every Day Lotion 3x which is in their PRO, physician-only dispensed line. My personal favorite leave-on enzyme exfoliant from Restorsea, or any skincare brand, is their Intensive Hand Treatment 10X and Firming Eye Serum, both of which are in their PRO line as well.
Physical exfoliation is when you use a product or device to manually scrub, rub, or scrape off dead skin. You can achieve this type of exfoliation with skincare products, in-office treatments, or tools. Most product types containing a physical exfoliant component will be scrubs, masks, and cleansers, and that component is almost always something that is washed off your skin. Additionally, there are various treatments and tools that can be done either professionally or at home to physically exfoliate, and we will discuss those as well.
Physical exfoliating scrubs have gotten a bad rep in the past due to some of the early made products that could make micro-tears in the skin and cause more harm than good - think St. Ives Apricot Scrub featuring walnut shells. However, not all scrubs are abrasive, and there are many new products that use much gentler physical exfoliating ingredients. Most products use natural physical exfoliants like Jojoa beads which are gentle, soft beads for a light exfoliation. A combo of physical and chemical exfoliating ingredients is often seen together and the physical aspect will certainly assist with removing dead skin cells. Most older scrubs and physical exfoliants contained plastic microbeads that worked well but were deemed dangerous to the environment.
Too much physical exfoliation can cause over-sensitivity and adverse reactions within the skin. Like everything else, moderation is key. Look for scrubs, masks, and cleansers that have small and soft beads instead of large, course, and hard exfoliants.
There are many skincare treatments that can be professionally done to physically exfoliate, such as HydraFacials, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning (or dermaleveling), and many more.
Like the Sephora Level Setter Blades linked above, there are many OTC products you can purchase that will achieve manual exfoliation. A familiar one is the Clarisonic Cleansing Brushes that many people swear by. Even though these are designed for aiding with cleansing the face, they also cause a manual exfoliation by gently wiping away dead skin cells with their cleansing bristles. Additionally, there are now silicone devices like the Foreo as well as sponges, loofas, & mitts that all aim to offer some form of manual exfoliation.
This category, specifically, is where consumers need to be cautious. It is easy to over exfoliate and cause micro-tears in the skin with some of these devices when using to frequently or harshly. Try to choose one that is soft and designed primarily for the face. Also, perform a patch test on your arm, chest, or another body region, before fully committing to use on your face - a good note for skincare scrubs as well.
Scrubs, procedures and tools are the three main types of physical exfoliation. You do not need all these forms to achieve perfect skin, but you can achieve physical exfoliation with any one of them. I would play around with different products, treatments, and tools to see which form works best for your skin type. An easy and cost-effective way is to start is with one of the scrubs and work your way up the line from there.
Chemical exfoliation will be our next topic and is a critical part of your skincare routine, but don’t forget to occasionally physically exfoliate as well.
Learn the basics of why exfoliation is a key aspect of all skincare regimens. We will also discuss how and when to exfoliate.Continue reading
Our most recent Gift Bag, an 11-piece kit valued at $500, celebrating our 1-year anniversary has now sold out, but the next gift (unveiling later this year!) is already in the works. If you’re new here or missed out on the current one, this breakdown of all 3 previous bags will give an idea of what we have to offer.Continue reading
A nightly retinol is one of the most important skincare staples that most everyone should include within their skincare regimen. Retinol is a potent form of Vitamin A, which is best applied at night to prevent and reverse the signs of aging. It is the counterpart to a daily Vitamin C serum in the morning. Below are Harben House’s top retinol products of 2019 that have impressed us the most!Continue reading