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Also stumbled on to an article on the web. It seems to indicate that only 1 & 3% is available to the public. The place I ordered from indicated the HP product is 3%, but as I indicated above Perricone's company indicated it's 5%. Hopefully, this doesn't matter & we'll all have good results like Mickey. I can't wait for two months to pass so I can see my results. Here's the article:

Dr. Nicholas Perricone is best known as the author of The Wrinkle Cure, a cutting-edge book on reversing skin aging. In the book, he announces, “After years of working with antioxidants, I knew I had finally found the ultimate wrinkle cure.” What is it? Topical lipoic acid in the right concentration. Why does it work so well? Because it's a superb anti-inflammatory.

“Lipoic acid inhibits Nuclear Factor kappa B (NFkB) better than anything else,” Perricone stated. The ability to inhibit NFkB seems a key to anti-inflammatory action, since NFkB is a transcription factor that activates the production of inflammatory cytokines that initiate cellular destruction. And if inflammation plays a central part in skin aging, as Perricone believes, then an effective anti-inflammatory cream makes perfect sense.

Lipoic acid has been found to significantly reduce fine lines and shallow wrinkles. This is far from sensational, since Retin-A, topical vitamin C (Perricone recommends the ascorbyl palmitate form for topical use), CoQ10 and various other antioxidants do the same thing. The surprising discovery made by Dr. Perricone was that lipoic acid can also help heal acne scars. It is generally believed that only aggressive procedures such as laser resurfacing can do anything about acne scars. Needless to say, compared to a laser peel, lipoic acid is much cheaper, not to mention non-traumatic.

How does lipoic acid perform this feat? According to Perricone, lipoic acid activates a transcription factor known as AP-1, which leads to the production of enzymes called metalloproteinases. These enzymes digest the damaged collagen, thus helping erase wrinkles and even scars. At the same time, lipoic acid helps cells produce more energy in the mitochondria, thus making more energy available for healing. Finally, due to its anti-inflammatory effectiveness, lipoic acid makes it easier for patients to tolerate Retin-A. Both Retin-A and lipoic acid inhibit the inflammatory cytokine-induced destruction of normal collagen.

Yet another benefit of topical lipoic acid is diminished puffiness around the eyes. This puffiness, or swelling, is technically called edema, and is one of the visible signs of inflammation (redness is another; since inflammation is pro-aging, beware of products that irritate your skin to the point of redness).

“The effective range for topical lipoic acid is between 3% and 10%. We use mainly 5%. We sell this product to dermatologists,” Perricone explained. The bad part is that Perricone's products sold to the public typically contain only 1% lipoic acid, with 3% available, but for over $100 for a small amount. Fortunately there are compounding pharmacies. You may be surprised how many of them work closely with dermatologists. Many topical products, however, are available to the public without the need for a prescription. This is where having the right knowledge really pays.

Dr. Perricone emphasized that his approach to skin rejuvenation goes far beyond topical anti-inflammatories. “Beauty is the look of health,” he said. Good looks serve as a terrific incentive for patients to eat a low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory diet (high in fish oil and flavonoids—instead of meat, think fish and seafood; instead of cake, think strawberries). Perricone also encourages patients to take supplements, exercise, practice meditation and improve their lifestyle in general.

The greatest enemy of youthful skin is probably smoking. “There is a 15 to 20 year difference in appearance between smokers and nonsmokers,” Perricone asserted. Speaking of sun exposure, Perricone made the interesting point that we need some sun exposure—fifteen minutes a day is probably enough. He also noted that perhaps as much as 50% of skin damage is due to glycation (the damage to proteins caused by simple sugars such as glucose and fructose). The skin of people whose blood sugar is chronically high can look as old and wrinkled as the skin of smokers. While a low-glycemic diet that excludes refined carbohydrates is the main means to reducing glycation, Dr. Perricone noted that lipoic acid also helps reduce glycation.

Our pursuit of the dazzling dermis has never been more relentless—or more expensive. The old saying, “After 40, you have the face you deserve” should be amended to, “After 40, you have the face you can afford.” Fortunately there are some topical antioxidant preparations that are both effective and affordable (at least by comparison with laser surfacing). The first breakthrough was Retin-A, a form of vitamin A. Then came the hydroxy acids (including salicylic acids). Hydroxy acids act not only as exfoliants, but also as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Then the power of topical vitamin C to increase collagen production was discovered. Now Dr. Perricone has publicized his discovery of the powerful rejuvenating effects of topical lipoic acid. No doubt more discoveries lie ahead. The future looks beautiful.

Last changed: March 02, 2001





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