Topicals aimed at reviving estrogen-deficient skin and warding off damage from UV rays hours after exposure, while repairing DNA, are among the new cosmeceutical innovations backed by science.
First up, is a novel skincare technology that targets estrogen-deficient skin.
Emepelle (Biopelle) Serum and Night Cream feature methyl estradiolpropanoate (MEP) technology, which has estrogen like cutaneous effects. Dermatologist Joel L. Cohen, M.D., conducted a not-yet-published 20-week open-label trial looking at using the daytime Serum and Night Cream products.
“By week 8, in my particular project, 91% of people felt they were more comfortable with the appearance of their skin; 50% or more reported improvement in many parameters, such as wrinkles, thickness, skin integrity, dullness, texture, hydration and even color,” says Dr. Cohen, director of AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, in Greenwood Village and Lone Tree, Colo., and associate clinical professor of dermatology University of California at Irvine.
Dr. Cohen’s study comes on the heels of research published last year by dermatologist Zoe Draelos, M.D. The paper includes results from safety study of 60 females ages 53 to 80 years who had been amenorrheic for at least 3 years. "The safety study showed that this active ingredient [MEP] is broken down by esterases into a completely inactive metabolite in the bloodstream,” Dr. Cohen says.
In a subsequent efficacy study of 80 patients that was published at the same time as the safety data, Draelos looked at applying only the MEP active ingredient in a 14-week study.
“In this efficacy study, there were no other actives to distract from the hero ingredient. She found significant improvement in many factors in the skin: 54% improvement in dryness; 39% improvement in dullness; 20% improvement in thickness; 19% improvement in laxity; 11% improvement in redness,” Dr. Cohen says. “Very interestingly, Dr. Draelos also biopsied a subset of those in this efficacy study and found increased number of estrogen receptors on the fibroblasts of treated skin."
Dr. Cohen references some previous work that suggests 30% of collagen is lost in the first five years of menopause but the skin effects start in peri-menopause.
Emepelle formulations offer more than estrogen receptor activation in the skin, as both the day Serum and Night Cream have been formulated with other ingredients.
“The serum formulation was designed for daytime use so it could be layered under sunscreen, and also contains potent antioxidants. It goes on really well. It was designed to be oil-free, so it's not an issue for patients who might be acne prone,” Dr. Cohen says. “The Night Cream has 0.1% retinol, peptides and various emollients. This is really designed as a comprehensive skincare regimen.”
Dr. Cohen says he uses Empelle’s products in practice, often using both for older patients. For more acne-prone patients who might prefer an oil-free product, he recommends the day Serum along with a dedicated stand-alone retinoid at night (or retinoid plus benzoyl peroxide).
Operation: DNA Repair
Dermatologist Michele Gasiorowski, M.D., of Greenwich Dermatology of Greenwich, Conn., says she believes DNA repair is one of the most important goals of skincare regimens.
Drs. Gasiorowski and Grieshaber report no conflicts of interest. Dr. Cohen has participated in a clinical trial and served as consultant for BioPelle and has served as a consultant for Sente.