Skin Care

By Charu Suri

There are some skincare milestones that are so powerful that they inspire cosmetic companies to start highly influential trends. We’ve witnessed the birth of sunscreen, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, Coenzyme Q10, collagen-infused creams, green tea and hyaluronic acid over the years and watched them become staples in the skin creams that we love.

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The most recent superstar ingredient could well be idebenone, which has been around in the medical field since 1980s but has only recently surfaced in the world of skincare (about time, we say!). I’m not going to make this story an organic chemistry lesson (didn’t we all skip that class in college, anyway?), but suffice it to say that it considered the most powerful anti-oxidant in the world of skincare today. Not bad for a late bloomer.

Idebenone is closely related to the structure of Coenzyme Q10, a cell energizer that is found in several well-known and highly effective creams like the anti-wrinkle line from Nivea. It is used in state of the art products including Prevage, True Cosmetics and Skingenic.


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So, what’s the big deal about antioxidants? Why are they the “gold standard” in skincare? At first, I felt this “idebenone” craze was more hype than substance – the byproduct of good marketing. The important thing to remember is that the skin is the largest organ in the body, and that skin cells need to be protected from the harsh effects of the environment including UV rays, pollution, smoke and even the by-products of oxygen during metabolism. These harsh effects are often referred to as “free radicals.”

Joseph A. Lewis III, who launched the first glycolic acid (AHA) product in 1983, recently developed a new category of “superceuticals” with the introduction of idebenone. In skin creams, it can combat wrinkles, improve skin firmness, even skin tone, brighten skin and lighten discolorations. Most importantly, it can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals and significantly combat the process of aging.

Two of the products that really and truly work that contain this bioengineered molecule are True Cosmetics and Skingenic. True Cosmetics’ new line, Night Light, works overtime with its quartet of products: the advanced treatment cleanser, i-lift eye contour concentrate, radiance revealing complex and youth revealing complex.


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Pricey but effective, Night Light made my skin’s texture improve dramatically, while evening out the dark spots and post-acne scars (boy, do I love those! As though blemishes weren’t enough). There is also a Night Light Trio that contains a Cleanser, a Toner and the Radiance Revealing Complex. www.truecosmetics.com

Another wonderful skincare line (which I’ve been raving about to all my friends) that contains idebenone is Skingenic, which has combined the beauty secrets of Southeast Asian women with modern ingredients to create singular and potent skincare creams.

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Skingenic is the only line that contains the exotic lychee fruit extract. The inner skin of the fruit has been proved to sheath the lychee from extreme temperatures of frost and heat. It does the same thing for your skin, and protects it from environmental damage including pollution and UV rays.

The Regenerating Moisturizer contains a blend of antioxidants including idebenone, green tea, kelp and lychee. Other ingredients thrown into the mix are hyaluronic acid (which lubricates skin) and peptides. I have to say that I’ve tried several skincreams that have come across my desk, and this is one of the few moisturizers in the world that I would easily say is worth the pretty penny that it costs.

The results are almost immediate (in skincare terms, this means a couple of days at least): the skin is visibly renewed, dark spots are diminished with the speed of light, and the clarity in texture is palpable. Obviously, the women of Indochine know what they’re doing!

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Skingenic also offers a Revive Intense Serum to treat post-trauma skin (this is great after a peel) and a Restructuring Night Treatment that diminishes lines wrinkles and under-eye discolorations.

To purchase, visit www.amazon.com

Originally published November 2006
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