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"Science" behind copper peptides

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SoftSkin
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Mon May 10, 2010 2:32 pm      Reply with quote
As you will learn from reading the many, many posts on this board, what works for some people doesn't for others. You just have to find what works for you. Some of the previous posters seem to discount the fact of simple aging for their worsening appearance. Nothing short of surgery will keep everything from heading south eventually! Laughing
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Mon May 10, 2010 2:48 pm      Reply with quote
SoftSkin wrote:
As you will learn from reading the many, many posts on this board, what works for some people doesn't for others. You just have to find what works for you. Some of the previous posters seem to discount the fact of simple aging for their worsening appearance. Nothing short of surgery will keep everything from heading south eventually! Laughing


To add to your point all through the threads you see people who can't tolerate almost any product you check on or can have adverse reactions to same, at all ages. What I see is this is a very intense product and those with positive results have very positive results and those with negative results have very negative results. What makes CP's possibly so great is that same strength that can possibly cause intense negative results for some. As great as it is for the Happy Camper CP users I don't for a second discount the adverse effects reported by those who have had Unhappy experiences using them. This to my way of thinking is just plain and simple common courtesy and fairness to all. JMHO

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rileygirl
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Mon May 10, 2010 3:02 pm      Reply with quote
SoftSkin wrote:
Nothing short of surgery will keep everything from heading south eventually! Laughing


Isn't that the cold, hard truth! Laughing It is a shame they can't find a miracle cure for aging!
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Mon May 10, 2010 3:14 pm      Reply with quote
rileygirl wrote:
SoftSkin wrote:
Nothing short of surgery will keep everything from heading south eventually! Laughing


Isn't that the cold, hard truth! Laughing It is a shame they can't find a miracle cure for aging!


You know the old saying "Live Fast Die Young And Leave A Good Looking Corpse" We either age fighting tooth and nail or.....

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Mon May 10, 2010 3:33 pm      Reply with quote
That's true about everything heading south in the end! Laughing (face-lifts excepted)

Perhaps copper peptides are better suited to more mature skins and should not be used by people in their 30s ... I seem to remember this is what Dr. Pickart said to Avalange?

Just to be clear: the premature ageing effect I personally experienced happened only when I used the copper, and it occured very quickly. It stopped once I discontinued the copper, and it took me coming up to 2 years to get my skin 95% back to normal again (ie. not prematurely aged). The final 5% I am working on!
avalange
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Mon May 10, 2010 4:21 pm      Reply with quote
ditto!

i don't think there is another product on the market that, when used correctly, can wreak such long-term damage on the skin of som unsuspecting users.

thus, unlike most products that simply might not work, or might dry your skin out a little, this one should come with a warning detailing the risks.

it also took me over a year to undo only 80% of damage that was wrought very quickly on my skin. for the record, i never used lots of acids in conjunction with the cps, for two reasons. 1, i was using the ghk-cu product, and at the time, the recommendation was that no acids were necessary, and 2. i wanted to see about adding them in gradually. i never got that far!

we are beating a dead horse restating over and over again the old "what works for some doesn't work for others" adage. these cases don't fall in line with that theory, because the risks are much more severe than with other products that may or may not work.

just as i do not discount the fabulous results of successful cp users, i'd REALLY appreciate it if those same users would acknowledge the fact that us with bad reactions aren't completely delusional about what is going on with our skin.

i have worked in the skincare industry and have used products for over 20 years, and i have a Ph.D (in history, not biochem!), so i understand the general mechanics of skincare AND i'm well-versed in the ways of ratiocination. those two aspects together i hope would qualify me to figure out what is and isn't happening to my skin. i highly respect the opinions and experiences of others and assume my fellow eds-ers are highly intelligent and rational, too. we all help each other to understand skincare and to contextualize our experiences with relevant information--this thread is an excellent testament to this simple fact.



--avalange



chickenlittle wrote:
That's true about everything heading south in the end! Laughing (face-lifts excepted)

Perhaps copper peptides are better suited to more mature skins and should not be used by people in their 30s ... I seem to remember this is what Dr. Pickart said to Avalange?

Just to be clear: the premature ageing effect I personally experienced happened only when I used the copper, and it occured very quickly. It stopped once I discontinued the copper, and it took me coming up to 2 years to get my skin 95% back to normal again (ie. not prematurely aged). The final 5% I am working on!

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Josee
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Mon May 10, 2010 9:27 pm      Reply with quote
SoftSkin wrote:
As you will learn from reading the many, many posts on this board, what works for some people doesn't for others. You just have to find what works for you. Some of the previous posters seem to discount the fact of simple aging for their worsening appearance. Nothing short of surgery will keep everything from heading south eventually! Laughing


I think one of the problems is people's experiences not being validated at times.

There are enough horror cases out there to realize that some people do have a bad reaction to copper peptides, even if they start slowly and follow the instructions to the "t", which is different from just trying something and it not working.

I think this is something that should be kept in mind.

It'd be also good if some of the companies producing copper peptides could try to figure out what's going on but I'm not holding my breath on that.

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Wed May 12, 2010 8:39 pm      Reply with quote
It's been about a month since I ran out of my regular cp serum from Skin Biology. I did not reorder because I saw no real difference in my face & neck skin...nothing worse or better that I could tell.

I did notice that it seemed to heal a new scar on my leg rather quickly....It was fairly deep but did not scar. I normally scar but did not with the cp. I do plan on trying the neutrogena products that allegedly contain Dr. Pickart's first generation.
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Fri May 14, 2010 5:56 pm      Reply with quote
In case anyone is interested, Dr. Pickart put up a page on the SB website in an attempt to refute any questions raised about the efficacy or safety of CP's in this thread. It's umm....well...interesting! Rolling Eyes

http://www.reverseskinaging.com/essentialdayspa-forum-copper.html

Too bad he doesn't actually answer any of the valid questions raised during this discussion. But the cartoons are kind of funny in an unprofessional & disturbing sort of way... Confused
avalange
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Fri May 14, 2010 11:22 pm      Reply with quote
Wow, I never in a million years would have expected such a response!

I consider Josee to be just as knowledgeable about biochemistry as Dr. Pickart. She brings a much-appreciated wealth of knowledge and intelligence to our forum, not "awesome ignorance."
Clearly Dr. Pickart believes in the "traffic" theory, and is hoping that potential customers cross-referencing the two forums will believe him and not "some troll." As such he is attempting to co-opt Josee's comments as trolling, rather than sincere questioning. He obviously feels threatened by this, and rightly so. By representing her scientifically-motivated skepticism in this cutesy form, he is essentially signifying that her ideas do not warrant the kind of response that he would normally give a peer or a colleague.
I would bet that this will be taken down soon--it is so utterly unprofessional. No other reputable skincare company has to teach their clients about trolls. I find his voice to be so pedantic and dismissive of everyone who demands more information. He seems to waste a lot of time fighting with people--instead, maybe he should get back in the lab and fix those copper peptides...


--avalange hmm

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Josh
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Sat May 15, 2010 1:37 am      Reply with quote
Hi everyone,

I'm Josh. I've been a long-time lurker at EDS but have only now got around to signing up and decided to post (I spend waaay too much time in forums!).

Some of you who frequent MUA may know me as 'skincareman'. Somebody mentioned me either earlier in this thread or another recent one discussing copper peptides, as I have experienced significant skin damage from their use.

As if I wasn't angry enough at the damage copper peptides have caused to my skin, this recent page that Pickart has put up has really irritated me.

Let me just fill you in on what has happened to my skin. Rather than write it all out, I'll copy and past this from my MUA notepad:

Quote:

Copper Peptide Diary

Week 1 (26 March 2010): Began using Skin Biology CP Serum (and Exfol Serum). 2 drops of CP Serum to 8 drops of water, applied once daily.

Week 2: Increased concentration - 3 drops of CP Serum to 7 drops of water, applied once daily. During the beginning of this week I noticed my skin appearing firmer on my neck and jowl area. This surprised me as you don't normally see results this quickly with any product.

Week 3: Increased concentration - 4 drops of CP Serum to 6 drops of water, applied once daily. I started to notice that the skin on my forehead, particularly the temple area, was looking and feeling a little uneven in texture. I continued to use it and over a few more days the texture became even rougher. Upon closer examination the best way to describe the skin is that it looks like cellulite, with colours from yellow to a light purple. "Orange peel skin" is an expression I've heard used for the texture. There's bumps and holes (like ice-pick scars) and the pores in the area, as well as on my nose look *substantially* larger than normal. Usually my pores are nearly invisible, even close up! There's also a couple of ice-pick scars on my cheek next to my nose which were definitely not there before.

They say that copper peptides bring buried damage to the surface, but in my opinion this goes *way* beyond buried damage. I also don't believe I've "overdone" it as I've been heavily diluting them, this dilution is being spread over my entire face, neck (front and back) and right down onto my chest. With any residue put onto the back of my hands.

17 April 2010: I have ceased using the Skin Biology products and gone back to my old routine, keeping everything crossed that my skin returns to the condition it was in. I will update this section over the coming weeks for those that are following this. I have seen my derm who has sent the CP Serum off to a lab for analysis to see if there's anything in there that shouldn't be. He's not 100% certain what has occurred. He has told me to continue with my normal routine and will see me again in a couple of weeks unless things deteriorate any more.

24 April 2010: The skin which had taken on the appearance and texture of cullulite has started to smooth out and the discolouration is starting to fade, so I can only assume my skin is on the mend. The holes that appeared in some areas remain.

30 Apr 2010: My skin is continuing to improve daily. The skin with the texture of cellulite has almost completely smoothed out now and the discolouration has virtually gone. The enlarged pores remain though, as do the ice-pick like scars and little holes. My derm has had the results of the analysis of the CP Serum back from the lab and it didn't show anything particularly out of the ordinary. Thus, we can only assume that it is my skin which doesn't like copper peptides. He has discussed my case with some of his peers and they think that the copper peptides caused some collagen damage.

8 May 2010: My skin is acting up big time. I can't use my niacinamide toner (or the modified version using Clinique Moisture Surge Spray for the base) at all. It burns! I'm breaking out. My skin looks ruddy and is quite sensitive. I've had to change my routine around.

13 May 2010: My skin is a little less sensitive now, though I am still breaking out badly. My skin texture is *very* rough (and I used to have almost completely smooth skin). My pores are still gigantic and I've still got these random holes on my face. I've seen my derm again and we're going to try some medium-strength peels and possibly some laser to see if we can smooth out my skin's surface a little and help to rebuild some of the lost collagen. My derm is very nice and is doing all of this a lot cheaper than it would normally be, but I'm still in for a pretty hefty bill. He has also given me Retin-A Gel 0.025% (was using 0.01%) and wants me to slowly introduce it, alternating with the 0.01% until I'm able to tolerate the stronger one daily.


As you can see, I've not had a particularly nice experience and have been left feeling quite depressed by it all. However, life goes on and I have to accept that this damage has occurred, do what I can to repair it and move on.

I just really wanted to share my experience with you all. There are quite a few of us who've had almost identical experiences, here and on other forums. Dr Pickart (and/or his staff) don't respond to complaints either. I contacted them, detailing everything I had done, how I used the products etc and telling them how my skin was behaving and my email (which I resent a week later) was ignored. My dermatologist also contacted them but they never responded to him either.

Within days of going public with my experiences on MUA I also received a number of quite abusive private messages from cowards who signed up for an account, messaged me then deleted their account. Whether these were from customers who for some reason didn't like copper peptides being criticised, or from Skin Biology I have no idea. Given this recent page that Skin Biology have put up, nothing would surprise me!

Also, before I am labelled a troll or accused of working for a competitor, I am not a troll, just a rather annoyed customer who has more skin problems now than he had before and I do NOT work for a competitor or indeed in the skin care/cosmetics industry at all. I'm a photographer.

Josh.

(ps... now that I've signed up here it looks like yet another forum I'll have to participate in! Very Happy )
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Sat May 15, 2010 3:41 am      Reply with quote
Josh,

Thank you for sharing your experience. Wishing you speedy recovery.

When you say "Orange peel skin" is that a comparison to the fruit or something that resembles fried chicken skin? In the past I had used Glycolic acid cream and when I used too much the top skin would be extremely dry. A few days later it would turn brownish like a bad sun tan and be kind of separating from the skin beneath. Then it'd crack and peel. I always thought it looked like pan fried chicken skin. I'm just wondering if this is the same reaction you experienced.

About the new pits. Is it possible the CP dried out a pimple that was about to happen but hadn't had a chance to surface yet? Thus a pit resulted?

I have these what I call fatty plugs in my skin. They never raise. They range in size and don't go away. They're just there... forever, filling in space. I don't know what they are. I have a feeling if they are removed, a pit would result.
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Sat May 15, 2010 6:43 am      Reply with quote
avalange wrote:
Wow, I never in a million years would have expected such a response!

I consider Josee to be just as knowledgeable about biochemistry as Dr. Pickart. She brings a much-appreciated wealth of knowledge and intelligence to our forum, not "awesome ignorance."
By representing her scientifically-motivated skepticism in this cutesy form, he is essentially signifying that her ideas do not warrant the kind of response that he would normally give a peer or a colleague.

--avalange hmm



You are placing Josee in a position to be a Peer or colleague of Dr. Pickart and there is nothing to indicate this is true.

We have no knowledge at all of Josee's credentials nor where she gets her information. One cannot realistically say he/she is on par with someone who is a Biochemist PhD and his credentials clearly displayed and verifiable.

So far as I could tell - The Troll Page is not on the Main SB Site - It is only accessible through the forum on a thread where Dr. Pickart addresses what has been going on here on EDS.


http://healthyskin.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5220011852/m/703105925

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Sat May 15, 2010 7:24 am      Reply with quote
I have no dog in this fight. I haven't used copper peptides, though I've given serious consider to doing so. I've read this thread and learned a great deal about the state of the science in the area. (Luckily, my university gives me full access to academic journals. Even more luckily, my ex is a professor of pharmacology--though his speciality is oncological drugs--but he's been sweet enough to answer a few of my questions on this thread.)

I personally have enough questions about the science to give me pause. That's why I was so interested in hearing Dr. Pickart's response to the scientific questions raised here. Turns out, though, that he apparently doesn't have one.

Instead we get that completely unprofessional post on the Skin Bio site. Well, he can gloat all he likes about the new customers he is getting but he will never make a penny's profit off me. I would never do business with a company that would stoop to that kind of behavior, even if I was totally comfortable with the products.

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avalange
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Sat May 15, 2010 7:42 am      Reply with quote
Josee had a PhD in biochemistry.

--avalange

sister sweets wrote:
avalange wrote:
Wow, I never in a million years would have expected such a response!

I consider Josee to be just as knowledgeable about biochemistry as Dr. Pickart. She brings a much-appreciated wealth of knowledge and intelligence to our forum, not "awesome ignorance."
By representing her scientifically-motivated skepticism in this cutesy form, he is essentially signifying that her ideas do not warrant the kind of response that he would normally give a peer or a colleague.

--avalange hmm



You are placing Josee in a position to be a Peer or colleague of Dr. Pickart and there is nothing to indicate this is true.

We have no knowledge at all of Josee's credentials nor where she gets her information. One cannot realistically say he/she is on par with someone who is a Biochemist PhD and his credentials clearly displayed and verifiable.

So far as I could tell - The Troll Page is not on the Main SB Site - It is only accessible through the forum on a thread where Dr. Pickart addresses what has been going on here on EDS.


http://healthyskin.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5220011852/m/703105925

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Josh
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Sat May 15, 2010 7:49 am      Reply with quote
eyebright,

When I say orange-peel skin I mean it had the texture of orange peel, bumpy, indented, rough. I suppose you could call it chicken skin too, it's tricky to describe such reactions!

There were definitely no pimples that hadn't yet surfaced, my skin had been completely clear for many many months and even when I did develop pimples, I never scarred.

Josh.
avalange
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Sat May 15, 2010 8:16 am      Reply with quote
I mean, I cannot verify her credentials, of course, and neither can Dr. Pickart. But just because she chooses to remain anonymous here does NOT mean she is a "troll."
Josee has exhibited her research credentials as well as the fact that she is incredibly knowledgeable about the biochemical structure and functions of skin. AS someone who also has a PhD from a research institution,I have made my own judgment--I believe her.
The only party who has acted unprofessionally in this matter is Dr. Pickart.

And actually, I find no alumni information about Dr., Pickart at UCSF--the only affiliation one can establish on the internet with UCSF is a donor contribution to the School of nursing.
I'm not saying that Dr. Pickart didn't engage in a lot of research throughout his life, but even his bio doesn't claim that he ever received his PhD:
http://reverseskinaging.com/drpickart.html
He has no issues citing the fact that he graduated with a degree in chemistry, but is rather vague about what happened in the early 80s--a series of research appointments with no mention of receiving the PhD and moving to a post-doctoral research position, which would be the norm. For all we know, his various stints at research labs in Universities were just that.
I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Knowledge is knowledge--each society, each culture, each historical era, even, adjudicates it according to different criteria.
I'll email UCSF myself to ask for Dr. Pickart's credentials with their Biochem department. I find it more than a little bizarre that there is no mention of him on their site at all, with his supposed novel discoveries and commercial success. That is definitely something that research Universities like to play up in their profiles.

--avalange

sister sweets wrote:
avalange wrote:
Wow, I never in a million years would have expected such a response!

I consider Josee to be just as knowledgeable about biochemistry as Dr. Pickart. She brings a much-appreciated wealth of knowledge and intelligence to our forum, not "awesome ignorance."
By representing her scientifically-motivated skepticism in this cutesy form, he is essentially signifying that her ideas do not warrant the kind of response that he would normally give a peer or a colleague.

--avalange hmm



You are placing Josee in a position to be a Peer or colleague of Dr. Pickart and there is nothing to indicate this is true.

We have no knowledge at all of Josee's credentials nor where she gets her information. One cannot realistically say he/she is on par with someone who is a Biochemist PhD and his credentials clearly displayed and verifiable.

So far as I could tell - The Troll Page is not on the Main SB Site - It is only accessible through the forum on a thread where Dr. Pickart addresses what has been going on here on EDS.


http://healthyskin.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5220011852/m/703105925

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Sat May 15, 2010 8:30 am      Reply with quote
Josh,
You are not alone in your bad experience with 2nd generation CP's. I tried the regular CP Serum from SkinBiology & it aged me like 10 years in a matter of several weeks! I didn't get "orange" or chicken skin, but my skin turned this dull, gray-like cast & it got so dry & ashen looking. Under my eyes got all wrinkly (like crepe paper!) When I contacted SkinBiology they said to dilute it more & use more acids & use a dry toothbrush to abrade the skin so the CP's could penetrate. I was like "screw this!" and I stopped. It took me several months to get my skin tone back to normal, although I still have some of the crepiness under my eyes. They did suggest to me using the GHK-Cu, which I tried out of desperation. I didn't have the same problems with the 1st gen CP's, but then again I can't say whether the improvement in my skin was due to adding the GHK-Cu or because I stopped using the 2nd gen CP's & my skin just healed with time.

So, as someone who saw first hand the havoc this stuff can wreak on your skin, I believe you 100%. I was shocked that a cosmetic could do this to someone! Anyway, welcome to EDS! I know you don't particularly want to join another forum, but EDS is a great place & I have learned so much about ingredients & skin! I think you will really like it here! Smile
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Sat May 15, 2010 11:10 am      Reply with quote
I've been on the fence about CPs. I've used Skin Signals since August and it's not really done anything for me. I was debating on whether I would buy more or perhaps try the 1st generation.

Well...after reading this latest on Skin Bio's site I've decided NOT to repurchase. I would have much preferred to see Skin Bio publish a "facts" based response rather than an attack and the whole odd troll distraction. An approach that said "here's what we've heard" and "here's the facts based on our research" without the troll references would have been much more professional and would have served the purpose better in my opinion.
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Sun May 16, 2010 11:44 am      Reply with quote
sister sweets wrote:

It would make sense for you to research the dangers of hydroquinone, since it is a product you use and endorse. Why not check into that one more thoroughly?


Wow, that's interesting. I'd choose CPs over hydroquinone, which I used to use.
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Mon May 17, 2010 11:34 am      Reply with quote
re-posting for Sister Sweets

Sister Sweets wrote:
Hello CP people Smile

This is for everyone on any CP thread who is interested in Dr. Pickart's credentials:

(I know Avalange had some confusion about them on the science thread so hopefully she will see this and it will answer her questions)

BA - Chemistry and Mathematics - University of Minnesota

PhD - Biochemistry - UC San Francisco
In 1999 the US National Research Council said that the Biochemistry
Department at UCSF was the best in the world for the past 30 years. It
has expanded facilities today at the new UCSF Mission Bay Campus.

Academic Research at UCSF, Benaroya Institute in Seattle. Later founded
Procyte in his home and took it to NASDAQ. Later founded Skin Biology,
which is family owned.

Also, Dr. Pickart has a real name, address, and phone number. By saying that I mean he can be validated. He is not an anonymous individual posting willy-nilly.

As I understand it: he is currently in Paris meeting with his peers to discuss scientific matters regarding CPs. He regularly attends anti-aging conferences (and presents at times also) This has been his life work. I'd say anyone who has attended such conferences over decades of time, enjoys the research (he is in his 70's) and has such a strong belief in what he does speaks volumes. With regards to copper and aging noone can touch his knowledge in this area.

If anyone is interested there is more information at
www.skinbiology.com/copperpeptideregeneration.html
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Mon May 17, 2010 11:36 am      Reply with quote
Please move on and stick to discussing the original topic and not each other. For those intent on posting comments meant to personally discredit other posters whether by insult, innuendos, or sarcasm, please note that they have no place on the forum and will be removed. Do not make it personal--attack the topic or opinions but not the poster. If you find you are unable to participate without resorting to personal attacks, then please do not participate.

Do not respond to my post. We are re-opening this thread but the next comment to take it off-topic or to make it personal will be removed and the thread will remain locked.
moosejavian
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Mon May 17, 2010 5:47 pm      Reply with quote
Just wanted to copy Dr. Pickart's answer to one of the questions raised about why the 2nd gen CP was created.
Quote:
The purpose of the new copper peptides was to stop biofilm bacteria from destroying the copper peptide activity. GHK-copper did well in several small studies on diabetic ulcers but failed in multi-center FDA clinical trials. Wound healing experts were unaware of this problem with such ulcers. None of many growth factors have performed well in clinical trials. The proteins and peptides are destroyed in minutes by the bacteria.

The mixed peptides used in the second generation products are the result of enzymatic breakdown of proteins. Hence, they are very resistant to further breakdown. They were developed for clinical wound healing but I could not raise the huge amounts on money for FDA clinical trials.

However, people just started using the 2nd generation products for regular skin care and we accidentally started selling the products. Most of our orders are to happy, repeat clients. These sales support our research.

I estimate, based on our wound healing data, that the strong 2nd generation products are about 10X more powerful than GHK-copper. In control studies in mice with unwounded skin, they strongly enhance hair growth. Hair growth is always a very positive sign about skin health. So they work on unwounded animal skin.

We continue our research and I have new 3 papers coming out in Europe late this year.

Tomorrow I am leaving for New York City and then France to talk with skin research experts.


It is found on this thread: http://healthyskin.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5220011852/m/703105925/p/1
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Mon May 17, 2010 9:51 pm      Reply with quote
Here is an article that discusses the Dr. who apparently was one of Pikart's professors... and the article sites Pikart as his doctoral student, and later his associate...

http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2009/03000/Presentation_of_the_2008_Shwachman_Award_to_M_.1.aspx

I would imagine that a phone call to the University might clear this up for many...

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Josee
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Mon May 17, 2010 10:19 pm      Reply with quote
SoftSkin wrote:
I'm surprised that one poster claimed there was no such thing as hidden skin damage when you can find plenty of evidence online with photos showing it. You've all seen them -- photo of a clear face and next to it is a photo taken by a dermatologist's special camera where it looks like the face is covered with freckles -- hidden sun damage.


We have discussed “buried damage” in this thread. It was in response to a post that said that when you apply a product, you get "uglies" and the "uglies" are buried damage (scars and wrinkles were mentioned) that somehow come "up".

Our skin is composed of 2 layers, "dermis" and "epidermis. In its broader sense, we get scars and wrinkles because the collagen in the dermis degrades (in the case of wrinkles) or too much gets accumulated in an unorderly fashion (scars). Now those things are in the dermis and they cannot come up. Dermal things do not come up to the epidermis, the same way that "fat" in our thighs cannot come up to the surface. So it is really impossible for someone to say..."oh you're getting that because your buried damage is coming up".

Then we have the epidermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It is in the epidermis that we get the dreaded sunspots. The epidermis constantly renews itself and so constantly "comes up".

The skin is a very thin coating. If you look at your hand (or anywhere else) you will see a lot of little veins. Those veins are not in the skin; they're in the subcutaneous tissue. Even in the place where our epidermis is the thickest (the palm of our hand) we can still see the veins.

Melanin (freckles, sunspots), besides looking brown, absorbs UV wavelength while fair skin reflects it. So if you have a dark room and all you project is UV light and get a UV filter to make it visible, then melanin spots will absorb the light (and look darker) and lighter spots will reflect it. So in the end you will have an “enhanced” contrast and you will be able to see things that you’re not able to see with the naked eye. If you take a regular camera on a sunny day (sunny days provide plenty of UV spectrum) and put a special filter that filters out all the spectrum EXCEPT the UV spectrum, you will get those photographs.

Here is a picture taken with a simple digital camera. The only difference is that they put a UV filter so that the lenses would absorb UV spectrum only.

Image

(Reference for the picture: A novel ultraviolet photography technique for assessing photodamage.J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Sep;7(3):205-9.)

So it’s not that a UV camera is somehow like an X-ray that shows deep things but it enhances contrast.


For example, in the CAD$50 they put an ink that absorbs UV light differently. So while you don’t see anything on the naked eye, if you put a UV light you will see phrases. Does it mean that the UV light is showing “buried” phrases? No, it just means that the UV light enhances the contrast and you’re now able to see what you were not able to see before. Here’s a link to the images: Canadian bills

The same thing happens with US$5 bills but in that case it is particular to the infrared spectrum, not the UV one.

To sum up, wrinkles and scars cannot somehow “come up” through the epidermis and thus be responsible for the “uglies” people experience while using cosmetic products, including Retin-A.

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