Niacinamide – a little miracle for the skin

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is arguably one of the most useful active agents for the skin. It offers a remarkable range of benefits and, considering it’s price, perhaps offers the best value of any active ingredient. It would certainly give Vitamin A and Vitamin C a run for their money in terms of bang for your buck! Niacinamide’s usefulness as a multi-benefit active agent perhaps surpasses the usefulness of its cousins in the vitamin family when one considers that while Vitamin A and Vitamin C might pose some issues for those with sensitive skin (not everyone can tolerate Vitamin A or Vitamin C based skincare products), Niacinamide is remarkably well tolerated by all skin types has very low irritancy potential at concentrations up to 5%.

Niacinamide Chemical Structure

Primary Benefits for the skin

  • Improves the epidermal barrier
  • Increase skin hydration
  • Soothes inflamed skin
  • Inhibits excess sebum production
  • Protects the skin from environmental damage
  • Reduces blemishes and hyper-pigmentation
  • Promotes collagen production

Improves the epidermal barrier

Niacinamide plays an important role in epidermal barrier function. The upper-most layer of skin is known as the stratum corneum and is composed of flattened skin cells which create a surface barrier. This barrier retains water in the skin and a compromised or damaged stratum corneum will lead to overly dry skin via transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Niacinamide helps stabilise the barrier by promoting the production of keratin (an important protein in skin, hair, and nails) to reinforce the surface layer, and by stimulating ceramide production. Ceramides in the skin form part of the lipid barrier and might be likened to the mortar between the skin cells that are the ‘bricks’ in the stratum corneum


Soothes inflamed skin

Niacinamide has broad anti-inflammatory activity. It inhibits nuclear factor kappa B (Nf-kB) and inhibits production of a variety of inflammatory cytokines (Cytokines are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells of immune system). Research shows that B3 taken orally or applied topically can help reduce inflammation and redness from a variety of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis and similar


Inhibits excess oil production

Niacinimide helps regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce. Over production of oil (hyper-seborrhea), apart from creating an oily complexion, can lead to congested pores which in turn can trigger acne outbreaks. In a double blind study subjects were given either a cream containing 2% Niacin or a placebo moisturiser. Sebum production levels were found to be significantly reduced after 2 and 4 weeks for the group given the niacin cream.

The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production.
Draelos ZD1, Matsubara A, Smiles K.

Protects the skin

Ageing of the skin can be intrinsic (within) or extrinsic external / environmental Chronlogical (intrinsic). Intrinsic ageing is simply part of the ageing process and can be termed chronological. Extrinsic ageing comes from environmental assaults on the skin. Of these external aggressors sunlight has the biggest impact on premature ageing of the skin. Niacinamide

Reduces blemishes and hyper-pigmentation

Melanin is a broad term for a group of naturally occurring pigments found in skin and hair. Its primary role is to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays from sunlight. When the skin is exposed to the sun an amino acid in the skin called tyrosine oxidises triggering the production of melanin by specialised skin cells called melanocytes.The process of melanin production is called melanogenesis.The longer the skin is exposed to UVA and UVB rays the more tyrosine is oxidised increasing the amount of melanogenesis. But it isn’t just sunlight that can trigger melanogenesis, hormonal changes in the skin, and inflammatory skin conditions can trigger the production of melanin. If melanin production was uniform across the skin then generally increased pigment in the skin would be OK. Unfortunately melanin production and distribution across the skin is rarely uniform particularly when the skin suffers significant sun damage or when excess melanin occurs because of hormonal changes or after the skin is inflamed due to acne, eczema, or similar inflammatory skin condition.

Protects the skin.

Niacinamide has antioxidant properties that can help to fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to the skin cells. This can help to protect the skin from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV radiation.

Boosts Collagen Production

Collagen is a protein that is found throughout the body and provides structure and support to the skin, bones, and muscles. As we age, collagen production naturally declines, leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide, has been shown to boost collagen production, leading to firmer, more youthful-looking skin. Here are some ways that niacinamide can boost collagen production:

Stimulating Fibroblasts

Fibroblasts are cells that are responsible for producing collagen and other proteins in the skin. Niacinamide can stimulate these cells, leading to increased collagen production. This can help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Inhibiting Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs)

MMPs are enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. Niacinamide can help to inhibit the activity of MMPs, leading to a decrease in collagen breakdown. This can help to maintain healthy collagen levels and prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Promoting Hydration

Niacinamide can help to promote hydration in the skin, which is important for collagen production. When the skin is dehydrated, collagen fibers can become weak and break down more easily. By promoting hydration, niacinamide can help to maintain healthy collagen levels and improve skin elasticity.

Boosting Antioxidant Levels

Niacinamide has antioxidant properties that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and damage to the skin cells, leading to collagen breakdown. By boosting antioxidant levels, niacinamide can help to protect collagen and maintain healthy levels.

Regulating Gene Expression

Niacinamide has been shown to regulate gene expression in skin cells, leading to increased collagen production. It can help to activate genes that are responsible for collagen synthesis, while inhibiting genes that are responsible for collagen breakdown. This can help to maintain healthy collagen levels and improve skin elasticity.

Overall, niacinamide can boost collagen production in several ways. It can stimulate fibroblasts, inhibit MMPs, promote hydration, boost antioxidant levels, and regulate gene expression. By incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine, you can help to maintain healthy collagen levels and achieve firmer, more youthful-looking skin.


Vitamin C Serum – anti-ageing marvel

Is a well formulated vitamin c serum your best defence against ageing?

Whenever a new product hits the skincare market, it doesn’t take long before the huge amount of choices becomes a little bit overwhelming. The best example of this, over the past couple of decades, is the anti-ageing industry. Scientists are constantly discovering new ways to beat the years, and turn back the clocks with different skin care ingredients, but with every new discovery, comes a myriad of new products which claim to completely reverse ageing, and several other benefits. However, every once in a while, a product comes along which actually works, and can withstand the competition from the cash hungry salesman that are constantly pushing new, supposedly genius innovations.

Some of the most popular skin care products of the past several years have been Vitamin C Serums, which have been touted as one of the best discoveries in the skin care industry. It’s difficult to find someone who has given this cheap, yet powerful product a try without seeing fantastic results.

Benefits of Vitamin C Serums for the skin

So what exactly does vitamin C serum do, and why is it so effective?

We have known since we were little children that vitamin C is incredibly good for us, and we should be aiming to consume as much of it as possible in our daily eating habits. We knew Vitamin C was packed full of antioxidants, and it was abundant in oranges, but apart from that, we never really learned anything else about it. Little was known about the skin care benefits of Vitamin C until recent years, when researches discovered the profound effects that a topical Vitamin C serum can provide. Without sounding too scientifically advanced, let’s take a look at 3 of the main benefits of Vitamin C serums for the skin:

vitamin c serum

It Brightens Your Skin:

A Vitamin C serum, that is applied topically has been shown to reverse the signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of age spots, hyper-pigmentation and dark circles.

When applied to the skin, Vitamin C will act as a natural bleaching agent, and will ultimately reduce the visibility of any signs of ageing. Vitamin C serums have also been shown to prevent, or at least minimize the damaged caused by mild sun damage, reducing the apparent redness that tends to follow a day out in the sun.

It Naturally Produces Collagen:

With ageing, the body will naturally slow down it’s production of collagen. When we are young, our skin looks plump, and it looks healthy. The compound that is responsible for such young looking skin, is collagen, but as time passes, our natural production slows down, and we need to look at external sources to compensate.

The ECM framework

For a lot of people, cosmetic enhancement is the first choice. It’s expensive, and it’s unsafe. For those who want to achieve that plump, healthy look without resorting to natural enhancements, Vitamin C serums can help to stimulate the bodies natural production of collagen, which has been shown to reduce the sped at which we develop wrinkles, and other signs of ageing.

It Protects You From Free Radicals:

It’s pretty much impossible to escape the onslaught of free radicals that are produced by the environmental factors that are outside of our control. Pollution, unhealthy foods and sun damage are all contributing factors to the production of dangerous free radicals in our bodies, and without taking precautions, these free radicals could dramatically increase your risk of developing fatal conditions such as Cancer. Vitamin C serums have been shown to combat the production of free radicals in the skin, thanks to the huge amount of antioxidants it carries. Stopping the production of free radicals will not only make you feel healthier, it will also drastically improve the appearance of your skin, by offering you the other two benefits previously mentioned.

While Vitamin C serums are no replacement for a healthy lifestyle, they can certainly play their part in helping you achieve the natural, healthy look that we all desire. There is no need for a cupboard full of beauty products, which could potentially do more harm than good. Save yourself some time, and save yourself some money by choosing a well formulated Vitamin C Serum.


GHK-Cu COPPER PEPTIDES – 6 Amazing Skin Benefits

Copper Peptides are enjoying a surge in popularity as more and more consumers discover the benefits of this remarkable skincare active. Find out what all the fuss is about below

What are Copper Peptides?

Skincare products containing copper peptides are all the rage at the amount with consumers searching for products online and at their favourite beauty counters. Just as hyaluronic Acid was causing all that fuss a couple of years ago now it seems that Copper Peptides are attracting all the attention.

Copper Peptides are to be found typically in moisturising creams and serums.

Copper peptide GHK-CU is a naturally occurring tri-peptide that is composed of three amino acids bonded to a copper molecule. It is found naturally in human blood where it performs a number of important biological functions.

Copper Peptides first came to prominence in the field of medicine where it was found that topically applied copper peptides significantly improved wound healing and reduced scar tissue formation following significant skin injury and trauma. Before long the cosmetic benefits of copper peptides were recognised and a growing number of skincare products began to appear on the market.

Clinical research has demonstrated that GHK-Cu is able to pass through the lipid barrier of the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin) and to reach epidermal cells. Moreover, GHK-Cu complex appears to be the only peptide-copper complex that can penetrate stratum corneum membranes.  At present, GHK-Cu undoubtedly has more scientific support data than any peptide used in today’s cosmetic practice.

Skin benefits

As mentioned above Copper Peptides first gained prominence in the field of medicine as a wound healing agent but fortunately it is not necessary to suffer significant skin trauma to enjoy the benefits of this remarkable active agent.

Copper Peptide Moisturiser

Skin Remodelling

Research shows that copper peptides have the ability to break down large agglomerations of collagen fibres. Scar tissue is primarily composed of disordered bundles of collagen as the skins primary concern is to repair damaged skin as quickly as possible and is less concerned with appearance. So at the site of any wounds or burns we have visibly different areas of skin to the rest of the local area.

If copper peptides have the ability to break down badly organised collagen fibres and allow normal skin remodelling to take place the potential benefits are enormous.

Although unlikely to be able to remodel deep scars ( post operative scars, or those formed following significant trauma) it is reasonable to expect some reduction in scar tissue and the emergence of a more ‘normal’ skin profile to take place. So improvements to post acne scars, stretch marks, and minor imperfections is achievable.

copper peptides scars

In order to effect the best possible outcome it may be necessary to injure the skin once again at the wound site.

Skin needling is a technique whereby a stainless steel roller embedded with tiny needles is rolled across the skin creating thousands of microscopically small punctures. The skin detects this minor damage and triggers a repair response to manufacture collagen and elastin fibres to repair the tiny punctures. Applying copper peptides to the area will enhance the repair process by degrading the poorly organised collagen and elastin fibres that resulted in the scarring and ensuring that new newly formed collagen and elastin is better formed. Over time and with repeated applications the damaged collagen will be replaced and a better skin profile will develop.

Skin needling rollers are available with various needle sizes. For complexions it is recommended to use a needle length of 0.2mm to 0.3mm whilst for the body (buttocks, thighs, and stomach, a needle length of 0.5mm to 1mm is recommended. Please be aware that the longer the needle length the likelier the skin will bleed. Stick to short needle lengths for the complexion

There is a secondary benefit which will enhance the process. The skin is designed to prevent penetration by chemicals and depending on the molecular size of those chemicals the skin will prevent much absorption by even beneficial skincare active ingredients. The creation of thousands of tiny holes dramatically increases the ability of active ingredients to pass through the stratum corneum (the thin layer of skin composed of already dead skin cells that functions as a barrier) and reach the epidermis where the active ingredients are needed.

A therapy consisting of applying a copper peptide serum immediately after needling the skin offers the best possible chance of improving minor scarring. This method ought to work on stretch marks too. Stretch marks are formed when the skin is stretched following weight gain, pregnancy, or growth spurts. The tell tale marks are actually tears in the collagen fibres. Copper peptides will degrade the damaged collagen fibres and allow better organised collagen fibres to replace them.

Copper Peptides and General Improvements to the Complexion

A clinical study by Abdulghani et al. established that facial cream containing GHK-Cu increased collagen in photo-aged skin of 20 female volunteers, performing better than vitamin C and retinoic acid.

Leyden et al. conducted a 12-week facial study of GHK-Cu containing face and eye cream, reporting significant improvement of skin laxity, clarity and appearance, reduced fine lines and the depths of wrinkles and increased skin density and thickness comparing to placebo. GHK-Cu eye cream performed better than vitamin K cream.

A study by Pickart and Margolina found that GHK-Cu peptides provoked significant skin regeneration benefits

Skin Regenerative and Anti-Cancer Actions of Copper Peptides – Pickart and Margolina

Copper Peptides and Skin Hydration

Studies have demonstrated that GHK-Cu peptides promote the development of glycosaminoglycans (such as hyaluronic acid). Hyaluronic acid is present in human skin and acts as a reservoir of water to keep the skin hydrated and supple. Indeed hyaluronic acid has the remarkable ability to hold water 500 times it’s own weight!

Clinical Test

Finkley et al. conducted a 12 week facial study on 67 women and reported that GHK-Cu cream applied twice daily improved aged skin appearance, increased thickness, reduced wrinkles and strongly stimulated skin cell growth. The same study found copper peptide GHK-Cu to be non-toxic and non-irritating.

Whether or not copper peptides are the elixir of youth is debatable but the science and supporting evidence from clinical trials suggest that significant improvements to the complexion are achievable.

  • Reduction of minor scars
  • Reduction of lines and wrinkles
  • Increased skin density
  • Clearer and more radiant complexions
  • Accelerated recovery of damaged skin
  • Improved skin hydration

Copper peptides are readily available in creams and serums and ought to be considered as an important and valuable addition to your skincare routine.

Copper Peptide Serums with GHK-Cu in Hyaluronic Acid are available at

Sensora Ltd