By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas
The skin is our largest and most visible organ, and in many ways, skin health tells us a lot about our internal health. For example, easy bruising and dry, wrinkled, sagging skin are signs of increased free radical damage and accelerated skin aging. In addition to being visible externally, these signs are an indication of what’s happening internally. Hence, there is a growing awareness that skin health mirrors internal health and human aging.i
Essential Formulas has several products that enhance skin health and, at the same time, promote improved internal health and help to slow down the process of biological aging.
- Dr. Ohhira’s Collagen Plus contains highly absorbable, low molecular weight collagen peptides. Human clinical trials have shown that orally ingested collagen peptides increase collagen production, which increases elasticity, strength, and hydration of the skin.ii Increasing the body’s production of healthy new collagen is an example of reversing the aging process. This results in noticeable improvements in skin conditions, such as increased moisture and elasticity and a decrease in roughness and wrinkles.iii For example, in a human clinical trial, women who ingested collagen peptides for eight weeks were found to have a 20% reduction in the volume of eye wrinkles, a 65% increase in type 1 skin collagen, an 18% increase in skin elastin content.iv
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is one of the key ingredients in Dr. Ohhira’s Collagen Plus. HA can absorb its weight in water many times, which explains why it is so effective at improving skin moisture content. In a 6-week clinical trial, subjects who ingested hyaluronic acid daily exhibited significantly greater moisture content in their skin and visibly improved facial features such as enhanced skin luster, suppleness, and a reduction of facial skin wrinkles.v
- Cherry Blossom Extract is a unique ingredient in Dr. Ohhira’s Collagen Plus, widely recognized in Japan for its health and beauty benefits. Cherry blossom extract has been shown to inhibit glycation, which is a process that destroys collagen. Cherry blossom extract also provides anti-inflammatory activity and stimulates the production of healthy new collagen.
In an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the skin in the women taking cherry blossom extract exhibited improved elasticity, less dryness, a reduction of skin pores, redness and hyperpigmentation, improvement in the smoothness of the skin, and a reduction of glycation cross-linking damage. Studies such as this indicate that cherry blossom extract improves the underlying collagen skin structure and the visual appearance of skin and a slowing down of the process of skin damage and skin aging.
- Reg’Activ products from Essential Formulas contain Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, a unique strain of probiotic bacteria that synthesizes glutathione. A great deal of skin damage is due to free radicals generated when the skin is exposed to UV-B rays from sunlight. The free radicals damage collagen and elastin, which results in visible signs of skin aging such as dryness, wrinkles, sagging skin, and easy bruising.vi
- Glutathione, which is the most prevalent antioxidant in the body, helps protect the skin from free radicals generated from sun exposure. The additional glutathione synthesized by Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 also recycles and reactivates other antioxidants such as oxidized vitamin C, vitamin E, lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 which dramatically increases protection. In a human clinical trial, individuals taking ME-3 for three weeks gained a 26% increase in total antioxidant activity throughout the body.vii
- Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis Plus contains Brazilian green propolis, astaxanthin, Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic extract ingredients and maintain the integrity and health of the skin. Several studies have shown that propolis extracts inhibit UV-induced photodamage.viii Brazilian green propolis exhibits potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which help protect the skin from damage due to ultraviolet rays from sunlight exposure.
- Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants known. It helps protect skin from internally generated free radicals and free radical damage from UV rays from sunlight exposure.ix
- Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that has intense anti-inflammatory activity. It is a critical component of skin cells’ structure, and it helps in the maintenance of skin health and protection against various skin diseases.x
- Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic extract is the fourth ingredient in Propolis Plus that helps promote skin health. This is due to the growing understanding that the gut microbiome communicates directly with the skin and is a significant regulator of skin health via the gut-skin axis.xiIn addition to being a product that provides anti-inflammatory and immune system support for the body, Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis Plus can also be categorized as a nutraceutical that helps maintain skin health as it protects against skin damage and skin aging.
- Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Living Oils provides a balance of healthy fats with an emphasis on omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), which is deficient in the diet of many Americans. Essential Living Oils is sourced from eight natural plant and seed oils, which makes it a healthy vegan alternative to fish oil supplements.The fats in Essential Living Oils are essential for the proper architectural structure of cell walls in the skin and help reduce skin inflammation and maintain healthy skin barrier function.
- Kampuku Beauty Bar, Magoroku Skin Lotion, and Hadayubi Lavender Moisturizer.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced skin microbiome is essential for skin health. Dr. Ohhira’s skincare products are formulated with all-natural ingredients combined with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic extract, which protects and revitalizes the skin.
Unfortunately, many skincare products disrupt, damage, or remove the skin microbiome. It is becoming increasingly clear that skin dysbiosis is associated with skin conditions such as rosacea.xii, psoriasisxiii And eczema.xiv Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic extract contains various slightly acidic postbiotic metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), organic acids, nucleic acids, and fulvic acids. These weakly acidic compounds help maintain proper skin pH, which is essential for a healthy skin microbiome. This is in stark contrast to other skincare products that disrupt or destroy the skin microbiome.
The products from Essential Formulas highlighted in this article support and improved the skin microbiome while enhancing immune function and overall health.
Nikolakis G, et al. Skin Mirrors Human Aging. Horm Mol Biol Clin Invest. 2013;16(1):13-28.
Asserin J, et al. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo
model and randomized, placebo‐controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301.
Inoue N, et al. Ingestion of bioactive collagen hydrolysates enhance facial skin moisture and elasticity and reduce facial aging signs in a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study. J Sci. Food Agric. 2016;96(12):4077-4081.
Proksch E. et al. Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27;47-55.
Kawada C, et al. Ingestion of hyaluronans (molecular weights 800 k and 300 k) improves dry skin conditions: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2015 Jan;56(1):14-81.
Emerit I. (1992) Free radicals and aging of the skin. In: Emerit I., Chance B. (eds) Free Radicals and Aging. EXS, vol 62. Birkhäuser Basel.
Kullisaar T, ased Taxonomy for Prokaryotes. J Bacteriol. Sep 2005. Probiotics, Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Diseases.” Presented 25. Andersen HR, Lower Activity of Superoxide Dismutase and High Activity of Glutathione Reductase in Erythrocytes 187(18):6258-6264. at 4th Central European Congress on Food. May 15-17, Caveat, Croatia.
Karapetsas A et al. Propolis Exhibits Inhibit IV-Induced Photodamage in Human Experimental In Vitro Skin Models. Antioxidants (Basal) 2019 May;8(5):125.
Ito, et al. The Protective Role of Astaxanthin for UV-Induced Skin Deterioration in Healthy People—A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2018;10(7):817.
Sawada Y, et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Skin Diseases. Front Immunol. 2021 Feb 5;11: 623052.
Salem I, et al. The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Front Microbiol. 2018 Jul 10;9:1459.
Picardo M and Ottoaiani M. Skin microbiome and skin disease: the example of rosacea. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2014 Nov-Dec;48 Suppl 1:S85-86.
Wang H, et al. Longitudinal Changes in Skin Microbiome Associated with Change in Skin Status in Patients with Psoriasis. Acta Derm Venereol. 2020 Nov 24;100(18):adv00329.
Reiger M, et al. The skin microbiome as a clinical biomarker in atopic eczema: Promises, navigation, and pitfalls. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Jan.145(1):93-96.