An interview with Dr. Henrike Neuhoff
We asked our expert, Dr. Henrike Neuhoff, CSO, Head of Research and Development, Quality Assurance, and Regulatory Affairs at lavera:
1. Over the years, the hyaluron in our skin decreases. The result is that the elasticity diminishes, it becomes drier, and creases become wrinkles. What can be done about it and how is hyaluron used in cosmetics?
Hyaluron or hyaluronic acid is a natural component of our connective tissue. Hyaluronic acid supports our collagen and elastin fibers and is therefore able to strengthen these two structural proteins. It has similar properties to a sponge. It absorbs water, so to speak, and can thus absorb several times its own volume. One gram of hyaluronic acid can bind up to six liters of water. This means that the skin can again absorb and store more moisture, is padded from the inside out, and the wrinkles are smoothed.
2. Can the hyaluron really penetrate into the deeper skin layers? How does it work?
Yes, indeed. It depends on the hyaluronic acid used. There are different types of hyaluronic acid, i.e., larger and smaller hyaluronic acid molecules. Scientists describe them as high and low-molecular hyaluronic acid, or long and short-chain hyaluronic acid.
High-molecular hyaluronic acid remains on surface of the skin and forms a natural protective film. This supports the skin’s own hydro-lipid coat and reduces further water loss. Medium and low-molecular hyaluronic acids are able to penetrate the upper skin layer (epidermis), replenish moisture depots, and smooth the skin from the inside. The hyaluronic acid is literally channeled into the skin – the low-molecular variant almost as far as the dermis – and help cells to absorb and store more moisture.
3. What about the triple-effect hyaluronic acid?
The special thing about lavera is that three different natural hyaluronic acid molecules are used. These have different molecule sizes and thus optimally supply moisture to the different layers of skin. The high-molecular hyaluronic acid coats the epidermis like a protective film: It moisturizes and prevents transepidermal water loss – no new wrinkles appear and the skin retains its moisture. The medium-molecular hyaluronic acid penetrates deeper into the epidermis, improves skin hydration, and reduces wrinkle depth. Low-molecular hyaluronic acid penetrates almost as far as the dermis, affecting the differentiation of keratinocytes and keratin formation, improving skin quality.
4. The Green Lift Complex consists of three components including an edelweiss cell culture extract. How is it obtained and what effect does it have?
The edelweiss cell culture extract is obtained and cultivated under controlled conditions using HTN™ technology (High Tech Nature technology), so that the natural population of the edelweiss plant is not impaired or decimated. Compared to traditional agriculture, the sustainable HTN™ technology allows a significant reduction to the water consumption and cultivation area, and a total renunciation of pesticides and other pollutants. Similar to organic raw materials, residue purity is guaranteed. This reduces the pollutant content and the risk for humans to a minimum, and preserves the natural balance of ecosystems.
As a natural active ingredient, edelweiss is of particular interest for the anti-aging and sustainable beauty care sector: lavera’s researchers use a plant culture extract called leontopodium alpinum callus culture extract. This natural active ingredient is rich in leontopodic acid, which is able to reduce the activity of collagen-degrading enzymes. The edelweiss extract tightens the skin – like a true miracle elixir against flaccid skin contours.
5. The new cream also contains karanja oil. Are natural oils generally also suitable for oily skin? What is the special effect of karanja oil?
There are many beauty myths around, such as “oil on oily skin does not work.” The skin’s structure is very complex. Every type of skin contains sweat and sebaceous glands, and therefore always needs fat (lipids) and moisture (hydrofactors). Due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, karanja oil has also been used for thousands of years to treat numerous skin diseases such as acne. Karanja oil feels light and allows the skin to breathe freely. At the same time, it provides extensive moisture and supplies the skin barrier with valuable lipids, without being too heavy. The oil is just as unique as the edelweiss culture extract. It is extracted from the karanja tree, the “Indian beech.” It is suitable for all skin types, and has hydrating and healing properties. It has a natural UV radiation-absorbing property and thus has a natural sun protection factor. Karanja oil is light on the skin and provides particularly intensive care – the skin feels supple and smooth.
6. Karanja oil has UV-absorbing properties. Should UV protection still be applied?
Yes, it should, because the natural light protection of karanja oil is not all that high, and it is always advisable to use a sun protection product with UVA and UVB protection if you are exposed to strong sunlight or spend long periods in the sun.
7. The collagen content of the skin also decreases with age. How can collagen production be stimulated again? What are the difficulties?
lavera Natural Cosmetics Research has developed an innovative Green Lift Complex consisting of three components: edelweiss cell culture extract containing highly effective leontopodic acid, the bio-vehicle dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, and lecithin. Edelweiss cell culture extract reduces the activity of collagen-degrading enzymes. Dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline promotes collagen synthesis by helping to introduce the amino acid hydroxyproline, which is essential for collagen synthesis, into the cells. Physiological studies of the skin have shown that the use of dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline significantly reduces the depth of wrinkles and improves skin tightening. Lecithin is an essential component of the cell membrane and important for the barrier function of the skin. It has a lipid-replenishing effect and makes the skin supple and elastic, and prevents drying out after washing, especially on dry skin. And last but not least, the hyaluronic acid trio consisting of high, medium, and low-molecular hyaluronic acid in our formula. Or, to put it another way: the pure power of nature!
8. Should all three products (day, night and serum) always be used to achieve an effect?
Day creams moisturize and protect the skin, night creams regenerate the skin, serums offer additional intensive care. Therefore, we recommend using all three products. They offer a comprehensive anti-aging effect based on each other.
9. When should I start anti-aging care?
From the age of 25, because from a dermatological point of view, skin aging begins at a young age.
10. How does lavera manage to offer the cream at a reasonable price despite the high-quality ingredients?
The vision of managing director and founder Thomas Haase always was and still is to offer highly effective natural cosmetics for everyone – we cannot reveal exactly how we do that – that’s our trade secret, so to speak. ;) But one big advantage is certainly that we do everything in-house. From the preparation of the scientific extracts to the bottling, everything is made by lavera.