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Member Since 17 Mar 2006
Offline Last Active Jul 13 2014 09:41 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Topical Antioxidants

18 June 2014 - 07:11 AM

Acne is an immunological disease. It's not just oxidation of lipids. A couple minor points: the rabbit ear is a woefully inadequate model for human acne due to the prevalence of false positive results (and differing circumstances, like lack of bacterial colonization). 


See: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/17687685


Also, squalene and other lipids are oxidized in everyone's skin whenever they go into the sun, and if anything, sun has been shown to help acne, probably because oxidized squalene increases inflammation which results in faster lesion healing (not necessarily reduced lesion occurrence). Older people also have plenty of oxidized squalene, probably more than younger people, and yet they have less acne. No causation has been shown here.


On the other hand, there is certainly truth behind the idea that acne is an inflammatory disorder, which is why pretty much every single acne medicine has an anti-inflammatory effect. And antioxidants can be anti-inflammatory either directly or indirectly, thus exerting similar effects. But it's important to realize here that these antioxidants would not be addressing the cause of the problem, as most acne medications fail to do. The cause of the problem is a fundamentally dysregulated immune system; the body reacts to a commensal organism or food antigen in a way that it shouldn't. And this is very hard to fix.


Yes, you are right that there are problems with the rabbit ear model and it doesn’t accurately depict what happens on human skin. If this hypothesis/theory relied solely on the rabbit ear model, I wouldn’t even bother writing about it. But there are also human studies that show high levels of lipid peroxides in the earliest stages of a pimple. 
This happens even before the bacteria has colonized the pimple. So there are many researchers thinking P. acnes bacteria doesn’t actually cause or trigger acne, it just exponentially increases inflammation once the pimple has started.
And yes, everyone has squalene and other sebum lipids on the skin. So what’s different about people who are prone to acne then? We don’t know yet. There are, I think, 4 studies now that show people with moderate/severe forms of acne have higher levels of systemic oxidation than people with mild acne or no acne. A part of the puzzle might be in the failure of the antioxidant system to protect the skin. There is probably also a genetic component that people prone to acne react more strongly to these lipid peroxides. There’s also evidence to show the composition of fatty acids in sebum from acne-prone skin is different than from skin not prone to acne.
Finally, none of this takes away the fact that there are double blinded RCTs showing topical antioxidants work as well as many currently available topical acne treatments - and with far fewer side-effects.
Dr. Whitney Bowe described the whole theory in her 2010 paper on lipid peroxidation and acne. You can access the paper for free and I suggest anyone who’s interested of this theory to read it: 
And yes, I’m not suggesting that this will actually cure the root cause of acne. I’m not sure that’s even possible with our current knowledge. Still, if we find something cheap, simple and scientifically-validated that will keep acne under control, I think most people would want to hear about it.

In Topic: Topical Antioxidants

15 June 2014 - 10:13 PM

Oopps, sorry. For some reason the URLs contained full stop and comma characters. Here are URLS that work:
So there is evidence that these vitamins and antioxidants both penetrate the skin (when in a properly formulated solution) and can reduce acne - often as much as BP or topical antibiotics.
I also don’t mean to say topical antioxidants are better than diet changes or other ‘internal’ measures. For some they are, but for me diet usually affects my skin more than topical treatments.
The point I was making at that post is that acne starts as oxidative damage to sebum and we should do everything we can to mitigate that.

In Topic: Topical Antioxidants

14 June 2014 - 03:14 AM

I don't buy it. I believe you would have better results with a diet that promotes healing and decreases inflammation and inflammatory response. Topical solutions imo are either produced with such insufficient concentrations that it would take the whole bottle to make a difference; this reminds me of advertisers who promote biotanical solutions because they contain extracts... in such low quantities it takes a lot to see any difference. And again so argue that the molecules are too big to enter the skin or ineffective at the current pH. Stuff that is often overlooked.


In this article i see they mention squalene. I know its used as a moisturizer however, i know there is a debate about it regarding the source. One source comes from a shark and the other idk. I seen this on essential day spa. They discussed how one source is better than the other.So might as well just buy natural vitamin e oil. But ive seen this be thrown out because it can actually make worse inflammation.


If your looking for a moisturizer that is light and promotes healing use something with hyaluronic acid


I’m the person who wrote the post, so perhaps I can chime in here.
Everything in that post is backed by scientific research, I didn’t actually pull the statements out of my arse. I didn’t specifically cite studies showing the effectiveness of topical antioxidants in acne, but here are a few well controlled studies.
Vitamin C
Ruamrak et al. demonstrated good efficacy for 5% SAP lotion: http://onlinelibrary...479.x/abstract. Woolery-Lloyd et al. demonstrated the efficacy of 5% SAP lotion as a monotherapy in acne: http://onlinelibrary...0480.x/abstract and Klock et al. demonstrated 5% SAP lotion to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide on acne.
Vitamin B3
Khodaeiani et al. demonstrated 4% nicotinamide to be equally effective as 1% clindamycin: http://onlinelibrary...12002/abstract, and Shalita et al. confirmed the results: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/7657446.
If my memory serves me right, 3 or 4 studies have shown applying green tea extracts in 1 t 3% concentrations reduces acne by 50% over 8 weeks. But those studies are not as well controlled as the above mentioned.
As to diet for reducing inflammatory response. Yes, that's certainly one possibility, and there's some evidence that antioxidant supplements reduce acne. But it's my opinion that topical antioxidants should be part of your acne treatment regimen since much of the acne-triggering oxidative stress on the skin comes from outside. Of course this varies from person to person. In my case acne is linked to gut problems, which is very much controlled by diet. My skin is clear as long as my gut remains happy, but when I eat something that causes constipation to me my skin breaks out. Topical treatments can control the breakout to some degree but not completely.

In Topic: Is Fish Oil The New Sunscreen?

28 February 2013 - 06:40 AM

No! Fish oil and other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, can offer some sun protection, but in the studies I've seen they show moderate effect but I wouldn't trust them as sun screens. If my memory serves me right some studies showed that antioxidants can double the amount of sunshine skin can take before it burns. So they can help, but I wouldn't count them as sunscreens.

In Topic: 'recent' Advances In Acne Pathogenesis Information

25 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

The value of green tea/EGCG has been known for a while, but this study identifies several factors affected by topical EGCG


There are also a few other green tea studies. The problem is that none of them are definitive. The study you referred was mostly in vitro, though it also had an in vivo part. These studies are interesting and provide some evidence for green tea and EGCG but the problem is that they don't have proper controls. Once we see a few studies with 100 or so participants that compare EGCG cream to BP head to head then I can say that there's reasonably good evidence for it. Such studies exists for vitamin B3 and vitamin C derivates.