Combining actives for best skin care outcomes


Combining actives for best skin care outcomes

By Candace Noonan, LE COE
Director Of Education at DermaConcepts USA


Lactic Acid

Lactic acid may not be a new or particularly “sexy” ingredient, but it certainly deserves a skin care professional’s attention and its space on the list of necessary skin care ingredients in cosmetic formulations!

There is nothing boring about the fantastic benefits lactic acid brings to the table.

In the October of 1974, in the Archives of Dermatology, where the newly discovered Alpha Hydroxy Acids were introduced to the dermatology community by Drs. Eugene Van Scott and Ruey Yu, research was initially done to find a  treatment for skin conditions involving disturbed keratinization.

Since then, these fruit acids have been widely used in the cosmetic industry to assist in improving the appearance of multiple skin concerns such as promoting visibly younger looking skin with a firmer, more lifted appearance, smoother texture, elasticity and diminished appearance of lines, wrinkles and age spots. It even helps to smooth and soothe those pesky little red bumps on the back of your arms or on the thighs, called Keratosis Polaris – all a few simple cosmetic steps from the limited claims of treating dry skin, ichthyosis, psoriasis and acne.

Lactic acid is a well known humectant, formulation stabilizer and an exfoliator.
But increased cellular turnover is certainly not sustainable if not combined with other ingredients that can help the new cells function correctly.


Besides its unfortunate name, in skin care, Urea has no correlation to Urine. Urea is a compound that is produced by the skin as part of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF). It is a humectant and emollient that helps to smooth the skin.


Helping to maintain the skin's natural moisture barrier, it  soothes environmental sources of irritation. Its ability to help the skin hold on to its own natural moisture makes it an attractive addition to skin care formulations for smoothing and hydrating.

Vitamin A

With its rich history of well documented clinical research, this ingredient will never get old. And your skin will thank you for using it. Vitamin A is basically involved in every aspect of skin health. From acne to pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles to dry skin. Vitamin A affects and improves the functionality of every cell and system in your skin. Even to the extend of improving hydration levels by stimulating natural hyaluronic acid production which in turn helps skin not to bruise so easily when bumped!

There are no limitations to what vitamin A can do to help your skin, it’s an absolute necessity and required daily! Twice a day, to be exact; in the morning to stock-up on essential protection from the environment, most notably UV radiation, and at night to replenish what has been lost. A skin deprived of vitamin A, is an unhealthy skin. 

A daytime vitamin A?

Oh yes! And that’s just what the Dr ordered; Dr. Des Fernandes, to be exact. He is the pioneer of the use of Vitamin A esters. These ester forms are skin friendly, don’t irritate the skin and histologically create the same changes in the appearance of the skin as the other more well known and industry accepted retinoids like retinol or retinoic acid. And, the winning piece of the vitamin A puzzle – it doesn’t cause photosensitivity, in fact, it is photo-protective.

Vitamin C

As another widely accepted and used ingredient, vitamin C benefits are also very well known and documented. Thinking of vitamins A and C, one can think of a building. The brick and mortar make up the structure of the building, just as vitamin A maintains cellular health. Where vitamin C can be likened to the furniture and decor. It makes the place look pretty! From collagen production, to free radical protection, vitamin C is useful to brighten the appearance.

But here, one has to be aware of cosmetic chemistry in that not all forms of vitamin C are created equal. As ascorbic acid, it is inherently unstable, oxidizing within weeks of manufacture. In fact, after 2 weeks, one could have lost at least 50% of the intended strength of the product. So encapsulated, oil soluble options are best when looking at stability and efficacy. Not only is the ester C more stable, it is absorbed more effectively. We get as much vitamin C into the cell from  formulations containing 5% ester C as we do from 20% ascorbic acid formulations.

Vitamin E

As a free radical quencher, this vitamin takes its place at the head of the table. Being an oil-soluble vitamin, E protects the very important lipid phase in our skin. Mostly formulated with vitamin C, vitamin E is limited in its antioxidant activity, and needs vitamin C to free up some of its electrons to help recycle itself and get back into the game of protecting the cellular membrane.

Jojoba oil

Being very similar in composition to our skin's own oil production, it is an excellent moisturizer.


Now, when you combine all these ingredients into end products, you get topical magic! You’ll get smooth and well hydrated skin that is healthy and glowing.

Ingeniously, Environ Skin Care and Dr. Des Fernandes have done just that.

The combination of the Alpha Hydroxy Derma-Lac Lotion and Vitamin A C E Body Oil will be your skin’s best friend and savior.

With a well moisturized skin loaded with essential nutrition, your skin's most common complaints will be taken care of.