The bottom line on our fine lines

In today’s society there is a great desire from both men and women to find quick solutions to rid the effects of time from the face. More often the demand seems to veer towards dermatological procedures – dermo-aesthetic injections as apposed to drastic aesthetic surgery. Botulinum Toxin or Botox injections are a popular form of injectables and can only be performed by trained specialists in this field. The frequency of these injections is usually limited so insuring an ultra-high performance product that performs for the longest possible period of time is a prime objective for dermatologists and aesthetic professionals alike. Expression lines: an unavoidable process.

Everything that we see, feel and imagine mobilises 38 sub-cutaneous skin muscles that are constantly contracting or stretching.  These muscles are engaged thousands of times, every day and our face can host up to 15,000 daily movements! This is how we display our emotions. Over the years, these contractions repeated daily, create tensions in the dermis. The fibroblasts located in the dermis show the effects of these micro-tensions in the dermis. This is the first step in the formation of expression lines or wrinkles. They are superficial at first but over time they become more permanent and also deeper. The areas they appear most predominately in are on the forehead, between the eyes (frown lines), on the outer edges of the eyes (crow’s feet wrinkles), around the lips (smoker’s wrinkles) and on each side of the mouth (naso-labial folds). The science behind the wrinkle 
Muscles contract when they receive a message via a neurotransmitter; this is released by nerve cells known as neurons. The neurotransmitter is then released into the synapse, an area of communication between the neuron and the muscle.  There are several elements occurring during the time of this exchange which includes the opening of ion channels, the formation of the SNAP receptor complex (SNARE) and the release of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine (ACh). Step 1: Opening of calcium channels and formation of the SNARE complex At the neuron membrane there is a localised change in the membrane ionic charge.

  • Opening of Calcium ion channels  (Ca 2+).
  • Ca 2+ ions enter the neuron which becomes more active, the neuronal excitability increases. 

At the neuron end there is the formation of the SNARE protein complex which is composed of three proteins:

  • VAMP*  (Vesicle Associated Membrane Protein ), 
  • SNAP-25* (Synaptosomal Associated Protein 25)
  • Syntaxine*

Step 2: Release of acetycholine (Ach)
Once the SNARE complex is formed, vesicles containing Ach fuse with the neuron membrane and Ach is released in the synaptic space. Step 3: Muscular contraction
Ach connects to muscle receptors – muscular contraction.  How Botox works 
Botulinum toxin injections are used to soften expression lines and have been approved by the FDA since 2002. Botulinum toxin is a molecule naturally secreted by the Clostridium Botulinum bacterium and is toxic to the nervous system.  This toxin paralyses the muscle by blocking the communication between the nerve and muscle fibres – detaching SNAP-25 and preventing the SNAP protein complex from forming. When used in very, very small doses, it can be used for therapeutic and aesthetic purposes. The products that are marketed and manufactured use attenuated and purified forms of botulinum toxin.

Detached SNARE Complex                    

  • No release of the neuro-transmitter Ach.                
  • No muscular contraction.            
  • Botulinum toxin weakens and relaxes the muscle into which it is injected.
  • Prevention of expression lines.

The use of botulinum toxin injections is usually prescribed for people who want to diminish their expression lines. It is injected locally into the lines between the eyebrows, in the forehead, crow’s feet or any unsightly folds in the skin to temporarily paralyse the actions of the muscles in that area. Sometimes it can also be used around the nose, chin or neck. The use of this dermo-asthetique technique has greatly reduced the need for surgical intervention in the upper third of the face. The effects of a botulinum toxin injection can be seen after two to four days and its maximum effect after two weeks. The effects begin to diminish after the second month and the injection should be repeated every six months.  The Sothys Wrinkle Solution 
Inspired by the injection technique, Sothys’ advanced research has selected a cosmetic and synergistic combination of two synthetic peptides in their award winning dermo-relaxing complex: 

  • Pentapeptide-18 prevents the entry of  Ca2+  into the  neuron, by imitating natural encephalin receptors →  neuron sensitivity is reduced.
  • Acetyl hexapeptide-8 (the peptide in Argireline) prevents the formation of the SNARE complex. It is a similar protein to SNAP25 and competes with the SNARE protein and thus this protein complex is disabled.

This fusion with the vesicles membrane prevents a communication between neuron and the muscle receptor. In summary, the combination of these two peptides blocks the first step of the muscle contraction process.  The result on the epidermis is similar to that of botulinum toxin but using a cosmetic formulation rather than an injectable. The dermo-relaxing complex has also been proven to prolong the effects of botulinum toxin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. This has been observed under the supervision of medical dermatologists.

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