Chirally Correct Skin Care

By Jennifer Gerace, medical aesthetician

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Welcome to The Roxbury Institute:

As a premiere dermatological provider offering the most effective and safe medical-grade skincare to our patients, it is our responsibly to vet the hundreds of skincare companies that would love for us to sell their products. As our patients are super savvy when it comes ingredients, we pride ourselves on providing ongoing education too.

One of the many things that we look for in skincare is a technology called Chirality. Pronounced, (Ki-Rul) from the Greek word meaning hand it was discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1848. He first noticed that there was a difference between molecules of the same compound, while conducting experiments on wine fermentation for the French wine industry.

How does this benefit skincare?

Important biological compounds exist in 2 mirror image forms and just as you cannon put your left-handed glove on your right hand, the actions and effects of a mirror image can be quite different. So, when a product is “chirally correct,” it means that it contains only the molecules with the ability to give the desired results (either the D or the L form), left or the right side of the molecule, such as L- ascorbic acid, which is a chiral version of Vitamin-C in its purest form.

You should know:

Pharmaceutical companies have spent over 100 billion dollars on chiral research on making drugs with higher purity, because FDA has a mandate that chirality must be used when manufacturing new

drugs. It’s just a matter of time before skincare is governed in a similar fashion, and we are already seeing this more effective trend in some of the higher-grade skincare products.

What to look for:

One of our favorite Cosmeceutical brands is SkinCeuticals, a medical grade skincare line that offers clean, “chirally correct,” skincare. When you see listed on the label “L-ascorbic acid,” as opposed to “vitamin C,” that tells you this company went that extra step to remove the portions of the molecule that do not fit into your receptors or could potentially cause irritation. Most chirally formulated actives like vitamin-C, hyaluronic acid, and alpha arbutin literally cause NO irritation and have next to zero allergy issues. This is why we look for this technology in the listed ingredients on many of the products we recommend, and insist on the VERY best in cosmeceutical options for our patients.


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