"I met Ben (Van Handel) in a lab at the University of Southern California while I was still in medical school," says Amir Nobakht. It was a chance meeting between the orthopedic surgeon and stem cell scientist. USC researchers were looking for remedies for arthritis, and more specifically for chronic inflammation, a major reason why arthritis is getting worse over time. They have studied new molecules in the hope that the right one can A) stop the inflammatory signals from the body, or B) start the rebirth. And to their surprise, they found a molecule that both can do. They called it HX-1.
"We didn't even think about skincare," Van Handel adds. But at a weekly meeting between the investigations to discuss data, there is a light bulb: if HX-1 can stop inflammation and cause regeneration in stem cells, it can be just as effective for the skin be than for legs? "We had some theories that HX-1 would have positive effects on the skin," Nobakht says, "but to make sure we were actually correct, we did an independent clinical trial. to test it. " After applying the scientific method to HX-1 and finding promising results, the two bottled the powerful small molecule with hyaluronic acid, peptides and a host of antioxidants that became Heraux.
Heraux is & # 39; a serum for & # 39; inflammation & # 39;, the medical term for the lines, pigment changes and loss of laxity caused by inflammation. Initially, the body's inflammatory response causes wounds to begin to heal and recover – and that's fine! But like Dr. Rita Linkner of Spring Street Dermatology, who is not affiliated with the brand, explains: "Inflammation creates an environment where our cells are unable to function optimally." Our skin eventually starts to produce less protein (such as collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for bouncy skin), and gets worse at cleaning the damaged cells. Therefore, we begin to notice the visible signs of aging.
Fast forward to about three months ago, when Nobakht and Van Handel sat across from me in a pink-upholstered booth at Glossier HQ and passed on the results of the clinical trial. Their results are dramatic, with a noticeable difference in the depth of participants' wrinkles – almost as if they were full of fillers. But here's the thing: I'm not worried about wrinkles. At least not yet. And other stem cell support products I've tried – yes, including The Cream– didn't make a noticeable difference on my skin, despite the hefty price tag. Heraux is relatively expensive, and for the first few weeks I did not notice any major changes to my already beautiful happy skin and thought it was a bust. But then I started to rethink my strategy.
"Other skin conditions, such as rosacea and acne, are also driven by inflammation," Dr. Linkner adds, and usually she treats it with soothing antioxidants (oxidation: another form of inflammation) such as green tea, turmeric and resveratrol. Armed with HX-1 when hitting COVID-19, I tried it on my newly emphasized skin, not looking for changes in the depth of my baby, but rather inflammation in general.
One day, too long a walk at the wrong time of the day left me with a salmon-pink sunburn over my cheeks and forehead. (Oops.) But when I moved it to Heraux and went to bed, my skin almost faded overnight. Surprised by the success, I use it as a place treatment on especially red and frayed ruptures – they have calmed down and flattened out to a few uses, even without my usual hydrocolloid spots. I recently used it to calm an allergic reaction to a new product. It didn't get rid of the bumpy dermatitis, but it saturated the area around the humps of the lobster to a humanoid beige.
At this point, I started to feel a bit … well, crazy. Could this serum really have done already? It has certainly not been clinically tested. But the trial I held on my face was too convincing to ignore. I started bullying Emily Ferber, who I knew had her own bottle somewhere in her bathroom, to use it myself and report back on the results. And on Monday, I signed up with Slack to get a message from her. & # 39; Heraux is maybe & # 39; a miracle, & # 39; she tapped. & # 39; One of my thoughts I thought decided that maybe it wasn't done yesterday. It was inflamed, similar to a cyst, but probably a papal condition. When I wash my face at night, I decide to use the serum. This morning it's flat. "
When she treated herself with Heraux, Dr. Linkner noticed an improvement in the texture and feel of the thin skin on her neck, around her eyes and on the back of her hands. Emily's streaks flattened, and I saw a decrease in redness from experience I had to stay much longer than it did. But Dr. Linkner is not surprised. & # 39; If we tackle the inflammatory cycle at the molecular level, & # 39; she says, & # 39; we treat the root cause of the problem and not just cover its symptoms. & # 39; The result is skin that is calm, cool and collects all the good stuff it needs to stay that way. I have half a bottle left and treat it like liquid gold.
Photo via ITG