Chirally Correct. Why It’s Important.

Updated: October 2017

Chirality is certainly not a term many people are familiar with, but we are certain to hear more about it in the coming months and years. Have you ever found yourself wondering why costly, specially formulated skin care products just sometimes don’t work — at all? In theory, these skin care remedies contain everything the skin needs to restore balance and regenerate. Still, not only do some of these products fail to alleviate or remedy any ailment — some of them actually cause allergic reactions, the release of free radicals, and a host of other maladies. Researchers in both the pharmaceutical and skin care industries are now beginning to realize that the problem with many products boils down to the chirality of the ingredients themselves.

Chiral (rhymes with “spiral”) is derived from Greek and loosely translates into “handedness”. Just as our hands are mirror images of one another, researchers now conclude that molecules are the same way: all molecules exist in both a right-handed and left-handed form, or isomer. Each molecule is composed of an L-isomer and a D-isomer.

The different isomers have different effects upon your body. For generations, chemists have been adding molecules into products with both isomers present at the same time. When this happens, there are three possible effects upon the body:

The body will recognize and use one side while considering the other side to be waste and disposing of it. Each isomer will cancel one another out and there will be no effect upon the body. The incompatible side will cause harm and be considered toxic by the body and most likely lead to increased free radical production. It helps to take a look at an example, like vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Scientists and nutritionists have known for years that vitamin C boosts immune system function, helps fight oxidants, and can even stimulate the synthesis of collagen, which is why it is such a popular ingredient in skin care products — especially anti-aging remedies. Theoretically, vitamin C should be positively great for skin care — so why don’t all skin care products with this beneficial nutrient work?

It’s because ascorbic acid, exists as two isomers: L-ascorbic acid and R-ascorbic acid. The L-ascorbic acid has all the beneficial properties listed above and is a great inclusion in any skin care product. D-ascorbic acid, however, leads to increased dryness, itching, scratching and free radical production. Few skin care companies isolate the molecules into their respective isomers and instead present both of them at the same time, leading to one of the three scenarios listed above. It is easy to recognize chirally correct ingredients: they will all feature either a D- or an L- preface.

The pharmaceutical and skin care industries are both spending billions of dollars each year making sure their new products are “chirally” correct. However, there have been cases when presenting both isomers in a product at the same time led to devastating results, as is the case with Thalidomide. This drug was prescribed to pregnant women during the 1950’s to help curb morning sickness. In 1979, it was discovered that although the D-isomer was recognized and used by the body as intended, the L-isomer was responsible for birth defects.

Skin care remedies made with chirally correct ingredients will not cause side effects and will be recognized and used by the body as intended. The human body is chirally selective and so too must be skin care companies when formulating their products. Chiral compounds are at the heart of every life process, which is why chirality is so important for pharmaceutical and skin care products.

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Why You Should Start Using Grapeseed Oil

It’s been around for a long time but there are so many oils that are beneficial to your skin these days that it’s hard to keep track of what we should and shouldn’t use. Argan, Macadamia Nut, Olive, etc. They are all good for different reasons so I guess it is really about what you are looking for the oil to do for you. The best part is, it’s not expensive. You don’t have to pay a fortune to get the benefits of this amazing oil. Here are some reasons why I am going to incorporate grapeseed oil into my skin care routine…

1. Great for oily skin– It can help regulate the oil production in your skin. Use at night.

2. Great for dry skin– It is a great moisturizer especially in the winter when you find your skin to be more dry or even chapped.

3. Fast Absorption– This is a lightweight oil so it will absorb quickly and not leave the skin feeling greasy. You can use this all over your body too. Mix with your body lotion/cream or alone.

4. Antioxidants– Yes, it contains antioxidants so it will protect you from those nasty free radicals that are determined to destroy your skin.

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5. Collagen– Grapeseed oil protects the collagen in your skin and that is what keeps your skin firm. It also improves the production of elastin and hyaluronic acid (which helps bind moisture to the skin).

6. Skin Tone– Used daily and consistently, it may help your skin become more even and brighter.

7. Eye Makeup Remover– A little goes a long way. Great for removing stubborn mascara and some say it will actually  make your lashes stronger and grow longer.

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UPDATE. 7-21-13

I have been recommending Grape Seed Oil to my clients (and everyone!) and they are all using it and loving it!! I give out a sample so they can try it because I know that most are nervous about using an oil on their skin. By the time I see them again, their skin is in much better condition and most of all, hydrated. (Yes, even oily/acneic skin)

This has become such a hit with my clients that they tell me they are telling all their friends and family. I love it! Such an inexpensive way to improve your skin. Why would you not want to at least give it a try? I’ve seen the changes…sometimes in as little as 1 week!!!