AFAs are a new, unique, and fully patented (U.S. Patent # 6197317 and 6703030) cosmeceutical. In fact, AFAs, we believe, are the first cosmeceutical to be patented in this millennium. AFAs are based on the same natural acidic amino acids that serve to retain moisture in human skin. They are also potent antioxidants and extremely helpful against photo pigmentation. They are remarkably free of irritation at effective pH levels.
AFAs are the first cosmeceutical ever to utilize these valuable acidic amino acids as part of a skin care regimen. Independent Board Certified Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons have clinically tested AFAs for over three years and there have been no adverse incidences reported as a result of their use.
"AFA" is an acronym for Amino acid Filaggrin based Antioxidants. Filaggrin is a protein that occurs in the upper layer of the skin, the epidermis. Filaggrin is metabolized in the epidermis into several acidic amino acids and these amino acids are the primary agents responsible for the skin's ability to retain moisture. They are also the same amino acids used to produce AFAs.
1. AFAs promote greater moisture retention in human skin
2. AFAs have 3 fold greater antioxidant potency than AHAs
3. AFAs are very effective exfoliants
4. Patients notice visible improvement quickly (often within a few days)
5. AFAs are more powerful against photo-pigmentation
6. AFAs have little irritation when compared to AHAs
7. AFAs are not photosensitizing
The naturally occurring acidic amino acids in the skin constitute what is generally described as the "primary moisture retention factor of human skin". In heavily oxidized, sun damaged skin, acidic amino acids are markedly decreased, and Moisture retention is also significantly reduced. An independent, university study described that these acidic amino acids, the same ones that are used in AFA Gels, are capable of penetrating into the stratum granulosum and significantly increasing moisture retention by as much as three fold. This logically accounts for the dramatic increase in moisture retention of the skin and would account for some of the decrease in visible lines seen with the use of the AFA Gels.
AHAs are generally viewed as exfoliants, although they have some antioxidant qualities due to single carboxyl group that is part of their molecular structure. The carboxyl group has the positively charged hydrogen ion that has the ability to combine with the singlet oxygen that is responsible for the damaging oxidation of the skin. AFAs are Tri-carboxylics; they have three carboxyl groups rather than the single group of the AHAs, and thus have three fold the anti-oxidant qualities. We feel that this may account for the dramatically enhanced anti-oxidative effects of AFAs compared to other cosmeceuticals.
AFAs are very effective exfoliants because they are able to combine a low pH with a small molecular size. The pH of our AFA Gels is below 2.0 and the molecular weight of AFAs under 100. This is a small enough molecule to penetrate into the skin and a low enough pH to be an effective kerolytic.
It is not unusual to hear someone say, "Patients have no patience". Patients want quick, if not immediate, results. AFAs offer exactly that to your patients. Patients will often notice an improvement in their skin within the first few days to a week. This is likely due to the immediate increase in moisture retention of the skin. This immediate improvement helps motivate the patient to stick with the program long enough to address more significant issues like photopigmentation. Clinical reports indicate that photopigmentation also improves more quickly than with other cosmeceuticals, perhaps due to the combined effect of potent anti-oxidation and exfoliation.
Clinical reports back to RGR PHARMA have been very positive as far as AFAs improving photo-pigmentation. In many cases, physicians have reported superior results to what they have seen with prescription hydroquinone formulations. As stated above, this is perhaps due to the combined effects of anti-oxidation and exfoliation. It has also been theorized that because AFAs are far less irritating, patients are able to tolerate higher, more effective strengths than they would be able to with AHAs.
There is little irritation with the AFA Gels when compared to even neutralized AHAs. This may be due to the effect of the amino group that is retained in the AFA molecule, which might modify the causticity of the AFAs without changing the overall pH of the molecule. The addition of purines to the AFA Gels also serves to attenuate any potential irritation or causticity.
No instance of photosensitization has been reported as a result of the use of AFAs. This may be due to the fact that some of the degradation by-products of acidic amino acids in the skin, such as Urocanic Acid have long been recognized to be "Natural UV filters".
In summary, AFAs represent an entirely new and uniquely effective cosmeceutical. AFAs are represented at the high end of the cosmeceutical market, not necessarily a replacement for the workhorse cosmeceuticals your patients may have been using, but "a step up". With respect to moisture retention, decrease in photo-pigmentation, anti-oxidative effect, immediate results, low irritancy, and patient acceptance, AFAs certainly are a "step up" for your patients.