Flickr: Originally uploaded by Manisfive
As we all know, Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, and if your dad is anything like mine, he has probably gotten enough toolsets, colognes, ties, and sweaters to fill a garage. With that said, looking into skin care gifts for your father may be just the ticket this Father’s Day.
Alford & Hoff Skin Care is endorsed by Dr. John Gross, a noted cosmetic and plastic surgeon, author, lecturer, and associate professor at the USC Keck School of Medicine. According to data released by the company, use of the system results in “immediate firming results” of up to 60%, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by up to 70%, and moisturizing and overall appearance improvement by up to 85%. Although these statistics certainly sound impressive, one needs to keep in mind that these results are likely to have come from studies done within the company, and it is unknown from the website and press release alone if these studies were blinded or placebo-controlled to reduce bias.
Alford & Hoff Skin Care is defined by its inclusion of its trademark SIR2stac Complex, which contains sirtuins and other hydrating proteins, vitamin C, sea fennel, antioxidants (which are not specified), lavender extract, rice extract, tetrapeptides 7, dipeptides, provitamin B5, and beta-glucan.
The primary active ingredients of interest in Alford & Hoff Skin Care are sirtuins. Sirtuins essentially act as “energy policemen” in the cell, arresting unnecessary processes in the body by removing acetyl groups from proteins involved. In essence, sirtuins theoretically prolong the life of the fibroblasts (collagen-producing cells) by turning off unnecessary gene expression. This means that sirtuins should prolong the life of the fibroblasts in your skin, enabling you to make collagen naturally for more years than if you did not treat your skin with sirtuins.
In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, it was found that increased SIRT1 expression in the skin resulted in statistically significant improvements to fine lines and wrinkles, hydration, pigmented spot color intensity, complexion radiance, firmness, complexion homogeneity, and texture. Interestingly, however, while certain topically applied yeast peptides and calorie restrictive diets have been shown to upregulate sirtuin production in the skin, it has not been shown that topical application of sirtuins themselves stimulate sirtuin production within the skin in any non-company-affiliated, peer-reviewed, blinded, published studies as of yet [that I could find]. Despite this, however, the fact use of Alford & Hoff Skin Care results in the same improvements to the skin as induced in peer-reviewed scientific journal studies in which sirtuin production is upregulated suggests that topically applying sirtuins may in fact stimulate their production within the skin. Clearly, however, more research needs to be done in this area.
Antioxidants provide protection against future free radical damage. While some antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamins C and E work by “breaking the chain,” stopping free radicals from ripping electrons off of other molecules, other antioxidants, like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase slow the free radical chain reaction by stabilizing the reactive free radicals. As the body does not produce or ingest enough antioxidants to neutralize all of the free radicals, free radicals tend to accumulate a great deal of damage within the body over time. As such, many dermatologists recommend using antioxidants regularly to protect the skin from the long-term effects of free radical damage. Unfortunately, other than vitamin C (a “chain-breaking” antioxidant), the other antioxidants in the Alford & Hoff Skin Care SIR2stac Complex have not been released by the company in the ingredients list online, so I cannot provide research on them. Despite this, the addition of antioxidants definitely gets one huge “thumbs up.”
As for the other ingredients in the SIR2stac Complex, which are found in lower concentrations than are sirtuins and antioxidants, sea fennel aids in hydration, lavender is traditionally calming, and beta-glucan is soothing. It should further be noted that, while lavender essential oil has received a lot of negative press as the result of a study in Cell Proliferation, there are also “numerous scientific and clinical data that support the traditional uses of lavender,” according to a review in Phytotherapy Research. In addition, many other factors need to be taken into consideration before renouncing the use of lavender in skin care, including the concentrations of linalyl acetate and linalool in the lavender compound (cytotoxicity was exhibited only with 51% and 35%, respectively), an individual’s allergic reaction, etc.. As always, it is best to consult with your dermatologist when making a decision whether or not to use a skin care ingredient.
As such, overall, I like Alford & Hoff Skin Care. While I wish that the formulation was backed up with more (non-company-affiliated, peer-reviewed, blinded, placebo-controlled published) research, I am overall pleased with the formulation. And as a gift, the luxury presentation is amazing, complete with an impressive list of celebrity clients in the Alford & Hoff Skin Care Celebrity Galleries online, ranging from talk-show host Maury Povich to football great Lynn Swann (go Steelers!). As such, a good skin care line and a great gift! Product Rating: 6.5/10 (High concentration of proven ingredients: 1.5/3. Value for the money: 1.5/3. Unique formulation or new technology: 2.5/3. Sunscreen: 1/1).
What about sirtuins for women? First found on the market as Pro-SirtuinSX in Avon Anew Ultimate Age Repair Elixir Serum and Night Cream, and now additionally in Time Zone Line & Wrinkle Reducing Lotion SPF 15 ($58.00 MSRP,Amazon.com) – amongst numerous other sources, sirtuins have officially hit the skin care market full-force. Happy shopping! :-)