Do Skin-Care Products That “Boost Blood Flow” Actually Do Anything?

A Peloton Pink Quartz Gua Sha has more in common than you think. Both have had quite a bit of play over the past couple of years, but more clearly (in our book), they both make skin look good by pumping circulation, or blood flow, which is a bodily ‘function of the skin and some organ depends on the supply of nutrients and oxygen. and immune cells,” says Laurel Geraghty, MD, a dermatologist in Medford, Oregon. When blood flow is restricted, the tissues begin to soften—something anyone who has wrapped a bandage around their finger will understand too tightly. When we encourage blood flow (whether by doing some dabbling or gently massaging in facial oil), we’re replenishing the skin with the nutrients it needs to function at its peak. The visible benefits tend to fade quickly, but more may happen below the surface.

Researchers in Asia – where blood flow has long been seen as a source of beauty and health – are searching for a new path to truth. At Kao, the Japanese beauty giant that owns Jergens and Curél in the US, researchers discovered that better capillary blood flow (that is, baby’s blood vessels closest to the skin’s surface) was associated with various markers of skin health, including smoother texture and higher cell turnover. And to encourage this through skincare, they drew inspiration from older studies that showed increased use of carbon dioxide in the circulatory system via dilation of blood vessels. After testing the carbon dioxide solution, the researchers found that it boosted capillary blood flow in two minutes, and reduced transcutaneous water loss to boot, and published the results in the journal. Skin research and technology. In theory, says Dr. Giragati, it makes sense that “blood vessels dilate [in the presence of] More carbon dioxide to deliver more oxygen to our tissues.” The research led to a change in one of Japan’s best-selling fragrances, Sofina iP Dodai Essence, to include carbon dioxide in the formula.

But it is not only blood flow that affects the health of the skin; Scientists at Shiseido believe the method of transferring it to the skin is just as important. In the past 20 years, they’ve conducted more than a dozen studies as part of a project called Lifeblood, creating an integrated link between the skin’s microvascular system — the network of small vessels, including arteries, capillaries and venules — and its appearance. Building on previous research, the team decided to study a molecule called APJ that can make capillaries thicker and stronger.

Although microscopic, the APJ is powerful, acting as a sensor inside the capillaries that reads the elasticity of the surrounding areas, says Shiseido researcher Kentaro Kagea, Ph.D. “When the capillaries become stronger, water, oxygen and nutrients flow around the capillaries, and the condition of the skin improves,” he says. Shiseido applied this to rejuvenate her classic Ultimune serum, infused with heart leaf extract, an herb believed to enhance APJ expression.

Cosmetic chemist Kelly Dubos, wearing a skeptical beret, says that while Shiseido’s studies “show that their blend of extracts can enhance conditions that could theoretically strengthen skin capillaries, it would be challenging for these ingredients to penetrate so deeply that they reach their target in the dermis.” “. (Shiseido says her studies show that its extract increased blood flow in the cheeks. “We did not perform any tests to increase APJ expression in vivo because the skin needs to remove it; it is a very invasive test. However, we did get data that increased blood flow in the cheeks.” using serum,” says Dr. Kagia, adding that they believe this indicates increased APJ expression.)

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