On a whim, Bay Area facial plastic surgeon Stanley Jacobs bought a 600 page tome from the 1930s and discovered a recipe promising to "make an old man into a youth" from a mysterious Ancient Egyptian scroll dating back 3,600 years. Dubbed the "Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus," it had been discovered in the early 20th century, but never fully translated; most intriguing was the fact that the long-forgotten skincare-serum formula had, according to the hieroglyphics, been “proven good a million times.” A highly advanced civilization, Egyptians were also master chemists and physicians who mixed medicines and performed surgeries - and guided by their belief in everlasting life, these early pharmacists to the queens and pharaohs formulated a royal ointment to keep skin smooth and youthful.
So Jacobs enlisted the translating help of a prominent Egyptologist, and nearly a decade of archaeological travel and research later, he was finally able to discover the key ingredient: "hemayet" or mandelic acid. An alpha hydroxy acid and close cousin of glycolic acid that is derived from the bitter almond, the mandelic acid molecule is larger which means it penetrates the skin more slowly - making it less irritating and its beneficial action more sustained. It also means it can be used on all skin types and with varying skin pigmentation, both to diminish brown spots and to neutralize acne bacteria for fewer breakouts.
To recreate the Egyptian serum, Jacobs then teamed up with Jules Zecchino, a former Vice President of Innovation and Applied Research at Estee Lauder and longtime industry vet responsible for skincare classics like Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Capsules, Estee Lauder’s Fruition, Resilience, Idealist, Perfectionist and Illusionist, Vaseline Intensive Care Lotions, and Clinique’s All About Eyes & Turnaround creams. Together, they brought the ancient potion back to life as Visco-Elastic Transforming Serum with Mandelic Acid which appears to deliver sufficiently dramatic results that they are being submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal, "Archives of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery."
Test subjects applied the serum to their faces and necks twice daily. Each week, the patients’ eyelids, cheeks, jowls, and necks were tested with a Cutometer - a device which measures the firmness and flexibity , or viscoelasticity, of the skin to one millionth of an inch - and by the fourth and fifth weeks, some patients were seeing as much as 85% improvement. “The Egyptians put such a weighted emphasis on protecting and minimizing the aging of skin, so it seems logical that they would have developed specific, natural chemicals, which we should explore and utilize for modern man,” notes Jacobs. "The power and knowledge of the ancient Egyptians coupled with modern science will — at long last — empower people with the ability to maintain their youth," adds Zecchino. " And this is just the beginning.”
Which is true, as Dr. Jacobs is planning on expanding the line to include daytime moisturizers, facial cleanser, eye cream, night cream, facial scrubs, weekly home peels, acne solutions, and sunscreens.
Visco-Elastic Transforming Serum with Mandelic Acid is now available at Amazon.com.
- Lesley Scott
(bitter almond crop image via wikipedia)
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