A younger version of yourself
It’s all very well rejuvenating your body with exercise, diet, and supplements to feel and function as a younger version of yourself, but if you fail to treat the biggest organ – your skin – you’re doing yourself (and your skin!) a disservice.
Just as your internal organs require vitamins and minerals to function optimally, so too does your skin. And while your skin will definitely benefit from supplements you swallow if your internal systems have a need for a particular vitamin, it seems your skin will be at the end of the ‘but I need some too’ list. If you’ve ever seen photos of identical twins where one has smoked and one hasn’t, you can see how much older the smoking twin’s skin looks: invariably there are more lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Smokers are chronically depleted of vitamin C; while they don’t tend to have scurvy (hopefully!), their skin clearly suffers from being last on the list of organs that benefit from this nutrient.
As part of rejuvenating your body to a more youthful state, it thus makes sense to treat your skin topically with ingredients that are going to benefit it directly. And it’s almost as easy as A-B-C to do so! As a cosmetic physician in my hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, I learned years ago of the benefits of vitamins A, B, and C when applied to the skin – but it was only after I met Terri Vinson, the cosmetic chemist and formulator behind the Synergie line of skincare from Melbourne, Australia, that I realised getting the chemistry right is of the utmost importance in order to ensure the products you use are providing the best results.
Terri Vinson , BSc. Dip Form Chem. Dip Ed. ASCC
Terri and I met at a conference in Sydney in 2011 where we were both presenting, and she explained to me back then that formulating with vitamins, botanicals and cosmeceutical active ingredients requires a lot more than blending everything together in a pleasant-smelling cream or serum if you want to get real results!
Dr Tracey Lambert , MBChB, NZSCM
With my move to the USA early in 2014, it was a no-brainer to set up Skin Elegance International, so Americans could benefit from the fabulous Synergie lines of skincare and makeup, as Australians have been doing for the last 10 years.
There are two major principles that Terri uses to formulate Synergie products – both of which appeal to me from both a scientific and a philosophical viewpoint. Firstly, Terri formulates all her products using her SEED philosophy … this means all products have to be:
• Stable: the molecules can’t break down or start to oxidize in the jar! Certain vitamins, such as the most effective forms of vitamin A (retinol) or vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) are very unstable when exposed to water, air, or even light – but Synergie products only use new, stable forms.
• Effective: ingredients must actually effect change. For example, Terri only formulates with the most efficacious versions of vitamins as shown in clinical studies (vitamin A as retinol, and vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid).
• Elegant: Synergie products must look good, smell good, and feel good – without the use of artificial colors or fragrances.
• Deliverable: ingredients must reach their target cells in the skin.
The other principle that Terri adheres to in formulating all Synergie products is that of ‘clean science’® – which means she combines the best of botanicals with leading edge cosmeceutical science, but excluding any questionable ingredients (and with no testing on animals, or any microbeads). It’s like getting the ‘clean values’ of all-organic or all-natural products, but with the advantages of modern cosmeceutical biochemistry, for truly effective benefits – and without having to worry about any ‘nasties’ (such as parabens, phthalates, and artificial colors or fragrances). As increasing numbers of us start to question exactly what’s in their skincare and makeup, it’s good to know that Synergie satisfies our desire for a line that doesn’t compromise on either effectiveness or safety!
The simplicity of A-B-C
With her formulating principles, Terri restores skincare to the simplicity of A-B-C. These essential vitamins really should be the basis of every skincare regimen.
Vitamin A (retinol), the regulator. Vitamin A addresses skin concerns such as sun damage, ageing, fine lines, pigmentation, and blemishes. It restores the skin’s thickness, protects the skin from UV damage, and reduces hyperpigmentation.
The Synergie formulation uses the most effective form of retinol, but in a highly stable form that’s delivered without causing irritation.
Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), the multitasker. Vitamin B3 helps to rejuvenate and strengthen the skin against a broad range of skin conditions, including dehydration, fine lines, pigmentation, and excess oil (as occurs in acne). It does so by boosting skin immunity, increasing ceramides (and thus skin hydration ), suppressing excess oil production, and preventing the pigment from being transferred into the topmost layer of skin cells.
I remember getting excited some years ago when a serum I used increased its B3 concentration to 7%. Synergie’s Practitioner line Priority B serum contains more than double that (15%) and its Skin line contains 13%. I have yet to find other vitamin B3 serums with these levels.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), the fortifier. Vitamin C is used to treat pigmentation, inflammation, scarring, and fine lines, by promoting collagen production, protecting the skin from harmful UV damage, suppressing excess melanin (pigment) production, and by its highly antioxidant action.
The form of vitamin C that showed the most effectiveness is L-ascorbic acid, which is very unstable in water. Synergie has two formulations: the pure dry powder form (for mixing into serums) and as a highly stable water-free lotion.
One more important aspect of the A-B-C system is knowing what can be used together, and what should not be mixed. Truly effective vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid is ‘unkind’ to vitamins A and B, and will basically neutralize them. So we recommend using vitamin C in the morning, and vitamins A and B at night. (These last two play nicely together!).
Armed with the knowledge of what you’re putting on their skin, why, and when, you’ll see real benefits to your skin (with the increased confidence that brings), without worrying about unwanted effects. That’s surely a win-win situation!
If you’d like to experience the benefits of the Synergie A-B-C system for yourself, there’s an introductory kit available. The A-Zinc Essentials Kit includes Ultracleanse (a cleanser), Ultimate A serum, Vitamin B serum, and Suprema-C (L-ascorbic acid lotion), together with a daily UV-protecting sunblock (containing 20% zinc oxide physical sunscreen against both UVA and UVB). The kit lasts about a month, allowing you time to actually see the changes produced by really good, really effective, ‘clean science’ Synergie skincare.
Dr Tracey Lambert , MBChB, NZSCM , CEO Skin Elegance International LLC, a cosmetic physician who has worked for more than 10 years’ in appearance medicine in New Zealand. Dr. Lambert’s involvement in this field has allowed her to experience a wide range of cosmeceutical lines – and Synergie impressed her the most with its philosophy, principles, and efficacious products. Dr. Lambert moved to the USA in 2014, and welcomed the opportunity to bring the benefits of Synergie to Americans through her LA- based company, Skin Elegance International. For more information please visit www.skinelegance.com
Photo courtesy of Skin Elegance International