Friday, November 22, 2013

Extremophile Science for Extremely Gorgeous Skin

So, did you know that there are organisms - extremophiles - that thrive in conditions - whether physical or chemical - that would harm most life on Earth? For example, thermophiles are organisms that love heat, and include Thermus thermophilus, first found in a Japanese thermal spa, that produce the beautiful colors found within their insanely hot hydrothermal vent homes. These guys produce incredible high-temperature enzymes that protect the proteins in their little bacteria bodies from heat degradation, as well as incredibly potent antioxidants which protect their DNA from mutations caused by the thermal insult.
See how pretty? Thanks, Wikipedia!
Pseudoalteromonas is another genus of primordial bacteria that live in harsh marine environments, especially in and around Antarctica. Recap: freezing cold seawater with no light or air? Harsh.

Patience, reader, I'm about to explain how they survive, and what their survival mechanisms mean for your skin.

Basically, in order to protect themselves, these organisms secrete Extracellular Polymeric Substances (ECPS) - also known as Exopolysaccharides (EPS). These materials include both oligosaccharides and more complex glycoproteins (proteins that contain oligosaccharide chains (glycans) covalently attached to polypeptide side-chains). Both of these families of compounds are hugely important in the world of topical anti-aging, because as everyone knows, they act as skin-identical components in the extracellular matrix (hyaluronic acid and collagen, anyone?), meaning that they have the impressive capability to visibly firm, hydrate, and maintain the elasticity of skin. PLUS Pseudoalteromonas also make enzymes that are capable of breaking down the agar in surrounding algae (agarases) which means, YAY, more long sugars attached to short proteins that feed our skin!

You can get your daily dose of Pseudoalteromonas here, and be sure to look for upcoming DermaPotion products that will include Thermus thermophilus. Remember, I would LOVE to answer your skincare questions, so leave them in the comments section or text them to the Skin Studio at (504)717-4466.

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