Protecting your skin this summer

Written by MICANS, MS, PharmB, Philip A

With long-term weather forecasts predicting one of the hottest summers for many years, (it is suggested that northern Europe could see 40 degrees Celsius for the first time since records began!), protecting your skin is essential if you want to slow down skin aging. Professor John Ionescu gives an insight into what you can do to prevent and reverse skin aging.

AAM: Dr. Ionescu, please be kind enough to tell our readers a little bit about your background and how you came to be involved in dermatology.

Dr. Ionescu: After graduation in biochemistry and immunology at the University of Bucharest and a scientific fellowship in Montreal, Canada, I moved to West-Germany in 1980, received my PhD in medical biochemistry in 1983 from the University of Saarbrücken, Germany, and until 1985 directed the research programme of a dermatological clinic in Aschaffenburg. Main research areas included the atopic diseases, psoriasis, arthritis and the MCS-syndrome. In 1986, I founded the Special Clinic in Neukirche, Bavaria for the treatment of allergic, skin and environmental diseases according to the principles of the nutritional and environmental medicine. The 160-bed facility is fully integrated in the official hospital system and the treatment fees are reimbursed by German and Austrian health insurances. I am a member of the European Academy for Allergology and Clinical Immunology, of the British Society for Allergy and Environmental Medicine, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Since August 1998 I was nominated as Professor for Applied Laboratory Medicine and Oxidology at the Capital University of Integrative Medicine, Washington, D.C. (USA).

AAM: I am aware of your ground breaking research and the results you have been achieving in patients with skin disorders. What essentially makes your work different to that of the traditional dermatologist?

Dr. Ionescu: Basically, instead of treating symptoms, our cortisone, radiation and retinoid free therapy concept is addressing the causes of the illness, and ensures a long-term recovery without side-effects.

AAM: I’m sure some of our readers will recall from previous issues of this magazine, some of the before-and-after pictures of patients you have treated. How are you able to achieve these amazing results?

Dr. Ionescu: We run a very comprehensive diagnosis program identifying the main triggering factors of chronic skin diseases like atopic eczema, psoriasis, acne and collagen disorders. We consider here the nutritional factors- food allergies, chronic skin and intestinal infections with pathogenic germs, immune system deficiencies, alteration of the energetic metabolism and of course the individual burden with toxic environmental compounds. This data is the key for a causal individualized therapy with internal and external components.

AAM: Your work has led to the development of a range of unique, clinically proven skin care products, could you tell us a bit about them?

Dr. Ionescu: We’ve transferred our clinical experience in healing severe damaged skin to a range of original cosmetic products, hypoallergenic and practically free of any side-effects. To slow down the aging process, we have created special formulations like Energy Cream, Energo Repair Complex and the Only You Body Lotion.

AAM: What are the specific components of your product range?

Dr. Ionescu: We have a moisturizer in the anti-cellulite Only You Body Lotion, an anti-wrinkle factor in Energo Repair Complex which can reduce the fine lines and bagginess from around the eyes, and the Energy Cream helps to rejuvenate the cellular machinery of the skin to repair itself faster and more effectively. These creams have been used for years in the topical treatment of your patients.

AAM: Tell me about the aging skin itself. Why do we develop wrinkles and lose the elasticity in our faces as we age?

Dr. Ionescu: We know that the intrinsic, i.e. the genetically determined and the extrinsic, that’s the UV and toxic exposure mediated aging processes are overlapped, plus they are strongly related to an increased generation of free radicals or activated oxygen species, in the skin. This leads in turn to an accelerated collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid degradation associated with decreased water retention, diminished antioxidant capacity, disrupted cellular structures, low energetic metabolism, or literally sagging and wrinkled skin.

AAM: Just how much of a factor is the sun in the Photo aging process? By which I mean, how much damage does the sun cause a normal healthy, but aging individual?

Dr. Ionescu: It has been estimated that Photo aging is responsible for up to 90% of skin aging thus the more sunshine you experience, the faster your skin will age, unless of course you do something to protect yourself.

AAM: What do you recommend for this?

Dr. Ionescu: Well, for this specific purpose we have developed the Solaris Anti-Photo aging Formula offering an outstanding protection against the sunlight-induced skin aging process. For the first time this innovative sun protection formulation combines double UVA & UVB protection with melanin promoting factors, thus enhancing the natural tanning process. Free radical blocking agents like Vitamin E, carrot oil and EDTA, together with immune stimulating plant extracts such as b-glucans are further preventing the sun exposure side-effects. The proved moisturizing and nourishing properties of the cream are complete this ultimate sun protection formulation.

AAM: Many Europeans and North Americans want a tan, so how can we achieve those things effectively with a sun blocking cream?

Dr. Ionescu: Whilst Solaris contains a sun protection factor of 25 with its UVA and UVB blocking ingredients, the stimulation of melanin synthesis by means of appropriate precursors actually accelerate the normal skin tanning- this means that tanning can still take place in sunlight with the Solaris cream applied.

AAM: And what about after sun creams? What do you recommend to be used and why?

Dr. Ionescu: I recommend the Energy Cream because it is extremely effective in case of sunburns- for when people forgot their Solaris! In addition, the Only You Body Lotion for its outstanding moisturizing and calming properties.

AAM: I think we should ask, apart from wrinkles and other skin abnormalities of an aesthetic nature, over exposure to ultraviolet from the sun is also associated with skin cancers, would you care to comment on that?

Dr. Ionescu: Indeed, the ionising effects of the UV-rays are responsible for the growing number of skin cancer like epithelioma, basalioma and melanoma in the world, especially in older people. The proven free radical quenching activity of Solaris confers to this formulation an obvious DNA-protective and anti-mutagenic activity, as clinically noticed in precancerous conditions like the actinic hyperkeratosis- which is brown, soggy patches on the forehead skin, especially in men. The use of Solaris for outdoor activities avoids and cures such chronic skin conditions.

AAM: In closing would you like to tell us what you do to protect your skin, and how you think about your exposure to the elements, etc.?

Dr. Ionescu: I’m regularly using the Only You Body Lotion after showering for its moisturizing effect and every second day the Energo Repair Complex as an after shave for its smoothing and skin firming properties. Before outdoor activities such as sports, I of course use the Solaris cream.

AAM: I have seen you lecturing at many conferences around the world, Dr. Ionescu, and you always elicit a great reaction to your work. Clearly it is of great importance and others recognize that too, especially when they can see the results you achieve.

Dr. Ionescu: It is most important to me to ensure that any ingredients emerging from the results of my research are of the highest quality and synergy that can be made available. As I work as a scientist, but also directly with patients, I must offer effective products. We all know that there are many other skin creams on the market, but most of them merely hint at the research and fail to contain the correct combinations or strengths. The Energy Cosmetic line is different and everybody can easily experience the results.

AAM: That’s great to hear, Dr. Ionescu. We shall continue to follow your work with great interest and we really appreciate your time to discuss these matters with us today.

Dr. Ionescu: As we say in Germany, Grüß Gott!