For many years, vitamin C has been the skin care ingredient darling, the superstar antioxidant, and the backbar and home-care “must-have” in antiaging and brightening products. We’ve seen it, we know it, and we’re comfortable with it, but how exactly does vitamin C work within the many layers of the skin? And what form should be used for which skin function? Listen in as esthetician Ella Cressman questions (and is stumped a few times by) the charismatic pharmacist Benjamin Knight Fuchs. Ben, also a skin care chemist, helps explain vitamin C and its effects on a cellular level so you will be armed with further understanding of this ingredient powerhouse!
00:00 Ella Cressman: You are listening to ASCP Esty Talk where we share insider tips, industry resources and education for aestheticians at every stage of the journey. Let's talk because ASCP knows it's all about you.
00:16 EC: Alright, well, hello, and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk. This series is called Ingredient Decked Out where we explore the fascinating world of ingredients and how they work within the skin. My name is Ella Cressman. I am a licensed esthetician, and business owner and also I own the HHP Collective and today I'm very excited, we're gonna be discussing one of skin care's super star ingredients Vitamin C with one of my favorite industry people, Benjamin Knight Fuchs. So Ben is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist and skin chemist for the past or over 30 years really, he has developed pharmacy potent skin health products for aestheticians, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and the savvy consumer. Welcome Ben.
01:08 Benjamin Knight Fuchs: Hey Ella, good to see you. And by the way, it's 38 years.
01:12 EC: 38 years.
01:14 BF: Can you believe that? Thirty-eight years I've been formulating skincare products since I was 22.
01:18 EC: I was gonna say since you were two...
01:20 BF: No, 22. I'm 60.
01:21 EC: Okay good. One of my favorite things about Ben and I've followed Ben since early early on in my career is, Ben has... We both share this passion for ingredients. When I say passion, when we get together, it's so much fun to talk to someone who is also, geeks out on ingredients. And the other thing I absolutely love about Ben is that passion comes through an education. So I'm very excited to talk about one of the ingredients you're super passionate about and that is Vitamin C, so why don't we start with why Vitamin C in the skin?
01:52 BF: You know that's a great question, I remember I've been formulating with Vitamin C since the '90s, and I remember... I learnt about it in pharmacy school, I had a background in wound healing as you know. And Vitamin C is very important for wound healing, we can go into that here in a minute. But I remember when I was first developing Vitamin C products in the '90s I had some guy who's working for me asked, he said, "But Ben, why do we want to put vitamins on the skin?" And I thought to myself, "What a silly question that is." Because just I thought to myself, "Well, the skin is an organ, if you could give it vitamins especially Vitamin C, that's gonna be a good thing," but people weren't ready yet to hear the story of vitamins on the skin. Cut to the year 2020 and Vitamin C is the number one searched, topical Vitamin C, is the number one searched skin care ingredient according to Google. Everybody knows about Vitamin C for the skin, and the reason is Ella? It works.
02:46 BF: It's a very powerful ingredient and people get results. However, it's not quite that simple, in the sense that the skin is, as you know, and most people in the skincare business know, but the average person doesn't know, the skin is stratified, that it is layered, like a layer cake, or like baklava and the top layers...
03:08 EC: Lasagna, I use lasagna a lot as an...
03:10 BF: Lasagna. That's good, right. It's layered.
03:10 EC: Yeah.
03:13 BF: So it doesn't look like... I mean, look at the skin, right? Where's the layers? It sure doesn't look like it's layered. I don't even know, sometimes I wonder what does the average person think when they look at the skin? Like what the heck is this thing? We always say it's the body's largest organ, but does that look like an organ? Where is the organ here? Right? It's like this very misleading structure, the skin is, and we certainly, we don't see it like an organ, we don't see it like it's dynamic, we don't see it like it's growing, it's moving, and shape shifting and doing all the things that organs do, but we certainly don't see it as layered. And the reason we don't see those layers is because those layers are extremely, extremely thin, microscopically thin. So thin that when they're combined together it doesn't look like they're stratified at all, it looks like it's just one homogenous thing. You and I know, and people in the business know, it is indeed layered. And not only that, but the top layers are what? They're dead, this is very strange.
04:06 BF: We got an organ that's largely composed of dead stuff, of dead tissue, it's the only structure in the body that's like that so it requires a little bit of imagination to kind of picture what's happening. Now if the top layers are dead and you put your Vitamin C on the top layer, you're not really gonna get a lot of biological effects, you may get some protection effects which you alluded to in your introduction and indeed Vitamin C does have some protective properties, but you're leaving a lot of Vitamin C benefits on the table, if you're just on the skin surface. To say, "Well I don't wanna be just on the skin surface, if I'm leaving Vitamin C benefits on the table." Too bad because the Vitamin C molecule doesn't penetrate past the surface very effectively. When I say the Vitamin C molecule, I'm talking about the standard form of Vitamin C which is ascorbic acid.
04:55 BF: Yeah, it has to have a lot of things go, a lot of things have to go right, but the point is, is that Vitamin C is the quintessential. It is the iconic, it is the paragon of water soluble ingredients. In other words, you could take a squirt of gases by the teaspoon and you can put it in water and it will dissolve in a glass of water, just as quickly as salt or sugar will dissolve in water, water. It's got that kind of water solubility.
05:22 BF: I should take a quick digression here and just tell you what water solubility means, I'm sure you know, but maybe some of the viewers or listeners don't know. Water solubility is one of the primary distinctions in all of chemistry, in all of bio-chemistry, that is, the chemical molecules either dissolve in water, hence the term water soluble, or they dissolve in fat, hence the term oil soluble. In the business we say hydrophilic, meaning water loving, or lipophilic, meaning fat loving, so all molecules can be distinguished by this primal binary quality. They're either water soluble or they're fat soluble. Now, this water soluble, fat soluble distinction occurs on a pole, so some things are more water soluble or more fat soluble, less fat soluble, more water soluble, it's kind of on a continuum.
06:09 BF: So you have, on the far left, we'll say lipophilic, or fat soluble, on the far right of the continuum we'll say water soluble, or hydrophilic. Vitamin C is way on the right. It's really water soluble. Why is this important you ask? Well, it turns out that the skin, the surface of the skin, the stratum corneum is not at all water soluble...
06:31 EC: And that's because of the... Barrier function or acid mantle.
06:37 BF: That is the main purpose of the stratum corneum. It's waterproof. This is what the main purpose of the stratum corneum is to keep water out and to keep water in. God forbid, if you were to go to the hospital with third-degree burns, they'd put you in the Burn Ward. You don't die from your burns. You die from dehydration. The water... You've broken that barrier with your burn, you disrupted that stratum corneum barrier, now, water evaporates out of your body. This barrier also keeps you from dissolving into a puddle at the bottom of the bathtub when you take a shower. The water from the shower, the water from the rain or when you get water on your stratum corneum, it bounces off. It's necessary you have a raincoat. Yeah, it's almost like... If you look at a leaf really closely, you see a layer of wax on the top of that leaf. Have you ever noticed that?
07:21 EC: Yeah, absolutely.
07:22 BF: That layer... That layer of wax has the same function as the stratum corneum, the corneocytes, which are the dead cells, the cell [07:31] ____ that make up the stratum corneum as well as some of the lipids or fatty material that's embedded inside the stratum corneum. All these put... All these combined together to form a very functional water barrier. Now, here you are with Vitamin C, with ascorbic acid, which is essentially water. When something's water soluble, you can kind of think of it as synonymous with water. So, you have... It's functionally synonymous with water so it's not exactly water, but it's functionally synonymous with water. So, ascorbic acid is synonymous with water and, on top of this, water barrier. That's not gonna do you much because the living cells where you need to be to get biological activity are deep, but if you don't see this, the skin is being stratified, it's being layered. If you don't know that the surface is a water barrier or a water protective barrier.
08:18 BF: If you don't know that there's a distinction of water soluble and fat soluble. And most importantly, if you don't understand that like dissolves like, and opposites repel, then you're not gonna know that your ascorbic acid isn't gonna do you much good on the surface of the skin. And I say much good, 'cause you will get a little bit of protective benefits, if that ascorbic acid is fresh. You might get a little bit of skin lightening benefits or some acid benefits because we know acids can have a stimulating effect on the skin. So you might get a little foliation. You may get a little smoothing. You may get a little skin lightening. You may get a little protection depending on the freshness of the Vitamin C which were put in the ascorbic acid, which we'll talk about here in a moment. But you're certainly not going to get the biological benefits that everybody's looking for with water soluble Vitamin C. I don't care what the company is selling and telling you. I get very mad, and yes, I get passionate because I am a pharmacist and I deal with patients. I'm not a salesman dealing with customers.
09:14 EC: Yeah.
09:14 BF: I'm not a skincare company dealing with business. I'm a pharmacist dealing with patients. And I take my patients very seriously. And when I hear a company trying to pull the wool over somebody's eyes by selling an ascorbic acid product which any... A chemist understands doesn't make it through the stratum corneum, I get mad. But it's worse than that, Ella. Because, you see, ascorbic acid is a very unstable molecule. This is true about all molecules that function as anti-oxidants. And this is what Vitamin C is, what ascorbic acid is. It's an anti-oxidant. It protects one against the damaging effects of oxygen or other molecules that are like oxygen including, by the way, light which causes photo oxidation. But the primary molecule that causes this reaction is oxygen and Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. However, there's a fine line between anti-oxidation and pro-oxidation.
10:10 EC: Mm-hmm. I'm so glad you're bringing this up.
10:13 BF: Right. An anti-oxidant can become a pro-oxidant very, very quickly especially in the presence of oxygen.
10:22 EC: Yeah.
10:23 BF: And what do all these ascorbic acid molecules have... Or ascorbic acid products, ascorbic acid-containing products have in common? They're all in oxygen in the form of hydrogen or dihydrogen oxide. Which is what? What is dihydrogen oxide? Yes, you know, don't give me that.
10:41 EC: Oh my gosh. You're stumping me.
10:44 BF: Don't [10:44] ____, Ella.
10:46 EC: Jinx, Ben, dihydrogen oxygen?
10:47 BF: Dihydrogen oxide. H2O.
10:50 EC: Oh, water. Oh, my god...
10:51 BF: Water.
10:52 EC: You're freaking me out. [laughter] Don't do that.
10:55 BF: Exactly. All these ascorbic acid molecules are on the oxygen.
10:57 EC: In the water base, right. Right. Right. Right.
11:00 BF: In the form... In the form of water. So we know, you got an anti-oxidant that is disturbed by oxygen becomes a pro-oxidant and it's sitting there in a solution of oxygen in the form of H2O.
11:12 EC: I think that's one of the most frustrating things about... Now, you know, having gone to the training that I've gone through. Just seeing, cutting through the BS of other companies and when they... I own my own skincare studio. When they come in, "Oh, do they not... " These sales reps have no idea what they're getting themselves into. That's I think it's...
11:29 BF: That's right. When they talk to Ella... When they talk to Ella...
11:33 EC: Yeah, and that's why we're doing this series really is to help people understand what is... And it's the product neutral form, so we can understand what questions do we need to ask as professionals, and how do we educate then our consumer, our client... Your patients, our clients that we, you know, we care deeply for just the same as you do. So when you are talking about ascorbic acid, that is why you stabilize ascorbic, right?
12:00 BF: Well, there's different ways to stabilize the molecule. But the most important way to stabilize the molecule is to encase it at the molecular level. I'm working with it already done by a company. But at the factory level, the manufacturer's level, they can encase or wrap the water-soluble ascorbic acid molecule with fat... With a fatty... With a fatty buoyancy or a fatty entity. And by wrapping the ascorbic acid molecule with a fatty entity... I say wrap, it's not literally wrap, but you can imagine it as a wrap. Visualize it as a wrap.
12:36 EC: Encapsulate it.
12:36 BF: Encase, encapsulate, you encase it. Technically, that's not correct, but for our purposes, that'll do it. When you encase it with a fatty material, you protect that ascorbic acid molecule. And this encased Vitamin C, encased ascorbic acid or Vitamin C doesn't oxidize. Not only that, with the encasement, creates a different molecule so that it has different features and different benefits. Not only is it protected from oxidation by being wrapped, but now, it's got a fat solubility... There's a fat solubility associated with it, which allows it to penetrate in this like dissolves like fashion through the stratum corneum. So, you get penetration and you get stability when you wrap it in fat, and the fattiness also gives it a soothing and skin softening and moisturizing quality that ordinary Vitamin C doesn't have.
13:25 EC: I think you're...
13:25 BF: Or the ascorbic acid doesn't have.
13:27 EC: I think I know what you're talking about, and so let's find out. Are you talking about tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate?
13:35 BF: Correct. I prefer to say ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate to be more descriptive, I'll tell you what I mean here in a second.
13:36 EC: I have... [chuckle] Yeah.
13:43 BF: It's a little bit more... It's a little bit more descriptive, but I think... And there's use... The terms are used synonymously now although I think they're going to the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate more than the ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate but here's why I like ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate better than tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
14:00 EC: But I think we should breakdown what those mean.
14:02 BF: Yeah, let's break them down.
14:03 EC: I think that's... Yeah, let's break them down.
14:04 BF: So tetra means four. Hexyl refers to a ring structure. Decyl refers to a length, carbon length. Dec means 10, so there's 10 carbons associated within. Ascorbate refers to Vitamins C molecule, not quite that descriptive unless you're a chemist. However, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate's a little bit more descriptive I'll tell you why. Ascorbyl, that's your Vitamin C molecule. Look at my hand it's like a C molecule, okay? And then tetra means four. Isopalmitate is the key.
14:36 EC: From the iso...
14:38 BF: Isopalmitate refers to palmitic acid. Palmitic acid is a very, very important and functional fatty acid, the most important fatty acid in the body. It's the most important fatty acid in the skin. When you attack... And remember there's four now, tetraisopalmitate, there's four of them. It's not just one palmitic acid, you've now embedded this Vitamin C molecule within four fat chains. That makes it really fatty number one, and it makes it familiar to the skin which means it's going to be... It's gonna be more likely to penetrate through the skin.
15:18 EC: It's gonna take...
15:18 BF: It's an inherent fact, it's already in the skin. So your skin's like, you put your isopalmitate, your ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate on the skin, the skin sees, "Oh, palmitic acid, I know you."
15:29 EC: Come on in.
15:30 BF: "You're my friend."
15:30 EC: Yeah, come on in friend, wanna eat?
15:33 BF: "Come on in friend. Welcome home."
15:34 EC: Yes.
15:35 BF: Exactly.
15:35 EC: Good to see you again.
15:37 BF: And that's literally what happens, not literally, but that's kind of what happens metaphorically. When the palmitic acid gets pulled into the skin, it pulls the ascorbate with... The ascorbyl... Ascorbate molecule. Now there are enzymes in the skin that can rip off the fatty acid.
15:52 EC: Kind of like a spaceship that's re-entering earth? [laughter]
15:58 BF: Kind of. You can think of it that way. It's kind of cool how this works because like the spaceship... The spaceship analogy holds true for a lot of things in the body, this outer space, this kind of outer space idea of things moving at space and other things docking onto ships and ships releasing things and firing missiles. All this stuff happens inside the body and in a way, the body is kind of an analogy to what happens in, or analogous to what happens in outer space. You have a rocket ship, that's kind of what happens on the skin when you put your Vitamin C, your ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate on. You put it on, there are enzymes that rip off the isopalmitate, the way in space parts of the spaceship will get ripped off and just the core of rocket ship to travel through space, that's what happens in the skin.
16:43 BF: The ascorbate is now free to enter into the cells, and this is another very important station. We talked about the distinction of layers. We talked about the distinction of water-soluble and fat-soluble, now we have to talk about the distinction between cells and stuff. The body is made up of cells and stuff, like raisin bread is made up of raisins and bread. Your body is like raisin bread, except it doesn't have raisins, it has cells, and it doesn't have bread, it has tissue, or extra cellular matrix, if you like, whatever you wanna call it. As extra cellular tissue or things that come out of cells and the cells. Now this is very important because the cells are where you need to be, so the cells are like, they're not raisins, their magical raisins.
17:33 BF: Right? They're not just raisins, they're magical raisins. If I gave you a handful of raisins, alright, and you said, "Oh, that's cool, I got raisins, that's great, I'm gonna leave it on my counter." And then you came back the next day and those raisins that were on your counter are now a loaf of raisin bread...
17:50 EC: Why?
17:51 BF: And the raisins made the bread, you would say, that is a miracle. Those are magical raisins. They're raisins that can make their own raisin bread.
18:00 EC: Jack and the beanstalk raisins. [laughter]
18:02 BF: That's magical. That's what the cell is. The cell is not just raisins, it's magical raisins that can make the rest of the body, the extracellular or non-cellular components of the body. Does that make sense?
18:15 EC: Yeah.
18:15 BF: Cells are like a Play-Doh extrusion machine. Yeah, remember those, did you... I don't know, you're a lot younger than me, but maybe you played with Play-Doh?
18:23 EC: No, I just use good skin care.
18:25 BF: No, when you were a kid, did they... Did you play... Remember those...
18:26 EC: Yeah. You took a Play-Doh, you put it through the thing and you smoosh it. But we were poor, so we used a garlic press. [chuckle]
18:31 BF: Okay, cool. Same idea.
18:35 BF: That process is called extrusion, and extrusion is a very fit... It's really a very important part of our economy because a lot of food products are made via extrusion, like cereals for example, and when they first discovered extrusion all of a sudden you had all of these foods that they could... Used to have to be made by hand, could now be made by machines, like noodles, pasta and cereals and snack bars. These were all extruded. Well, the cell... Extrusion is like a Play-Doh, one of those Play-Doh fun factory things. You put the Play-Doh in, you crank it down, the Play-Doh comes out in different shapes, forms; that's called extrusion. A cell is like an extrusion machine.
19:15 EC: Okay.
19:18 BF: It's extruding tissue.
19:18 EC: Oh. Okay.
19:19 BF: It will stop... It's extruding fluids.
19:21 EC: Bread.
19:21 BF: It's extruding stuff and all the stuff comes out as cells. But here's where this becomes important to skin care. If you want your skin care to be functional, and if you want your skin care to actually be doing something, it has to somehow be at the level of the cell. It has to somehow contact the cell.
19:42 EC: So, we're talking... Let me just clarify. We're talking about when we're making real changes in the skin even in protective... When we're talking about lightening, or we're talking about stimulating collagen...
19:51 BF: Anything you want. Anything...
19:57 EC: Tightening, all of that is a cellular level.
20:00 BF: Absolutely.
20:00 EC: So spritzing little vitamin C spritz on your face with water is not doing anything to making changes.
20:06 BF: It's not getting to the cell.
20:06 EC: Okay.
20:06 BF: Exactly. If you wanna create changes... Now, keep in mind, cosmetic means superficial and most cosmetics don't wanna create changes. They're not about creating changes. I'm not blaming them or making it seem like they're ripping anybody off, although if they imply that they're making changes they're ripping people off. That's not their function. I'm a pharmacist. I come from a different world. I don't come from the world of superficiality. If you came to my pharmacy with high blood pressure or you have a cold or you have a heart disease or diabetes or you were looking for birth control pills, and I said, "Here are these wonderful pills. They smell really good. And they look really good in the package. Look how beautiful this package is. Oh yeah, and Cindy Crawford loves this high blood pressure medicine." But if it didn't work, you'd say, "I don't care what Cindy Crawford says. I need my blood pressure lowered, my birth control to work or my antibiotics to kill the bacteria. I don't care what Cindy Crawford says. I don't care what it smells like. I don't care what the pill bottle looks like or the label looks like. I want it to work." That's my world.
21:05 BF: I come from the world of work. Yes, I'm in the skin business because I'm making products, but I'm coming from the world of pharmacy in the sense that medicine has to work, and when I formulate a skin product, that has to work as well. And if it's gonna work, it has to be at the level of the cell, not at the surface. The vast majority of skin care, and this is why most people are not satisfied with skin care, doesn't approach the cell. The good news is, is you don't need a lot of things at the level of the cell, and indeed there's not a lot of things that the cell will respond to, upon topical application to the skin surface. The cell is designed by nature and evolution to get fed through the bloodstream.
21:45 BF: In other words, the cell is swimming in a milieu of water. It's swimming in an ocean like a soup. It's swimming in a soup, if you will. And that soup is the end result of what's coming, or what's in the blood. The blood in very, very tiny little vessels called capillaries will flow past the cell and it will release nutrients out of itself into the soup that the cell is swimming in. Can you picture how this is happening?
22:14 EC: Mm-hmm.
22:14 BF: That soup is the key to health and it's the key to beauty and skin care. Because if you wanna have healthy cells, if you wanna have functional cells, if you wanna be up-regulating the cells from a topical perspective, you gotta get in the soup. Now, you don't have to worry about it from food because the bloodstream is gonna take care of that, and that's the way evolution has designed the system, is the soup will get replenished through the blood. But topically, there's only a few ingredients that can get into the soup, and vitamin C in the right form is one of them. Retinol is another one, alpha-hydroxy acids are another one, electrolytes and minerals, which we will talk about maybe on another video, are another one. But the bottomline here, and the point I wanna make, is if you want healthy cells, functional cells, upregulated cells, cells that are doing their business, from a topical perspective, you gotta figure out how to get into the soup and that requires fat solubility, number one. It requires...
23:13 EC: Breaking through the barrier.
23:15 BF: What's that?
23:15 EC: To break through the barrier.
23:17 BF: You gotta get through the barrier. Number two requires familiarity. The skin has to know what that molecule looks like or you have to have something analogous to something that's already in the skin that the skin is used to. And number three, you have to have enough of it. You have to have a high enough dose. There's a phenomena in chemistry called Fick's Law, F-I-C-K-S. Fick's Law. And Fick's Law, it's also known as the law of diffusion, says things go from where there's a lot to where there's a little. They always go downhill. So you gotta have a lot on the top of the skin if you're gonna push it into the bottom of the skin. In addition, having a molecule that's friendly, in addition to having fat solubility. Those are the three Fs, they call them. Fat solubility, friendly and Fick's law, for getting penetration into the soup.
24:05 BF: Now, once you're in the soup, there's not a lot of things that you can actually put through the skin on topical application that will get into the soup that will make a difference. Retinoids will, electrolytes will, hydrogen protons which come from alpha-hydroxy acids will, and vitamin C in the right form will. That's pretty much it. I maybe missing a couple, but that's pretty much it. Peptides, some peptides will as well.
24:30 EC: I have two questions then.
24:32 BF: Yes.
24:33 EC: Let me explain this back in a way that I like to relate to my clients. I often refer to it as like going to the club. Anyone who's been to the club...
24:43 BF: Which club?
24:44 EC: A good club, you know, whatever your favorite...
24:45 BF: Like a night club?
24:46 EC: A night club and a lot of people are waiting in line trying to get in the club, but they can't get past the bouncer. But if you have VIP access...
24:55 BF: Okay.
24:56 EC: You go past the line, the bouncer lets you in, 'cause he...
25:00 BF: I like it. I like it.
25:00 EC: He sees you, he's familiar with you and he ushers you in, straight to the VIP section where there's not a lot of people.
25:05 EC: It's not as crowded.
25:06 BF: I like that. I like that.
25:09 EC: It's like the skin care club where I love soup, but I also like to have fun. And so...
25:14 BF: I love that.
25:14 EC: I like to go to the club and think about it that way. Am I understanding it the same way, is that?
25:19 BF: Yes, yes, yeah.
25:20 EC: Okay. And my second question is...
25:23 BF: Wait. One more thing. Just because you got into the club, you got past all the crowds and you got inside the club, doesn't mean that the singer or the band is gonna see you or respond to you.
25:33 EC: Yeah. It doesn't mean you're gonna have a good time.
25:35 BF: It doesn't mean you're necessarily gonna have a connection with the band. Only a few people in your analogy, and only a few molecules in the world of skin care, will actually have an effect on the band.
25:46 EC: Cool.
25:48 BF: I think I did that okay. I'm not sure, you'd have to...
25:50 EC: I like it. The next, and it's a related question. When we're talking about being ingredient decked out and we're looking at the inky deck or ingredient deck, why do they call it BV-OSC? That has always stumped me. I'm like, "What is... How do they get that from... "
26:06 BF: Well, that's a brand name.
26:06 EC: Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate? Oh, okay.
26:08 BF: That's a brand name. That's a brand name. And actually I don't even refer to it by the brand name, 'cause that's kind of a company secret code, and it's Japanese. It's a Japanese molecule. And BV-OSC comes from Japanese. I'm not even sure what it means in Japanese, but...
26:21 EC: It's like Coca Cola?
26:23 BF: What's that?
26:24 EC: Like Coca Cola?
26:25 BF: BV-OS means something in Japanese that refers to the molecule and C is C. BV-OS C and the BV-OS refers to something in Japanese.
26:35 EC: Okay, wonderful. So I guess, this has been really fascinating. One of the other things we have to be careful that we work within our scope of practice, so we really are allowed to address that dead layer, but can still apply topical products that stimulate other things. One of the things that I think is really important in being an esthetician is that, and something that we address all the time, is skin immunity. And so when we're thinking about taking Vitamin C for our immune system, does Vitamin C have also the same or a similar effect in our skin immunity?
27:09 BF: You're really, whether or not you're gonna improve the immune functioning of the skin, it's hard to say. Because the Vitamin C molecule ascorbic... I'm not sure, I've never seen any literature on improving skin immunity topically. It will protect you from the sun topically. And it does have a very small SPF, and it'll protect you from environmental toxicity, which is something that's very important and underrecognized, although becoming more recognized, and that is the effect that environmental toxins, carbon monoxide and heavy metals and poisons that are floating in the air from industrial waste, all of these can have an effect on the skin, a negative effect on the skin. Cigarette smoke can have a negative effect on the skin, and Vitamin C can protect you from that, as well as protecting you from the sun.
27:52 BF: But as far as up-regulating macrophages and white blood cells and such, I don't think that's gonna be the case, because I don't know that you're really gonna get Vitamin C into the bloodstream and that's where the immune cells are largely located. So I don't know if you're gonna get improved immunity, but you will get improved protective effects in terms of protecting you from oxidation and toxicity.
28:14 EC: Strengthening. Maybe in strengthening the organ itself then strengthens the function of immunity.
28:19 BF: Say, strength... Say that one more time.
28:21 EC: Strengthening the function of the skin, like if the skin's strong then it's not vulnerable. Yeah.
28:27 BF: It makes itself strong. Absolutely. It means the skin cells themselves will be less unstable, and that can have a positive effect or a beneficial effect on immunity.
28:34 EC: That's something... That's another analogy I often give my clients is why do I... What are the first things that I recommend that they get on, of course, because it's so multi-function, and I guess we really haven't even gotten into some of the benefits in the skin. But if you're... I often use the analogy of working out with the skin and what we do and the products that we recommend, because you're strengthening it, and in strengthening it, it's healthier, and then being healthier...
29:00 BF: Absolutely.
29:02 EC: It's stronger, and so it can defend itself better.
29:04 BF: Absolutely. When you go to the gym, and you work out... If you just lift weights, you'll get stronger probably, but if you really wanna get strong you lift until you feel the...
29:13 EC: Fatigue.
29:15 BF: No.
29:16 EC: The burn, feel the burn?
29:17 BF: Yes, exactly!
29:19 EC: Feel the burn. Yeah.
29:19 BF: Exactly, but what is the burn?
29:21 EC: Well, I don't wanna feel burn when I put on a skin care product. [chuckle]
29:25 BF: No, what is the burn?
29:26 EC: The burn is lactic acid.
29:27 BF: Okay, and technically what is lactic acid? Lactic acid is an acid. When we say something is an acid that means it's releasing hydrogen protons. That's what makes something acidic. Okay? Well, it turns out that hydrogen protons are like a growth factor.
29:42 EC: Okay.
29:42 BF: Hydrogen protons turn on growth. And this is why alpha-hydroxy acids are so important. Lactic acid of course, is an alpha-hydroxy acid. Alpha-hydroxy acids are not strongly acidic, but they're acidic enough that they can release their hydrogen proton very effectively, especially into the cell. And by releasing that hydrogen proton off of the molecule, that hydrogen proton ends up getting into the cell where it turns on growth. Now, it doesn't on its own turn on growth, and lactic acid by itself won't turn on growth, because when you come home from the gym after you feel the burn, what do you have to do?
30:16 EC: You have to replenish.
30:17 BF: With what? You gotta take your amino's, you gotta take your B Vitamins...
30:20 EC: [30:20] ____.
30:21 BF: Gotta take your proteins, essential fats, you gotta do nutrients, right? The nutrients provide the opposite charge to the protons. Acids are positive charges. And when we say something's acidic, it means that it releases its positive charge very effectively, and alpha-hydroxy acids release their positive charges. And lactic acid, when you go to the gym, that's where you feel the burn. But when you come home and do your B Vitamins and your Vitamin C, and your protein, now you're giving your body negative charges. Negative charges balance out the positive charges and create a current, a flow, and that's what gives you the growth. It's not just the lactic acid from feeling the burn, it's the lactic acid from feeling the burn plus the nutrients that you take in when you come home from the gym.
31:05 EC: This is why...
31:07 BF: Likewise with the skin... Check this out. This is very important. Likewise with the skin, when you use alpha-hydroxy acids, you're getting the positive charges, but now you need to be putting on negative charges to create a current; so you can have a flow of energy. The negative charges are your Vitamin C, they're your electrolytes, which are negative charges. The negative charges are electrolytes and negative charges, or the release of negative charges, is called anti-oxidation. So the positive charges have to be balanced with... The positive charges create oxidation and do balance with anti-oxidation, or electrons. And this is why, by the way, you always wanna be surrounding yourself with electron energy. In fact, we do it all the time, we know it intuitively, that's why we go to the beach. The beach is a rich source of these electrons, these negative charges, that balance out the positive charges that accumulate when you're under stress.
32:03 EC: Vitamin SEA C.
32:06 BF: That's very good. SEA. That's exactly right. Also, the sand conducts electrons, so that people like walking barefoot in the sand. You could actually get electrons coming in through your feet, through the bottom of your feet when you walk in the sand. Or for that matter when you walk in mud or when you walk in dirt, because mud and dirt which contain these polyelectrolytes... I use them in my skin care products, these polyelectrolytes are in mud and dirt, they conduct electronic energy too. And walking barefoot in mud and dirt is beautiful. And laying in the forest, walking in nature, or even just having an electron generating machine, they call them negative ion generators. In fact, you know the smell after it rains?
32:46 EC: Ozone?
32:47 BF: That beautiful smell that you love so much, and everybody loves so much, that's electrons, that's negative ions. Same with mowd freshly cut grass. You like the smell of freshly cut grass? That's also electrons. We love electrons because they balance out the protons. Protons come from stress, or from acid, and they're not bad necessarily, because we don't grow without stress. Our tissue doesn't grow without stress. Our muscles don't grow without stress. Cells respond...
33:14 EC: Controlled stress.
33:15 BF: Cells respond to stress positively, but you have to have the anti-stress, the antioxidants, the electronic energy to follow. That's why when I created peel systems, all my peel systems always have electrons built in, in the form of polyelectrolytes, built into the formulations to balance out the positive charges that come in from the acid. That's what we call our peels, which you know 'cause you helped us work on them. They're called our 5D Peels, because they have multiple dimensions of activity, 5 dimensions of activity, which basically are acids delivering protons, and electrons balancing off those protons to give you a current.
33:53 Speaker 3: Hey guys, stop. Let's take a quick break.
34:00 Speaker 4: Is your skin care practice totally covered? If you're an ASCP member, you know that you have great professional liability insurance that covers you. But what about your stuff? Well, ASCP offers business, personal, property insurance, which is coverage for your stuff. It's a professional contents coverage policy that protects your smashers, your cabinets, your steamers, your zappers, all those good things, protected by an insurance policy that starts at just $95 per year. To learn more about BPP coverage, as we like to call it, please come visit www.ascpskincare.com/bpp, and there you can get your BPP from ASCP ASAP.
34:46 S3: Let's get back to the conversation.
34:49 EC: I think something that you touched on here, and just, I wanna translate it to a really broad thing, is the importance of, in-clinic or in-treatment room, like professional services, combined with home care, quality home care.
35:04 BF: Absolutely.
35:05 EC: And that's when you're getting that energetic flow, that positive and negative. And that's so important. And I think, estheticians, do you hear me? This is so important. [chuckle] Because without supportive home care, you're not gonna get the same results that you would want. And I think a lot of times as estheticians we get stuck, thinking, "I don't wanna sell. I don't wanna sell. I don't wanna be pushy." But then, it's a big chunk of the results that we see. So, any time I can slip that in, I try.
35:33 BF: Well here's the... With the right...
35:33 EC: So it's important to set up at home.
35:34 BF: I know what you're saying about... Well, a couple of things. First of all, home health versus in-clinic health is like going to the gym and having a personal trainer, and coming home and doing your push-ups and sit-ups at home. Just because you have a personal trainer once a month or twice a month or once a week, doesn't mean the other six days a week you don't do anything.
35:50 EC: Absolutely.
35:51 BF: In fact, you get better results from the trainer if you work out for four or five or six days a week at home, and then go to the trainer once a week or twice a week.
36:00 EC: What are some of Vitamin C's best friends, homies? What do Vitamin C... What does Vitamin C...
36:06 BF: Two best friends.
36:06 EC: Two best friends.
36:07 BF: Yeah, when you say Vitamin C, you're talking about topical Vitamin C. And we haven't even...
36:11 EC: Yeah. Let's just... Yeah, stay in our scope of practice.
36:12 BF: Topical Vitamin C.
36:13 EC: Yeah.
36:14 BF: Two best friends. Retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids. Two best friends.
36:18 EC: And why?
36:19 BF: And I'll tell you why in a second, but I just wanna point out that this is very ironic and against the grain. Most people will tell you, "Don't use retinoids," and don't use it... I don't say most people, but a lot of people will tell you not to combine all those, all three of those. I say to combine them, if you're using fatty Vitamin C.
36:37 EC: Okay.
36:39 BF: If you're using ascorbic acid, which I don't recommend, then you may get into some irritation, because ascorbic acid is low pH, it can be irritating on the skin. Now you're jacking up the system with retinoids, which really turn everything on. By the way, retinoids function in a manner similar to alpha-hydroxy acids. We talked a bit... Well actually they function in several ways, but one of the ways that retinoids function is similar to alpha-hydroxy acids, in the sense that acids upregulate activity at the cell level. The cell takes in hydrogen protons... Actually, this is very interesting how this happens. The cell membrane has something called a proton pump. Have you ever heard of this term? A proton pump will actually pump in protons and when protons get pumped in all kinds of action happens at the level of the cell. In fact, there are drugs you can take that are called proton pump inhibitors. Have you heard of these?
37:32 EC: No.
37:32 BF: PPIs? Proton pump inhibitors.
37:33 EC: Oh?
37:34 BF: You've had a maximum...
37:35 EC: I've heard of PPI. Yeah, I have seen that on a commercial on TV.
37:38 BF: Commercials, right?
37:39 EC: Yeah, yeah.
37:40 BF: By blocking the proton at the... The proton in stomach cells, you can stop the stomach cells from making acid. And so they use proton pump inhibitors for people who they think are producing too much acid. They're not really, but that's a whole other story.
37:53 EC: That's another podcast. [laughter]
37:54 BF: That's another podcast. The point I'm trying to make here is the protons get pumped into the cell, the protons that are released from the acid. Hydrogen is a proton, and acids release hydrogen protons. And as hydrogen protons go into cells in this really cool way, they have an ability to open up gates in the cell. They're called voltage gates. And, these voltage gates allow the protons to come in. It's one of the ways protons come in, proton pumps are another way. Retinoids also open up this gates. I call them garage door openers.
38:27 EC: Oh, nice.
38:27 BF: How cool. A cell has a garage door and acids act like a garage door opener and retinoids act like a garage door opener and polyelectrolytes act like garage door opener. So a lot of things that open up these voltage gates, act like garage door openers when things get dumped into the cells and then the cell then responds. Retinoids do the same thing as protons and this is why people will get irritated sometimes or inflamed with the retinoids or they will abuse them a lot, because they're actually turning on the cell, they're actually stimulating the cell in a fashion that's similar to alpha-hydroxy acids.
39:03 EC: Okay.
39:03 BF: Retinoids have other ways that they work too. The point I wanna make here about Vitamin C and retinoids is, if you have fatty Vitamin C, which is soothing and moisturizing and you combine that with retinoids, you'll get a one-two synergy. And that's why I always formulate my retinoids with Vitamin C. Not always, but usually formulate my retinoids with Vitamin C. And then, on top of that, Vitamin C will mitigate some of that hydrogen voltage gate upregulation of a cell, it will soften it a little bit. That's an anti-oxidant and even though retinoids aren't exactly a hydrogen proton, they have a similar effect and the antioxidant can help balance that out, mitigate some of the untoward effects. So, the retinoids which will allow you to use more retinoids so you get a higher result.
39:54 EC: So, it's buffering the negative side of...
39:58 BF: It's not really buffering, buffering is a little more technical, a little more specific, but it's a kind of mitigating or softening the blow of the retinoids. So, I like using the two together. And then, alpha-hydroxy acids should always be used before you apply a product on, or I don't wanna say always, but it's helpful to use before you apply an ingredient on the skin that you want to penetrate, because it loses the cells of the stratum corneum, they're called corneocytes, and it loosens up the corneocytes a little bit, so your active ingredient, whatever that may be, will penetrate.
40:31 BF: If you want to get to the cell. Remember, not all ingredients, not all companies want their products to go to the cell. But if you wanna go to the cell, which is where you gotta be if you're gonna be functional, it helps to disturb the stratum corneum a little bit before you apply your active ingredient to get better penetration.
40:47 EC: Yeah, like before you plant seeds, you turn the soil up.
40:51 BF: You turn the soil, that's exactly. You are so full of good metaphors here. That's awesome.
40:56 EC: They call me Ella Analogy. [chuckle] Well, they call me a lot of things.
40:58 BF: I love it. It's good.
41:00 EC: So, just two questions that I want to ask and they kinda go together. Recently, I was talking to someone who said, "Oh, I absolutely can't use Vitamin C at all, because... "
41:13 BF: You wanna know why people say... I hear that all the time.
41:14 EC: Yeah, 'cause it makes my acne bad, it makes me breakout. So...
41:17 BF: Yeah.
41:18 EC: Why does it not do that? And then, what exactly is it doing in the skin as concerning... The common skin care concerns.
41:26 BF: Okay, so let's talk about common skin care concerns after, you can ask me after, but I wanna address that breakout there, okay? The only breakouts you will get from a topical product right away are allergic reactions, immune system reactions. Okay? Other than that, it doesn't make any biochemical or biological sense to think you had a breakout from a product other than immune reaction, which is different. If you have tiny pimples or a bunch of them or redness or rashiness, that could be an allergic reaction. That can always count.
41:56 EC: Like a histamine response.
41:58 BF: That's a histamine response. Exactly. That could always happen. But people think that they get zits from a topical product and that can't happen because for a zit to form, time has to progress. It takes a while for a comedone, when I say zit it's technically a comedone, right? Comedogenecity...
42:17 EC: I have a different name for them. I call them mirror squirters, grains of rice, little snakes [chuckle] and they all have different...
42:23 BF: What do you call 'em?
42:23 EC: Like a grain or rice is one.
42:24 BF: Okay.
42:27 EC: That's just a regular comedone, usually a closed comedone or the kind that goes [42:31] ____ and this is aesthete speak. The aestheticians who are listening to this are gonna understand. It comes out real loose, but thin like [42:38] ____. Or, a mirror squirter.
42:39 BF: You're talking about that, you're talking about when you squeeze it?
42:41 EC: Yeah.
42:42 BF: Oh, I don't know if I want to go there. That's too...
42:43 EC: I have [42:43] ____. [chuckle]
42:46 BF: That's too aestheish for me.
42:48 EC: Oh, it's fun. It gives me life.
42:48 BF: [laughter] That's Dr. Pimple Popper stuff by the way.
42:53 EC: Yeah.
42:55 BF: So, but anyway, this idea of comedogenicity of, "Oh, I can't use this ingredient, it makes me break out." I can't use this product, it makes me break out. Highly unlikely. When a skin care company or an ingredient company does a study on comedogenicity, how long do you think it takes for a comedone to form?
43:13 EC: At least 18 days?
43:13 BF: No. No, you know. Four to eight weeks.
43:18 EC: Okay.
43:18 BF: Four to eight weeks turn over time.
43:20 EC: Oh, cell turn over time, gotcha.
43:21 BF: And you need to have a cell turn over for a comedone to form.
43:24 EC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
43:24 BF: So when people say, "Oh I put that on, it made me breakout." No. That didn't make you breakout, unless you had an allergic reaction. Skin care products cannot make you breakout, unless you have an allergic reaction, that can happen. And you gotta distinguish between the two. Now, as far as Vitamin C making you breakout, highly unlikely, highly unlikely. There's a phenomenon in psychology, it's also applicable in other sciences called a confounding variable. Have you heard of that term?
43:51 EC: Mm-hmm.
43:52 BF: A confounding variable is something that's associated with the variable that you're focusing on and you don't pay attention to it, but that's really the cause. It confounds your results. It confuses the results. So if you're allergic to strawberries, right? And you put a skin care... And you ate a bunch of strawberries for lunch and then you put a skin care product on and it makes you breakout and you automatically say, "Oh my God, that skin care product made me break out." You don't realize there's a confounding variable there, which is the strawberries.
44:20 EC: I think we see that all the time.
44:22 BF: All the time.
44:23 EC: All the time in our profession. They'll be like, "Oh, this made me have this reaction." And we have to talk them through it. "No, this is what you can expect to happen... "
44:31 BF: All the time...
44:32 EC: "And if this happens then this is okay and if this happens then this is not okay."
44:36 BF: I need to see, as a chemist, which is what I primarily identify... I have a lot of hats I wear, obviously. But I identify primarily as a chemist, I need to see a mechanism. If somebody tells me, oh, they breakout, that's what a lay person is saying, somebody who doesn't understand science or chemistry, agrees that's fine. But if somebody tells me that I would wanna know what... Before I believe it, I wanna see a mechanism, a plausible mechanism. So when somebody says Vitamin C makes you break out, that might be great for a lay person to say or even a non-chemist to say, but from a chemistry perspective, I want to know what is the mechanism and there's no mechanism for Vitamin C making anybody breakout.
45:13 EC: Okay.
45:14 BF: You may get irritated from Vitamin C and you may get... It's dryness from Vitamin C. You may get some barrier disruption effects because it is acidic, but remember that notion of confounding variables is real in terms of what people are doing in their lives, but it's also real inside a product. And this is very confusing. I don't understand how people can do it, but this confuses a lot of people. They don't realize, and people say, "Oh, I use this Vitamin C product. And Vitamin C made me break out." They don't realize there's 30 other ingredients in that product.
45:46 EC: Mm-hmm.
45:46 BF: Or even sometimes 10 other ingredients, or 15 other ingredients. How do you know it was the Vitamin C that you had a reaction to? People don't... They somehow don't make a link between the other ingredients in the product in the skin reaction. And the other ingredients are just as much a potential confounding variable as something that you're eating, or something you're doing in your life.
46:04 EC: Okay.
46:05 BF: So, when I hear somebody say, and I hear it a lot just like you do, "Oh, Vitamin C makes me break out. Oh, I can't use Vitamin C." Unless it's an allergic reaction, I don't see a mechanism. I'm looking for a confounding variable.
46:17 EC: Mm-hmm. And just...
46:17 BF: And, by the way, you can't be allergic to Vitamin C either. There's no...
46:21 EC: No? There's no allergies?
46:23 BF: Well, think about it this way, do you know what the... Vitamin C is essential. You know what that means? What does that mean, "essential"?
46:30 EC: Like we need it. We need it, and...
46:32 BF: It goes beyond that. Yes, we need it...
46:34 EC: For life. We need it to live.
46:36 BF: You're dead without it. How could you possibly be allergic to something that you'd be dead without?
46:41 EC: Like Vitamin D, the same.
46:43 BF: How could you be allergic to something you'd be dead without? You'd be dead. Or you'd be allergic. You'd be constantly... And it doesn't make sense.
46:50 EC: Then let's call it BS on that. [laughter]
46:51 BF: It's called BS.
46:52 EC: Yeah.
46:52 BF: You can't be allergic to something that's essential because you'd be dead. It doesn't even make sense.
46:58 EC: Yeah.
47:00 BF: You understand what I'm saying?
47:00 EC: Yeah.
47:00 BF: So, you can't be allergic to a vitamin. That's absurdity. So, and I don't mean to be mean. I don't wanna sound mean 'cause lay people, who are not chemists, they don't necessarily understand this. But just from a logical perspective, if you think about it, you can't be allergic to something that's essential. So there's no allergic reactions to Vitamin C or any vitamin for that matter. But you can be allergic, you can have allergic response or immune response to something that's in the product, and that can occasionally happen.
47:26 EC: Last thing, if we can answer this real quick. You touched on... And what we're looking for is bioavailability. This is what I heard you say. Bioavailability is attributed to the form of Vitamin C, lipid soluble or fat-soluble being the one. And then also you mentioned, just real briefly the percentage because if it was...
47:46 BF: The dose. The dose.
47:47 EC: We have to be at a safe percentage...
47:48 BF: You need to have the doses.
47:50 EC: Yeah.
47:50 BF: Yes, Fick's law: Things go from areas of high concentration to low concentration. In chemistry we say, "Driving the ingredient in."
47:57 EC: Yeah.
47:57 BF: "Pushing the ingredient in." In order to drive an ingredient you have to have more on the outside than you do on the inside. So if you have, let's say one... I'm just making up a number here. Say you have a nanogram, or say a microgram of Vitamin C inside your skin and you put half a microgram on the top, it's not gonna push through.
48:15 EC: Mm-hmm.
48:17 BF: You're not gonna get it through because you have, based on Fick's law and the law of diffusion, it doesn't go from areas of low concentration to higher concentration. It goes the other way round.
48:24 EC: Mm-hmm.
48:24 BF: Following me?
48:25 EC: Mm-hmm.
48:25 BF: So, if you wanna have... If you have a 1 milligram inside, you gotta have more than one milligram on the outside. In fact, if you have a lot on the outside, you can really push it through. And, that's why in all my formulations, I ain't messing around with my doses. I use ridiculously high doses. Over the top high doses. Now, I don't do it with drugs. I don't do it with anything toxic. I do it with nutrients which are completely non-toxic and benign. I do it with ingredients that the skin can handle or the cell can handle in high doses. Things like Vitamin C, retinoids, Alpha-hydroxy acids, and polyelectrolytes. If I have... And all the ingredients I always work with are nutritional which means they're gonna be non-toxic. I'm a pharmacist and I'm trained in toxicity, basically. And that's why I stay away from it. And that's why I don't really do pharmacy. I prefer using nutrients as medicines because nutrients are what the body grew up with. Drugs are foreign. Drugs... The body doesn't know what to... Cells don't know what to do with drugs. But nutrients they're like, "I grew up with you." Nutrients are...
49:29 EC: Hey, you look like...
49:30 BF: The cell has a menu. They're on the menu.
49:31 EC: Yeah.
49:31 BF: There's no drugs on the menu. People will ask us sometimes about... Drug companies, or skincare companies sometimes have these unique molecules they'll come up with. Like there used to be one for... And it's the... You don't see it around anymore. It's the derivative of Co-enzyme Q10, I forgot what it was called. I think it was a few years ago.
49:50 EC: Ubiquinone?
49:50 BF: Ubiquinone is CoQ10. But, Allergan came up with an output of mix of their own drug version of it.
49:55 EC: Mm-hmm.
49:55 BF: And then... And there's retinoids now, these artificial retinoids like Differin, and Adapalene and these other ones that they come up with. These are all analogs of things that are already in the skin. They're drug versions.
50:07 EC: Mm-hmm.
50:07 BF: I don't like using those. I like using the molecules that the skin recognizes: Vitamin C, retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, polyelectrolytes, peptides at times although those are secondary. The big four are polyelectrolytes, hydroxy acids for cell response that is, hydroxy acids, Vitamins C and the retinoids. There's other ingredients that you can use, but for cell response that's the big four if you wanna get cell response. So, for as far as Fick's Law and to answer your question, you gotta have a good dose of the active ingredients. You wanna be an ingredient reader. You wanna know how much is in that product. You know, a lot of companies don't even wanna tell you how much is in those products.
50:45 EC: Next, 5% of that lipid soluble is not gonna have the same effect as a 15% lipid soluble.
50:53 BF: That's exactly right. That's exactly right.
50:55 EC: And so that number should be 10 or higher.
50:58 BF: I don't know. You know I don't know what the number is, but I'm not messing around I use 70 to 80.
51:04 EC: Gee. [laughter]
51:04 BF: Yeah. Exactly. And I get pretty...
51:05 EC: Okay. I found a study that talked about...
51:07 BF: We get pretty good results.
51:07 EC: I saw a study where it says the magic number was 15, but I'm sure you know...
51:10 BF: I'm not buying it.
51:12 EC: Yeah.
51:12 BF: I'm not buying it.
51:12 EC: Yeah.
51:12 BF: You know, I used, in my... As close to straight as you can get.
51:17 EC: Cool.
51:20 BF: I like to add esters. Esters are transferable ingredients that improve penetration. So I like to add some esters which cuts me down from 100%. But you want a lot, you want a big dose. I believe. Hey, everybody is allowed their own opinion. I get great results and I've been doing this for many, many years. I get great results with mega high doses. People can form their own opinion but, I'm a pharmacist, I'm always thinking doses. And that's how you wanna think of your skincare Ella. You wanna think of your skincare as medicine. People always asked me, "Oh, are your products medical grade?" And I always laugh, and I'm like, "No. They're not medical grade."
51:50 EC: Oh yes.
51:50 BF: They are medicine. Medical grade is when you have a catheter put in, or a stent put in, or some kind of device put into your body, you want medical grade. You know why? Because medical grade means it doesn't do anything. Medical grade means it's inert.
52:05 EC: Mm-hmm.
52:06 BF: That's what medical grade means. So the next time somebody tells you about medical grade, logically, medical grade means inert. I don't want my products medical grade. I want them to be like medicine. Not toxic medicine. I didn't say drugs. Not drugs, medicine. That is, I want them to work like medicine. I want them to function like medicine, as I want them to work. That's all.
52:25 EC: Yeah. I want them to do something.
52:26 BF: Yeah, to do something. So, I'm always thinking doses and I'm always thinking medicine.
52:30 EC: Well, Ben, I can't wait till our next topic. I'm sure it's gonna be one of the top four or maybe it will be on the top four. And...
52:37 BF: All right.
52:37 EC: So thank you so much...
52:38 BF: Oh, and by the way, Ella.
52:39 EC: Yeah?
52:39 BF: Before I forget, you are awesome.
52:41 EC: Aww, thank you.
52:43 BF: You are so smart, and you are so charismatic, and you're doing so much work that you don't have to do. You've taken an approach to be an esthetician that is so Ella. It's so unique, and it's so singular, and it's so valuable and it's so authentic.
52:56 EC: I appreciate that.
52:57 BF: And it's so real. So keep on girl.
53:00 EC: Mm-hmm.
53:01 BF: You're my aesthetician hero.
53:01 EC: Thank you so much, Ben. You're my pharmacist, chemisist... [laughter]
53:05 BF: Thank you.
53:06 EC: All those -isisists hero too. Thank you so much and I can't wait till our next time.
53:09 BF: All right.
53:09 EC: Thank you.
53:11 BF: Talk soon. Okay, bye-bye.
53:13 EC: Thanks for joining us today. If you like what you hear and you want more, subscribe. If you wanna belong to the only all inclusive association for aestheticians that includes professional liability insurance, education, industry insights and an opportunity to spotlight your sick skills, join at ascpskincare.com. Only $259 per year for all this goodness. ASCP knows it's all about you.