The Science

DNA Enzyme Repair

It is a well-established fact that UV radiation from the sun leads to DNA damage. Damage to the skin’s DNA can lead to the development of skin cancers, and likely contributes to skin aging. The precise role of DNA damage in skin aging has not yet been clearly explained, as the genes that cause skin aging have not been fully identified to date.

New scientific advances have clearly demonstrated that our body’s own DNA Repair Enzymes play a critical and final step in cell protection against oxidative stress as a result of UV exposure, other environmental sources of toxic free radicals or even endogenous Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production. The Bespoke Skin Technology Co-Founders were co authors on a paper showing that Australian women age 10-20 years faster than other countries, and, that longer range wavelengths may be to blame for this; have a read here.

Our research shows that UV protection may not be enough on its own. We need to repair the damage from whatever cause, including pollutants, cigarettes, daily living and cell respiration and longer wavelengths from sunlight.

DNA damage in the skin can be measured, so it is possible to track the deterioration or restoration of the cells. Ultimately, the accumulation of DNA lesions can cause cell death, cell mutation and skin cancer; a bleak picture indeed.

Now for the good news; DNA repair enzymes! We do know that topically applying these DNA repair enzymes enhances the body’s natural DNA repair process. Numerous laboratory and clinical studies now show that topically applied DNA repair enzymes, such as Micrococcus lysate, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, and Plankton extract can repair this DNA damage. Bespoke harnesses all three of these ingredients to aid the DNA repair process.

Clinical studies have shown there are other benefits from topical DNA repair enzymes:

  • A decrease in potentially precancerous sunspots called solar keratoses
  • A decrease in the development of basal cell carcinomas (BCC)
  • A decrease in the development of DNA mutations (damage), which can be measured
  • A decrease in solar elastosis in the dermis of treated individuals. This is a sign of skin aging seen in sun-damaged individuals and may be associated with unwanted pigmentation and loss of skin luminosity, and
  • A decrease in telomere shortening

As we now know, DNA damage from things like sun exposure leads to signs of skin aging such as wrinkles and fine lines; roughness; dark spots and pigmentation; sagging; redness and a loss of the skin’s luminosity. Bespoke Skin Technology can protect your skin from the ravages of the sun and other environmental stressors with its carefully formulated combination of ingredients, with a hyper focus on these great DNA repair enzymes.

Skin aging

Around the world, a consistently major concern regarding the largest organ inour body, is aging. The skin is truly remarkable, as it protects us from the outside world, and is often one of the first things others notice about us. Having luminous, glowing, youthful skin is something we all seek. To achieve this, our precious skin needs protection from sun damage and the aging process.

There are two main types of skin aging:

  1. Intrinsic - this is controlled by your genes
  2. Extrinsic - this refers to external factors, which we can definitely do something about.

It has been estimated that sun exposure accounts for up to 80-90% of extrinsic skin aging. Other important factors contributing to extrinsic aging include:

  • Pollution
  • cigarette smoke
  • ozone, and
  • poor nutrition.

Our skin is bombarded by these elements on a daily basis. The result is *oxidative stress from UV radiation and other environmental factors leading to aging, by damaging DNA, lipids and protein in the cells of our skin. Now we know these ramifications, let’s understand how these factors lead to skin aging, and how the damage manifests itself in our skin.

Sun exposure/UV radiation

These factors have been proven to cause the following events, which contribute to sun damage and skin aging:

  • The most important adverse effect of sun exposure on your skin isto damage its DNA. DNA is the blueprint via which all of the cells inour body function and reproduce. Damage to this critical blueprint, can lead to mistakes in the DNA reproduction/replication process and precancerous lesions or skin cancers
Skin aging diagram
  • UV radiation can also impair the skin’s immune system, making it less able to detect, recognise and remove cancer cells
  • Vitamin D has both anti inflammatory and positive immune modulating effects when applied to the skin. Low Vitamin D levels may be related to a poorer outlook from skin cancer. You can read more here.
  • Damage the scaffolding of the skin, which is crucial to maintaining its plumpness and youthful glow.

On top of all of the above, UV radiation also: decreases the production of collagen which is a crucial support structure in the dermis, AND increases levels of enzymes, which destroy collagen and elastin (another scaffolding protein which gives your skin its bounce).

Basically, we all know by now that prolonged sun exposure and UV radiation aren’t good. So, what do we do? How easy is it to combat these bad guys?

It's as simple as:

  • Hats and clothing
  • unscreen ingredients such as ZINC OXIDE (link to index) to block the effects of sun on the skin. Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen ingredient which reflects the sun’s light to stop it penetrating the skin.

We also know that there are different perceptions around what constitutes appropriate sun-safe attire and sunscreen application.

We also know from studies that sunscreens are not 100% effective at blocking UV radiation and that most people apply only 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.

Just over 50% of energy from the sun arrives on Earth in the form of infrared radiation. Sunscreen does not block Infrared radiation, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UV-B and UV-A, and causes free radical formation and accelerated skin aging.

So, back-up methods are required to supplement sunscreen, which remains a hugely important means of preventing sun damage and skin aging. These include DNA repair enzymes and antioxidants.

In addition to sun exposure, other environmental stressors (cigarette smoke, pollution, ozone) damage our skin and contribute to aging via the production of toxic free radicals or "reactive oxygen species" (ROS).

ROS are formed naturally through normal human metabolism, AND produced as a result of exogenous factors such as UV exposure, air pollution, smoking, radiation, alcohol use, exercise, inflammation, and exposure to certain drugs or heavy metals such as iron.

ROS are implicated in the overall intrinsic aging process, photoaging, carcinogenesis (cancer formation) and inflammation. They attack DNA, lipids and proteins in our skin’s cells, playing a significant role in intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging.

ROS, like UV radiation can damage the skin’s collagen and elastin, as well as activating the enzymes that break down our skin’s scaffolding. They are bad news! The body has developed defense mechanisms, including a variety of antioxidants, forming an antioxidant network – this intervenes at different levels to combat oxidative stress.

The antioxidant defense in our skin can be overwhelmed by exogenous sources of stress, ultimately leading to cutaneous damage.

Fortunately, we can apply topical antioxidants to help prevent the aging process, and support the skin’s fight against environmental stressors. Numerous scientific studies can attest to the benefits of antioxidants in "preventing aging."

*Oxidative stressis the state our body is put in when the levels of antioxidants in our body are not high enough to counteract the damaging effect of free radicals.

Telomere protection

When looking for an anti-aging skincare line, it’s important that intrinsic aging (genetics) is addressed, and not just extrinsic aging, caused by sun exposure, pollution etc (read more about intrinsic vs extrinsic aging here). The genetic aging process is largely controlled by progressive telomere shortening, with an input from oxidative damage to telomeres and other cell components from our body's day-to-day metabolic processes.

Scientists consider this shortening a measure of cellular aging, a bit like an internal clock. When telomeres become "too short", cells can no longer divide, and perish. It is important to note that sun exposure (UV radiation) also accelerates telomere shortening.

The key is understanding telomeres, is why they shorten and how we can slow this process in order to maximise the anti-aging effect from skincare products.

So what are telomeres? They are critical chains of DNA that sit on the ends of our chromosomes and protect them. Their presence prevents deterioration and unraveling of DNA. They are a bit like the tips on the ends ofour shoelaces. When our cells divide and replicate, the telomere portion of our DNA cannot be copied. So, every time our cells reproduce themselves, the telomere at the ends of our chromosomes shorten. Thus, with age, our telomeres (and the chromosome as a whole) shorten.

Aging process diagram

It is important to note that sun exposure (UV radiation) also accelerates telomere shortening, hence why it’s important to target damage caused by extrinsic factors for the benefit of the epidermis (top layer of the skin), as well as the telomeres deeper down.

Telomeres are also thought to play a role in cancer development. Telomerase is an enzyme found in the epidermis of our skin. This enzyme lengthens and stabilises telomeres. It is believed to act against excessive telomere loss in the human epidermis throughout the lifelong regeneration process.

Knowing that telomere shortening is directly related to the aging process, we wanted to target this in Bespoke Skin Technology products to help stabilise telomeres. We do this in our Complete Daily Armour product using an exciting cosmeceutical ingredient called Teprenone. Teprenone acts by releasing particular proteins to protect cells under stress. The idea of these proteins is to give cells resilience and protection from inflammation, free radicals, and other damage to DNA.

We believe Teprenone is an excellent choice for anti-aging skincare due to its DNA-protective effects. It helps to protect skin from damage, and thus delay or repair aging.

Additionally, resveratrol is an excellent antioxidant that can be useful in combating the shortening of our telomeres. Bespoke Skin Technology utilises this ingredient in the Night Shield and Zinc Stick formulations to deliver a healthy dose of resveratrol to your skin.

Of note, DNA repair enzymes have also been shown to reduce telomere shortening in careful scientific studies. Which leads us to an exciting new class of cosmeceutical ingredients that we have harnessed to equip you with an arsenal to fight against this inevitable aging process. Read more about DNA repair enzymes here.

Antioxidant network

Many people are aware of the concept of antioxidants, and have heard they are good for you. But why are they? And how do they work?

They are as they sound; they don't like oxidants! Your environment with its bombardment from sun, pollution and foods creates oxidation and byproducts of this oxidation are really harmful like bad car exhaust and need to be neutralised. Antioxidants inhibit environmental oxidative stress by blocking toxic free radicals. Antioxidants therefore act as a backstop to scavenge the free radicals formed by pollution, ozone, cigarette smoke, and, when sunscreens are unable to block all UV radiation or any IR radiation.

The other key thing to understand is how to use antioxidants most effectively. This is called the antioxidant network. We know that antioxidants are in fact far more powerful when used together, than individually.

Useful antioxidants with a wealth of clinical studies attesting to their efficacy include:

Bespoke Skin Technology has combined some of the best antioxidants to provide your skin with these benefits.

Bespoke infographic 1 Bespoke infographic 2

Ingredient index

Behold a complete index of all ingredients Bespoke Skin Technology harnesses to create the ultimate skin care regime.

When interpreting these ingredients, it’s important to understand esters; these are organic compounds made by replacing the hydrogen of an acid by an alkyl or other organic group. Many naturally occurring fats and essential oils are esters of fatty acids.

contains both hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups allowing for the polymer to bind to both water and oil, making it useful in combining the two phases to create a single smooth consistency. Italso stabilises a topical product to increase the viscosity and form a film, which gives a smooth and sophisticated experience. It’s commonly found in moisturisers, sunscreen, cleansers and anti-aging skincare.

or more commonly known as Aloe Vera, contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E that are are rich in antioxidants and boosts the protection against free-radical damage within the skin. Phytosterols and polysaccharides work together to boost water retention, soothe inflammation and repair the skins protective barrier to prevent transepidermal water loss. Glycosides are also present and promote cell rejuvenation and deeply nourish the skin.

is a small plant with a 6-8 week life cycle. It has the ability to recognise when there is DNA damage within the skin and uses a liposomal delivery technique to send repairing enzymes such as the OGG1 and antioxidants to boost the skin’s natural cell repair process. Used in anti-aging skin care.

is a water soluble form of Vitamin C. When applied topically and regularly, this potent antioxidant will gently exfoliate the skin to improve texture, boost the skin’s immune system, rejuvenate collagen and elastin production and reduces pigmentation on the skin by decelerating the production of melanin. This ingredient is commonly found in Vitamin C serums, moisturisers and anti-aging skin care.

also known as Vitamin C Ester, it is made from a combination of ascorbic acid and fatty acids. Due to it being lipid (fat) soluble it is able to penetrate the skin deeper and faster than water soluble forms of vitamin C and is able to be stored within the skin for longer periods of time. It's commonly found in sunscreens, anti-aging products, serums and creams.

is a colourless organic alcohol used as a solvent to help product to dissolve in water. It also help decrease the viscosity of creams and gels. It is mainly found in moisturisers, sunscreens, eye creams and makeup.

increases viscosity and works as a skin conditioner. While producing moisturisers that are identical to those that are produced by the oil glands on the skin, it helps to retain moisture by creating a barrier and improves the appearance of dry and flakey skin. Used also for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to absorb UVB rays naturally. Commonly used in moisturisers, body lotion, eye cream, lip balm and hand cream.

is an oil soluble clear liquid and is used as an emollient and to improve texture. It has UV absorbing, antimicrobial and preservative properties and lightly conditions the skin leaving it smooth and soft. Commonly found in sunscreens, moisturisers, eye cream, anti-aging products and make-up.

is a combination of mineral oils derived from petroleum. It has a wax like texture and is used mainly as an emollient and helps to build viscosity.

also known as Green Tea Leaf Extract, it contains polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which helps to calm inflammation, redness and irritation. This helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin by protecting from free-radicals and repairing damage caused by UV rays. Commonly found in moisturisers, cleanser, anti-aging products, sunscreens, acne treatments and body lotions.

a very special class of esters are those formed by the reaction of fatty acids with glycerol; these are called triesters or triglycerides. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is a mixed triester derived from coconut oil and glycerin. It comes in the form of an oily liquid, and is sometimes mistakenly referred to as fractionated coconut oil. Caprylic mainly works as an emollient, dispersing agent and solvent in cosmeceuticals.

is a humectant and draws moisture from the air to the epidermis. We use caprylyl glycol in these products as a preservative, and it is a better than harsh alternatives such as formaldehyde.

is used to enhance texture and is used to create gel formulas. This emulsifying agent is created by a series of polymers made from acrylic acid.

helps to soften and condition the skin. Creates a smooth and luxurious texture to the product.

is an emollient that helps to carry other ingredients. It also helps to keep the water and oil within a product bonded and increases the foaming properties.

Palmitates are esters of palmitic acid and ethylhexyl cetylor isopropyl alcohol. Cetyl palmitate functions as a skin conditioning agent. It's also an efficient opacifier, creating an elegant sheen to our products.

cholecalciferol, also known as Vitamin D, is an antioxidant that helps to rapidly increase the cell's metabolism. It is easily absorbed into the skin, and supports your skin's immunity.

is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). It works to gently exfoliate the skin and helps to keep a product from becoming too alkaline. Commonly found in anti-aging skincare.

is an emollient and helps to condition the skin. It also helps to smooth the skin's appearance by creating a protective barrier on the skin.

is used as a delivery system for heavier silicones. It helps to condition the skin and leaves it feeling silky to the touch.

used as a cleansing agent. It has moisturising properties, this ingredient is perfect for a more sensitive skin. It has anti-irritation and anti-inflammation properties.

has anti-foaming properties and helps to prevent water loss by forming a barrier over the skin.

conditions the skin. It has anti-irritant and anti inflammation properties that help to improve dry and damaged skin.

helps to stabilize and ensure product efficacy. Enhances the foaming and cleansing properties within a product. Commonly found in cleansers, sunscreens, moisturisers and eye creams.

is derived from Glycerin and is a natural preservative. It is used as a conditioning agent.

is a super antioxidant and enhances the stability within topically applied Vitamin A and E. It helps to fight against free radical damage and environmental stressors.

also known as GABA. When applied topically it can have a relaxing effect on the muscles in the skin and helps to improve barrier function recovery.

is a humectant and helps to prevent water loss within the skin. It also helps to defend the skin from environmental stressors. When used topically it helps other ingredients to penetrate the skin.

is able to penetrate the skin with ease and is used to help stabilize product. It is able to reduce water-loss within products and also trans-epidermal water loss from the skin. This prevents damage to the skin from free radicals by creating a protective barrier.

helps to control oil production and has antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties. Soothes the skin, calms redness, and helps to break down an overproduction of melanin to reduce pigmentation.

is a solvent and is used to decrease the viscosity and make a product more spreadable.

also known as Cogon Grass, it helps to increase hydration and water retention within the skin. It also helps to boost cell metabolism and collagen synthesis within the skin.

will tone and condition the skin while reducing redness and inflammation.

a combination of alanine and histidine, two amino acids, and helps to flush toxins from the skin. It is also an anti-glycation agent and helps to protect the skin by fighting the effects of free-radical damage on the skin.

is an emulsifier and a surfactant. Commonly found in cleanser, moisturisers, eye creams and sunscreens.

A silicone polymer that has multiple functions in cosmetic products, including skin-softening and occlusion. The occlusive nature of this ingredient makes it great for defending against moisture loss without making skin feel coated or greasy.

is an emulsifier that is crucial to cell metabolism. It is able to deeply penetrate the skin and works to keep the skin hydrated.

is beneficial to the skins cellular function and prevents damage to the DNA. It helps to protect the skin from UVA and UVB damage and actively reduces inflammation and irritation within the skin. It is an antioxidant that helps to regulate the function of melanin production and decreases pigmentation and dark spots.

is a DNA repair enzyme and is penetrated into the skin using a liposomal delivery system.

also known as Vitamin B3, this ingredient helps to boost the skin's immunity, support new collagen production and helps to reinforce and repair the epidermal barrier. It also reduces redness, pigmentation and discoloration within the skin and allows other active ingredients to work to their full potential.

also known as Polyethylene Glycols. This is a polymer with 8 ethylene glycol units. It works as a humectant to draw moisture to the skin and provide hydration.

also known as Polyethylene Glycols. This is a polymer with 100 ethylene glycol units. It is used to emulsify, moisturise and as an emollient. It is made by combining natural oils with Stearic Acid and is water soluble.

is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.

is a gentle preservative and is also known as Ethylene Glycol Monophenyl Ether. It has antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

helps to significantly reduce inflammation and boosts collagen synthesis within the skin.

is a DNA repair enzyme. It contains essential fatty acids including Omega-3 and Omega-6, amino acids including Magnesium and Arginine and has a high amount of vitamins. It work to promote healthy cell metabolism and to condition the skin.

is a polymer made up from acrylamide. Can be used for its water absorbing properties or for its binding and thickening properties.

is a skin conditioning agent and helps to increase viscosity. It also works as a surfactant to cleanse the skin and as an emulsifier.

is rich in antioxidants and is used as an emulsion stabilizer.

is a stabilized form of Vitamin A that converts to retinoic acid within the skin. It is able to control the production of oil, boost collagen synthesis, and helps to fight acne by targeting P.acnes bacteria. It also helps to rejuvenate the skin and evens out skin tone.

is the salt of Hyaluronic Acid. It is a humectant that hydrates and helps to retain water within the skin.

Also known as lye or caustic soda, it is used to control and maintain the ph levels within a product. It has the ability to break down and dissolve oils and fats from the skin. Commonly used in cleansers.

is derived from Lactic Acid and is salt based. It is a preservative and has antimicrobial properties.

is an emulsifier to thicken a product and is used to help stabilize other ingredients.

is a sorbitan ester and is created by combining sorbitol and polyol with fatty acids. It is used a surfactant and an emulsifier.

is used as an emulsifier and enhances the viscosity in a product. It also helps to preserve and stabilize other ingredients.

is a colourless liquid poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon that is found in sebum. It is an antioxidant and it also works as an emollient.

stabilises telomeres and promotes their length to counteract cell crisis within the body. It helps to boost moisture within the skin and repair barrier function within the skin.

also known as Vitamin E. It is a fat soluble naturally occurring antioxidant. It helps to moisturise and condition the skin and boosts the production of collagen within the skin.

is an ester of Tocopherol and is made up with a combination of Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid. It has antioxidant and moisturising properties and helps to condition the skin.

acts as a solvent within a product and can allow hydrophilic ingredients to work at their highest potential.

is a natural thickening ingredient that is able to enhance texture and stabilise emulsions. It helps to increase viscosity, is an emulsifier and prevents the separation of oils within a product.

is an emulsifying agent and helps to prevent transepidermal water loss by creating a physical barrier on the skin.

is a physical form of sun protection. It helps to block UVA and UVB from causing cell damage within the skin. It also helps to retain moisture within the skin and helps to reduce inflammation. Commonly found in sunscreens and lip balms.