An entirely new (and incredibly promising) category of skincare has launched.
Excellent news for perimenopausal & menopausal women: a breakthrough skin treatment that specifically targets hormonal deficiency is now available in Australia. Launched by Biopelle, Inc., Emepelle is the first and only clinically proven skincare line created specifically to target oestrogen deficient skin (ESD).
Anti-ageing skincare is nothing new. Billions of dollars have gone into the research and development of treatments and products to counteract the effects of ageing skin, but one important factor has slipped through the radar: women’s hormonal changes. Now, scientists have put hormones under the spotlight, revealing that oestrogen deficiency plays a significant role in ageing skin.
- Scientists have a new understanding of how perimenopause and menopause affects skin
- Oestrogen receptors can be activated through a non-hormonal oestrogen analog formulated by Biopelle – known as MEP
- A 60-patient safety study and 80-patient efficacy study were performed – both with promising results
- Significant improvements were in patients following the regime – particularly by improving dry, dull skin and fine lines
- No other product on the market addresses these hormonal changes to the skin
- MEP is not a hormone; it stimulates specific skin receptors only, making it an excellent option for women avoiding HRT (but also for those on HRT)
- Two new products containing MEP are now available for purchase – a serum and night cream.
Before we take a closer look at oestrogen and its role in ageing, it’s essential we all understand the well-documented causes of ageing skin, and prevent their progression where possible. They include:
- Increased age
- Pollution & Smoking
- Photo damage
- Repetitive facial expressions
All of the above are guilty of making our skin look older. But missing from the above list is oestrogen deficiency.
“On average, a woman’s most rapid ageing occurs from 41 to 47 years old. That frightens people. They are perimenopausal, and their hormones are changing. They’re seeing their facial skin start to sag. Whatever guards they had against ageing are just falling rapidly apart, and that’s when they’re coming in looking for help.”
– Jeannie Downey, MD – Dir of image Dermatology in Montclair, NJ; Assistant Attending at Mountaininside and Overlook hospitals in New Jersey
Menopause: a lot more than hot flashes & dry vaginas
Menopause is a downright confronting time for women. And although some lucky women seem to obliviously sail through the process, scratching their heads if asked how they’re doing, others fall through the cracks into an unwelcomed Pandora’s box of unpleasantness. Irrespective of common menopausal symptoms, however, one change does affect every woman – a rapid hormonal drop – and it affects us in more ways than we may think.
We acknowledge vaginal dryness, but fail to realise that the same causal factors affect our complexion. Dr Joel Cohen, MD and Director, AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery in Greenwood Village and Lone Tree, CO, and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of California Irvine, says there is a 30% drop in collagen during the first five years of menopause, according to a new study, which is why women start to notice the fine lines and wrinkles ramping up as they approach or enter menopause.
But these changes start earlier than the menopausal years.
According to Dr Jeannie Downey, “On average, a woman’s most rapid ageing occurs from 41 to 47 years old. That frightens people. They are perimenopausal, and their hormones are changing. They’re seeing their facial skin start to sag. Whatever guards they had against ageing are just falling rapidly apart, and that’s when they’re coming in looking for help.”
Put simply, when your oestrogen levels drop, the anti-ageing process, without invitation, shifts into hyperdrive. And it’s no joy ride. Wrinkles and lines that were ever-so-slowly appearing seemingly pop up overnight. Skin becomes finer, weaker, and loses its bounce. There’s sagging, jowling, age spots and dry spots – and that dewy, youthful glow we once so enjoyed quickly becomes a distant memory. And our vaginas dry out.
Signs of oestrogen deficiency
- Dry skin (lack of hydration)
- Pruritis (itchiness)
- Atrophy (dinner skin)
- Decreased moisture
- Decrease in collagen & elastin
- Increase in fine lines and wrinkles
- Increased texture abnormalities
- Decreased barrier function
- In skin of colour, EDS may include patchy the pigmentation and texture abnormalities
Now, the good news: Activating your oestrogen receptors (without adding hormones to your body)
Biopelle have launched a new category of skincare with a hero ingredient, Methyl Estradiolpropanoate (MEP), a non-hormonal way to activate the oestrogen receptor.
And this is the important bit.
Rather than adding a hormone – which may make some women wary – it is simply an oestrogen analog (a compound that mimics the effects of oestrogens) that activates the cutaneous oestrogen receptors. It’s called a NERA, a non-hormonal oestrogen (spelt Estrogen in the US) receptor activator – an oestrogenic sterol ester. So it all happens entirely within the skin, and once absorbed into the bloodstream, it’s rapidly deactivated into an inactive metabolite.
Relying on a non-hormonal oestrogen receptor rather than a hormone itself is great news for the many women that may be frightened of hormone replacement therapy, or if they have had a family or personal history of breast cancer or DVT and must avoid any oestrogenic treatments. However, the product has not specifically been tested on cancer patients. These patients should consult with their physician for any questions.
Said Doris Day, MD, private practice owner and Clinical Associate Professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, “For women who have had a history of breast cancer, it may be challenging to help some of them get over the emotional aspects and understand that this is a skin-specific receptor that does not produce any systemic effects.”
Targeting oestrogen deficient skin by addressing collagen loss
MEP targets oestrogen-deficient skin by addressing the significant collagen loss that occurs during the first few years of menopause. It also helps to improve oxidative stress and improve the appearance of dryness, dullness and fine lines. Essentially, it reawakens or reactivates receptors in the skin.
To evaluate topical MEP for facial features of oestrogen deficient women, researchers performed a 60-patient safety study. Dr Zoe Draelos, MD, showed that once MEP enters the bloodstream, it is broken down by esterases to an inactive carboxyl molecule, and so avoids any systemic oestrogen side-effects.
Further, Dr Zoe Draelos critically evaluated 80 patients for efficacy. Historically, sometimes these test results have been swayed as the ingredient may contain strong moisturising components, so the recipients may benefit from these components alone, confusing the results. But with MEP, the formulation had no other effective ingredients; it was specifically designed to have minimal moisturising properties.
Promisingly, the study showed a statistically significant improvement from baseline at week 14 in parameters including laxity, atrophy, dryness and dullness. And, an increase in the number of oestrogen receptors on the fibroblasts was also observed – demonstrating that MEP mimics oestrogen and reactivates long-dormant receptors.
Introducing Empelle, with MEP technology
Biopelle have released two products featuring MEP technology, along with additional anti-ageing ingredients to help further restore the function of hormonally deficient skin – a serum, and night cream.
Emepelle Serum: Contains several potent antioxidants, peptides and niacinamide, giving the skin peptides and barrier repair ingredients in the morning, along with MEP. The serum is oil-free, making it ideal for oily or acne-prone skin. Purchase here >
Emepelle night cream: At night, patients use the night cream that again has MEP, along with retinol, more peptides and emollient lipids such as shea butter, grape seed oil and apricots oil. Purchase here >
What does that word mean?
In case you’re new to this, here are a few terms that you may like explained.
Analog – A compound that mimics the effects of oestrogens
Perimenopause – The transition into menopause, which begins several years before menopause. The time when ovaries gradually begin to make less oestrogen, usually starting on a woman’s 40s, but can be earlier.
Menopause – A woman is considered to have entered menopause when she has ceased menstruating for over 12 months. Ovaries stop producing hormones, with common symptoms including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, skin dryness, itchiness, depression and anxiety.
Oestrogen or estrogen receptors (ER) – A group of proteins found inside cells that are activated by oestrogen. The hormone oestrogen binds to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow.
NERA – A non-hormonal oestrogen receptor activator