Title: Science-based skin care to prevent aging and Pigmentation with special reference to Japanese skin

Desmond Fernandes

University of Cape Town, South Africa


I am a Plastic Aesthetic surgeon and in early 1980’s I recognised the importance of scientific skin care and formulated skin care specifically for my patients. This was commercialized and registered with various national departments of health around the world and eventually was judged by Aesthetic Everything as the best medical skin care in USA in 2018. I researched enhanced penetration through skin, and then patented low-frequency-sonophoresis and iontophoresis for use by skin care practitioners in 1998.  I was awarded the INNOCOS prize for Innovative Cosmetic Formulation in 2016.  I am listed as one of the ten top plastic surgeons in the world for my work on scarless face and neck lifting.  My research in medical needling from 1994 continues and is now used around the world. 


Without doubt, by understanding the molecular changes in skin that cause photoaging and the processes that induce intrinsic ageing, we can then devise a scientific strategy of treatment. Foremost amongst the molecular changes is the destruction of vitamin A, which is naturally found in photo-protected skin in relatively high quantities. Exposure to light, and particularly UVA light, induces changes in the molecular structure of vitamin A. By absorbing the energy of photons, the double bonds are altered or broken, and while the photo-protective effect can even equate to an SPF value of 20 or more, the loss of vitamin A is the major stress on skin cells. DNA is damaged, collagen and elastin formation is depressed, but Matrix Proteinases are promoted to destroy dermal matrix. The melanocyte axis is affected and results in excessive pigmentation. Langerhans cells are attenuated, which impairs skin immunity and permits the formation of skin cancers. The antioxidant status is severely affected as well. I will show how, by replacing vitamin A and antioxidants, one can restore a youthful appearance and blemish-free skin. Adding selected peptides to products can give significant rejuvenation. By enhancing penetration with cosmetic skin needling and a combination of low frequency sonophoresis and iontophoresis one can reverse these physiological changes and rejuvenate skin.

Audience take away:

By recognising the chemical changes induced by photoaging the audience will understand how to select cosmetic products that are targeting the damage from exposure to light.

The patient looks to the doctor to give balanced and effective advice on cosmetics to use. 

By encouraging patients to use effective cosmetics, doctors also enhance the results that they achieve.

Many doctors are unfortunately unaware of real cosmetics that work and either sell or advise products with ingredients that either don’t work physiologically or are in adequate concentration to be effective.