Hello and welcome to my blog!
Today we are talking about wrinkles and biochemistry.
Facial wrinkles occur from the continuous traction on the skin from facial muscles, but of course have a genetic and lifestyle component too. Today we are just focusing on two compounds, SNAP-8 and DMEA (Di-ethyl-aminoethanol)/Deanol, that studies have shown to help reduce wrinkles. There is a short video at the end of the blog to show you how I make up SNAP-8 and DMAE solutions for skin care, as I tend to avoid commercial skin creams as they contain so many ingredients and perfumes.
You can add SNAP-8 or DMAE to your cream or buy one with SNAP-8 in it, but again you have no control over the other ingredients in the cream. DMAE if taken orally is beneficial for brain health and mood, and many people use DMAE as a nootropic.
The skin on our face is very special compared to other parts of the body in that the muscles interact with the skin in a very precise and intricate way manner. Most of human communication is actually via body language and facial expression, so humans have evolved with many complex facial expressions, requiring precise and intricate interactions of muscle and skin.
Over years of expressing our emotions often involuntarily through facial expressions is that there are wrinkles left in the skin, which bother some people.
For a muscle to contract it needs to receive a signal from the nervous system which then triggers a biochemical pathway using acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter. Without getting to complicated, this process eventually causes calcium channels to open causing muscular contraction. Anything which blocks this sequence of events will interfere with how the muscle contracts.
The SNARE complex is a collection of special proteins in a group, like a team of proteins (VAMP, Syntaxin, and SNAP-25), which are needed for the muscle contraction process inside the pre-synaptic neuron cell membrane. The SNARE complex binds to the vesicle (like a molecular bag) full of acetyl choline, helping the vesicle fuse with the cell membrane, so it can pass the message on into the neuro muscular junction to get the muscle to contract. Anything which interferes with the SNARE complex is going to affect muscle contraction, and in this case reduce wrinkles. Botox and SNAP-8 blocks this biochemical process so the muscles aren’t able to contract, even if the brain tells them too by firing the nerve.
SNAP – 8
SNAP-8 is a modified shortened version of SNAP-25 (part of the SNARE complex). This is like swapping a bag (SNAP-25), for a bag with a huge hole in it (SNAP-8). The SNAP-8 pushes its way into the SNARE complex and pushes some SNAP-25 off. So now the SNARE complex doesn’t function properly. This inhibits the vesicle full of acetyl choline from binding to the membrane and delivering its contents into the neuromuscular junction. The result is less or no muscle contraction. This lack of muscle contraction in the facial muscles prevents the pull on the skin and prevents new and alleviates old wrinkles.
SNAP-8 is cheaper and safer than BOTOX and works in the same way. SNAP-8 can be made into all types of topical preparations, from creams to gels or whatever you want. SNAP-8 is a newer version of the anti-wrinkle hexapeptide Argireline, on which there are several studies. For SNAP-8 to work it has to be at the correct concentration, between 3%-10%. SNAP-8 can be applied to the skin topically and has reduced wrinkles in a mixture of cell, animal and human studies up to 34% on a average. One study suggested 62%, but I think that is over-optimistic.
Skin topography analysis for measuring the effectiveness of an cream containing 10% or 5% SNAP-8 solution was done by obtaining silicon imprints from around the eyes from 17 healthy women volunteers (like a 3D wrinkle photocopier). Silicon imprints were obtained pre-test and after 28 days of twice a day applications. It was observed that the depth of the wrinkle has significantly decreased after 28 days of treatment. This data gives us an idea of how often and how long to use the SNAP-8, twice a day for a month.
SNAP-8 is a peptide (short protein) (Acetyl-Glu-Glu-Met-Gln-Arg-Arg-Ala-Asp-NH2), it works like Botox but does not paralyze the muscles nearly as much. This means it is not as powerful in removing lines, but on the plus side you can still move the muscles and make the appropriate facial expressions. It is also a topical and not an injection.
In the video I make a 5% SNAP-8 solution with sterile water. I use 10mg and 200ul (0.2ml) of water. I add about 10-15ul per application so my bottle contains 15-20 doses. So about 1 week or 10 days. To make a 10% SNAP-8 solution, I would add 100ul 0.1ml of water. So 3 vials of SNAP would be needed for 28 days of twice a day application, but results are seen after a few days.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol, Deanol, Deaner) is an amine naturally produced in small amounts in your brain. High levels of DMAE are also found in seafood like anchovies and sardines
DMAE if taken as a supplement (1-1.5g per day) helps:
- Neuroprotection. DMAE helps eliminate lipofuscin and free radicals from brain cells.
- Neurotransmitters. DMAE prevents choline uptakeby cells forcing more free choline to be available in your system.
- Mood. DMAE supplementation may improve mood, focus, depression and energy while influencing sleep patterns.
In a 2005 study, it was found that DMAE helps to increase firmness while reducing overall inflammation. They also reported that DMAE reduces lines, wrinkles, and the overall appearance of aging skin. A later study was done in 2009 and I will briefly summarize the study below.
DMAE is an analogy of the B vitamin choline and is a precursor of acetylcholine. In a randomized clinical study 3% DMAE facial gel was applied daily for 16 weeks has been shown to be safe and efficacious (p < 0.05) in the mitigation of forehead lines and fine wrinkles around the eyes, in improving lip shape and fullness and the overall appearance of aging skin.
These beneficial effects did not regress during a 2-week after stopping application. Beneficial trends (p > 0.05 but </= 0.1) were noted in the appearance of coarse wrinkles, under-eye dark circles, nasolabial folds, sagging neck skin, and neck firmness. DMEA found to be well tolerated, with no differences in the occurrence of erythema, peeling, dryness, itching, burning, or stinging between the DMAE and placebo groups.
The acute skin-firming effects of DMAE have been confirmed by measuring cutaneous tensile strength. Cell studies in peripheral blood lymphocytes indicate that DMAE is a moderately active anti-inflammatory agent. Exactly how DMAE works on the the skin remain to be elucidated, evidence suggests that the skin is an active site of acetylcholine synthesis, storage, secretion, metabolism, and receptivity.
To summarise DMAE works in different way to SNAP-8, it would appear it influences the acetyl choline system and increases ‘global skin tone’ and is anti inflammatory. It doesn’t cause peeling, redness and other issues which are observed with other anti ageing creams and peels. So I would probably use SNAP-8 or DMAE initially
In the video I make a 3% DMAE solution and I use water, but in the past I have used a mixture of water and avocado oil. I used 1.5g in 50ml as well as 0.3g in 10ml. You can add it to your own cream or gel too.
DMAE is cheap and comes in 100g packs so it would be very easy and chaep to make a DMAE body wrap for tightening the skin in problem body areas as the effect would be the same as on the face.
Here is the video
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Thank you for reading!
If you would like any help with home biochemistry then please contact me for a skype session
A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2002 Oct;24(5):303-10.
The role of dimethylaminoethanol in cosmetic dermatology. Grossman R. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(1):39-47. Review.
In vivo skin effects of a dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) based formulation. Tadini KA, Campos PM. Pharmazie. 2009 Dec;64(12):818-22.