Good skin care products have become a driving force in the aesthetic industry. Not just from a retail sales point of view, but as a way to enhance cosmetic surgery and other non-invasive treatments.  The newest kid on the block, Psoria-Gold, is a company that is using curcumin, a derivative of turmeric, an ingredient known to reduce inflammation and help reverse the aging process. In this interview with Siana Cutter, Director of Operations of Omnicure the developers of Psoria-Gold, we learned first-hand how this exciting skin care line is rapidly becoming a game changer when it comes to pre-and post-operative care, as well as the long term anti-aging needs of the aesthetic patient. Developed by a professor of clinical dermatology at UCLA, Psoria-Gold works as a stand-alone skin care line, and will improve the results of chemical and laser peels due to its anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties.

Siana Cutter and a colleague at a recent aesthetic industry trade show.
Siana Cutter and a colleague at a recent aesthetic industry trade show.

How Did Psoria-Gold Get Its start?
I joined Omnicure in 2006. The company was founded by Madalene Heng, MD, a professor of dermatology at UCLA and a dermatologist in private practice in Camarillo, CA.  Dr. Heng and I worked very closely in the lab in the early days. She was studying naturally derived anti-inflammatories and she focused specifically on turmeric as she was very interested in the yellow polyphenol curcumin which characterizes turmeric’s yellow color. She found that it was a very good anti-inflammatory and was just as effective, if not more so, as some of the prescription anti-inflammatories available at that time. This was very exciting for her because certain prescription medications are not generally recommended for everyday use on the skin, especially the face, as they can cause photosensitivity. Photodamage is a root cause of skin aging so she was excited to find a natural anti-inflammatory that wouldn’t cause other damage and this spurred a lot of studies based on natural anti-inflammatories specifically curcumin. Over the past decade, the interest in turmeric worldwide has grown, especially as a topically applied product, as well as the oral application of it.

Turmeric Is Often Thought Of As A Food Ingredient. How Is It Used Clinically?
The name Psoria-Gold is derived from Dr. Heng’s early work treating psoriasis. During her research, she discovered that curcumin, the yellow polyphenol which characterizes the color of turmeric, was a phosphorylase kinase inhibitor. She found that in inhibiting the enzyme which initiates the inflammatory process with psoriasis, she was able to stop much of the post inflammatory symptoms which are sometimes precipitated by injury in psoriatic skin. That led to more research and testing with acne, rosacea, burns, scars, etc. because this one enzyme is actually the common denominator found in many unwanted skin problems. With further refinement, Dr. Heng was able to create an effective product that is safe to use on problematic skin without the same side effects as some of the prescription medications. Although used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries Turmeric itself has enjoyed popularity in recent years due to its health benefits. In Dr. Heng’s work it is the separation of Curcumin from the Turmeric that makes Psoria-Gold an effective healer.

PsoriaGold at AACD Aesthetic Trade Show
PsoriaGold at AACD Aesthetic Trade Show.

Is It True That Although Psoria-Gold Was First Introduced To Aid With Psoriasis That It Is Also An Effective Anti-Aging Treatment?

Yes. It seems as though it happens frequently that a medical treatment used to treat one thing, proves to also work to treat something else. For instance, Botox was originally used to treat blepharospasms and then doctors treating that condition noticed a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. A similar thing was realized by Dr. Heng during the early days of treating psoriasis. Once she saw that Psoria-Gold was naturally treating severe inflammation, it didn’t take long to apply similar reasoning to other aspects of skin trauma and healing.

What Level or Strength Is Psoria-Gold?

Basically we have different strengths for different uses. The bottom line is that something that was formulated to aggressively work on severe skin conditions such as psoriasis is also gentle enough to be used on younger skin suffering with acne, or a more mature person with fine lines and wrinkles. The strength of the curcumin extract we use is based on the application involved. In general, because it takes so much curcumin powder to produce a small amount of extract, we have to control the concentration. The research has shown that it’s not necessary to use a lot of curcumin powder for mild or everyday application. For more severe symptoms or acute injury to the skin we generally recommend a stronger formulation that can be used by the patient on smaller select areas. Extracting natural curcumin is also a long and costly process so in order to keep costs contained we strive to make sure that the patient is using the product correctly and for the right skin condition.

How Much Research Has Been Done On Curcumin In Skin Care?

Dr. Heng has a worldwide reputation and patient base due to her research into Curcumin. She actually started her research in the hospital when she was Chief of Dermatology at UCLA. She is a very prolifici researcher and writer and has actually written and published over 130 papers in well-respected medical journals. One of the very exciting things that she did when she was first doing her research on Curcumin was to write a grant that allowed her to purchase an electron microscope which was very rare at the time. Not a lot of labs had access to this microscope and because of her grant she was able to purchase this very valuable instrument. This allowed her to see in real-time detail how the skin was reacting to the Curcumin. The electron microscope was really in the forefront of technology at that time and allowed her to get all the way down to the mitochondria when looking at a sample of skin. It was a breakthrough!

Product Shot. AACD2015.

Do Aesthetic Physicians Offer This Product To Their Patients?

Yes. Everybody, eventually, in their lifetime is going to have some issues with sun damage including fine lines and wrinkles, textural changes, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, etc., because over time the skin does become compromised as a result of exposure to UV light. So at some point in time the symptoms accumulate and for a lot of people it isn’t until later on in life when they suddenly decide that it’s time to change their lifestyle and begin to alleviate some of the unwanted effects of the sun. They become concerned about freckles, wrinkles and pre-cancers. Curcumin has a very interesting effect on photo-damaged skin because it is a phosphorylase kinase inhibitor. Phosphorylase kinase in the case of photo damage and sun exposure inhibits the skin’s ability to go through cell apoptosis. The Psoria-Gold Curcumin gel stops the inhibitory properties of phosphorylase kinase and allows the damaged cells to slough off and die and over time populate more healthy cells. Our physician customers really appreciate that Psoria-Gold is a product with over 35 years of research and 130 published papers. They understand the science behind the product and are eager to let their patients try it.

Is This A Good Product For People With An Active Lifestyle?

Absolutely. Outdoor activity is good for all of us on so many levels both physically and mentally. Good circulation also helps stimulate skin cells so at Omnicure we are big believers in enjoying an outdoor lifestyle. We do, of course, recommend using a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen and protective eyewear, however, Psoria-Gold is also a good addition to use daily as it is always effectively working to reduce sun damage. It is a well-known fact that UVA rays do go through clothing so, if they can go through clothing they can most probably also go through your sunscreen. Psoria-Gold worn daily provides a back-up as the Curcumin gel can prevent how your skin reacts to the sun’s rays, fighting the damage at the same time as restoring damaged tissue. Nowadays, people are becoming more preventative in their approach to health including skin health. They want to enjoy life more without worrying all the time about what could happen. Psoria Gold gives them that ability to enjoy the outdoors without worrying too much about the future consequences of sun exposure as they are using proven products that help them age more gracefully.

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To Listen To The Radio Interview With Siana Cutter CLICK HERE!

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