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Marie Veronique

Science / Research

At Marie Veronique we rely on our own diligent research, as well as the work of industry experts and skincare studies. Together, this body of research tells us what’s safe and what’s not, what works and what doesn’t. And now we want to let you in on it, too.



Benefits of Topical l-ascorbic acid

Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin required by the body that we do not synthesize ourselves, unlike most mammals. Our source of Vitamin C is plants, particularly fruits.

Topical ascorbic acid is beneficial for skin because it is a crucial step in the biosynthesis of collagen, which gives the skin its firmness.

Beta Glucan to Fight Aging

A study published in International Journal of Cosmetic Science is the first to show that oat beta glucans can penetrate the skin. The finding is significant, not only in the treatment of skin disorders and removing fine lines and wrinkles, but in the promotion of wound healing and reduction in scarring following surgical procedures.

Astaxanthin; a powerful anti-oxidant

In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that astaxanthin inhibits lipid peroxidation in rats more effectively than Vitamin E.

Chitin-Glucan, Natural Cell Scaffold for Skin Moisturization and Rejuvenation

Two clinical studies on a copolymer of chitin and beta-glucan showed improvements in water retention of the skin.

Chitin-Nanofibrils: A New Active Cosmetic Carrier

The evolution of the cosmetic industry has been in the direction of more science, less hype. Active compounds in new cosmetic products are both more innovative and more sophisticated, and real advances have been made in developing products that are effective in the battle against skin aging. A case in point is the creation of chitin-nanofibrils.

Coffee Berry Extracts

The polyphenol anti-oxidants contained within the coffee berry are believed to prevent cellular damage in skin when applied externally. A test carried out on women aged 35 to 60 in an independent laboratory over three weeks showed improvements with respect to wrinkles, dry skin and discoloration.

Research reports that 400 mg of the outer layer of the coffee fruit has a radical scavenging activity equal to 9.6 grams of fresh blueberries, 6.2 grams of strawberries, or 4.9 grams of raspberries. This potent anti-radical power has not been commercially available previously because the fruit rapidly perishes.

Glucosamine and Anti-Aging

The American Academy of Dermatology cites a recent study showing that glucosamine could prove to be an effective topical treatment to reverse the effects of skin cells damaged by UV exposure. Glucosamine is currently used in the treatment of arthritis patients in the US, but a series of studies that were presented at the Academy's annual meeting indicate that the topical application of the supplement can normalize pigment overproduction in skin cells, something which is normally due to UV exposure.

Green Tea Extract Protection Against UV Damage: Study

Topical application of low dose green tea extract may help protect against UV damage, without the common side effects.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a component of the deeper layers of the skin that is crucial in maintaining skin’s youthful, dewy appearance. It performs many functions, from moisture retention to structural support. Because we biosynthesize less of it as we get older finding ways to introduce more HA into the skin wages the anti-aging battle on an important front. The article explains the advantages of HA and the problems associated with using it effectively.

Influence of flavonoids and vitamins on the MMP and TIMP-expression of human dermal fibroblasts after UVA irradiation.

Degradation of collagen following UV exposure can be moderated by the influence of Vitamins C and E and rutin on matrix metalloproteinases which govern breakdown processes.

Lactic Acid for Natural Anti-Aging, Skin Lightening and Anti-Acne

Lactic acid is being discovered all over again, as new nformation emerges showing that it useful as a probiotic in anti-acne treatments. Lactic acid is the gentlest of the alpha hydroxy acids; it is also very versatile and has great utility in treating a number of different skin conditions. These three posts look at the benefits of LA from three different points of view: anti-aging, skin lightening and anti-acne.

Niacinamide: an anti-aging powerhouse

The track record of topical vitamins in skin rejuvenation has been mixed at best. A few, such as vitamins A and C, do provide some benefits if properly stabilized and applied in sufficient concentrations. It appears that another vitamin, niacinamide, should be added to this select group.

Tea tree oil

Tests show that tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide in combating Propionibacterium acnes, the major acne-causing microbe. Better yet, it has none of the downside risks associated with benzoyl peroxide, like sun sensitization and new cell growth inhibition.

Usnea lichen CO2 extract

Testing has demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes, Corynegacterium pseudodiphtericum and pityrosporon ovale. Benzoyl peroxide is the conventional acne treatment because it is specific for P. acnes, the microbe mainly responsible for causing acne breakouts.



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the use of certain acne products containing the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can cause rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation. An active ingredient is the component that makes the medicine effective against the illness or condition it is treating.”

We have long sounded the alarm about the dangers of benzoyl peroxide in acne products—prolonged use can cause photosensitivity and inhibit new cell growth. Clearly not a good ingredient to use for adult acne sufferers who also have aging issues! We are very glad to see that the FDA is finally addressing the BP overuse issue.

The cautionary on salicylic acid is quite new. We have used salicylic acid in our acne products, the serum and the cleanser, because it is known for its ability to clean out hair follicles. You will notice almost all men’s products contain it, as folliculitis (razor bumps) is a common problem. However, just as we have found an alternative to BP that successfully treats acne, we have discovered an alternative to salicylic acid. Our ingredient that will be substituting for salicylic acid is sodium salicylate. Sodium salicylate is the salt of salicylic acid, and the same sensitivities people experience with the beta hydroxy acid do not apply here. Even better, sodium salicylate is not only a powerful anti-inflammatory, a study on hairless mice concluded that topical doses of NAS inhibited UVB-induced thymine dimmer formation, thus inhibiting tumor formation via a sunscreen mechanism. (Learn more on our blog post: Breakthrough is Sun Protection, Part Two.)

We stay abreast of the research so we can stay ahead of other companies in development. We believe our line up of ingredients attests to that.

Instead of benzoyl peroxide we use:

Tee tree oil: Tests show that tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide in combating Propionibacterium acnes, the major acne-causing microbe. Better yet, it has none of the downside risks associated with benzoyl peroxide, like sun sensitization and new cell growth inhibition.

Usnea lichen CO2 extract: Testing has demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes, Corynegacterium pseudodiphtericum and pityrosporon ovale. Benzoyl peroxide is the conventional acne treatment because it is specific for P. acnes, the microbe mainly responsible for causing acne breakouts.

Instead of salicylic acid we will use: Sodium salicylate (NAS): a powerful anti-inflammatory and photoprotective agent.

Toxic or damaging to skin

Alarming Results From New Study Supports Concerns About Use Of TiO2 Nanoparticles in Personal Care Products

Scientists at the University of Plymouth have shown, for the first time in an animal, that nanoparticles have a detrimental effect on the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.

Benzoyl Peroxide Cautions and FDA Category Changes

Use of benzoyl peroxide to control acne may involve side effects and risks that should be considered in making decisions on acne treatment. BiON has given particular attention to providing effective treatment with no side effects and no benzoyl peroxide.

Effect of benzoyl peroxide on antioxidant status, NF-κB activity and interleukin-1α gene expression in human keratinocytes

These results demonstrate that BP induces an inflammatory reaction mediated by oxidative stress by a pathway independent of the redox-sensitive transcription factor NF-κB.

Titanium Dioxide: Unsafe at Any Size?

Titanium dioxide is the subject of new controversy, yet it is a substance as old as the earth itself. It is one of the top fifty chemicals produced worldwide. It is a white, opaque and naturally- occurring mineral found in two main forms: rutile and anatase.

Toxic Fragrances: Making Sense of Scents

Perfumes are increasingly used in an ever wider variety of fields, including perfumes proper, cosmetic products, hygenic products, drugs, detergents and other household products, plastics, industrial greases, oils and solvents, foods, etc. Their composition is usually complex—it involves numerous natural and synthetic sweet-smelling constituents, more than 5,000 of which are known. Perfumes may produce toxic and more often allergic respiratory disorders (asthma), as well as neurological and cutaneous disorders.

Endocrine disruptors

Endocrine Activity of Parabens and Implications for Potential Risks to Human Health

Parabens are a group of the alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid and typically include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, and benzylparaben. Parabens (or their salts) are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals due to their relatively low toxicity profile and a long history of safe use.

Our Stolen Future: About Phthalates

Phthalates are a class of widely used industrial compounds known technically as dialkyl or alkyl aryl esters of 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid. There are many phthalates with many uses, and just as many toxicological properties.

Scientists Warn of Low-Dose Risks of Chemical Exposure

A new study finds that even low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals — used in everything from plastics to pesticides – can have serious effects on human health. These findings, the researchers say, point to the need for basic changes in how chemical safety testing is conducted.

Skin tumor-promoting activity of benzoyl peroxide, a widely used free radical-generating compound

A single topical application of benzoyl peroxide produced a marked epidermal hyperplasia and induced a large number of dark basal keratinocytes, effects similar to those produced by the potent tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate. Benzoyl peroxide, like other known tumor promoters, also inhibited metabolic cooperation (intercellular communication) in Chinese hamster cells.

Triclosan in Bioassay Screens

Concerns have been raised about the biological and toxicologic effects of the antimicrobials triclocarban (TCC) and triclosan (TCS) in personal care products. Few studies have evaluated their biological activities in mammalian cells to assess their potential for adverse effects.

Skin Conditions

Adult acne

An update on the pathogenesis and management of acne vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is an easily recognizable dermatologic disease. It is also very common. Acne is seen in nearly 100% of individuals at some time during their lives. Small, noninflamed acne lesions may not be more than a slight nuisance but, in individuals with more severe inflammatory nodular acne, pain, social embarrassment, and both physical and psychological scarring can be life altering. Fortunately, our understanding of the pathogenesis of acne has progressed and our therapeutic armamentarium has greatly expanded in the last twenty-five years.

How Pantothenic Acid Unveils the Mysteries of Acne Vulgaris and Obesity

In reviewing the numerous studies that deal with the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris, and one gets the impression of reading a detective story. There is the victim. The facts are all there. There are all the clues, as well as the suspects. But the culprit cannot be identified. The identification is made the more difficult because the clues seem all tangled up. At times, they fit in with the suspects very well, other times however, the same clues are contradictory, and appear to lead to a hopeless situation. In the same way, it is quite a mystery that an over-weight person, with an abundance of energy deposited as fat depot, cannot efficiently use this stored fat in times of need as during dieting when food intake does not meet the energy demand. Not only is this precious stored unavailable,I n some cases it is actually squandered.

Pantothenic Acid, B5 for Acne

In this article we will present to you information about Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) as a treatment for acne. We will explain the role of Vitamin B5 in the metabolism of fats and oils, and how increasing the metabolism of oils will reduce oil accumulation in the skin, and thereby reduce or eliminate acne. Both Accutane and Vitamin B5 work by different mechanisms. Accutane works by shrinking the sebaceous glands at the root of the hair follicles. However, Vitamin B5 works by reducing the oil production of the sebaceous glands. This is done by increasing Coenzyme A (Co-A) which increases the metabolic breakdown of oils by normal activity of cell physiology.


Anti-aging Potential in Fat Molecule

Scientists in South Korea claim to have uncovered a fat molecule with strong anti-aging potential from tests on the ability of lipids to fight skin aging.

Resveratrol in prevention and treatment of common clinical conditions of aging

Resveratrol is a potent member of the class of natural, plant-derived chemicals known as polyphenols. These help explain in part why a diet high in fruit and vegetables confers health benefits and are associated with reduced risk of common complex conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ultraviolet A radiation-induced biological effects in human skin

Interesting studies indicate that prevention of the generation of singlet oxygen or inhibition of singlet oxygen-induced signaling pathways may prove to be critical for effective protection of human skin against UVA radiation-induced damage.

UVA Protection as an Anti-aging Strategy: a ten point information guide

The following facts are summarized from an article by Sheldon R. Pinnell, MD and Doren L. Madey, PhD, which appeared in the peer-reviewed Aesthetic Surgery Journal...

Why Lipids and Sunscreen are Your Best Protection Against Dehydration, Aging and Breakouts

It is a truism in natural circles that your body does its best job fighting off disease and healing itself when it has the nutritional wherewithal to do so. This notion has even more applicability when it comes to treating your skin.


Sun's Rays May Leave Mysterious Marks

For adults and children alike, summer is the season to take in the mystery of the outdoors, its unexpected pleasures and hidden thrills. But summer has its share of unpleasant discoveries, too — as dermatologists know all too well. For this is also the season of the mystery rash. "This time of year, a lot of people come in with rashes and have no idea what happened," said Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff, a dermatologist in New York.


Rosacea or Adult Acne?

Sensitive skin, rosacea, adult acne—how can you tell where you fit? A recent article in the New York Times by Camille Sweeney, “In a Perfect World, Rosacea Remains a Problem” suggests that rosacea has become “the new cellulite.”


Long-Distance Retrograde

Effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin A

Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox

The latest news on Botox is that it may actually shut down parts of the brain. This information comes from a recent article by Carl Zimmer, "Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox."


Amid Nanotech's Promise, Health Risks Grow

For almost two years, molecular biologist Bénédicte Trouiller doused the drinking water of scores of lab mice with nano-titanium dioxide, the most common nanomaterial used in consumer products today.

Brian Gulson Research Study on Nanoparticles

Independent research on sunscreens is turning up some interesting findings. According to The Australian and ABC “Geochemist Brian Gulson, of Sydney's Macquarie University, has provided the first conclusive evidence that zinc oxide nanoparticles...

Deleterious effects of sunscreen titanium dioxide nanoparticles on DNA: efforts to limit DNA damage

Sunlight can have deleterious effects on humans: causes sunburns and is the principal cause of skin cancers. Usage of TiO2 (and ZnO) in sunscreen lotions, widely used as UVA/UVB blockers, and intended to prevent sunburns and to protect consumers from skin cancers (carcinomas and melanomas) is examined.

Discussion paper on nanotechnology standardisation and nomenclature issues

Friends of the Earth Australia recommends defining nanoparticles as ‘particles having one or more dimensions measuring approximately 0.3 nanometres (nm) to 300 nm, or particles which have structures that exist at this scale’ for the purposes of health and safety assessment.

FDA takes ‘first step’ toward greater regulatory certainty around nanotechnology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today released draft guidance to provide regulated industries with greater certainty about the use of nanotechnology, which generally involves materials made up of particles that are one billionth of a meter in size. The guidance outlines the agency’s view on whether regulated products contain nanomaterials or involve the application of nanotechnology.

Lipid nanoparticles mediated cell uptake of resveratrol

That was prevented by loading it into solid lipid nanoparticles, which preserved cell morphology. The cytostatic effect of SLN–RSV was much more expressed than that of RSV in solution. Delivery of RSV by SLN contributes to effectiveness of RSV on decreasing cell proliferation, with potential benefits for prevention of skin cancer.

MV Particle Size Profile

A US Consumer’s Union series of investigations prompted them to write a letter to the FDA asking that the organization require a full safety assessment on the use of nanoparticles in cosmetics, sunscreens and sunblocks before a product is allowed to market.

Nanoparticles can cause DNA damage across a cellular barrier

The increasing use of nanoparticles in medicine has raised concerns over their ability to gain access to privileged sites in the body. Here, we show that cobalt–chromium nanoparticles (29.5 6.3 nm in diameter) can damage human fibroblast cells...

Nanoparticles Damage DNA Remotely: Study

Nanoparticles used in medical applications can indirectly damage DNA inside cells by transmitting signals through a protective barrier of human tissue, says UK researchers.

Nanoparticles in Polluted Air, Smoke & Nanotechnology Products Have Serious Impact On Health

New groundbreaking research by scientists at Trinity College Dublin has found that exposure to nanoparticles can have a serious impact on health, linking it to rheumatoid arthritis and the development of other serious autoimmune diseases. The findings that have been recently published in the international journal Nanomedicine have health and safety implications for the manufacture, use and ultimate disposal of nanotechnology products and materials. They also identified new cellular targets for the development of potential drug therapies in combating the development of autoimmune diseases.

Nano-Sunscreens Leave Their Mark

Painted metal roofs are cheap, convenient, and usually very durable. But over the past two years, a rash of accelerated ageing has blighted pre-painted steel roofing in Australia.

New Products Bring Side Effect: Nanophobia

It sounds like a plot straight out of a science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton. Toiletry companies formulate new cutting-edge creams and lotions that contain tiny components designed to work more effectively.

Obama’s EPA Poised To Crack Down on Nanotech

Under agency chief Lisa Jackson, the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency has promised to tighten regulations on nanomaterials, particles as small as molecules which are used by companies working in fields as varied as cosmetics and advanced materials.

Plastic Nanoparticles Can Move From Mom to Baby Through Placenta

Research shows for the first time that plastic nanoparticles can cross the human placenta, possibly exposing the developing fetus to the tiny materials that are increasingly used in medicines, vaccines and personal care products.


Active ingredients in sunscreens act as topical penetration enhancers

Agricultural workers are encouraged to use sunscreen to decrease the risk of UV-related skin cancer. Our previous studies have shown certain commercial sunscreens to be penetration enhancers.

Free Radicals and Sunscreens

Does sunscreen save skin — or damage it? Study alarms some scientists, but don't deep-six your SPF just yet.

Ultraviolet A radiation-induced biological effects in human skin: relevance for photoaging and photodermatosis

There is increasing evidence that longwave ultraviolet (UV) radiation (UVA; 320–400 nm) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of photodermatoses such as polymorphous light eruption as well as photoaging.

Current Sunscreen Controversies: A Critical Review

Sunscreens are believed to be a valuable tool in providing photoprotection against the detrimental effects of UV radiation, a known carcinogen. However, a number of controversies have developed regarding their safety and efficacy. This review summarizes the relevant studies surrounding these controversies.

Microfine Zinc Oxide is a Superior Sunscreen Ingredient to Microfine Titanium Dioxide

We compare microfine zinc oxide and microfine titanium dioxide for their abilities to attenuate UVA radiation and their relative whiteness in cosmetic formulations.

Reactive oxygen species produced upon photoexcitation of sunscreens containing titanium dioxide (an EPR study)

The generation of reactive oxygen radical species upon irradiation of sunscreens significantly depends on their composition, as the additives present (antioxidants, radical-scavengers, solvents) can transform the reactive radicals formed to less harmful products.

Chemical oxidation and DNA damage catalysed by inorganic sunscreen ingredients

Using chemical methods, we show that all sunscreen TiO2 samples tested catalyse the photo-oxidation of a representative organic substrate (phenol). We also show that sunlight-illuminated TiO2 catalyses DNA damage both in vitro and in human cells. These results may be relevant to the overall effects of sunscreens.

Epidemiological Support for an Hypothesis for Melanoma Induction Indicating a Role for UVA Radiation

An hypothesis for melanoma induction is presented: UV radiation absorbed by melanin in melanocytes generates products that may activate the carcinogenic process. Products formed by UV absorption in the upper layers of the epidermis cannot diffuse down as far as to the melanocytes.

Microfine zinc oxide (Z-Cote) as a photostable UVA/UVB sunblock agent

Microfine zinc oxide is an effective and safe sunblock that provides broad-spectrum UV protection, including protection from long-wavelength UVA.

Small Amounts of Zinc from Zinc Oxide Particles in Sunscreens Applied Outdoors Are Absorbed through Human Skin

Metal oxide nanoparticles are commonly used in personal-care formulations as protective agents against exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Although previous research has concluded that nanoparticles do not penetrate healthy skin, it remains contentious whether this conclusion holds under normal conditions of sunscreen use.

Sunscreen penetration of human skin and related keratinocyte toxicity after topical application.

Sunscreen skin penetration and safety assessment should be considered together in order to ensure that in vitro cytotoxicity studies examine relevant doses of these organic chemical UV filters to which viable epidermal cells are realistically exposed.

Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Cause Brain Damage in Fish

Scientists at the University of Plymouth have shown, for the first time in an animal, that nanoparticles have a detrimental effect on the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.

Toxicity and penetration of TiO2 nanoparticles in hairless mice and porcine skin after subchronic dermal exposure

The present study investigated the penetration and potential toxicity of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles following its dermal exposure in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, after exposure to isolated porcine skin for 24 h, titanium dioxide nanoparticles of carious sizes cannot penetrate through stratum corneum.

Potential photocarcinogenic effects of nanoparticle sunscreens

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles are being increasingly formulated in sunscreens. While the same compounds, in larger particle form, work by reflecting UV radiation, in nanoparticle form, they absorb UV radiation, resulting in photocatalysis, releasing reactive oxygen species.




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