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Celeb Dermatologist Ava Shamban Debuts Circadian Rhythm Skincare Line

Celeb Dermatologist Ava Shamban Debuts Circadian Rhythm Skincare Line

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Some of the most enviable complexions in Hollywood have L.A.-based dermatologist Ava Shamban on speed dial.

Nicole Kidman, Michelle Yeoh and Angela Bassett are among the A-list stars who have trusted the doctor (who has offices in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills) to tend to their visages. Now Shamban has rolled out her Althaea Skin line of four skincare products, uniquely designed to synch with the skin’s circadian rhythm, along with a multi-purpose energy device.

The word Althaea translates to “healer” in Greek, Shamban tells The Hollywood Reporter, adding that she has been working on the products for almost three years. That process involved a deep dive into ingredients that tap into the skin’s genetic needs during the day and night.

“It’s a new category of skincare and we’re calling it chrono beauty, which has to do with time,” says Shamban. “Nobody’s really talking about how key circadian rhythm is to overall functioning and health of the skin.”

The Althaea Skin line-up includes a Day Serum ($180 with $160 refill), Night Serum ($180 with $160 refill) and Awake Eye Gel ($105 with $85 refill).

Althaea Skin

The Activation Mask ($50 with $40 refill) is designed for use with the Cara Multi-Modal Tool ($350) that combines skin-tightening radio frequency energy, contouring electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), and blue and red LED light therapy in one ultimate at-home device.

Shamban — who recently spoke to THR about the latest in aesthetic treatments such as an injection designed to lift eyebrows — speaks further about the breakthrough science behind her new skincare line (which was tested on night-shift workers), the key ingredients, and the products she is developing next.

Can you explain circadian rhythms of the skin and how they tie in to skincare?

The idea came to me as I started to learn more about the importance of circadian rhythm in the body overall. People who work night shifts have a much higher mortality rate and die from increased rates of cancer, heart disease and inflammatory conditions. Diving deeper into what is happening during the day-night cycle and these various organs, it’s almost like our bodies are being run by a military commander; everything’s really on a schedule. They’ve tied the circadian rhythm to clock genes that control 50 percent of the genome: A Nobel Prize was awarded to this discovery in 2017. They have demonstrated these chrono genes in the skin, as well, where there are at least three clock genes. 

Dermatologist Ava Shamban

Courtesy of Subject

So the skin operates in a way we’ve always assumed. During the day, it’s all about protecting from invaders like ultraviolet rays and pollutants that cause free radical damage. Then at night, your body recycles damaged proteins, called autophagy, and it’s about repair. I thought it was important to develop a skincare line that is specific to supporting your circadian rhythm. We use antioxidants to bolster defense systems and put on peptides to help repair, but nobody’s supporting the overall cycling of the cells.

Althaea Skin

Who did you partner with to develop the products?

John Garruto, who I’ve worked with for years. He is the chief chemist at Alastin and was previously in-house at Allergan doing the SkinMedica line. We found that there are actual molecules designed to support circadian rhythm; these ingredients were tested on night-shift workers and their skin improved. For the Day Serum, we trademarked an antioxidant complex as Solar Synq Technology with ingredients like super potent Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and a botanical from Ayurvedic medicine. The circadian rhythm supporter in the Night Serum, the Lunar Synq Technology, is from a Korean botanical and also contains melatonin, meadowfoam seed oil and some mushroom. The Awake Eye Gel has anti-puff and lightening ingredients, firming peptides and hyaluronic acid with the Solar Sync Technology. So that’s the backbone of the skincare. In the future, there will be moisturizers to go along with the serums. The skincare is all made in greater Los Angeles.

Althaea Skin

How does the tool fit in and why is this one special?

Well, a lot of tools out there have a couple colors of light, or they’re radio frequency, or they’re electro muscular stimulation. They’re all separate devices. But the Cara Tool is a multi-modal device that incorporates all of the above. I thought, “What if we provide people with a tool that can extend any treatment they’ve had in the office or, if they’re not near the office, give them something to help improve their skin?” Because I’ve noticed that doing treatments on a regular basis really improves skin quality. It doesn’t have to be a knock-your-socks-off, blowtorch-your-face treatment. Small treatments, over time, have incremental results.

Althaea Skin

The red-and-blue light device comes with a jar of 50ml Activation Mask.

Our hyaluronic acid-based Activation Mask with Lunar Sync Technology is designed to use with the tool before bed. The Cara has three colors of light. Blue is antibacterial and helps with blemishes, red is anti-aging and stimulates mitochrondrial function, violet is anti-inflammatory. Then it has the radio frequency tissue tightening and the toning electro stimulation. They work together on three settings: “Clarify” with blue light, “Restore” with red light, and “Activate” that creates electroporation to separate the cell walls a little bit so you get better penetration of product. Each can be set for a three minute pick-me-up or 10 minutes on either low or high energy electro stim. On high, you feel your muscles contract and it will visibly lift your brow. You can use it on the neck and face. Every little bit counts. It’s like working out. You want to do it every day, but if you don’t have time, just do the three minutes.

Althaea Skin

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