12-week clinical study confirms the keratin-derived peptide ingredient’s ability to stimulate growth of selected cell lines and repair damaged collagen at an accelerated rate.

By Tonya Johnson

Therapon Skin Health, makers of the medical grade skincare line Theraderm Clinical Skin Care, has released a new study, by Thomas J. Stephens & Associates, that highlights the effectiveness of the Eternox Wrinkle Reduction System.

Theraderm’s Eternox Anti-Aging products contain unique Soluble Keratin Peptides—protected by 31 patents, available only to Therapon Skin Health, that act as powerful wound-healing agents to treat aging, weakened, or damaged skin, including wrinkles, sun or environmental injury, as well as rashes, burns, cuts, abrasions, and other skin issues or irritations.

Fifteen female participants, ages 45 to 60, began the study with mild to moderate severe lines and wrinkles in the eye area and lax skin on the jaw/neck area. During the 12-week investigation, the keratin-derived peptide was proven to stimulate growth of the selected cell lines to repair damaged collagen at an accelerated rate, acting as a “template” for addition of multiple amino acid segments instantly.

 Before (l) and after (r) photos of a female study participant who used the product on her face, twice daily, during the 12-week time period.

The result is elimination of up to 40% of laxity in skin causing a markedly diminished number and size of wrinkles. “The reduction in neck skin laxity is approaching the results seen with surgical facelifts. It is a result never reported by products based on growth factors,” says James Beckman, MD, chief executive officer and founder of Therapon Skin Health. “And it is a result that cannot occur from the use of injectable fillers or Botox.”

In addition, participants found an improvement in pore size, skin dryness, skin roughness, and a significant improvement in overall appearance of skin. Skin biopsies, Visia imaging, clinical grading, pinch recoil, NOVA meter measurements, cutometer, and ultrasound measurements were conducted.

Skincare Solutions

“In 1978, when I began plastic surgery practice, there were no medical grade aesthetic skincare companies. Surgery was primarily done to remove excess, lax, or sagging skin of the face, neck or eyelids,” explains Beckman. “Plastic surgeons and other specialties received no training in skincare during residency programs to use for ‘skin health’ or even for ‘cosmetic aesthetic benefits.’  Surgeons usually just simply told patients to go to department store beauty counters like Saks Fifth Avenue, Kohl’s, or Dillard’s, to get makeup for covering pigment, or fine lines, and even bruising after facelift or eyelid surgery.”

James Beckman, MD, chief executive officer and founder of Therapon Skin Health

The invention, which was developed by a very close friend of his, involves a method of harvesting and chemically preparing natural wool fiber to produce the soluble keratin peptides. The active peptides were originally intended to provide wound-healing agents for severe burns in military patients. Beckman was determined to improve their quality of life by finding solutions for restoring full function and mobility to skin-grafted hands. This led to the development of Beckman’s Skin Care Cream.

Product Training and Distribution

He attended his first ASPS meeting in 1992 during the initial product launch, then eventually began to provide Theraderm Skin Institute training sessions in San Diego, Dallas, and Nashville 20 years ago for about 10 years—mostly to plastic surgeon clinic clients, who found out about the product. 

At that time, 32 plastic surgeons in South Korea started using the product. The full Theraderm Clinical Skin Care system was completed in 1996. Today there are 600 to 800 clinic wholesale customers throughout the United States, with distribution also available in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.


Development and Research

The peptide is comprised of 10-12 amino acids in natural sequence, almost identical to the amino acid sequence in collagen molecules in human skin. It is available exclusively to Therapon Skin Health for use in a topical aesthetic skincare product. The company recently developed Peptide Repair Eye Crème that incorporates this peptide and another one used in upscale skincare products that is synthetic. Therapon Skin Health will continue to test peptide use in the Eternox product combined with other products that provide exfoliation, antioxidant formulations, and more.

In addition to running an international skincare products company, Beckman currently serves as an adjunct associate clinical professor in dermatology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. One of his next research studies—at the University of Arkansas—includes a patent pending method to prevent 80% of aging that occurs to skin over a lifetime of daily sun exposure that is not seen as “sunburn.”

Repair, Restore, Protect

The steps to restoring aging skin are to clean and gently remove damaged skin elements or cells, repair the skin, restore skin to its healthiest condition, and protect skin from damage. It took 18 prototypes to reach the desired results in the Theraderm Clinical Skin Care Cleansing Wash (Step 1)—gentle enough so it doesn’t sting your eyes, like soapy water, but removes all of the road grime, excessive oils, and dust particles. Ideally, Beckman recommends that plastic surgeons, who own a practice or medical spa, offer a miniature supply of the four-step anti-aging system for their patients to try during a two-week timeframe. After that, “the product typically sells itself.”

Tonya Johnson is associate editor at Plastic Surgery Practice