Casein (casein-in-place) proteins are the most abundant protein types in the skin’s connective tissue. Unlike water-based hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin, which are derived from plant sources, collagen and elastin are synthesized in a complex enzymatic process inside the body. This allows the body to create a constant supply of collagen and elastin, which are key factors in firming and toning the skin. Unfortunately, creating this much of this protein within the human body is extremely difficult. This is why today’s top dermatological producers have been developing the synthetic version of this protein called Microencapsulation Vistabelle, or Methylcapsule, which is able to replicate the important casein protein for use in manufacturing skin care products.
While this is an ideal protein type for the cosmetics industry, there are some important issues with this specific type of casein. One of these issues concerns the hydrophobic groups that make up the casein structure of the protein. Casein molecules are extremely large in size, and because of this, it is extremely difficult to make them absorbable through the skin’s epidermis. In fact, current casein-based products will often fail to produce the desired results due to their inability to penetrate the skin’s outer layers.
The problem lies in the way that casein and other collagen-based tissues are formed inside of the body. As you may know, casein is the primary protein of connective tissue. By itself, it is somewhat insoluble; however, as part of a complex polymer network, it becomes semi-reactive. The semi-reactive casein can then be bonded with a number of different types of fibrillar protein (which collectively make up collagen), including animal derived collagen. This means that while cellulose and hyaluronic acid are the two most important structural tissues found in the human body, the production of these substances is greatly limited by the activity of the casein protein.
This is why cellulose and hyaluronic acid are not as effective as they are supposed to be when applied topically to the skin. While both of these tissues are able to successfully penetrate the skin, they are incapable of making their way past the outer layer of casein-based matrix. Unfortunately, there is no known way to increase the activity of casein-based matrix. As a result, cellulite often forms at the site of the contact with casein, creating an unattractive orange peel effect around the area of contact. Since cases of cellulite are often present in women who have been in a very long term relationship, this fact is often overlooked by doctors, who prefer to focus on alleviating the appearance of cellulite rather than addressing the real causes.
The only way that cellulite can be reduced is through the use of mesotherapy, which uses a combination of enzymes and specific massage techniques to encourage the activity of the casein-based matrix. Because the casein proteins are already present in the skin, the process requires the application of a special emulsion, which is made up of water vapor and silicone oil. Once applied to the affected area, the water vapor encourages the activity of the casein proteins to produce additional hyaluronic acid. As a result, the casein-based film is allowed to penetrate deeper into the skin, where it binds with the slack collagen, producing a firmer appearance. Over time, as the body produces more casein, the wrinkles eventually fade away.
The use of casein-based films is quite new, but recently the use of silicon has been recognized for its ability to promote the production of collagen, which has the added benefit of strengthening the skin. In particular mesotherapy treatments are used to treat acne scars, which often appear as dark spots on the face and neck. In recent years, researchers have developed a number of different types of microgels that can be applied topically to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as soften facial skin. A variety of different combinations of microgels and collagen are now available.