The life and career of Danné Montague-King is mesmerizing, as if you were watching a skin care magician. Many marvel at his life’s work not just because he has been…
The Science of Skin Care, Thinking for Yourself | DERMASCOPE
Danne Montague-King gives talk in The Aesthetic Report, a podcast by Dermascope, hosted by CIDESCO Diplomat and New York state school owner, Michelle D’Allaird, about getting through the 2021, DMK concept of skin revision and educational programs for skin professionals.
M: Here we all are – at the beginning of 2021. Thank goodness we made it, right?
To be honest (and I know, this sounds a little bit braggadocious considering what suffering people, particularly in our industry, have gone through with lockdowns and everything else), we, actually, elevated everything – you know, our company. Because I have a lot of employees and I am responsible for their families, their kids. And we didn’t want to fire anybody. We actually were more progressive.
All of my entire life, even since I was a little kid I can remember, I knew who I was. Now I have to pay for that many times, because knowing who you are in early age also means a big mouth and saying things that kids are not supposed to say.
This was a huge challenge. So we had to become very proactive and we got on the internet immediately with the series of tutorial videos starring myself and my nephew and some of the top people around the world about how a dermatologist, a doctor can continue making money and helping people at the same time from home.
1. Pretend that you are in your office! Don’t sit there and call up clients or answer phone calls just in the sweatshirt lounging back with a pizza in your hand. Put your uniform on, sit right there.
2. Diagnose people properly over the phone. And then when you prescribe (which basically will be a retail) what they will be using at home, tell they can come back to your place of business again. And you keep emphasizing that throughout your diagnosis: “When you can come back”.
That kept us going through.
M: 50 years seem like a lifetime for many people! But at the same time, how quickly it goes by, yeah?
It looks like I’m 77. I’ve spent a lifetime practicing what I preach, I mean, who are you. If you’re talking about age-management or acne, or whatever else and you get up in front of the audience to teach and you look like hell… You have to look what you’re doing, like what you’re doing. Yet there’s so much left to do in my mind. I kind of wish I could be a vampire. That’s what many say to me: “Are you a vampire?”
M: I know your history of coming in this industry. You had some huge struggle with acne yourself. Danne, seriously, when you go back to that period, what was the trigger to think: “Listen I have some issue, no one is helping me. I’ve got the ability to do this by myself”?
It is called “curiosity” and being born with this art brain. My intellectual quotient, IQ. Maybe never tell the kids what their scores were, because if they were too high, they might be lazy and say: “Well, I’m a genius, I don’t have to do anything”.
Or if they were too low, they’d say: “Oh, I’m never going to be anything anyway, so why?” When I did found out through my dad’s friend, who was a school teacher, what my IQ was, I thought: “Well, OK, that’s there, let’s see how we can use it”. I’m always curious: “Why is that so? Why is that not so?” Basically, that’s where it all started.
The acne thing was true. I was the first of 6 kids. I heard: “What a pretty boy!” So I thought I was a pretty boy. In all of the sudden at 15 I was not a pretty boy anymore. And that really bothered me a lot! And my parents took me around to dermatologists. Nothing worked. Of course, I had no understanding of the hormonal cascades and all the other underlined things that contribute to P. acnes. I started feeling around on my own. I was always working with this chemistry sets – Gilbert chemistry sets for young people. I learnt how to do a base.
Enzymes always popped up! The power of enzymes. And we are “the body-enzyme”. I mean, at the most base level we are nothing more than a bag of fluid, a few chemicals, orchestrated by enzymes and held together with electromagnetic energy. That’s what we are. This time I was fiddling around things that I realized later why they were working. But it could be a mental thing too, because hormone overload is decreased and you start looking at yourself more favorably.
By the time I was 18 – pretty skin, arrogates, crazy – all of that penned up singular time of loneliness. And I went through all like “I’m so ugly, nobody wants me”. That’s the press. That’s the press all over the world for years – the acne thing. But what it proved to me was that anything can be changed. You don’t have to suffer through things at all.
The quest then was to deal with every aspect of age reversal, we say “age-management”, the scar tissue… Everything was kind of connected together. And that was what helped to build a concept.
We are not a brand. We are not a line (I hear it all the time and that’s fine, I understand why). We are a concept. Concept – is a philosophy of science. Products are just tools – best tools in the world, but never mind the concept is the most important thing to teach anybody, who’s dealing with skin revision.
The psychological aspect of acne is very close to me. We had a huge Acne Summit several years ago in London. And kids from all over the UK were packing the room. And testimonials break your heart. Some kids were snatched back from suicide. Some did commit the suicide. The importance of those formative years when you have to engage in the groups and find your place in adult life, are highly important. So we always pay a lot of attention to the acne kids and adults with acne as well, but that’s another story.
M: Now to have the concept to be able to turn to, to help that… If taken 50 years of amazing opportunities and put it in the hands of young people that are really struggling – that’s awesome!
That makes them carry on further on into life and define their place, their workplace, their personal relationship. All these things can go back to that extraordinary phenomenon they go through. Some rise above it. But a lot don’t.
We are not a brand. We are not a line. We are a concept.
M: Looking at Vitamin C, enzymes and transepidermal delivery cream – it sounds like unheard-of!
We are constantly looking for pieces of a puzzle. We constantly research. Everything is logical. There’s no secret ingredient – it’s observed! I used to be quite outspoken about that. I still get angry with misinformation that is out there, that is guiding these therapists. The lack of education… It’s better now. I always hated misinformation, especially when you’re touching people. It’s a lot more than just slapping cream on and “exfoliance things”. We are actually guiding a portion of their life, if you are a true professional. I mean, you know, women will tell their therapist they really get on with the most personal things they might tell the preacher, a priest or even their husband or girlfriend.
Going back quickly to the Vitamin C, it wasn’t like “Eureka! Vitamin C!” I was just looking through one my old bibles “Grey’s Anatomy” and I saw the whole section on cytoplasm of collagen synthesis with ascorbic acid being important. It just seemed logical to me. I put it in different percentages almost in everything. I wanted that bath of the fibroblast, which is the factory that makes collagen and elastin, to be strong and run the factory right. I included that in my seminars and teachings and whatever.
I don’t like the idea of using buzzwords and trendy things like marketing devices. It’s very misleading. I’ve never said much about it, but then one company started hyping it up like it was reinvented. And sure every American company started counting the benefits of the Vitamin C in skin products. They didn’t explain why it was important. They just kept saying: “Oh, it increases collagen!” Guess what? Sometimes we don’t want to increase collagen – that’s what a scar is. So, I was a little bit mattered first, because I felt like I had a special thing. But then I said: “Come on, you’ve never talked about it, about what it does in the body, so just shut up”.
M: To you education is more important than anything else, because it’s about making you think. You said one of the most beautiful things before we came on air and it was: “My objective now is to make people think”.
I said many times at conferences and lectures, when therapists raise hands and ask questions: “Look, before you do that, think for a minute about what you’re going to ask”. And many times you answer yourself, because you’re going to stop and think.
If the person does that, and they start following through histology and chemistry and all of that they sum up and they want a formation – that’s a different thing. I’m very happy to be there, if they come up with something. That’s fine. But education is extremely important. The concept is important, because that is the pathway of thinking. It’s not just memorizing ingredients. You know, the American therapists and Australians too are just ingredient-crazed. They hear something on Google, Twitter or Facebook like “such ingredient is comedogenic” – and they stop using a whole… I’m so sick and tired of comedogenic. It almost doesn’t exist. I’m going to do an article about why this comedogenic scare is 98% bogus. And that’s a whole new direction.
M: Danne, to you what does it mean to be DMK certified? What is it that your estheticians have and that you’re confident that they have? They should make others want to seek such an education level.
For one thing, some of our tools could be misused and create negative reactions (if not properly used). We’ve always walked that grey line between “for medical” and “for esthetic” – as long as I can remember. And in fact, I think our people internationally with their different kinds of educational levels have been really responsible for some of the pioneerism and for some of the changes in aesthetics as we know it today. I’m absolutely confident of that. Not just me – we have fine educators. They are really passionate, but first of all, they are smart. So, when we certify someone, it means they have to take first “to start-up course”. We charge for every course, because if you don’t charge, give everything away – psychologically people don’t think it’s worth anything. That’s the human nature. I learnt that bitter lesson.
M: Some of our professionals are not really thinking, when you’re empowered with that knowledge and that education like “wow, the whole world opens up for you”.
First of all, other members of my company came up with a brilliant idea that I was against, because I don’t like “kits” and that kind of thing. But they came up with this fundamental kit, which was one treatment and 8 months of home prescriptives going on with that treatment. And I said: “This is so corny”. But it works.
In Program #1 they gather a lot of basic knowledge to the concept and the tools using. The second is more Advanced. And finally, there’s Paramedical. Paramedical merely means “adjunctive to”, because we have a lot of dermatologists and plastic surgeons in our network in Ukraine and Russia. In DMK they are all doctors, they are all serious – and you can’t fool these people, because they have all been given superior education.
Some people do the Program #1 and they still go back and they’re doing these kits. If you’re not very passionate, you just try to make nice living, help people out of here – you can do that. But nine times out of ten after they do after a while, they want to do more.
Then they go to the others two chairs. If they pass all the tests, both practical and written, then they are certified. If they don’t, we don’t say: “Well, honey, go ahead, make an order, it’s OK”. They cannot buy Alkaline Wash, they cannot buy certain things. And normally the ones that do that, are really, really good. And they do so well, and I’m always so proud of them.
We don’t ask anybody to use just DMK, although I don’t know why they wouldn’t. My final dream which probably will never happen – I’d love to have a company in franchise – the DMK skin revision clinics, the same colors – just a franchise. And the people that come there, would know what they’re going to get. Many products, which are not bad products particularly, neutralize the hard work doing by the DMK system and so we can’t guarantee the results at all.
Some people actually try to copy us. I never can believe in that, because if they only knew what goes into creating these products! Sometimes it takes me three years!
We’ve always walked that grey line between “for medical” and “for esthetic”
M: Danne, 50 years you’ve been doing this and you are still like a rock star. What keeps you going?
The main thing that keeps me going now is obligation to all those people around the world. Some of them are second and third generation DMK people. And it, of course, makes me feel ancient. My nephew Drew Coleman will carry on. He’s good and even better.
I’ve never attached the money first. It’s always: “What can we do for this problem in addition to what we’ve already done? Faster, better, whatever”. Sometimes it costs company a lot of money. I always say this: “If you have a really good tool (product), that’s a part of a treatment protocol, that really delivers ongoing results – that is the main focus. The money will come. And if nothing is selling despite of these good news, it means that it’s not being presented. And that’s how I think.
M: In all of your experiences and all the different things you’ve done, and people that you’ve touched, and thoughts that you had, what is the one thing you regret?
If something doesn’t work – that means, there’s a component missing, that you haven’t addressed. That’s why I say, sometimes it takes three years. I could say, I have a lot of regrets, but looking back – no. It’s been a miraculous ride. A beautiful, beautiful ride. There were bad times and tragedies. I will never forget Randy Larsen, my longtime partner, without whom I would not be a value man today, who was guiding the management of this company for a long-long time. And during that brief recession, right after Donald became a President, it was hard as we didn’t really address the American market at that time. I was overseas, travelling constantly. I will never forget him coming into my office with tremulous voice, closing the door, when he says: “What are we going to do?” And I just jump down, slapped my hand and on the table and said: “We are going to progress, examine everything and see what we do wrong and what can be done instead”. So, I can’t really save regrets. I could have been kinder in certain points of my life.
M: Given the technological advance in our industry, with ingredients, just with everything around us what would you say to a young Danne right now that want to make their mark in this profession, in the concept and making the difference? What would you say to that person?
There is one of those persons right now. He is making his own products in his garage. It’s very smart. And I don’t really know what to do, because he asks me more and more questions. I ‘m going to invite him to sit down one-on-one and say in person what the agenda is. If he has a true passion to agenda, certainly, I’ll help him. But if he has just to make a lot of money – no, I won’t. But what I’d tell by number one is: “Know who you are”. Believe in yourself at all costs. No matter what happens, if you strongly feel what you’re doing or thinking about has value and will do something and somebody else stick to that, you might slap down a few times, have the alternate leap to be tenacious. Know who you are. Tenacious, keep going, keep going and eventually you’ll start to succeed. And always be curious! Don’t take anything of Google or Wikipedia. I used a reference library before Google came and I still use it. Just keep going, no matter what, if you strongly feel that this is something you can do and it should be done. And you’ll succeed. I’ve never seen a fail. Just persistence, persistence, persistence. And don’t become annoying to people in the industry. Don’t be arrogant. Hold yourself up, hold your head high. If you have something good, make use of it.
It is a rock star, the fame, but it’s not a real me, it’s a presentation. And a presentation is hard to do, because you have to be a combination of certain amount of arrogance (not mean arrogance), a little bit of distance, hold yourself well, but be kind and humble at the same time. This works beautifully with people. And basically it is taking time to listen to people. Look at them and make them feel that they are the part of whatever is going on. When I’m looking in the audience I always pick about 5 spots, 5 faces, and I look at them in turn as I’m talking. And the result is that anybody in the room feels you are talking directly to them. Bill Clinton had that ability – to make everybody there feel like he personally sees them. And you’ll be successful. You’ll be real.
M: Would you rather always sleep in your make-up or never wear make-up again?
My make-up is silicon-based. It never moves until you wash it off. And it has no oil and whatsoever. So, mine – yes, oil-based make-up – no.
M: Would you rather only treat clients who keep their eyes opened in the service or only treat clients who always talk throughout the service?
Rather shut up. No, I’m serious about that, because this is distracting. And the way to get away with that is to go through educational tutorial with them in their own language while you’re working. Tell them everything you’re doing and why. You give them education, just give them knowledge. That shuts them up and they will go home learning something they have never heard before.
M: Would you rather forever give up Vitamin C or forever give up retinol?
Oh, retinol. Because the secret of retinol is Beta-Carotene. Too much retinol, too much Vitamin A taken orally or whatever will compromise your system and becomes toxic. Beta-Carotene doesn’t become retinol in the skin or in the body. It converts by enzymatic conversion to retinol or Retin-A and cells take just the amount that they need. The rest is discarded and it comes off.
26-28/05 Primary training on working with DMK cosmeceuticals, Prague
What defines a professional? The constant quest for excellence and aspiration for achieving 100% results. On May 26-28 welcome to join our Primary training on working with DMK cosmeceuticals in Prague!
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Dive into our concept of skin revision at the Primary training on working with DMK cosmeceuticals!
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What makes DMK the #1 professional skin revision concept in the world?
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DANNÉ MONTAGUE-KING CONCEPT OF HISTOLOGY
Pre and post cosmetic surgery
Basically the concept and philosophy our International team goes by is more important than products being used although our formulas are of course tools with which to practice the concept effectively.
The concept being, that the cells of human skin do not positively react to any chemical(s) they do not recognize. The cells of the skin will react in a positive and correct manner when confronted with similar chemistry to that which they manufacture on their own naturally. For any positive result a chemical ionization has to take place.
In many cases actions evoked by opposite and equal reactions are necessary with the temporary contra-indications of erythema, weeping and even scabbing. However even these reactions are considered desirable in cases of radical skin revision of sun damaged or post acne skin.
Most traumas of the skin stimulate the three main defense mechanisms; Excess cuticle build up of redundant epithelial cells, excess melanocyte activity and excess dehydration from over-stimulation of the secretive glands and finally the bilayer moisture levels. Many traumas come from a violent reaction of the skin receptors due to aggressive outside forces i.e. chemical, photo damage to corporal attack. When skin cells are forced to proliferate faster than their normal rhythm of development the result is scarred skin, whether it be controlled as in the case of chemical peeling or accidental.
However, when skin is burdened with years of cuticle build up, all the underlying processes slow down, contributing to an aging syndrome. Continued lack of support to skin cells thus burdened results in solar elastosis, triggered by the sun, but not totally a result of solar insult to the cell.
Therefore, the Danné method of skin revision is focused not only on the removal of redundant dead cell protein but the rebuilding of cells that are left behind after removal treatments are performed.
The simple philosophy is “Remove and Rebuild”.
In this category we find the word “peel” a misnomer, even though it may be printed on a formula container as a popular name practitioners relate to. The word “peel” suggests the human skin be likened to an onion, layers that can be peeled off systematically revealing forever-youthful skin underneath. Skin as viewed under a microscope, cross-sectioned, appears as a series of hills and valleys – old cells and new cells constantly changing and inter-connected.
It would be impossible to define where one layer of skin began and the other left off to insure a non-traumatising and even peeling procedure. Chemical peels and laser vaporization never leave the skin cells in the same pattern as normal. There is always a trade-off with these procedures. There is no trade-off with the DMK procedures. Despite gross epilation, erythema and weeping in some instances, the skin always returns to normal and the revisions are obvious and progressive.
We have based this phenomenon on the analogy of viewing a woman of eighty years of age in a swimming costume. Her wrinkles and discoloured skin appears in many cases to end at the breast bone whilst the upper tissue to the areola appears much creamier and texture – usually five to ten years younger looking that her face and back of hands.
We recognize this radical difference in skin tone to be the result of coverage by clothing while the face and hands are exposed to free radicals, sun damage and pollutants.
The point of this analogy is if the breast tissue is so much younger, then this proves the body is willing to provide newly proliferated cells at any time if not confronted by opposition. This suggests that the face and hands can also be returned to the same status quo if prior damage is removed and the living cells are surrounded with the maximum environment necessary to maintain cell life to its fullest potential.
For thirty-eight years we have been using sophisticated enzymic preparations to hydrolyze dead and dying cells from the skin. As nature’s biological catalysts, enzymes containing RNA and other proteins alleviate dead cells and other impurities by reverse osmosis. Enzymes also orchestrate other chemical actions in the skin, bringing about total hydrolyzation progressively, which eliminates gases, effluvia and impurities leaving behind a clear, white substance surrounding the cells that are still alive. Of all DMK treatments, enzyme therapy is probably the most effective and least contraindicative way to revise skin over long periods of time. Tightening and toning of the skin is observed after the very first treatments. Striations of peripheral capillaries are also observed for one half hour to forty-five minutes, which indicate blood bringing oxygen to the skin’s mitochondria-creating a flush of ATP activity and then carrying off impurities, and leaving behind a clean toxin free matrix.
There is also a systematic action brought on by DMK treatments that is allergy free due to the natural proteins and plant extracts that are selected as compatible with the human body. Allergy levels have been so low over thirty years as to be practically non-existent.
We do recognize however, that there may be some persons who are allergic to even pure and natural chemicals and may need testing. In the case of a positive reaction we have many alternative treatment choices.
There are three formula applications that are used as regular dead cell removal that can dramatically alter the pH of the skin to obtain a quick reaction. These applications take only moments to work and are controlled so that the normal pH is established at the conclusion of the treatment. In certain instances a lactic acid compound blended well into a methycellulose base is applied which takes the pH to a low 3.2 on the pH scale. This formula is compounded with a natural pseudo-heat extract that encourages a purging effect via the capillaries. The low pH hardens dead cell material to a point where it is detached from the main epidermal bed and is flushed from the skin.
An opposite formula, mainly used in female acne cases where vellus hair is present with the pustules and papules and hypotrpic scars. This formulation takes the skin’s Ph temporarily up to 12Ph.
Hair and surface skin cells desquamate in three-four minutes thus relieving the pustules without any pressure or squeezing. This treatment is ideal in cases of impacted hair follicles but can also be used in scar revision treatments and pigmentation disorders. Again, the skin is quickly restored to a normal pH after the treatment to avoid continued desquamation and alkaline burns.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
In 1988, we introduced this medium to Europe and Asia, long before the commercial wave began and even before most people were aware that such a product existed. At that time Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) were just another tool to use in our kit of pharmacopoeia – not a mainstream treatment and hardly a medium with which to build entire cosmetic treatment ranges around.
We did not follow the same paths of research as many other companies, uplifting glycolic acid as the premier ingredient. While we realise that glycolic acid does indeed posses the smallest molecule in the AHA family, penetration is not the only influence on the skin, there are other receptors that create action within the epidermis such as the ganglia, peripheral capillaries and the ecrine system. In addition, we have a resurfacing protocol entitled RP that rebuilds and removes at the same time—actually installing more fibroblast activity at the site of application. Our intense research into the world of retinoids has yielded a formula that is ideal to build and tighten crepy and thin skins of ageing patients. This can be performed anywhere on the body.
Rather than depending upon the unpredictable glycolic acid we have, worked out a blend and a series of serums that would allow the practitioner to customize their treatment according to client need and based on the fact that the face, neck, decollate and hands are rather like a landscape with varying surfaces that require different treatment – not a one dimensional surface that would respond to one formula.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding glycolic acid, many companies claiming to offer a “different” type of glycolic product. Actually, to the chemist there is only one type, but it can be slightly altered with buffers and so-called neutralisers thus providing a cosmetic grade and an industrial grade. The industrial grade gives the best results but is very unpredictable and has a habit of wandering indiscriminate throughout the various hills and valleys of the skin creating, “hot spots” or other irritations.
In 1987, we formulated a blend of four Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which compounded malic, lactic, glycolic and citric acids in a low level serum with a pH of 3.1. In addition we formulated a booster serum modeled after the Jessner’s solution with a modified base for physicians.
Thirdly we formulated a neutralizing or “buffering” peel solution from a natural sea plankton methycellulose. These three mediums provide the practitioner with the total control to customise their serum applications, thereby removing the confusion over which glycolic acid to use – buffered, neutralized or non-neutralised. This also placed our practitioners beyond the hype of manufacturing companies who used the controversy about “which glycolic is best” as an advertising gimmick.
Our research since then has shown that AHA, when used in conjunction with enzymic treatments does much more than merely remove the “glue” that holds cells together as alleged by manufacturers. There is also dried sebum wax and pre-deposited fats clogging the openings and voids in the epidermis. Our Pro Alpha Serums dissolve this debris progressively, many times “pushing” tiny wax plugs in the pores to the surface of the skin visibly to the naked eye! AHA are hygroscopic acids, they use available moisture contained in the epidermal strata. This creates a swelling up of dead cells, much like miniature balloons, until they burst and detach from the skin. There is also some evidence that the desmosome contacts between adjacent keratinocytes are dissolved, allowing maximum new cell proliferation.
AHA belongs in the hands of trained practitioners only. Based on it’s hydrolytic action, frequent use of cremes or other cosmetics containing even minute amounts of AHA will eventually deplete not only surface moisture in the epidermis but will draw upon the bilayer of moisture, using up the skin’s last reservoir of fluids. The user will eventually look very dehydrated although initial usage will actually create a rosy, plumped up look to the skin for a few weeks. This effect is misleading.
Post treatments by a DMK therapist or nurse are necessary to re-establish the bilayer activity and the acid mantle of the epidermis. Medical opinion is that one to six of the Pro Alpha AHA and enzyme treatments per year, with 4-6 week intervals, will give the same radical exfoliation effects of the conventional TCA/Phenol medical peels or laser vaporising – without the accompanying side effects, contraindications, discomfort, long convalescence period and unnatural configuration of surface skin (controlled scar).
Collagen proliferation requires vitamin C as the precursor to the amino acid chain that initiates the production of tropocollagen via the fibroblasts – hence the importance of citric acid as an AHA ingredient, but more important is the introduction of absorbable vitamin C’s into the skin using our exclusive, 30-year-old transdermal crème base.
The acid mantle has to be augmented daily since it is the only natural moisturizer. We have imitated nature by providing the skin with topical applications of a fractionized oil resembling sebum and an aqueous spray resembling sudoriferous secretion (sweat). Ordinary crèmes do not moisturize, only lubricate unless formulated transdermally.
Home prescriptives are essential for progressive results of professional treatment. These home prescriptives will vary based on ethnic origin and specific skin disorders. The physician or practitioner prescribes these home prescriptive formulas in the same manner a GP will prescribe an antibiotic for strep throat.
The patient will find it easier to accept a total change of their former cosmetic regimen when confronted with this prescription method of the correct home-use formulas as opposed to being “sold” a skin care range after their treatment. The patient must commit to the home prescriptive programs. If they do not, then the treatments will be aborted by ordinary commercial home use products no matter how well they are manufactured.
Lastly we must address the increasing danger from sun radiation, which is compromising the races of people pre-disposed to natural sun protection (i.e., Black, Hispanic, Asian etc.).
It took years of research to develop a transdermal sunblock that gave 30 SPF protection without being greasy or uncomfortable for the patient to wear on a daily basis. Our transdermal block was recognised by a Norwegian skiing team during the last Winter Olympics as superior to all other sunblocks.
The DMK Transdermal Sun Block also is compatible with all other DMK home prescriptives and is essential during post Pro Alpha AHA treatments to avoid any hyperpigmentation potential.
We have provided the physician and health practitioner with the most advanced and practical approach to skin revision in the world to date. We are aware that many of our concepts have been imitated over a period of time but our pioneering ventures have not gone unrecognised.
In our opinion there is no substitute for nature. We do not observe acne, aging, or hyper-pigmented skin disorders as a natural phenomenon, but rather as an unnatural manifestation of skin that is attempting to function in a healthy manner but is stopped from doing so by a variety of internal and external influences not conducive to healthy skin.
We have provided concept, formula, education and protocol to assist the skin and the body to maintain it’s cell-life programming. Our colleague Dr. Thomas Smith of the International Clinics of Biological Regeneration says it best; “Human cells are not really programmed for death, they are designed to attempt to stay alive for as long as possible.”
Stem cells — myths or medical breakdown
Years ago, stem cells and growth factors became hero ingredients in skin care formulations. Some brands have claimed plant-based stem cells helped reproduce human stem cells and growth factors directly changing the behavior of human DNA. I would like to share with you a few facts on stem cells in skincare products.
Let’s start by clearing up some confusion about the roles that stem cells and growth factors performed in regenerating skin. Human biology versus skincare ingredients;
Growth factors are proteins that regulate cellular growth, proliferation and differentiation under controlled conditions, maintaining healthy skin structure.
Growth factors are secreted by all cell types that make up the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and dermis (the layer of skin between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissue), including keratinocytes, fibroblasts and melanocytes.
Growth factors are naturally occurring regulatory molecules. They stimulate cell and tissue function through influencing cell differentiation by changing their biochemical activity. Regulating the rate of proliferation – certain beta glucans are in this class, enhancing dendrite strength in the Langerhans cells, turning the macrophages at the end of each dendrite into a weapon of mass destruction against free radicals, bacterial attack, viral and even parasitic invasion!
Medical stem cell implantation plays a role as back-up support to the implanted cells and potential auto-immune rejection. So far there have been many successes aspirating fresh stem cells from hip bones and re-injecting them into injured areas such as a torn meniscus. These a mesenchymal stem cells, cells that can develop into distinct mesenchymal tissue such as bone, tendons, muscles, adipose tissue cartilage, nerve tissue, blood and blood cells.
However, this is a far cry from crèmes, serums etc. in skin care.
The most common question that I am asked about stem cells is how do the plant stem cells in a crème or gel serum work with your own stem cells…well the answer is THEY DON’T.
As a way of inflicting miniature wounds, technicians scratch cultured plant tissue. This damage stimulates the plant’s stem cells to re act and heal, inducing the formation of new stem cells on the wounded surfaces. After slow replication and division on the outside, new cells fashion a large accumulation of colorless cells, known as callous. Cells composing the callous divide into cells that do not carry the specific features of individuated plant cells. This callous is used as an ingredient in facial crèmes.
In actual fact it is the pluripotent(human) downstream differentiated plant cells are ones that possess the biochemical machinery required to produce the myriad of regenerative activity in the human body including the skin.
Stem cells that would be included in extracts derived from plants that have pharmaceutical or other value (e.g. quinine, digitalis, aloe vera, etc.) would not be active—although the other botanical micronutrients may very well be! Think of them as “skin food” not stem cell therapy.
Plant totipotent stem cells do not produce substances capable of affecting other cells. Callouses are forced upon living plant stems to encourage new baby cells, harvested and then put into crèmes as “stem cell therapy”. Even rubbing human stem cells on the skin would never work. They have to be alive in the product despite any effective delivery mechanism. Plant stem cells have nothing to do with the human genetic blue print. There has been some argument that these “callouses” or other plant stem cell extracts have many micro nutrients that benefit skin. This is no more true than other aspects of a plant, which includes roots, leaves, buds, flowers and fruit.
A potent botanical offering into skin cells that evoke an ionic transfer, a cellular impact of a physiological change (or I should say a reverse to homeostasis), depends largely on where the plant is grown, how it is prepared for extraction and how it is processed into a product with bio-availability that is still active. AND the delivery system into the skin.
We should look at which Phyto chemicals that skin cells respond positively to and what they recognize, how we can influence and support growth factors and life cycle of cells.
My methods have always been to work with the body’s chemistry
Even if plant stem cells DID have a biological energy kick start, many research papers have concluded that stem cells are just too large to penetrate the lipid barrier of the epidermis, even if they could be somehow kept alive in a crème, serum etc.
There is hope in stem cell research for total skin revision however. Keep in mind that every time we do any kind of aggressive exfoliation we are calling upon stem cells in the healing process. However, this is normally not very well controlled or targeted and the healing is spotty or focused on only the areas of the epidermis where trauma is the most virulent. Rebecca James Gadberry dissertation on Epigenetics points this out.
Using our OWN skin stem cells, of which we have a rich supply at any age, although the amount decreases slowly with time, requires the following steps:
There are so many variables but an over-night epiphany made me feel it could be done, so I recruited an international team of doctors, botanists and biochemists to take a leap of faith on a project like this with no commercial aspect other than to see if it can be done.
I feel that these types of protocols will strengthen the integrity of the skin in a fundamental way as apposed to a dramatic “ta da!” way, as seen right after a deeper “peel”. In cases of loss of turgidity, or concavities in the skin that follows absorption of injected fillers and adipose fat tissue transfers, the tissue will appear more elevated and fuller. I also see it as an excellent post plastic surgery addition, where undermining and tissue placement will look more even and plumper, any ripple effect banished with improved skin structure.
There are many types of stem cells with a variety of special functions. All are Inter-connected but organ specific. It is like a large puzzle that is there and has been since the birth of our plant. We are just now finding a few pieces of the puzzle and seeing where they go.
The two main types of stem cells are embryonic stem cells (ES) and adult stem cells (such as somatic stem cells). Other sub types such as induced pluripotent stem cells (PCS’s) are lab produced by re-programming adult cells to express ES characteristics.
In skin, tissue specific (or somatic) are more specialized than embryonic stem cells. Typically, these types of stem cells can generate different cell types for the specific tissue or organ in which they live.
In skin research so far here are terms you should know and research. You may be able to put two and two together and come up with an answer nobody else has thought of yet! The field is wide open.
- Adult Stem Cells
- Bone Marrow Stromal Cells
- Langerhans Islets
- Induced pluripotent stem cells
- Somatic Stem Cells
- Tissue Specific stem cells
- Progenitor cells
This is the tip of a very large ice burg, but I encourage everyone to arm themselves with the available yet ever changing knowledge which in turn, will make cosmetic manufacturers more conscious of what is real and what is buzz word phony!
It has long been my contention as I look back from now, from this year, that the cells of the body are not programmed to die easily. They are programmed to stay alive as long as possible given the right maintenance and environmental surroundings.
Myth and Realities of glycolic acid
However, recent discoveries surrounding Glutamine, an amino acid, have linked it to the most important functions of the body’s vial organs and system. This includes healing stomach and colon disorders, liver malfunctions and the strengthening of muscles. Inadequate supplies of Glutamine are responsible for the wasting of facial and body muscle and for the weakness that accompanies fever or other stressful illness.
A similar discovery was made more than two hundred years ago. Lemons and Limes were found to prevent scurvy in sailors who ate them on long voyages. Seaman who did not suffer rickets, skin atrophy and loss of hair. Many left home ports as young men and came home looking aged beyond their years.
The supplemental use of Glutamine may be as important to people recovering from illness or stress related to aging as lemons and limes were to sailors wishing to avoid scurvy.
I have written a great deal about the importance of crèmes that transdermally deliver protein into the skin during treatments. Proteins made up of amino acids function as the building blocks of the skin (and body). They also are orchestrated by all the body’s enzymes and many important hormones known as peptides. Proteins provide energy to the skin and tissue repair. In the human body twenty important amino acids are used to make proteins. From this group of twenty, NINE amino acids are considered essential and eleven are considered non-essential.
By essential, we mean that the body cannot create the amino acid on its own, the amino acid must be provided from an outside source (such as a Transdermal crème). By non-essential, we man that the amino acid can be manufactured in sufficient quantities by the body’s own tissues.
Histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cystine and tyrosine.
Glutamine was considered a nonessential amino acid for many years, But recent research has changed this view and since the 1980’s, Glutamine has been considered a CONDITIONALLY ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID.
This means that under normal circumstances (such as when we are young with few skin problems) the body can synthesize adequate quantities of the amino acid. BUT IN TIMES OF STRESS SUCH AS ACNE, FEVER, ILLNESS, DIETING, HORMONAL FLUCTUATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY the skin and body cannot provide as much Glutamine as it requires. AN additional amount of the amino acid must be delivered both internally and topically to prevent a deficiency.
Common sense, I was always a great believer in preventative therapy. For years, I have had mothers bring their ten-year-old kids into our clinics and ask “when should they start taking care of their skin?”
I always tell them “the day before yesterday”! One does not WAIT until the ravages of time or skin disease shows its ugly head in one’s mirror!
I cannot possibly embark on writing about all the important roles Glutamine plays in our skin and body in this one article. The research is vast and overwhelmingly conclusive. Hence, I will illuminate my readers on one important aspect, the muscles of the face.
Muscle cells are fused together into myofilaments. Within each cell are the contractile fibers (fibers that contract and constrict) actin and myosin. When a nerve tells a muscle to contract, these fibers interact and shorten, resulting in a contraction of the muscle. The more times it contracts, the stronger it gets and the firmer the face and neck. The actin and myosin are surrounded by cytoplasm, which is the storage center for many of the cell’s structures, lying between the actin-myosin bundles are the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy source of every cell, much like a furnace makes energy for heating your house.
In muscle cells, under healthy conditions, extra large amounts of Glutamine are floating freely, ready to be used as fuel, a new protein or other important compounds and amino acid activity.
When your clients are metabolically stressed, however, they become catabolic, which means that their tissues are breaking down. When a client is metabolically stressed, the facial muscles produce significantly more Glutamine in an effort to maintain blood levels and capillary activity. The capillary loops of course, are responsible in bringing blood, along with oxygen, to the skin cells and remove toxins.
At this point concentrations of Glutamine within the muscle cells may fall by at least 50%. If enough protein is not delivered to the skin through TRANSDERMAL therapy to meet the demands, the muscles begin to break down to supply the skin with Glutamine. I had observed this in the late 1960’s, but my observations were only supported by clinical trials. Now we have other research supporting the necessity of Glutamine in treatment formulas. This is particularly apparent in what we call “muscle banding enzymatic treatments. There have been non-surgical “neck lifts” so striking that even I was skeptical until I actually met the client in person.
Of course this type of result will take several treatments to achieve and will have to be maintained at home religiously. But once they observe a dramatic skin tightening effect like this, the client usually finds it worth the trouble of up keep. Even a surgical neck lift is temporary.
We have some surgeons we research for that offer a combination of both the topical treatment and surgical neck lifting.
In addition to its other functions glutathione is the main scavenger of toxic ingredients in the body. For many years, researchers overlooked the role Glutamine plays in the formation of glutathione.
Nature VS Nurture
There are millions of children all over the world that have perfect skin from age one — peaches and crème through ages 5-9 and suddenly beyond those age groups skin anomalies start to happen.
From age 12 on hormonal cascades kick into place and the hypothalamus gland, a bit like a radio antenna, starts relaying all the peer-group, hormonal and accelerated life-style stress that invades this young body—male as well as female. BOOM full-blown acne!
Which brings me to a question often asked me by parents over the last 5 decades “how soon should I put my children on skin care?”
Outside of treating things like baby rash or milia, I usually say a child at ages 4-6 should be made aware of sun damage and protection. We have kids in Australia where the solar rays are merciless that carry a bottle of Beta Gel and DMK Sunscreen in their lunch box or back packs.
Not only is a layer of Beta Gel under any of my sunscreens protective against DNA damage whereupon the insult is recorded permanently in the cells only to be played back negatively when they turn 40#, but it is like an Emergency Room in a bottle, great for scrapes, burns or other injuries that plaque kids on the play grounds or during sports activities!
Around age nine, little girls start to become young ladies! They are aware that Mom is a little paranoid of “looking too old” and observe the AM and PM rituals Mom goes through including the mysterious masque she puts on the day before she and the Father have a special occasion out or a house party!
Girls are much savvier and more sophisticated now days then when I was a boy in the 1950” s (everything was secret from kids then). It is not too far fetched to teach them the basic rules of how their skin works, how to support all its young, powerful defense mechanisms so that when they hit 30 they can literally deal with environmental and emotional stress and not really change appearance too much for the next 20-25 years (given genetic influence).
When I pose this possibility to young people they look at me in wonder, exclaiming “but is this possible?”
At this point I mention my age and the years and efforts I have put into “not changing too much” which often convinces them and their parents (who are footing the treatment bills) to start skin education early.
This also gives them a head start and control when they enter the acne phase that hits nearly everyone to some degree—those years of growth, social interaction and peer-groupism that can affect who and what they become later in life when they are ‘out of the nest” and on their own!
In a world orchestrated by the internet with often overwhelming information flooding the child’s brain and in the case of diversity in younger people and bullying early confidence training from outside in is now compulsory!
One of our top physicians, Dr. Andrey Sotnik of DMK Ukraine contends that acne has now become a pathology of children, not teenagers anymore!
Here we see his 9-year-old son Leo (aptly named because at nine he really is little Prince-like, one can imagine the King later) already getting black heads on his little nose and chin.
Dr. Sotnik regularly performs Enzyme One therapy on his boy followed by Herb and Mineral Mist, Beta Gel and solar damage Gel—not the full-blown DMK Acne treatment but more as a prophylactic against the disorder in advance.
The child is also an avid skier confronting extreme cold and direct sun glancing off the alpine slopes—so he protects his skin with Beta Gel, Transdermal sunscreen and Hydroloc in the morning before setting out on the snow.
I guarantee that Leo will not suffer acne vulgaris—even if he is in highly stressful situations as a teen, nor will his classically good skin texture change much until he is in his 50’s!
This control of a better life for the children is in the hands of parents everywhere now and DMK practitioner’s world wide are trained and happy to assist parents in implementing this globally.
This is nurturing WITH nature from an early age.
DMK Enbioment™ Microbiome Probiotic System
DMK Skin Care, a global paramedical skin care company sold in over 30 countries, today announces the launch of its Enbioment™ Microbiome Probiotic System created to restore the skin’s natural…
Peeling the skin is a misnomer
In Egyptian times resins were used along with vinegars to “peel” layers of skin from the upper class Egyptian women who were trying to look ageless. Depending on the practitioner, results were often successful, but mainly due to the social stigma the wealthy did not have to go out and labor in the sun thus staying shielded all day long.
This eventually worked its way into the China and the Russia’s. Katherine the great used a masque made of mildew, apples and oats. The effects of this may be due to a mild form of AHA’s and polysaccharides from the mold resembling beta glucan activity, Oats are also in the Beta Glucan family. A Nobleman in Kiev, on Icon painter, also became a legendary Dermatolog treating acne by peeling with his Gesso mixture used in paint fixatives which was basically egg white.
The rest is slow history—first Europe and then the USA with stronger and stronger peeling mediums being used for more dramatic results.
Regardless of what ingredients were being used—and a great deal of secrecy was employed by so called “youth experts, it all boiled down to one facture. PH.
When common acids such as phenol, Trichloroacetic etc. are applied to the epidermis with a PH of 3.01 or lower, the protein in the redundant cuticle build-up is “hardened”, the cell group becomes brittle sort of like broken tiles on a floor, break up and detach from the epidermis. In some cases, dealing with age management treatments, skin suffering from Solar Elastosis or even ichthyosis, it is a highly effective way of removing superficial dead cells as a “door opener” to get down to the fresher cell migration and support epidermal growth and natural stem cell proliferation via Enzymatic treatments and amino acid, anti-oxidant and Langerhans cell support for maximum immune defenses. I found by adding a rubefacient, a thermogenic factor, to the formula stimulates a capillary back-flush that rids topical toxins from the area. This increased blood flow supercharges the mitochondria in each cell to product more ATP-or at least kick-starts the increased oxygen flow that becomes more significant with Enzymatic type treatments. This can be used with all kinds of machines such as LED etc. but, this simple but deep chemistry renders machines unnecessary.
For other skin anomalies going up to the other end of the PH scale is suggested.
Alkaline compounds carefully timed and buffered, will raise the PH temporarily to around 12 on the scale. The skin practitioner need a sharp eye and a good sense to timing to accomplish this—alkaline burns can occur it the treatment is left on too long and the surface is not kept moist.
This is applicable to acne situations where large pustules and papules are present, congesting the vellus hair follicle. Not only will all redundant cuticle be immediately being desquamated within minutes, clearing the area, but the hair follicle will be eroded, the top of the cyst opened and all pre-deposited waxes and bacteria-ridden fats will flush out. Any Demodex Mite, leading to rosacea, will also be destroyed via desquamation, including their eggs.
The control of this medium eliminates excess trauma to the skin and can lower inflammation.
The peel craze shows no sign of winding down as a primary treatment. Unfortunately, the stronger the serum the better the peel is thought to be. I have been guilty myself decades ago, going along with this theory of burning up the epidermis with chemicals. I had created a 95% phenol acid peel with highly caustic croton oil (some instinct told me to add olive lipids for more control that was painted on after anesthetizing the patient with a twilight anesthesia. We then taped the patient full face (allowing space for nostrils and eyes) and kept them in this painful masque for 4 days with nurse in attendance.
Of course, there was enormous erythema, a lot of valium and tramadol administered and after the tapes were removed, gross weeping and deep erythema!
At that time, we powdered their face down with Thymol iodide which started to resemble cookie monster!
After a few more days of this copious powdering we applied a thick vegetable based “grease” and warm-cloth soaks, breaking away this eschar crust.
Of course, at the end of the removal the patient had no wrinkles and a tightened appearing skin.
But also, no pigmentation or very little, a line of demarcation under the mandibles and ghostly, waxy looking skin!
A lot of older women (and some men) did not mind this, thinking that make up would restore their colour if there were no wrinkles. But the true story was that the original youthful look was due to the rapid defense mechanisms in the healing process and the real effects would show up a year later.
I had compromised all the “policemen” of the skin that regulated normal cell proliferation rhythm to the epidermis! This included the rete pegs, the desmosomes, the enzyme collagenase was destroyed (the enzyme that determines how much collagen is brought to a site of injury, too much will result in a scar) and even the Langerhans and their dendrites were crippled.
I knew there had to be a better way and a few top Chicago plastic surgeons agreed with me and helped me in my research on how to not only remove superficial dead cell material without aggressive attack, but to rebuild the living cell sub dermis and even facial and neck muscle activity providing skin with everything it needed to resurrect itself for a life time.
During this research “peeling” or removal became only step one in a process of actual skin revision.
After removal, using low level acids, alkaline, the hydroscopic alpha hydroxy acids and intercellular “glue” dissolution using gluconic acids (I modified the old Jessner solution, salicylic acid with precursors that reduced inflammation, as a booster only) we focused on giving the skin what is wanted, needed and RECOGNIZED” in order for the natural reproductive systems of the skin to flourish!
Of course, this also segued into very successful scar revision based upon the same principles of remove, rebuild, protect and maintain that we used for acne or age management treatments. We just used various combinations of tools and applications, no special magic ingredient or machine for the alleged quick fixes people tend to be fascinated with. And it was all highly individual as to skin condition as opposed to “skin type”, another misnomer most skincare lines seemed to depend upon.
Retinoids had to enter this research as well—and back then not much was known about the marvelous rebuilding aspects of retinoid combinations. The drug Retin A (tretinoin) and it bad sister Isotretinoin (used as primary ingredient in the drug Roaccutane) were relatively unknown then, but I was fascinated with beta-carotene due to its non-toxic aspect in the skin and body.
Vitamin A from fish liver is very potent but also has a toxic boundary. Too much or too little can create the same contraindications in the human body. Supplement companies who had integrity would caution users not to consume over 20,00 IU in a day.
However, Beta Carotene is NOT toxic in any amount and in fact does not become a retinoid until it is INSIDE the body or the skin, where it turns to vitamin A via enzyme conversion.
So, we embarked upon retinoid removal using minimal amounts of carefully selected retinoid esters plus a great deal of beta-carotene from various sources and managed to effectively remove superficial epidermal tissue whilst strengthening the underlying structures at the same time (remove and rebuild).
This stronger skin was especially good for 60 plus men and women whose epidermis and inter-cellular matrix were becoming thinner, looser and crepe’-like!
Apparently and previously unbeknownst to me infusions of vitamin A produced more fibroblast activity in the skin (collagen factories as I imagine them to be) so we had newer cell material to work with-but that had to be protected and maintained.
This is where compliance from the patient is absolute! Without daily maintenance along the lines of the actual professional treatment and its various chemical modalities, the ongoing results that I was becoming known for in those early years of exploration would not exist. In a way my little medical clinical trial team had its own Apotek!
The surgeons were happy because having their own prescriptions in stock was ongoing passive income that did not require hours of surgery or injections! Yet the patients had to come back on a regular basis for refills and many times booked in for other aesthetic treatments. When practitioner does great work, the patients want a “one stop shop” place where they get all their treatments, injections and clinical advice that may even extend to supplements, nutrition and surgeries if needed. It becomes a true life-style operation of wholistic control.
In today’s modern world a skin professional needs an arsenal of tools that back of a concept—as opposed to being dependent on the next new miracle ingredient product, machine, filler or toxin.
I stress CONCEPT as a working philosophy of science based upon the four things I have covered in this article: Remove, Rebuild, Protect, Maintain. In truth, this is all we can literally do topically. Yet it is a great deal when one considers that the skin and body is a complex organic computer comprised of water, a few chemicals, protein, orchestrated by enzymes and held in shape by electromagnetic waves and electricity!
Learning to control these elements by keeping everything in homeostasis has taken me a lifetime—50 years to be exact. And a lot of our research has been the result of contribution of giants in the field of science, many in fields unrelated to skin care but with pieces of a very large puzzle depicting the human condition and how to create an environment and habit that not only extend our lives and how we appear but to have a quality of life that allows each patient to fulfill their potential in personal relationships, careers and endeavors in the arts and sciences of our planet.
I am a mere observer of things around me—often a cynic when things appear too good to be true—the ‘latest thing in aesthetics often being some old idea, not that great at its inception yet dressed up in new high-tech terminology and pseudo-science that sounds great but often has no relation to how the whole of the skin actually works.
I now realize that I will never remove the word “peel” from our nomenclature! It is too provocative sounding, onion-like in concept like “rip off a layer of the epidermis and voila! New skin!”
The price I pay to being 75 years of age is seeing everything become trend, fade away and comeback again to a new generation often ignorant of what the older generation has already discovered not to be that effective and in some cases, downright fraudulent.
A good example was during my recent trip to Indonesia I discovered the entire aesthetic field to be controlled by a few “famous” European doctors (strangely unknown in their countries) and Americans touting fake epidermal growth factor nostrums and very dodgy injectables. All claiming to be FDA approved but in fact none were. Of course, the FDA has no real power in many countries so it is often used as a marketing device to assure safety and efficacy when in fact there is none.
In synopsis: yes, we do need removal systems for good skin revision treatment. Most of the things we see in the mirror or nothing more than the results of skin trying to defend itself from environmental damage and hormonal irregularities.
If you examine the areas of tissue that are consistently covered against solar attack etc. you will see skin much younger than those areas exposed—in fact skin that is our real biological age.
Our mission is to match the exposed skin, face, neck, decollate and hands to the self-renewing younger areas providing the skin with the elements that allows it to do what does best—regenerate and stay in homeostasis with all its wonderful defense mechanisms working on concert day in and day out.
We do not have to chemically burn the epidermis nor vaporize it (CO2 laser) to get great and long-term results. I have worked with every type of “peeling” medium on the planet and none of them -no matter if considered gold standard or not are in my opinion a primary treatment.