It’s a sad but undeniable fact: As we age, our skin loses some of the luster and vibrancy of youth. And an entire industry has grown trying to help women recapture that dewy glow. We recently caught up with Hylton Lea, senior VP of RéVive, during his recent stop at Neiman Marcus at Plaza Frontenac, to hear about the company’s contribution to this cause.
LN: How did RéVive get its start?
HL: The line was formulated by a plastic surgeon, Dr. Gregory Bays Brown, who started out working on burn victims, people who had second and third degree burns. At the time, the technology was to harvest tissue and do a graft on the burned skin. Dr. Brown started thinking of ways to speed up the regeneration, and eventually came up with a process whereby doctors would send him a piece of skin the size of the tip of your finger, and in a month, he could grow it into a sheet that was about 3 feet by 3 feet. From it, doctors could graft the skin, which was grown using the patient’s DNA.
LN: So how did this turn into a skincare line?
HL: Dr. Brown thought, How can we speed the process up even more? He had read about research showing that when the human body is wounded, it uses proteins to send a message to that site to tell the wound to heal more quickly. In 1986, Stanley Cohen, whose work led to the discovery of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research. Dr. Brown used a recombinant, or synthetic, version of EGF, and it took four days to grow the same amount of skin as had previously taken a month, all for burn victims.
When Dr. Brown went back to his surgical practice, women would come in wanting cosmetic surgery to make their skin look younger. But a young child’s skin is full of spongy, fibrous tissue. When you have a face lift, the fibrous tissue is lifted, but it’s replaced with scar tissue. The other problem is that at age 21, the life cycle of your skin cells is only 21 days. At age 40, the turnover time becomes six weeks. By applying EGF in the moisturizing renewal crème, you are prompting the body to produce renewed skin more quickly. It’s using the messaging system that’s already in your skin; it’s just elevating it.
LN: And now it’s grown into a full line!
HL: I think it’s pretty amazing, actually. There will always be a need for plastic surgery, but we feel we can lessen it.
LN: What can you tell me about RéVive’s Peau Magnifique Youth Recruit, and its $1,500 price tag?
HL: In addition to EGF, the product uses telomerase, an enzyme. The scientists who discovered this enzyme won the Nobel Prize in 2009; the third one associated with our line. Telomerase costs $7 million per gram, which is where the cost comes from. What it does is similar to what an intense laser or chemical peel would do. When you get these treatments, your skin thinks that the ‘mother cells’ that create new skin cells might be destroyed. Because of this, it recruits more of the cells that produce new skin. However, when you have a laser treatment there is trauma to the skin and it takes time to heal. Telomerase produces the results without any trauma at all. You use the product for 28 days, and it takes a minimum of five years of chronological age off the skin, and at least a 46 percent reduction of any lines on your face. The results are really overwhelming, and it’s one of our most replenished products. LN