Friday, February 15, 2013

Syn-ake Venom vs Botox - Vanity Insanity?

The Year of the Snake or The Year of the Syn-ake? Sny-ake is a synthetic snake venom engineered to mimic actual venom for use in anti-age skin care to help reduce wrinkle-causing muscle cell contractions in an attempt to provide botox-like results without the pain and possible complications of injections.

Syn-ake is manufactured by Pentapharm, a fifty year old Swiss pharmaceutical company, and is described as an anti-wrinkle peptide found in some of the top anti-age products on the market. According to our research, Pentapharm is the largest snake breeder in the world and breeds venomous snakes for the purpose of producing therapeutic and diagnostic products, such as anticoagulants and haemostatics. Their experience led them to investigate the venom of the Temple Viper (distant cousin to the rattle snake found in southeast asia) and its paralytic properties for use in cosmetic applications. They were able to narrow it down to a tripeptide, a combination of three amino acids that when bound together inhibit, or block, the signals to the muscle to contract. Pentapharm's active ingredient won a Swiss Technology Award.

When all is said and done, one very big question remains. Is this a case of 'vanity insanity' or is this a case of brilliant cosmetic science? While we have confirmed its presence in several professional products, our jury is still out on this one. Time will tell. Literally.