Product promoted as 'age-defying skin care'

Web-posted May 3, 2004
By WENDY CLEM Special to The Daily Oakland Press

- With swimsuit season looming, skin care and beauty products will soon inundate the public.

Given concerns about sun damage, word is circulating about a product that helps combat photosensitivity: Amino Fruit Acids, or AFAs, from exCel Cosmeceuticals in Bloomfield Hills.

Touted as the latest concept in "age-defying skin care," AFAs (amino acid filaggrin-based antioxidants) are supposed to be advanced beyond previously developed aids like alpha hydroxys, or glycolic and lactic acids, company officials say.

AFAs combined in a special clay base and created by deceased Bloomfield Hills dermatologist Marvin Klein, M.D., are now accessible for home use, as well as in physician-applied doses.

"We're receiving incredible feedback from physicians, medical journals and patients," said Klein's son-in-law and exCel President Martin Davidson, 44. "This is such an easy skin care program to follow. Most people notice a change within a day or two, or with just one in-office treatment."

Klein's AFAs helped raise exCel's growth 49 percent in 2003, and 2004 so far shows a 79 percent increase, said Davidson.

Klein's AFAs are infused with vitamin C to promote softness while working at a low PH-level. They are credited with strides in eliminating photo-pigmentation, particularly in skin types not previously responsive, such as that of African-Americans, Asians and other darker complexions, exCel's literature says.

"Consumers are more aware now and demand better science within their products," said Davidson.

Physician-administered treatments are geared to efficiency and relative comfort, leaving skin slightly flushed and feeling windburned or mildly sunburned. Costs range from $125-$150 per treatment.

Results are immediately discernible in fair skin, with more gradual success on darker skin.

AFA products are compatible with other cosmetic procedures (like Botox) and product lines. Typical users are women and men 25-70 years of age. Strengths of AFA gels can also be individually adjusted.

Sunscreens are definitely a must, said exCel dermatologist Fred Novice, M.D.

"Effective sunscreens can average 25-30 SPF, but finding a high-quality 15 SPF (containing no PABA) is fine," said Novice. "It should be applied every hour right through the afternoon, beginning with an initial application at least 15 minutes before first exposure. Apply to the face as well as body, and remember, there are no waterproof sunscreens, only water-resistant."