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Learn, Share And Experience Science With Cantabria Labs

The use of cosmeceuticals by patients is now commonplace. Without consultation and direction from an informed and experienced aesthetic professional, marketing pressures can lead consumers to make poor product choices that can result in wasted money and unsatisfactory outcomes.

The Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid is a tool to help you navigate through the complex world of skincare. Structuring your approach to skincare in a pyramid will allow you to consider all the available aspects of anti-aging technology so that you can have a logical regimen of products that will cover all the bases. 

This clinically based guide to selecting topical antiaging products, by Dr. Zoe Draelos: a consultant to Cantabria Labs is here to guide consumers to understand the science behind skincare.

*(The original Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid were published by dr. Draelos about 7 years ago in the medical Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Today we’ll have a closer look at the advancements that have been made over time to bring us to where we are today)


Let’s have a look at each step of the pyramid, starting with the base: Protection.  Then adding in products in the middle for renewal, and finally at the top we’ll have products for activation and regeneration. 

The Foundational Level: PROTECTION

If you think about a pyramid, you think of the bottom as stability, it’s broader and it includes products that everyone should use, starting at a young age, daily, year-round. You can build on to this: as you get older, you’ll move up the pyramid.

Skincare basics: the foundational products that you use every day to prevent skin damage and protect your skin from environmental aggressors, including UV radiation, high energy visible light (or blue light from digital devices), IR-A radiation (or heat exposure), air pollution and more, these all result in free radical generation in the skin, and contribute to skin concerns associated with premature aging like pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

Product categories in the Foundation Level:

  1. Sun Protection (SPF and PA++++)

Find a broad-spectrum SPF that will protect you against UVA and UVB radiation. 
Unfortunately, sunscreen filters alone only protect us against 55% of damaging free radicals, so for comprehensive protection, we must consider adding topical Antioxidants. 

  1. Pollution Protection (Antioxidants like Fernblock Technology or Edafence)

These don’t add to the SPF factor of the sunscreen, but they do add an essential additional layer of protection against all known environmental aggressors. Antioxidants can supplement (but not replace) a topical SPF.

Your Pyramid Base-Level Foundational Products for morning use:

  • Topical SPF: Heliocare 360 Pigment Solution Fluid SPF 50+ with broad-spectrum protection (SPF and PA++++) with an added potent antioxidant: Fernblock Technology. 
  • Oral SPFHeliocare 360 Oral Capsules to complement and supplement your topical SPF protection. 
  • Antioxidant Serum: Endocare Radiance C Ferulic Edafence for enhanced daily protection from skin-damaging environmental aggressors.

The Middle Level: RENEWAL

In the middle level, we consider exfoliation without agitation. A note on exfoliants: if used incorrectly, these can cause sensitized or stinging skin, thus the use of exfoliants must be done very carefully. As we get older, the enzymes responsible for natural skin desquamation (exfoliation) don’t work as well as they used to, so in this step of the pyramid, we support and gently encourage skin renewal. 

Product categories in the Middle Level:

  1. Exfoliation for renewal (Retinoids, specifically Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate) 

Retinoids are very important because we have retinoid receptors in the skin, and this is where we see “receptor-mediated renewal” which can restore age-related impaired skin functions and thicken the epidermis, improve the condition of the dermal-epidermal junction, normalize melanocyte function, and increase dermal fibroblasts (this means more collagen)!

Your Pyramid Middle-Level Renewal Products for evening use:

Topical Retinoid: Neoretin Serum Booster Fluid with an ultra time-release delivery of active ingredients to maximize the results but will minimize the side-effects associated with retinoids. 

The Top of the Pyramid: REGENERATION

This step of the pyramid will include products to induce firming and repair skin damage. These ingredients have become very important in dermatology, the idea is that they take sections of older, more sluggish skin and give them a reason to behave like younger, more responsive skin. In other words, we’re reprogramming the skin. 

Product categories in the Top Level:

  1. Growth Factors (Fibroblast Growth Factors like SCA) 

SCA is a secretion of the Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a mollusc indigenous to Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Fibroblast activation and proliferation result in dermal regeneration.  

  1. Peptides. (Tensderm Complex of firming peptides)

These are not active ingredients themselves but act as messengers to trigger skin cells to perform specific functions. 

Your Pyramid Top-Level Regeneration Products: 

Topical Growth Factor Serum: Endocare Tensage Concentrate with a 50% concentration of SCA Growth Factor Complex is a powerful anti-aging serum to increase skin firmness, volume, and elasticity. This serum includes a Tensderm complex of firming peptides for an immediate firming and lifting effect. As well as a moisturizing complex


All Cantabria Labs products are available from selected Aesthetic Medical Practitioners and medi-spas nationwide.

Visit Genop’s website for a full stockist list.