We often receive questions about DNA HP, one of the key ingredients in our patented formula ~ where it comes from, what it does, and why we use it.
DNA HP is a truly unique ingredient and when it’s used in synergy with Silver Hydrosol, it’s even more extraordinary ~ which is why we patented the formulation at the heart of our skincare collection. From its ability to carry ten times more water than Hyaluronic Acid to its anti-oxidant power and anti-ageing properties that support the skin with cell turnover and regeneration, read on to discover the story behind this wonder ingredient.
WHAT IS DNA HP?
Our DNA HP (Hyper Polymerised Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is a natural, marine-based ingredient ethically sourced from sustainably-fished, wild Alaskan salmon. We use pharmaceutical grade DNA HP, which is the finest available. You might also see it referred to as HP DNA ~ they’re the same thing.
Why is it so extraordinary? DNA HP delivers hydration directly to the intercellular space of the skin by carrying 10,000 times its weight in water*. This is unlike other hydration carriers, which sometimes simply attract water to the skin’s surface where it remains. Its anti-oxidative properties help to regenerate tissue by scavenging free radicals ~ undesirable, unstable atoms which are a natural result of metabolism, but which are known to damage cells and cause ageing. It’s also capable of inhibiting elastase**, an enzyme that can reduce elastin levels. Elastin is what provides skin elasticity ~ skin’s ability to literally bounce back and remain looking plumped and youthful. When skin loses elastin, that’s when wrinkles begin to appear.
We insist upon using the highest quality DNA HP because ensuring that the unique 3D helix structure of the DNA remains intact is key to DNA HP’s ability to nurture visibly healthier skin.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DNA HP FOR THE SKIN?
As well as being ten times more effective than Hyaluronic Acid, DNA HP helps promote cell regeneration ~ specifically by aiding in the production of collagen and elastin. It does this by inhibiting skin fibroblast elastase, responsible for the formation of wrinkles caused by the degeneration of the skin’s elasticity. This can happen outside of natural ageing, which is why anti-oxidant action is so desirable in skincare. Oxidation is a perfectly normal process in the body, but when we’re exposed to more pollution, toxins, UV, and other stressors of skin health, we need as much support as we can get from the products we use on our skin.
With its powerful ability to protect against lipid peroxidation ~ the breakdown of lipids (also known as ceramides) within skin cells that are key to skin health, DNA HP also helps to regenerate tissue by fighting free radicals***. Cell damage from lipid peroxidation is caused by free radicals, and ultimately has an ageing effect. ARgENTUM’s DNA HP offers a two-fold, preventative and protective approach to slowing down the ageing process and supporting the skin’s ability to repair itself.
HOW IS DNA HP 10 TIMES MORE EFFECTIVE THAN HYALURONIC ACID?
DNA HP is a macromolecular complex rich with hydrogen-bonds. This structure forms a hydrophilic (or water-loving) biological polymer, from which the capacity for water retention is estimated at more than 10,000 times its own volume*. That’s ten times the water that Hyaluronic Acid is capable of attracting. You can see DNA HP at work if you apply la potion infinie to your face after a shower in a steamy bathroom ~ you’ll immediately see water droplets begin to form on your face. This is because the DNA HP is drawing moisture directly from the humid air to plump the skin. Obviously, aside from this little experiment, it’s best to apply la potion infinie in a dry atmosphere so that it can sink into the skin and drink in all that moisture with it.
WHERE DOES DNA HP COME FROM?
The polymer from which DNA HP originates is extracted from salmon milt. Milt is fluid from salmon that contains sperm. It’s also known as soft or white roe, just as fish eggs are referred to as hard roe or caviar. In some countries, the entire seminal vessel is considered a delicacy such as in Japan, where it is called shirako.
Milt is a by-product of the fishing industry that’s often disposed of in the preparation of seafood for market, and so simply goes to waste. Our suppliers source this marine-based ingredient ethically and responsibly according to ISO Environmental System Management standards, helping to avoid unnecessary waste and creating a profoundly effective skincare ingredient in the process. Salmon milt is carefully retained, frozen, and sent expressly to a specialist laboratory in France, where extraction of the DNA is carried out. Our products are 100% cruelty-free, but because we use DNA HP in the majority of the ARgENTUM skincare collection, they aren’t suitable for vegans.
WHAT IS A POLYMER?
DNA HP is a polymer, but what is a polymer? Polymers are all around us ~ wool, cotton, silk, even paper (made from cellulose in wood), are natural polymers. Polymers are also the building blocks of life and evident in all living things ~ proteins are a particular type of polymer made up of repeating patterns of amino acids (short chains of amino acids are known as peptides, another skincare ingredient you may have heard of). The double helix of DNA is made of two polymer chains made from four different monomers, called nucleotides (in Greek, ‘poly’ means many, ‘mono’ means single, and ‘mer’ means unit). In short, DNA HP is a large molecule (macromolecule) made from lots of smaller parts ~ repeating subunits (monomers), which create a chain.
Large strands of DNA HP actually look like candy floss with its long white fibres, which gives an idea of its structure.
“The DNA HP macro-molecule resembles a ball of wool. Under the action of Silver Hydrosol, the double strand of DNA HP unfolds like Ariadne's thread, to deeply penetrate the skin and to hydrate the cells and regenerate.”
Dr Gilbert Mouzin, Former Director of Dermo-Cosmetic Research, Pierre Fabre Group
It’s thanks to the symbiotic relationship between the two ingredients in our patented formula that the properties in both are optimised, creating a natural delivery system that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Silver Hydrosol supports the unfolding of the DNA HP helix, (which we take such care to protect), so the skin gains direct access to its benefits. Meanwhile, DNA HP’s innate natural intelligence as a carrier means it can transport the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of Silver Hydrosol (along with hydration), beyond the skin’s surface.
WHAT IS THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN DNA HP?
The active ingredient in DNA HP is Sodium DNA. Sodium DNA can be sourced as a by-product from other fish species such as sturgeon and the quality can vary. Sodium is found in salt (Sodium Chloride) which is a mineral that’s vital for life.
WHAT DOES 'OUR PATENTED FORMULA' MEAN?
A patent protects a product or an invention to ensure it’s not copied. It also means that there’s nothing else like it available on the market ~ the combination of Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP is truly unique. We patented our formula because we insist upon using the highest quality of ingredients, which is costly, but ensures that the integrity of our products and our ethical stance are upheld. Just as the beauty and skincare industry is flooded with Hyaluronic Acid of varying quality, the industry is seeing an increased interest in salmon DNA (including in injectables) and this causes some companies to cut corners on quality to meet the demand. The DNA HP we use has always been of the highest grade. Unlike Hyaluronic Acid, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s the correct molecular weight to work ~ DNA HP also withstands higher temperatures, so has greater longevity as a skincare ingredient.
After years of research in the field of dermo-cosmetics, our founder Joy worked in collaboration with Dr Gilbert Mouzin (former Director of the Dermo-cosmetics Research Centre at the Pierre Fabre Group) to formulate the patented fusion of our two vital ingredients; Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP.
This powerful skincare formulation holds a patent in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, USA, Japan, China, and Brazil.
WHY DO WE USE DNA HP?
DNA HP is an excellent carrier, particularly of water because it has so many hydrogen bonds. It can deliver 10,000 times its weight in water to the intercellular space of the skin.
To complement and support this super power, we use Silver Hydrosol instead of regular water in our products. Our Silver Hydrosol is comprised of positively charged silver ions (made of 99.99% pure silver) suspended in pharmaceutical-grade water. Because we know DNA HP is such an excellent carrier, it then carries this water along with the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits of silver, beneath the surface of the skin.
Together, Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP have a catalytic effect on each other, which enhances their properties and optimises the potency of our formula. Unlike other hydrating products, which attempt to trap water in the skin, this combination delivers hydration deep beneath the skin’s surface. Together, they are the thread of alchemy throughout ARgENTUM skincare.
We infused our formula with DNA HP because of its great ability to deliver a visibly healthier complexion ~ skin with an even texture and tone, which exudes radiance. However, it’s the particular relationship between DNA HP and Silver Hydrosol that elevates this ingredient’s life-giving-for-skin benefits.
Whether you want to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles, reduce blemishes and acne, hyperpigmentation, or general inflammation (the root cause of many skin problems), the formulation of Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP in our hero product, la potion infinie, is proven✝ to do just that.
*A.L. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, chapter 31 DNA and the Structure of Genetic Material, 1993.
**Inhibition of élastase by DNA HP, Université de Paris Val de Marne, July 2001
***Protective effect of DNA HP against lipidic peroxidation, J. Cillard, Université de Rome 1994 Pharma Sciences.
✝Clinical trial of men and women (aged 20-75), applying la potion inﬁnie daily over a 3-month period at Toulouse University Hospital in France.