Mrytle's Comeback

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Article by
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

The myrtles are dying. I don't mean the shrubs but the name. Seems the name Myrtle is going the way of Millicent, Eunice, Winifred, and Ethel. I don't hear of  a whole lot of mother's dropping suggestions of Brooke, Haley, Megan in favor of  naming their bouncing baby girl Myrtle. 

But Myrtle the shrub: that's another thing. I think we may be hearing a whole lot from Myrtle, as in Myrtus communis, the shrub Myrtle.

Some interesting research coming out of Johnson & Johnson was shown at a poster session of the American Academy of Dermatology meeting In New Orleans. 

Nearly all of us are aware that the retinoids have been shown to slow the signs of skin aging. However, many of us also know, some from personal experience, that the Retinoids can be irritating. Johnson and Johnson scientists have been working with various molecules and substances to determine whether they can utilize any of them to increase tolerability. A study was done with human volunteers to test myrtle.  It was shown that myrtle extract significantly enhanced the tolerability to Retinol. Much higher strengths of Retinol, laced with myrtle, could be used without producing irritation. Furthermore, and encouragingly, myrtle had some anti-wrinkling effect in its own right. 

Myrtle seems to be a promising enhancer of Retinol, and most likely its more potent cousins tretinoin, and tazarotene. 

It will take awhile to come to market. The Aveeno line, with its emphasis on botanicals, seems like a NATURAL.