Skin is the largest organ of the human body, yet most of us are unaware of the numerous harmful materials that collect upon it — or that we unknowingly slather on ourselves. Since 1995, when she first encountered patients ill from toxin exposures, Dr. Olga Aguilera has been fascinated with health care of the skin to the extent that she has created her own skin-care line.
A native of Mexico, Aguilera’s interest in epidemiology sparked when she joined the Agoura Hills–based NeuroMed and NeuroTox Associates Medical Group, which specializes in neuroimmunotoxicology, the study of how exposure to neurotoxins (natural or artificial toxic chemicals) alter activity and can cause lasting damage within the nervous system. As a result of her past experiences — and her fascination with anti-aging medicine — Aguilera began to study skin-rejuvenation therapies. So when her patients started asking for products that would cause a less-negative reaction with their skin, Aguilera learned more about the science involved in creating over-the-counter skin-care products. She deconstructed what goes into moisturizer, face creams, shampoos, and the like, and found that what worked best were the basic ingredients. However, the majority of commercial products offer “at most 10 percent of the working ingredients, filling [the rest of the jar] with excess preservatives, synthetic oils, and other needless — sometimes harmful — chemicals to prevent spoilage,” Aguilera asserted.
For the past decade, the Santa Barbara–based Aguilera has been creating skin-care products that her patients can use with no apparent side effects — even those with highly sensitive skin. Her goal is to create formulas that are “as pure as possible,” she said, adding that her method is to “take the base of the most important ingredients and work around that to create the best quality of that ingredient. I work to make products for local clients, give good quality, and [create] professionally strong products that can be effective and affordable,” she continued, “because with cosmetics — specifically, skin-care cosmetics — you really need to have a routine, and, in the long term, you can see the results.”
Her latest creation is the Argireline Facial Serum, which is an intensive smoothing serum whose results are consistently compared to those of Botox. Argireline is a synthetic amino peptide that relaxes facial muscle contractions and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. As such, the serum can reduce lines and wrinkles, deter the degeneration of collagen and elastin, and give the skin a more firm, youthful appearance.
Aguilera is proud that nearly all her products, with the exception of a couple of facial masks, are serums. “The reason I love serums is because our skin is an organ that absorbs all kinds of molecules,” she explained. “If you have a cream that is very thick and has a lot of fat, most of the time … it will penetrate one percent, 2 percent of the cream. The molecule is too large to penetrate the skin. So when you have serums, the absorption percentage is much higher, and the outcome of your results is also going to be much better.”
Aguilera has a clear goal for the next few years as her company rapidly progresses. “My vision is to really develop a company that can continue offering the best quality of products with affordable prices, and with less toxic chemicals.”
For more information or to purchase products, stop by the Hyperbaric Medical Center, 221 West Pueblo Street, Suite B; call (805) 563-0450; or visit healingwithoxygen.blogspot.com or hyperbaricmedcenter.com.