November 30, 2010
It seems in beauty, there’s always the latest tech-fancy ingredient. While we aren’t one to spurn change, all too often it’s the more common sense stuff that works – eat well, drink a ton of water. But while we’re popping our Omega-3 supplements, perhaps we should have been going after the real sushi-grade source: salmon eggs. That’s the idea behind new Norwegian line Freya+ anyways. The woman who formulated the key ingredient, Dr. Runhild Gammelsaeter, worked on scar reduction technology before going on to refine the benefits of salmon roe for complexions. FABRIC sat down to chat with the doctor to chat eggs and the method behind the new anti-aging savior.
FABRIC: Ok first things first, where did the idea of salmon eggs for skin care come about?
Dr. Runhild Gammelsaeter: People have known for years that fish eggs have regenerative properties. Queen Catherine used to bath in caviar and here in Norway, scientists have long marveled at the youthful hands of workers who hand-mix roe at salmon farms. Of course, this is all anecdotal, and until now there was no scientific documentation to offer proof. Scandinavia has one of the richest aquacultures on earth, and Norway is the world’s number one producer of Atlantic salmon. Because this industry is so central to our economy, the Norwegian government heavily supports biomarine research. We have been studying the regenerative properties of various biomarine molecular substances for years in search of wound healing technologies that will trigger our cells to regenerate themselves without scarring. This research led us to the discovery of the LEXA Complex, which is a group of active molecular substances taken from the salmon egg, that have a significant impact on our fibroblast cells, causing them to reproduce faster and secrete 500% more collagen.
That sounds like quite a bit. Is that a good thing?
That is a very big number, and increased collagen is really the key to achieving more youthful skin. The products are also formulated with salmon-derived Omega-3, not the same thing as LEXA, which are more easily absorbed and thus more beneficial to human skin than the plant-derived variety.
When you first started working on the product did you have to worry about the creams smelling fishy?
Salmon-derived Omega-3’s have never before been used in skincare for this very reason. Getting the formula right wasn’t easy. It took a long time and lots of trial and error, but Freya+ uses a breakthrough nano-encapsulation process that neutralizes that problem, while also allowing for much deeper penetration into the skin. Stabilizing the LEXA technology so that it could go into a cream was almost the hardest part of the whole equation. LEXA is hand extracted in our lab by scientists, frozen immediately and shipped to the product manufacturer at very low temperatures to ensure it remains active and fresh.
Where did the name ‘Freya’ come from?
Freya is the Norse goddess of love and beauty. The line is very science-driven so the desire was that it not be too clinical.
Speaking of Norse goddesses, do Norwegian women take care to spend time and energy on their skin?
Oh yes, the winters are so harsh that a really good hydrating skincare regime is essential and most Norwegian women take the time to make sure they are giving skin what it needs to be healthy and nourished, even in our cold dry climate.
Aside from salmon eggs, there are some interesting ingredients such as Norwegian bilberry and cloudberry.
Bilberry, Lingonberry and Cloudberry are three native northern fruits that thrive in a very harsh, cold climate. They are potent sources of antioxidants, which we all know are critically important for youthful, healthy skin.
We read that as a doctor, your work started with scar-healing therapies. How did you decide to start a skin care line?
I didn’t start a skincare company! I own a bio-tech company called Regenix which supplies Freya+ with the LEXA Complex, one of the key ingredients in the line. My company continues to research scar-healing technologies.
Dr. Runhild Gammelsaeter