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You are here: Anti-Aging Skin Treatments > Topical Actives >

Furfuryladenine (Kinetin) for skin health and rejuvenation

Furfuryladenine is a plant-derived growth factor/regulator (cytokine) claimed to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of skin aging without causing skin irritation. Furfuryladenine (or N6-furfuryladenine to be scientifically precise) is often called by its trade name Kinetin and, less often, by another trade name Kinerase.

Furfuryladenine has been hailed as a non-irritating alternative to tretinoin (Retin A). Unfortunately only a few studies of furfuryladenine's effectiveness have been conducted so far. One often touted study indicated that topical furfuryladenine at 0.1% concentration may be equivalent or superior in its effectiveness to tretinoin (Retin A) while producing no or little side-effects in most people. However, to my knowledge, this study was sponsored by a skin care manufacturer and not published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Nonetheless there is some credible, properly published research suggestive of furfuryladenine's potential to produce skin benefits. In a 1994 study (published in Biochemical & Biophysical Research Communications), Drs Rattan and Clark found that in tissue culture furfuryladenine delayed the onset of aging characteristics in human fibroblasts, the key type of skin cells. A 2000 study conducted by Dr Verbeke and co-workers in the Danish Center for Molecular Gerontology reported that furfuryladenine inhibited in the test tube the process of glycation, one of the key mechanisms of aging.

It appears that furfuryladenine (kinetin) may also be useful in certain specific skin conditions, especially those associated with inflammation. Dr Wu and colleagues from the University of California, Irvine studied the effects of topical 0.1% kinetin twice-daily on the signs and symptoms of rosacea. The results, published in the journal of Clinical Experimental Dermatology in 2007, indicated both effectiveness and safety of kinetin as a rosacea treatment.

At this point, furfuryladenine appears promising but more and better-designed studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness. If the benefits of furfuryladenine are reliably proved it may indeed become a superior alternative to Retin A, particularly for wrinkles in sensitive areas such as under eyes. The potential of furfuryladenine to treat inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea is also intriguing but, again, requires further research.

As with many promising skin care agents, a question may arise whether to wait for more definitive research or just go ahead and give it try. While your answer may depend your personality, philosophy, patience (or lack thereof) as much as science, consider that furfuryladenine appears to have a reasonably favorable side effect profile, so trying it out may be less risky than trying some of the alternatives. (Still keep in mind that almost no skin care agent is completely risk-free in all circumstances.)

Currently furfuryladenine is sold under two trade names Kinetin and Kinerase. Products containing furfuryladenine tend to be relatively expensive. This is not necessarily justified by the price of furfuryladenine itself. While furfuryladenine is not as cheep as, say, vitamin C, it is not under a patent (at least not anymore) and has quite reasonable wholesale price reflecting a healthy competition among producers. This makes do-it-yourself approach a very cost-effective alternative. You can purchase kinetin stock solution and create your own formula. Furfuryladenine appears to combine well with many vehicles and other actives, which makes a DIY option easy to implement. For specific instructions see DIY Anti-Aging Skin Care Infopack.


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