In the Spotlight

Dr. Lancer on Biomimetic Retinoid

It’s the beauty buzzword that’s been gracing the bottles of anti-ageing oils, moisturisers and serums for the last decade, but what actually is a retinoid? And what effect do they have on the skin? We’ve employed the help of dermatologist to the stars, Dr Harold Lancer, who boasts A- list clients like Victoria Beckham, to explain exactly what a Biomimetic Retinoid is…


Dr Lancer

Dr Lancer answers questions on the skincare ingredient, biomimetic retinoid

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What are biomimetic retinoid compounds?

Biomimetic refers to human-made processes, substances, devices, or systems that imitate nature. That said, biomimetic retinoid compounds are derived from natural origins and plant extracts, and behave in the same way or better than synthetic retinoic acids.

In the US, retinoic acid is regulated by the FDA, due to issues with pregnancy and fetal development so this was developed to replace prescription retinoid A. Because it comes from natural sources it doesn’t have any of the side effects of retinol like skin irritation. We recognized the need for something that works like retinoic acid but doesn’t cause irritation to the skin, or poses a threat to breastfeeding mums, so we developed biomimetic retinoid compounds.

 What is so special about them? How do they work?

The chemistry is quite complicated, and took nearly 2 years for pharmaceutical chemists to develop. We have combined three ingredients – Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate Retinol, Babchi Seeds, Bidens Pilosa Extract. Together, these allow the skin cells to function more naturally. Skin slows the production of collagen after age 20. At this point, retinoids are used to prompt the skin cells to create collagen and elastin again, and helps reverse the effects of oxidation of skin.


Dr Lancer’s offices in Beverley Hills

 What differences can you expect to notice in your skin?

You will notice younger, fresher, smoother skin. Because the Pure Youth Serum contains derivatives of vitamin A and plant extracts that act like retinol, skin is resurfaced without flaking or irritation. The Younger Pure Youth Serum also has a number of complex, medical grade ingredients including Soy Bean Extract, Glycolic Acid, Amino acids – all of which are great for reducing the appearance of sun damage, fine lines and other signs of ageing. They repair the bounce of the skin, and work to reverse the sallow effects of the skin. The Pure Youth Serum should be used at night as that’s when the skin does most of its repair process, and should be used in conjunction with The Method and the Intensive Night Treatment.

What Lancer products contain them?

The three main ingredients are only available in the Younger Pure Youth Serum, however Lancer products have a range of other retinoids.

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What is it about the Mimixyl compound in Younger that makes it differ to other biomimetic retinoids?

The difference between Mimixyl is that it has been specifically formulated for the Younger Pure Youth Serum using the three main ingredients – (Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate Retinol, Babchi Seeds, Bidens Pilosa Extract). This blend of plant-based retinoids has a unique combination and has a very complex chemistry.

It is very difficult to make. It’s about how you put the ingredients together, the timing and the steps you take with mixing one ingredient with another. In a similar way to when a top chef writes down a recipe for you, you may be able to make it but it won’t taste the exact same because of the method and strict timings.



Writer and expert