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antimicrobial properties of silver have been known for centuries. People in
ancient Phonecia stored water in silver coated bottles. Silver was commonly
used in treatments of wounds during World War I. Silver dollars were put in
milk bottles to keep milk fresh. Water tanks of ships are silver coated to
render water potable for months.
antibiotics were discovered, the use of silver as a bactericidal agent
decreased. However, antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria have increasingly
emerged. There have been similar concerns raised against Triclosan, a widely
used antimicrobial agent in skin care products. These developments generated
renewed interest in silver, now considered an exciting safe alternative with a
great deal of relevance in pharmaceutical and skin care formulations. 
A German
company, BioEpiderm, has developed a complex process of manufacturing silver powder
with highly porous, sponge-like structure. This 99.9% pure metallic silver is
ECOCERT registered, and meets ecological standards for natural bio-cosmetics.  
contains silver antimicrobial active.
The fine silver powder can be used in creams,
lotions, deodorants, and sprays for body care, hand and foot care and facial
care, as well as in hair and scalp care preparations, and even oral care products
such as mouthwash and toothpaste. Because there are no side effects, the active
silver can also be used in child care formulations.
A product with this active releases silver
ions slowly, with prolonged anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity. This time-release feature helps destroy harmful bacteria continuously without affecting
the skin’s natural flora. The skin is freed from the causes of irritation over
an extended period. The result is a healthy and well-protected skin.
In a scientific study, a cream containing 0.1
percent of the active was tested on patients with atopic dermatitis. The skin
returned to normal condition, redness disappeared and bothersome itching was
significantly reduced.
SkinStation recently came out with DERMAX
DEOWHITE, a natural deodorant with silver as the main deodorizing active. The
silver worked well with other whitening actives in the formulation. With the
success of the DERMAX DEOWHITE deodorant, more products containing the antimicrobial,
anti-inflammatory, and anti-irritant silver are in the pipeline. 

Skin Smart seeks to clarify facts and myths on skin care. This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on May 28, 2013. The author received the 2011 OutstandingChemist Award from Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry.  The author is the CEO of SkinStation and can be reached at 

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