Many cosmetic procedures regularly employed today have long histories. Facelifts as we know them are generally agreed to have begun in the early 1900s, and BOTOX® stemmed from research started in the 1800s. Few—if any—treatments, however, can claim to be almost 4,000 years old.
Known as an innovator in aesthetic surgical techniques, from eyelid lifts to facelifts, San Francisco Bay Area facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Stanley Jacobs is also keenly interested in ongoing skin health and beauty. His parallel interest in Ancient Egypt proved to be an unlikely jumping off point for his most recent discovery: a formula for rejuvenating and revitalizing skin, adapted directly from the Edwin Smith Papyrus.
Thousands of years old, the papyrus explores surgery for traumatic injuries, based on real-world anatomical observations and what seems to be research into even more ancient texts. The back of the scroll is devoted to a variety of medical remedies and recipes, including facial rejuvenation and “Transforming an old man into a youth.” That last subject caught Dr. Jacobs’ eye, and he set out to explore the instructions, working with experts to determine that the key element in the formula was bitter almonds.
The scroll lays out several steps for grinding the almonds into paste and extracting the oil, which one translation notes is good for eliminating wrinkles and spots and has been proven to be an effective treatment “a million times.”
We know today that the active ingredient extracted from bitter almonds is mandelic acid, a chemical that improves skin elasticity and reduces the signs of aging. Upon discovering this millennia-old formula, Dr. Jacobs worked with a former Estee Lauder chemist, Jules Zecchino, to extract mandelic acid from bitter almonds and create a skin care line based on the ancient text.
On Oct. 26, 2016, a patent for the formula was secured. The formula is available in Dr. Jacobs’ Visco-elastic Transforming Serum, Visco-elastic Transforming Crème, and Transforming Synergy Peel, which together make up the Stanley Jacobs MD Skin Care line.