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The Next Generation of Anti-aging

By: Abby Penning
Posted: January 30, 2012, from the February 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Ingredient compatibility, as always, remains a key factor in product effectiveness. “If the ingredients are compatible with each other, consumers are going to get a bigger bang for their bucks,” says Anthonavage. “The natural state of skin isn’t just doing one thing at a time—its physiology is multifactorial. You have to push and tickle and touch several different aspects to reduce redness and improve texture and moisturize to lessen wrinkles, and so you are better off with a product that includes many compatible ingredients.”

“Our cells are made up of so many different components that affect the aging process, and to my knowledge, there is not one single ingredient that addresses each of these,” says Sappenfield. “Using a combination of ingredients in a skin care regimen will maximize the skin’s ability to regenerate.”

Of course, introducing an additional element to anti-aging products can also assist with effectiveness. “My clinical practice involves using lasers to improve the skin, much of the time to reverse the five signs of skin aging,” says Bernstein. “Topicals alone can get you pretty far, and if you’re only doing one thing, topicals are the best choice. When you combine quality topicals with the right devices, however, it can turbo-boost your treatments, and I think that is going to be a huge, huge thing for the future. Especially because at-home skin care devices are on the cusp of becoming very big, and more and more are being developed in conjunction with topicals by beauty companies.”

Outside the lines

Engaging anti-aging clients—whether they are seeking to eliminate wrinkles or prevent them—does require the product to have a hook. “Consumers are looking for innovation and for the product developer to connect with them in terms of something that works, so you have to temper science with sensibility,” says Anthonavage. “In a way, the product developer has to get inside the consumer’s head and identify what her problem is and then focus on a creative way to tackle it. A lot of times that isn’t just with one product, so you also have to be willing to educate the consumer about daily applications and regular skin maintenance. Once you get the consumer engaging in the process, you’ll have more compliance and see better results.”

However, overwhelming the consumer with too much information is also a real danger, because information saturation may cause her to tune out. “If it gets too complicated, it will just go right over the consumers’ heads,” says Anthonavage, and Bernstein notes, “From a marketing standpoint, many anti-aging products tend to just focus on one ingredient, but what really changes skin is a good combination of multiple ingredients, in a similar fashion to how the skin normally heals or regenerates with just the right combination of growth factors. You have to get customers engaged, but once you do, it’s about keeping them with a product line that produces results.”