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WEB EXCLUSIVE: What Does Anti-aging Really Mean?

By: Elaine Linker
Posted: July 1, 2013, from the July 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Increased life expectancy has changed the concept of aging and, in turn, has propelled anti-aging research, leading to a multitude of topical applications. However, “anti-aging” is a controversial topic. Aging is a natural process written into the laws of the universe. No living organs have ever reversed the signs of aging, although medical science is in the midst of several theories that hope to prolong life and minimize diseases that are more prevalent as cells age.

The seven signs of aging

Forget about anti-aging; instead, focus on minimizing age-related signs of both intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Learn how to prevent the signs of aging and help your clients remember that their true biological age is determined not by their years, but by the state of their body’s structure and function, as well as their emotional and psychological well-being. That means that the more the body is supplied with healthy nutrients to protect cells from environmental damage, the younger it will look and feel at any age.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and the outward manifestation of inner health. In the cosmetic world, there are seven signs of aging that are traditionally accepted.

  1. Fine lines and wrinkles
  2. Uneven skin texture
  3. Uneven skin tone
  4. Surface dullness
  5. Enlarged pores
  6. Age spots
  7. Loss of elasticity and firmness

Ingredient innovations

There are a bevy of ingredients that can be used to help strengthen the skin.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These are a group of acids—glycolic being the most popular because of its smaller molecular size. Skin cell turnover rates slow dramatically as a person ages, which is why older skin has a drier, rougher look and feel. This dryness also impedes the ability of the skin to absorb moisture and active ingredients. The primary function of AHAs is to help increase the exfoliation of dead skin cells to reveal a younger, healthier, more hydrated complexion. Exfoliation of dead skin cells gives immediate visibly younger-looking skin.

The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook is so much more than an ingredient dictionary. You will learn about skin care trends, active versus functional ingredients, OTC drugs, INCI names, antioxidants and DNA and understand how to read labels. Did we mention the newest ingredients are listed?

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