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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.

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Niacinamide. Niacinamide is a water-soluble B-3 vitamin found naturally in the body. Forms of vitamin B-3 that are typically found in skin care products are niacin amide, nicotinic acid and nicotinate esters. Clinical studies show a range of benefits, including reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and pore size, and decreased appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Peptides. Loss of elasticity and firmness lead many women to stand before the mirror and hold up their faces. Peptides are natural or synthetic compounds containing two or more linked amino acids. Peptides of particular interest to the cosmetic industry include pal-KTTKS, or Matrixyl. In in vitro studies, these ingredients seem to stimulate collagen production and reduce excess dermal glycosaminoglycans (GAGs); the same qualities attributed to retinoids.

Probiotic lactobacillus. A proven anti-aging active in the health care industry to help increase the body’s immune system, probiotics are now being used in skin care formulations to increase the strength of the skin. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help the skin maintain balance and improve its ability to protect against environmental damage. By helping to protect the cell membrane, skin remains more elastic and resilient.

Retinoids. A derivative of vitamin A, retinoic acid is the functional form of vitamin A in the skin and is considered to be the gold standard anti-aging ingredient. In vitro studies demonstrate retinoid-induced changes in the expression of the genes relevant to dermal matrix production, epidermal differentiation and melanin production. Retinoids stimulate the production of collagen and decrease the production of dermal GAGs, which are known to destroy collagen production. Retinoids are also known to increase the production of epidermal hyaluronic acid.

Whole-body wellness

Wrinkles and poor skin texture are among the earliest signs of aging. Throughout time, the skin becomes thinner, drier and less elastic. Although genetic predisposition is a factor, it is now believed that environmental irritants play a much bigger role in the aging of the skin. Overexposure to sunlight is the main culprit of premature age-related changes: wrinkles, roughness, pigmentation, loss of tone and dilated blood vessels. The first and most important anti-aging ingredient is a good sunscreen that is used properly. Proper use means applying enough and as often as every two hours when in direct sunlight. Next is health habits, such as exercise, which facilitates blood flow and helps bring nutrients to the skin. Advise clients to optimize their immune system by eating fresh, organic produce and drinking plenty of water to hydrate the cells. Along with the proper topical skin care, whole-body wellness is crucial when developing an age-prevention strategy with your clients.

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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