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Telomeres and Aging: How to Keep Clients Younger Longer

By: Tiffany A. McLauchlin
Posted: April 1, 2014, from the April 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Telomeres and Aging: How to Keep Clients Younger Longer

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Skin cells have a finite amount of times they can divide before the telomere is too short for cell regeneration. Exfoliation is an excellent way to stimulate cell turnover, but within moderation. Overuse of cell-wounding ingredients in large percentage amounts or on a daily basis can overstimulate a cell to divide too quickly, therefore shortening the life of a telomere. Chemical peels should be performed in proper treatment series lengths and not year-round, according to the client’s skin type and condition, Glogau classification, and Fitzpatrick type. It is essential to skin’s health to provide anti-inflammatory and healing ingredients immediately to the skin after exfoliation to reduce any unwanted skin inflammation. There are exfoliation solutions now available that have combined anti-inflammatory ingredients into peel formulations, immediately addressing telomere aging. When addressing skin aging with telomere length, inflammation is the key component that speeds up cell division more than is needed. Too much inflammation will enable telomeres to shorten prematurely, creating unwanted aging results.

Ingredients to encourage telomere-lengthening

Utilizing a combination of ingredients can aid in the repair process and encourage telomere-lengthening. This allows for better age prevention with in-spa treatments, as well as a proper home-care system for clients. Incorporating the following ingredient categories into your skin care system is beneficial for corrective skin results.

Antioxidants. Preventing oxidation encourages healthy telomeres. This category can be utilized not only in clients’ skin care products, but also in their diets. Potent antioxidants are readily available in various forms. Choose topical products that include antioxidants with both lipid- and water-soluble structures for best results. An example is vitamin C from ascorbic acid to tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate with a water- and lipid-soluble structure, respectively.

Hydrating botanicals. Retaining a healthy barrier function will also aid in strengthening telomeres. The skin must have moisture in order to heal properly and, if inappropriately hydrated, it will remain in an irritated or traumatized state, allowing telomeres to erode. When an exfoliation treatment takes place, replenishing essential hydration back into the skin encourages it to begin repairing itself immediately. Many botanicals contain potent hydrating properties that strengthen skin’s barrier function, including shea butter, silver ear mushroom extract, rice bran oil and many others. Nightly hydration and skin repair is vital for skin’s overall health.

Peptides. Peptides are a nonirritating, nonwounding, fibroblast-stimulation ingredient. Many know peptides for their tightening effect on the skin. When used in combination with ingredients, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), they create a less inflamed environment for healthy cell turnover. Many peptides are now available in skin care products.