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Antiaging: Beyond Wrinkles

Posted: January 8, 2007, from the January 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Today’s products include enzymes to stimulate or boost the effects of active ingredients, while peptides act as a bond, fighting the breakdown of collagen and stimulating its growth. But these formulations now include other ingredients for value-added skin care.

While facial aging is a primary target of antiaging products, it is not the only area of concern. Consumers are looking for products that work to prevent or decrease these apparent signs of aging in other areas of the body. For example, hands show signs of aging due to their thin skin with little fat underneath. Aging reduces this fat even further to showcase the veins and bones, while exposure to the sun contributes age spots and dryness. To combat this, hand creams are including sun block, skin brighteners and moisture barriers to avoid over drying. For example, Bath & Body Works’ Glove Me Tender uses skin brighteners to improve the appearance of sun spots, shea butter to create a protective moisture barrier and antioxidants to scavenge damaging free radicals. An SPF 15 also protects against sun damage that may contribute to premature aging of the skin.

Brighter Skin

Often, the biggest factor of aging is the overall tone of the skin. “As we approach the age of 30, skin becomes duller,” said Nathalie Chevreaux, PhD, R&D, director of Women’s Health at Basic Research, an R&D and product development lab. “And interestingly enough, this change in skin tone and color can occur in all ethnic groups.”

According to Richard Wells, PhD, director of scientific affairs, Bremenn Research Labs, changing skin color has a lot to do with light waves, color frequencies and how light is reflected. “As we age, proteins in the skin’s epidermis become cross-linked and rigid, thus losing transparency and the ability to reflect warmer pink tones. Unlike simple age spot removers, new-generation facial brighteners are designed to be used over the entire face. They make you look younger by increasing skin’s brightness scale and amplifying full-spectrum reflectivity, luminescence and clarity.”

While facial brightening targets overall skin tone, not just age spots, formulators have had to adjust to the ban of hydroquinone, finding different ingredients to achieve similar results. Following the naturals trend, these ingredients now include natural extracts and essential oils, such as kojic acid. All skin brighteners are targeting sun damage, so sunscreen, found in some moisturizers and cosmetics, is still the traditional way to prevent this sign of aging.