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Factors of Skin Aging

By: Katerina Steventon, PhD
Posted: July 10, 2013, from the July 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Catabolic aging compromises older skin further through the impact of a specific chronic disease, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, cancer or infection.

Holistic Approach

Anti-aging skin care technologies have become increasingly high-tech, targeting specific cellular phenomena. However, as illustrated above, skin aging is the sum of several concurrent aging processes, which differ in aging contribution among individuals. Photoaging has received more attention in research and the media, but is only one aspect of the aging process. Although the rationale for sun protection is widely advocated, people still associate it with occasional holiday exposure.9 Photoaging affects people of the same age and photo-type differently10 and might not become apparent for decades after the initial damage. To ensure good environmental protection, daily skin care products containing a combination of SPF 20+ and a spectrum of antioxidants should be used.

Postmenopausal skin aging is often neglected in the “classical” aging concept, as its impact is difficult to estimate. In women, intrinsic and postmenopausal aging are linked. There is an array of technologies designed to aid skin changes from intrinsic aging or menopause. Examples of actives clinically tested, although on forearms and not facial skin, include c-xyloside, which was shown to repair the DEJ,11 and bifidobacterium-fermented soy milk extract, which improved skin elasticity.12

Skin aging is an interplay of the different types of aging that differs between individuals; the best approach entails the use of multifunctional active ingredients that address more than one type. Also, shifting consumer attitudes toward a more holistic approach to skin health represents the next educational challenge for skin care and beauty brands.


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  10. GE Piérard, Skin ageing, a fresh look at an old story, J Cosmet Dermatol, Jan 3(1) 1 (2004), (Accessed Mar 10, 2013)
  11. C Deloche, AM Minodo, BA Bernard, F Bernerd, F Salas, J Garnier and E Tancrède, Effect of c-xyloside on morphogenesis of the dermal epidermal junction in aged female skin. An ultrastructural pilot study, Eur J Dermatol, Mar–Apr 21(2) (2011)
  12. K Miyazaki, T Hanamizu, T Sone, K Chiba, T Kinoshita and S Yoshikawa, Topical application of Bifidobacterium-fermented soy milk extract containing genistein and daidzein improves rheological and physiological properties of skin, J Cosmet Sci, Sep–Oct 55(5) 473–479 (2004)

Katerina Steventon, PhD, of FaceWorkshops, is an independent consultant to the skin care industry and the general public. She holds a doctorate in transdermal absorption and has more than 20 years of experience in skin research at companies, including Shiseido, Juvena/LaPrairie, and Smith and Nephew Wound Management. Her consultancy provides objective recommendations to consumers on personalized skin care routines and facial treatments, and her column, “Consumer Perspective,” will provide readers with unique insight on this commercial/scientific interface.