In the war on aging skin, we now have a new generation of cosmeceuticals that offers unprecedented clinical benefits. These advanced technologies are based on breakthrough scientific discoveries and peer-reviewed science. Ultra-potent antioxidants, stem cell modulators and antisense DNA technologies are advancing our clinical understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic aging processes, offering targeted strategies for slowing down and/or reversing the signs of aging.
Let's review the aging process, which has intrinsic and extrinsic bases in humans. These two clinically, biologically independent and distinct processes affect skin structure and function.
Intrinsic or innate aging is a natural process that occurs from slow, but progressive and irreversible tissue degeneration. Telomere shortening, metabolic oxidative damage and free reactive oxygen species play a major role in the innate aging process.1Based on unique genetic factors, intrinsic aging affects everyone at different rates.
On a histological level, intrinsic aging is characterized by decreased collagen synthesis, degeneration of elastic fiber networks and loss of hydration. Clinically, fine wrinkling of the skin, loss of skin tone, skin laxity and loss of subcutaneous fat occur.
Of the extrinsic factors, ultraviolet and infrared radiation, environmental pollutants and wind play a crucial role. Clinically, photoaging is characterized by coarse wrinkling and furrowing with an apparent thickening of the skin, elastosis and a variety of benign, premalignant and malignant neoplasms. Histologically, photodamaged skin shows a 20 percent decrease in total collagen and decreased cellular content compared to sun-protected skin.
Moreover, pigmentary alterations, red superficial blood vessels (telangiectasias) and hyperpigmented areas contribute to an aged appearance by creating shadows and contrast on the face.
Topical preparations to improve the appearance of aged skin fall into four broad categories: Ultra-potent antioxidants, pigment reduction agents, anti-inflammatory global rejuvenators, and genetic and stem cell modulators.
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