While aging includes wearing out of several body organs, the skin is the most visible evidence of the toll it takes on your body. Aging of the skin includes the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, frown lines and pigmentation. It is true that most people become dissatisfied and unhappy with an aged appearance. This, therefore, pushes the need to slow down these signs if not prevent them altogether. Today, there is even greater emphasis on image than in the past and that has led to the growth of anti-aging medicine as an independent and very expansive field. The motivation for use of these products is purely social e.g. the influence of the media, desire to maintain or begin a relationship or expectations about aging. People fear the prospect of wrinkly skin and go out of their way to ensure skin tone and vigor remains vibrant for as long as possible.

Notably, there is increased investment and a matching demand for skin care and anti-aging products like never before. A report published in 2014 by Transparency Market Research showed that the anti-aging market was growing annually at the rate of 7.8% between 2013 and 2019. Further, it was expected to be worth over 191.7B in USD by 2019. According to this study, Baby boomers who consist of 44% of U.S population create the biggest demand for these products. This is because they are the aging demographic with higher disposable incomes (about 70% of the nation’s total disposable income).

According to Patent Insight Pro, anti-aging is the single biggest reason people go for skin care products. This has seen an unprecedented development of several anti-aging supplements.

Current Anti-Aging Skin Care Approaches

Skin aging is a biological process involving a complex combination of exogenous and endogenous factors. Endogenous factors are natural processes including cell metabolism, genetics, and hormonal cycles. The exogenous factors include exposure to chemicals, toxins, radiation or light.

Advancements in skin care medicine have enabled the development of several anti-aging strategies. These include:

Topical Agents (Anti-Aging Creams)

They are applied on the skin surface and are available as cosmetic creams for treatment of skin problems that might accelerate aging. These work as cell regulators and anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants reduce collagen degradation while cell regulators influence collagen metabolism and production. These agents may contain retinol and its derivatives, Vitamin C, B3 and E.

Cosmetological Care (Anti Aging Face Masks)

It includes non-invasive aesthetic procedures and daily skin care products such as anti-aging face masks and wrinkle masks. Most are moisturizer-based and hence reduce sagging of the skin. You may choose to use skin care products that contain minerals that prevent slow aging or give the appearance of youthfulness. Primers can also be used to reduce the visible signs of aging skin.

Systemic Agents (Anti-Aging Tablets)

These are used for control or alteration of endogenous factors like hormone replacement and anti-oxidation. These can be found as ingestible drugs such as anti-aging pills, supplements or injectable treatments.

Invasive procedures

these include a number of strategies that can be either chemical or surgical in nature. Some of the procedures include ablative and non-ablative laser photo–rejuvenation, skin contouring/ augmentation, restoration or redistribution of fat and volume loss, chemical peelings, correction of anatomic and static wrinkles. Radio frequency devices are also used to modify the collagen structure. The most common radio frequency procedure involves dermal heating for the stimulation of collagen production in the skin. Invasive procedures are more expensive and might involve several stages of treatment.

Preventive measures

These include avoiding exposure to agents that accelerate aging. This is basically the control of exogenous factors. It could also involve dietary changes, physical activities that promote excretion of toxins from the body or alimentary supplementation. It can also involve a general observation of health routines that promote the body’s wellbeing.

Choosing the right anti-aging strategies

No matter the expectations you might have on any product you choose, it is important to keep in mind that aging is a natural process and is inevitable. Remember, aging can never be stopped entirely. These anti-aging strategies only improve the physical appearance of your skin (extrinsic aging) and make it appear younger than it actually is. Standard clinical practices and ethics require that the practitioner provides the information regarding the form of treatment chosen and the expectations you should have regarding that form of treatment.

It is also important to pay attention to the ingredients used to make the particular product. This is useful especially in preventing adverse allergic and long-term health disorders. Note that not all products produce the results they promise. Also, what might work for one person may not necessarily produce the same results on the other. Keep in mind that biological processes might vary according to genetics, age or other external factors. The strategies chosen also depend on the resources available to various individuals.

Anti-aging research has primarily focused on three structural components of the dermis: collagen, elastin and GAGs and efforts for aesthetic anti-aging interventions regarding the skin, from filling agents to various anti-wrinkle creams

A look inside the anti-aging product field

Wrinkle fillers

Wrinkle fillers give the skin a fuller and smoother appearance. Collagen is the widely used filler though dermatologists have used other substances like fat or synthetic substances. Aging causes the wearing down of the skin’s collagen structure and this may cause sagging or change in tone. There are topical and injectable wrinkle fillers. Topical fillers work like moisturizers by reducing loss of water. Injectable fillers work by replenishing the skin’s collagen. They work to restore the support structure of your skin. Examples of injectable fillers include Botulinum toxin (Botox), Radiesse (Calcium hydroxylapatite), fat, Sculptra (Poly-L-lactic acid), Polymethylmethacrylate beads and Juvederm. The best results for any filler are achieved by using right one correctly.

Retinol creams

These creams contain retinoids that are derived from Vitamin A. They have been used in most skin care products since 1970s. Retinoids boost the skin’s elasticity and thickness; minimize wrinkle appearance and keep the skin firm by slowing down the breakdown of collagen. They can be used at any age in life and are good for most skin types. Due to the allergies caused by retinol creams, it is recommended that beginners use over-the-counter retinol types and over time build up to prescription retinoids.

Night creams

At night, the skin works tirelessly repairing, restoring and rejuvenating its cells and tissue. Night creams are made for the purpose of deep and slow penetrating moisturization and recovery. They also contain a number of anti-aging ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid both of which make the product heavier, thicker and richer in content. Always choose the cream that is deal for your skin pigmentation, age and skin type. Typically, mature skin will require more anti-aging ingredients than young skin. Always pay attention to the ingredients of the product you buy.

Top Anti-Aging Skin Care Products That Work

These are some of the best anti-aging supplements that have been scientifically proven to have a quantifiable effect on aging of the skin and its physical appearance. Read our reviews of each anti-aging products below:

Royal Jelly

It is a milky secretion from a honey bee which contains about 70% water as well as proteins and sugars, according to the Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science. Royal Jelly (RJ) appears as a substance with gelatinous consistency with sharp taste and odor. Bees use it to feed queens, hence the name ‘royal jelly’. Due to its exceptional biological and microbial properties, RJ is utilized in a range of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The high water content of RJ makes it an excellent moisturizing agent.

Apart from its application in treatment of conditions like asthma, stomach ulcers, and PMS among others, RJ has been proven to have several skin anti-aging benefits. It can be ingested or applied to the skin to improve skin hydration or rejuvenation.

Shark Liver Oil

As the name suggests, this oil is obtained from the shark’s liver. It has been used over the years as remedy for wounds, digestive and respiratory system disorders. It has not been officially scientifically proven and therefore is not prescription medication. The oil has over time gained popularity as a component for some skin care products. Squalene and triterpenoid are the main components of shark liver oil, totaling about 90% of the oil’s composition. Though there is limited evidence on the medicinal properties of Shark liver oil, it contains Alkylglycerols which have been shown to boost the immune system.

Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C primarily functions as an anti-oxidant. Serum derived from Vitamin C protects the skin from free radicals and in turn stimulates production of collagen which makes the skin firmer. It also helps to varnish uneven tones and scars or blemishes because it enhances skin repair and rejuvenation. Vitamin C is easily absorbed into the skin due to its light weight. It is also easily broken down over time and with exposure to external elements like air.

Q10 (Coenzyme 10)

Q10 is a coenzyme that is ever present in most animals. It is a fat soluble substance that resembles vitamin. It is actively involved with electron transport and aerobic cellular respiration. This is how most of the body’s energy is generated. Q10 levels may vary due to genetic disorders.

Q10 is an antioxidant due to its energy carrier function. It helps to neutralize and eliminate free radicals which cause anti-aging. It can be available as a food supplement or obtained from diet. Some of the foods with high concentrations of coenzyme 10 include soybean oil, chicken heart, olives and fish like sardines.

Resveratrol

It is a natural anti-oxidant produced by plants when under stress, like attacks from pests or harsh sunlight. Resveratrol is found in high concentrations in grape skin. It offers anti-aging benefits to the skin because it protects cells against oxidative damage especially one resulting from exposure to hot sun and reduces inflammation. The product is now commonly being added to most skin care products.

Curcumin and Turmeric

Turmeric is a commonly used spice in Indian cuisine and is derived from the turmeric plant. Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies also show that turmeric prevents certain types of skin disease. It is therefore useful in protecting the skin from free radicals that usually interfere with structure of proteins and essential fatty acids.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is an anti-oxidant chemical that resembles vitamin and is present in broccoli, potatoes, spinach, liver, yeast and kidney. Alpha-lipoic acid prevents some kinds of cell damage and restores levels of Vitamins C and E. This makes it a vital component in skin anti-aging as it stimulates skin cell repair and regeneration. Vitamin E reduces skin wrinkles by blocking free radicals. It neutralizes the radicals by substituting the missing electrons. The body losses its vitamin stocks due to exposure to pollution, smoking or harmful solar UVB.

With the wide array of skin care and anti-aging products, it is easy for consumers to get confused about what to believe. Always stick to substances that are approved by drug and food regulatory agencies with verifiable ingredients when going for synthetic products. Most natural products are cheaper to obtain from local stores in your area. Knowing how each component affects your body’s functions will go a long way in protecting your most treasured organ-the skin. It would also important to note that there are no quick fixes when it comes to anti-aging. The products used need to be applied consistently over a long period of time in order for effect to take place. Generally, most people go for choices that guarantee success in the long term rather than temporal solutions that throw the skin back to earlier states. Research into the products listed above has shown little to no side effects, which is a welcome relief for consumers across the board.

References

Patent Insight Pro 2010. Technology Insight Report. http://www.patentinsightpro.com/techreports/1110

Transparency Market Research 2014. Anti-aging Market (Anti-wrinkle products, Hair Color, Hair restoration treatment, Breast augmentation and Radio frequency devices) -Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019. http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/anti-aging-market.html

Sarkisian, C. A., Steers, N., Hays, R. D., & Mangione, C. M. (2005). Development of the 12- item expectations regarding aging survey. The Gerontologist, 45, 240–248

Muise, A., & Desmarais, S. (2010). Women’s perceptions and use of “anti-aging” products. Sex Roles, 63(1-2), 126-137.

Jeon Sanghun and Cho Yunhi. Journal of Medicinal Food. September 2015, 18(9): 999-1006. doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.3304.