In modern cosmetics, it is no longer about stopping skin aging, but the focus is on skin health. What can we do to preserve skin quality for as long as possible?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines healthy aging as the process of developing and maintaining a person's ability to function that enables well-being in old age. We cannot prevent the natural aging process. While classic anti-aging focused on treating wrinkles and fine lines, today it is about maintaining skin quality and feeling comfortable in your own skin - regardless of your actual age. Many people in the pandemic have realized that our skin is a barometer of internal health and general well-being. Environmental influences induce, among other things, oxidative stress, reduce the skin's own barrier capacities and lead to inflammatory processes in the skin. Furthermore, thanks to scientific findings over the past 15 years, it is known that we must protect our largest organ, the skin, not only from UV rays but also from visible light, infrared light, smoke, smog and environmental pollution. Therefore, the desire for special sunscreens and antioxidant treatments and products is growing.
At the same time, the focus is on maintaining and repairing the skin's own barrier. Classic barrier-stabilizing active ingredients are ceramides or squalene, but rehydrating active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or collagen also make a significant contribution to strengthening the skin barrier. It has been proven that collagen intensively stores water in the stratum corneum so that moisture losses can be compensated for and the natural moisturizing factor of the skin is strengthened. This in turn leads to an optimization of the skin barrier. As a positive side effect, studies show that topically applied collagen can immediately reduce superficial wrinkles.
Panthenol Due to its chemical properties, the water-soluble provitamin panthenol (vitamin B5) has the ability to easily penetrate the stratum corneum and moisturize the skin there. It has a barrier-stabilizing effect and stimulates the skin's own barrier lipids. In addition, it contributes to the formation of new cells and thus promotes the regeneration of the skin. In addition to the caring and soothing properties, studies have shown that the provitamin improves skin elasticity.
Strengthening of the skin barrier From a cosmetics perspective, strengthening the skin's own barrier is considered the most effective anti-pollution measure, alongside adequate cleansing. The cleaning process removes fine dust particles adhering to the skin and cannot penetrate the skin.
The focus here is on cleaning in the evening since the regenerative process that the skin goes through at night means that any residues of fine dust and thus other harmful materials such as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) can be absorbed by the skin. By strengthening the barrier function, any penetration of harmful substances is also prevented. Studies show that in addition to collagen and panthenol, phytosphingosine can also make our skin strong against external influences by effectively strengthening the barrier. Phytosphingosine is long-chain amino alcohol that, as part of the skin's own ceramides, assumes important functions. In the skin, they ensure an intact barrier and the stability of the skin's own moisture. A study published in 2017 indicates that topically applied phytosphingosines increase the moisture content of the human skin barrier by stimulating filaggrin biosynthesis and filaggrin degradation, which in turn increases the synthesis of the natural moisturizing factor.
Oxidative stress promotes premature skin aging In addition to environmental pollutants such as fine dust, stress promotes premature skin aging. The influence of psychological stress on our skin is also well-documented and is more relevant today than ever. Stress manifests itself in the form of dry skin, skin irritation or acne breakouts. In particular, the stress hormone cortisol plays a key role, as it plays a key role in increasing inflammatory processes in the body, which also affect the quality of the skin. All extrinsic factors have one thing in common: they induce oxidative stress, which causes premature skin aging. Oxidative stress always occurs when there are too many free radicals so that the body's own antioxidants can no longer neutralize the free radicals.
Effects on the skin
The consequences are damage to the epidermal and dermal structures, such as the breakdown of collagen or the reduction in the formation of new dermal matrix components. Therefore, in well-aging, protection against free radicals is just as important as adequate sun protection. At best, the latter consists of UVA and UVB protection as well as antioxidants that can protect against the effects of infrared A radiation.
Strong classic: vitamin C
The best-known antioxidant is vitamin C. It is found primarily in fruit, has been proven to protect cells from free radicals and also has preservative properties for the skin care product. Vitamin C is considered one of the strongest antioxidants, has an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce hyperpigmentation.
It is also an essential co-factor in collagen production. As early as 2003, scientists were able to prove in a randomized, placebo-controlled study that 5% vitamin C after six months of application on the skin leads to a significant improvement in microrelief and wrinkles and thus contributes to a visible improvement in light-damaged skin.
Since vitamin C is very unstable, it is a real cosmetic science challenge to find stable formulations that lead to an optimal result on the skin. Novel technologies make it possible to keep vitamin C stable in its most active form until it is applied to the skin. This allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin. After just eight weeks of use, there is a significant improvement in signs of skin aging. A study on the skin model was also able to evaluate an increase in collagen synthesis.
Gold standard: resveratrol
In addition to vitamin C, resveratrol is now the so-called gold standard of antioxidant active ingredients in cosmetics. From a chemical point of view, resveratrol is one of the polyphenols that are said to have a high antioxidant effect. It acts directly in the mitochondria of the skin cells and renders harmless reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are induced thereby infrared A light, among other things.
In addition, it is believed that it can stimulate the body's antioxidant enzyme systems. Clinical studies have shown that resveratrol inhibits a UVB-induced increase in lipid peroxides, thus protecting our skin's own lipids and counteracting UV-B-induced photoaging.
Further studies show that resveratrol inhibits the expression of so-called matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), which are responsible for the breakdown of collagen, among other things.
An innovation in this area is, for example, a special method that allows the active trans-resveratrol to be stabilized and delivered to the skin in an effective concentration. Only in this way is it able to bind free radicals. Studies show that the skin's antioxidant defence system is strengthened by up to 35% from the very first application. In addition, after eight weeks, the skin is 46% firmer and more supple, and the depth of wrinkles has decreased by 10%
Suggested product: Resvera Cell Concentrate
Vitamin C and resveratrol are among the gold standard of antioxidant cosmetic active ingredients.
Ectoin as a protective shield
But not only antioxidants have a protective effect on the skin. The amino acid derivative ectoine, formed by certain bacteria, also serves as a real protective shield for the skin. Clinical studies have shown that Ectoin provides intensive moisture and thus demonstrably strengthens the skin barrier. Its stabilizing effect on the cell membranes of the skin and the protective effect on proteins against extrinsic stress factors such as cold and heat, radiation and radicals should be emphasized. It also has skin-soothing properties that are reflected in a reduction in skin redness.
In summary, it can be said that in 2023 prevention will have gained more importance than classic anti-aging.