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Ageing is an inevitable process, the initial signs of which appear on the skin. Hence much effort has been placed in cosmetic research for better understanding of the ageing process and its effect on the structure and functions of the skin. Though everybody wants to stay young forever, anti-ageing measures tries to accomplish the concept of healthy ageing and prevention of pathological ageing, which is associated with diseases. In this article, I have made an attempt to summarise the recent findings in ageing research and its implications on our everyday life. Specific anti ageing treatments like chemical peels, botox and dermal fillers will be dealt with separately later.
Several natural products have been attributed with cosmetic benefits. The list includes acai berry, olive oil, oat kernal extract, chamomile, feverfew, colloidal oatmeal, coffee berry, green tea, curcumin, pomegranate, paper mulberry, licorice, arbutin, wolfberry, ginseng and soy. Green tea and soy are known to have anti oxidant properties and can reduce wrinkle formation. Licorice, green tea, arbutin, soy, acai berry, are known to reduce pigmentation. Gingko biliba significantly improved skin moisturization while the closely related gingeng is even effective in ageing related neurological disorders. The laboratory studies conducted in animal models suggest that polyphenols in grape seed have the ability to protect the skin from the adverse effects of UV radiation, including the risk of skin cancers. Though these botanical products can prevent the signs and symptoms of skin aging, there is no evidence to suggest any role in reversing skin ageing.
Recent studies have shown association between skin ageing and the levels of two important hormones called proopiomelanocortin and DHEA. Proopiomelanocortin is also involved in obesity leading to the interesting and important possibility that obese people could age faster than normal people. DHEA could be an effective and safe ingredient of anti-ageing creams.
Measurement of skin ageing is difficult and less reliable. Most of the skin ageing measurement techniques try to quantify tell tale signs of skin ageing like wrinkles and age spots by analysing high quality digital photographs. At Kaya we use a system called Visia.
It is now common knowledge that Ultra Violet (UV) radiation induce pre-mature skin ageing.
Clinical trials concerning retinol and retinaldehyde are scant and lacking in statistical evaluation for significance.
These data demonstrate that retinol exerts its anti-ageing benefits not only via enhanced epidermal proliferation and increased collagen production, but also through an increase in elastin production and assembly.
Varying the ratios of specific wavelength intensity in both visible and near infrared light therapy can strongly influence resulting fibroblast gene expression patterns.
Ultraviolet radiation is the major factor among exogenous stressors responsible for premature skin aging.
Available information on active molecules that can impact the mitochondrial functions, and their potential use in skin care products is also discussed, highlighting these organelles as a new focus for anti-aging strategies in personal care.
Intracellular and extracellular oxidative stress initiated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) advance skin aging, which is characterized by wrinkles and atypical pigmentation. Because UV enhances ROS generation in cells, skin aging is usually discussed in relation to UV exposure. The use of antioxidants is an effective approach to prevent symptoms related to photo-induced aging of the skin. In this review, the mechanisms of ROS generation and ROS elimination in the body are summarized. The effects of ROS generated in the skin and the roles of ROS in altering the skin are also discussed. In addition, the effects of representative antioxidants on the skin are summarized with a focus on skin aging.
It is believed that oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen and a biological system's ability to neutralize the reactive intermediates. Oxidative damage occurs because of both intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms. Together, intrinsic and extrinsic damage are the primary causes of skin aging. The skin uses a series of intrinsic antioxidants to protect itself from free radical damage. Naturally occurring extrinsic antioxidants have also been widely shown to offset and alleviate these changes. Unlike sunscreens, which have an SPF rating system to guide consumers in their purchases, there is no widely accepted method to choose antioxidant anti-aging products. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) and ABEL-RAC (Analysis By Emitted Light-Relative Antioxidant Capacity), are both accepted worldwide as a standard measure of the antioxidant capacity of foods, and are rating systems that could be applied to all antioxidant skincare products. The standardization of antioxidant creams could revolutionize the cosmeceutical market and give physicians and consumers the ability to compare and choose effectively.
Boswellic acids (BAs) are pentacyclic triterpenes with strong anti-inflammatory activity; their most important source is the extract of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata, a tropical tree that grows in India and Africa. In the present randomized, double-blind, split-face, comparative study we have assessed efficacy, tolerability, and safety of a base cream containing 0.5 % BAs as compared to the same cream without these active ingredients in the treatment of clinical manifestations of photoaging of facial skin. Fifteen female volunteers were enrolled; they applied creams once daily for 30 days. At baseline, at the end of the treatment, and after a 2-month follow-up, clinical findings were assessed according to the Dover classification scale for photoaging and by biophysical and ecographic measurements. We registered a significant improvement of tactile roughness and fine lines in the half side of the face treated with BAs; noninvasive instrumental diagnostic investigations showed an improvement of elasticity, a decrease of sebum excretion, and a change of echographic parameters suggesting a reshaping of dermal tissue. The treatment was always well tolerated without adverse effects. The present findings seem to indicate that the topical application of BAs may represent a suitable treatment option for selected features of skin photoaging.
Recent advances in skin-resident adult stem/progenitor cell research have revealed that these immature and regenerative cells with a high longevity provide critical functions in maintaining skin homeostasis and repair after severe injuries along the lifespan of individuals. The establishment of the functional properties of distinct adult stem/progenitor cells found in skin epidermis and hair follicles and extrinsic signals from their niches, which are deregulated during their aging and malignant transformation, has significantly improved our understanding on the etiopathogenesis of diverse human skin disorders and cancers. Particularly, enhanced ultraviolet radiation exposure, inflammation and oxidative stress and telomere attrition during chronological aging may induce severe DNA damages and genomic instability in the skin-resident stem/progenitor cells and their progenies. These molecular events may result in the alterations in key signalling components controlling their self-renewal and/or regenerative capacities as well as the activation of tumour suppressor gene products that trigger their growth arrest and senescence or apoptotic death. The progressive decline in the regenerative functions and/or number of skin-resident adult stem/progenitor cells may cause diverse skin diseases with advancing age. Moreover, the photoaging, telomerase re-activation and occurrence of different oncogenic events in skin-resident adult stem/progenitor cells may also culminate in their malignant transformation into cancer stem/progenitor cells and skin cancer initiation and progression. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant treatments and stem cell-replacement and gene therapies as well as the molecular targeting of their malignant counterpart, skin cancer-initiating cells offer great promise to treat diverse skin disorders and cancers.