Anti-Aging Skin Care Products: The Evolution
During the last 10 years more attention is paid to the anti aging
skin care. Developments within this category were influenced by such
factors as competition among the major brands, introduction of new
technologies and new ingredients, as well as worldwide increase in
demand for the so-called "rejuvenating cosmetics". People have no
intentions of putting up with aging. Today they are turning to
alternative therapies and anti aging products; however, they will not
spend money on products which do not produce the wished results.
First anti aging skin care products appeared during the late 1980s.
The first liposome ingredient delivery system was part of first
generation anti aging skin care.
David Jago, an expert in the market analysis for MINTEL, evaluates
the changes, which have taken place since then: "At present, the
special properties, ingredients and benefits of the products are
clearly shown on the label. In the late 1980s, it was only said that
those products were firming, softening the skin, reducing lines etc.,
but their functional ingredients were usually not disclosed. Today's
press often informs us of specific ingredients and their benefits, thus
contributing to the consumers' education". As a result, there appeared
a category of skin care products intended for specific age groups or
needs. Usually, women aim at making their aging skin look younger, or
their young skin - healthier.
In the beginning of 1990s, many anti aging skin care ingredients
have been studied. The most important of those, Alpha Hydroxyl Acids
(AHA), became the first ingredients to affect the aging skin. Sally
Penford, of the International Dermal Institute, a postgraduate training
school for therapists, comments: "It stimulated women to start
considering cosmetic surgery, glycolic acid peels and laser skin
Another "great revolution" in anti aging skin care has been in the
use of A, C and E vitamins, as well as group B vitamins and main fatty
acids - they all have a special role of agents preventing premature
aging. Of course they do not make miracles, but can support the good
condition of the skin. As skin ages and is repeatedly exposed to
harmful UV rays, the level of vitamin A, produced in the body,
constantly decreases. The skin renewal processes slow down and the
epidermal layer becomes progressively thinner. Some of the research of
the ingredients, such as vitamin C, was held in 1990s. Further,
scientists identified two key chemical "helpers" to assist in the
delivery of vitamin C through the skin.
The formulations derived from it led to the development of anti
aging skin care products, containing vitamin C and products, which
contained a combination of vitamin C and pure Retinol (until recently,
it has been extremely hard to combine both Retinol and vitamin C
together in a stable formulation, as both ingredients are easily
oxidized, when exposed to the air, and become inactive). In 1990s this
type of skin care was already produced all over the world.
Further on, a great deal of interest in the anti-oxidants has been
shown. A lot of studies have been done which show that protecting the
skin can delay the onset of aging. The SUVIMAX studies in France showed
that the use of anti-oxidants on the skin slows down the aging process.
It is also possible to reduce lines and improve skin firmness.
Benefits of anti-oxidants were detected in grape seeds extracts.
After that, cosmetic companies started using these benefits in their
skin care products. Grape polyphenols are natural compounds derived
from green grape seed extract which have been shown to have a powerful
anti-oxidant effect. They shield the skin from the aggression of a wide
range of free radicals and are known to help maintain the skin's
In the middle of 1990s Estee Lauder has completed research into
understanding more about skin cells losing energy. Dr. Maes,
Vice-President Research and Development, Estee Lauder Worldwide,
explains: "We cannot make the skin look like when it was in youth.
Technologies can decrease the lines by 50%, but we will never decrease
them by 100%. We have studied skin samples and found that its thickness
is already decreasing from the age of 20. In biological terms, if the
cells are losing energy they will also lose their ability to protect
themselves against the environment."
He compares this loss of energy to that of a battery running low
which needs to be recharged. Thus, to slow down aging and protect the
skin cells, manufacturers started using anti-oxidants, sunscreens and
skin energizing technologies to "recharge" cells. They are described as
a next generation skin nourishers that enable skin to tap into a fuel
source of bio-available micro-nutrients.
The scientists have studied different types of skin aging and it
means that they are capable of developing skin care which will
effectively abate aging. It is recognized that 90% of skin damage is
caused by external environmental aging. This includes smoking, wind,
chemicals, and, most importantly, UV radiation. The level of pollution
increases so quickly that skin cells can not develop self-protection
mechanisms. Free radicals or oxidants are naturally generated in the
body as a reaction to the aggression of external, environmental factors
as well as internal factors such as stress and tiredness. A consequence
of this aggression is an acceleration of the skin's aging process. Most
of skin damage is done in the early years and people do not see the
results of this until they are in their forties and fifties.
The reason for this is due to the skin's chronological aging, which
we can do nothing about. Internal, chronological aging is largely a
consequence of genetics and affects skin all over the body.
Modern scientific research in skin care and the growing knowledge of
the skin's physiology mean that it is possible to stop and even repair
skin damage which occurs later on in life. Thus, the latest thinking
and research is focused on developing skin protection not from a plain
Sun Protection Factor but from the cells themselves. The case in point
is a new area of cosmetology (allocosmetics) and skin care products of
modern generation of late 1990s, which are based on cell extracts that
have lately drawn much attention of scientists. Cells can segment
themselves and reproduce identical copies, replace old skin cells by
new ones of the same type, take part in biochemical skin processes.
This is what we call lifetime self-rejuvenation.
The strides made in anti aging technology over the past decade have
been astounding and clearly show no signs of abating. We can be certain
that there will be many more exciting achievements in anti aging skin
care technology to come.