Our friends at NewHope360 set out to gain insight into the future of the nontoxic antiaging industry. Natural skin care industry veteran Linda Miles, founder of Derma e, and ingredient expert Chris fields, vice president of technology and science at Applied Food Sciences, delve into the most promising ingredients to tackle top concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles, inflammation, age spots and more.
AGING ISSUE #1: SKIN INFLAMMATION
Inflammation is one of the most common dermatological problems. It’s linked to everything from minor redness to chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. When the skin is exposed to UV radiation or irritating ingredients such as synthetic fragrance in soaps and skin care, it produces inflammatory “hormones” cytokines and chemokines. Though designed to help the skin fight infection, this response actually can lead to inflammation and both short- and long-term skin damage.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR INFLAMMATION
Oats – Have long been used as a skin soother, but until recently we didn’t fully understand how and why they work. Research now points to avenanthramide, a component of whole oat grain that has anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic activity that inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory hormones.
Licorice – This ingredient shows promise for combating pigmentation and easing inflammation, including from eczema. According to research, when applied to the skin, gel containing 2 percent licorice helps relieve symptoms of itching, swelling and redness.
Feverfew – Native to Eurasia, this medicinal herb helps inhibit UV-radiation-induced erythema (inflammation-triggered redness of the skin) and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
AGING ISSUE #2: HYPERPIGMENTATION
Hyperpigmentation occurs when the body produces too much melanin, causing a darkening of the skin. These discolored splotches, or “age spots,” result from excessive sun exposure, genetics and even reactions to medications.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION
Active soy – Research has linked topical products containing soy to improved skin tone and texture thanks to its natural proteins, including serine protease inhibitors, which help to inhibit the production of excess melanin. Because soy is one of the top genetically engineered crops, natural brands should focus on formulating with non-GE soy.
Combination niacinamide & N-acetyl glucosamine – N-acetyl glucosamine, a form of glucosamine naturally found in the body, inhibits tyrosinase—an enzyme that triggers the production of melanin. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) inhibits the transfer of melanin-containing melanosomes to the outer layers of the skin. Research supports combination therapy for the most benefits for skin discoloration.
AGING ISSUE #3: FINE LINES AND WRINKLES
Collagen is the protein in skin that keeps it taut and wrinkle free. When collagen breaks down from stress, lack of sleep and exposure to environmental free radicals such as from UV rays or certain foods (white sugar and fried foods), or when production slows as we age, the result is fine lines and wrinkles. Skin losing moisture is another culprit behind wrinkles.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR WRINKLES: ANTIOXIDANTS
Pomegranate – Ellagic acid and punicic acid help brighten skin. Its polyphenols act as anti-inflammatory agents to protect from sun, promote regeneration of the dermis and help protect and boost production of collagen
Vitamin C – protects the water-soluble structures of the skin and cellular membranes, stimulates collagen production and encourages cellular turnover.
CoQ10 – This naturally occurring enzyme antioxidant protects skin from free radical damage, prevents UVA damage (photoaging) and helps reduce wrinkle depth.
Rosehip (Rosa Mosqueta) Oil – Rich in vitamins A and C to help fight free radicals and promote cell growth, this restorative oil also has a high content of essential fatty acids that support skin elasticity and boost collagen.
Vitamin A – Speeds up cellular renewal, increases production of pro-collagen and hyaluronic acid to help reduce wrinkles and roughness.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) – Improves skin moisturization, boosts production of collagen and strengthens the stratum corneum—which is the outermost layer of the epidermis. Studies have shown that it can stimulate new fibroblasts by 20 percent and collagen secretion by 54 percent.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR WRINKLES: ACIDS
Hyaluronic acid – Often called nature’s “moisture magnet,” this molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It binds moisture to the skin to plump, soften and smooth, along with tone and hydrate.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids – These acids include glycolic, lactic, malic, citric and tartaric acids. They help to exfoliate, stimulate collagen to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve roughness and uneven pigmentation.
Alpha Lipoic Acid – This antioxidant protects both water and fat-soluble cell structures, helps your skin use other antioxidants, deactivates cell-damaging free radicals and protects the mitochondria and DNA.
Kombuchka – This black tea ferment ischock full of skin-brightening acids and the B vitamins, which help the skin retain moisture and shield from premature wrinkles. Kombuchka has anti-glycation power, restores volume, smoothes skin and improves radiance.
OTHER NATIONAL SOLUTIONS FOR WRINKLES:
Peptides—sequences of naturally occurring amino acids—are the current all-stars in antiaging skin care and most are synthetically manufactured. Even many “nontoxic” beauty brands are using peptides classified as synthetic. The latest: Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl synthe’6 and Argireline. These proprietary ingredients are used primarily to stimulate collage to reduce wrinkles and wrinkle depth and improve skin texture and tone.
Argireline is known for its ability to relax facial muscles so that they don’t move as much, helping to prevent the formation of wrinkles and acting in a similar way to botox.
AGING ISSUE #4: SAGGING SKIN
With aging comes the loss of resiliency and production of elastin fibers, which causes skin to become less firm and start to sag.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR SAGGING SKIN
Copper peptides – Reduce inflammation and rejuvenate skin, stimulate collagen and elastin formation and firm sagging skin by improving skin’s strength with the formation of extracellular cement between cells.
DMAE – This is a naturally occurring substance that increases strength of the skin and firms skin to reduce facial sag and fine lines and wrinkles. Despite not being an antioxidant itself, it also displays antioxidant activity to protect from free radical damage.