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Physicians discuss evidence-based benefits of various anti-aging products

Key iconKey Points

  • Key skin rejuvenation ingredients include growth factors, retinoids, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, DNA repair ingredients, antiglycation ingredients
  • Adequate sun protection is at core of every skincare regimen
  • Glycolic acids are alpha hydroxy acids that chemically exfoliate the stratum corneum and may improve texture, tone, fine lines

Hema Sundaram, M.D., F.A.A.D.
Rockville, Md., and Fairfax, Va.


Dr. Sundaram
"A recent and welcome trend is the move toward evidence-based cosmeceuticals, those containing active ingredients for which there are controlled clinical studies plus correlating in vitro evidence to support their mechanism of action. Key skin rejuvenation ingredients include the following:
  • Growth factors, which, when formulated in stable, high concentrations have been shown in controlled histopathological studies to stimulate neocollagenesis, which correlates with clinical improvement in rhytids and skin tone and texture. These blinded, vehicle-controlled studies were performed on SkinMedica TNS products, which contain physiologically balanced growth factors. Biopelle also has a growth factor line, Tensage, containing fibroblast growth factor that is naturally secreted by the snail species, Cryptomphalus aspersa, following injury.
  • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a form of vitamin C that is more potent than ascorbic acid in stimulating collagen production and other antioxidant effects. Compared to L-ascorbic acid, Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate was shown in studies to provide five times greater penetration into keratinocytes, five times greater collagen production (as determined by collagen content of skin biopsies and increased immunohistochemical staining for type I collagen mRNA), twice the protection against UVB radiation and twice the suppression of matrix metalloproteinases. These studies were performed on a SkinMedica formulation.
  • Retinoids, which are converted by the skin into retinoic acid, which increases keratinocyte proliferation and reduces cell adhesion, resulting in increased skin turnover and thereby decreasing melanin content. Retinoic acid also stimulates production of collagen and suppression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 ( MMP1), resulting in an increase in collagen levels.
  • DNA repair ingredients, a relatively new genre of ingredient, including the following:
  • Photosomes: A plankton-derived form of photolyase, which forms a part of the body's natural repair process. The photolyase delivered to the skin in a liposome-based formulation has the aim of breaking down the pyrimidine dimers that are formed after UV light exposure and distort the DNA helix, to overcome the block in transcription and allow proper replication to proceed.
  • Roxisomes: Oxoguanine glycosylase-1 (OGG-1) in a liposomal delivery system — this is a mitochondrial DNA repair enzyme sourced from the Arabidopsis thaliana plant that excises DNA that has been damaged by oxidation. It serves as a repair mechanism that complements the preventive effect of antioxidants.
  • Ultrasomes: T4 endonuclease V (T4N5) in a liposomal delivery system (derived from bacterial Micrococcus lysate) to extract DNA mutations (dimers). This augments the body's natural T4N5, which has the capacity to excise only about 50 percent of the dimers produced daily.
  • Antiglycation ingredients — Glycation occurs when oxidatively damaged proteins (collagen, elastin, keratin, fibronectin) react with sugars in the skin. Presence of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) is linked to loss of skin elasticity and volume. Antiglycation ingredients include carnosine, a dipeptide shown to counteract free radicals and prevent peroxidation of cell membranes to prevent and inhibit AGE activity; and saccharomyces ferment filtrate lysate, a yeast extract shown to prevent the formation of AGEs. DNA and Antiglycation ingredients are a new addition to the Biopelle Prescribed Solutions line of customizable cosmeceuticals.
  • Soy — Fresh soybean extract contains phytosterols and small protein serine protease inhibitors that have antioxidant/anti-irritant properties, stimulate collagen synthesis and elastin repair and inhibit melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes. Blinded placebo-controlled studies have shown improvement in skin hyperpigmentation, tactile roughness and other photodamage parameters. Studies were performed on Aveeno soy-based moisturizer."

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