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For the increasingly aging population, the quest to look younger has become more important than ever. The anti-aging market is booming and represents the “key growth engine” for the entire skin care industry. Consumers have high expectations for the efficacy of skin care and want to see visible results. Formulating effective anti-aging products requires a thorough understanding of consumers’ cognitive and emotional needs, formulation chemistry, and most of all, the biology of skin aging.1
Perceived age is the marker for facial aging.2 Aging affects the texture and color of skin as well as the shape of the face. Facial skin movement is controlled by complex muscular networks that allow for functions such as eating, breathing, vision or speech in addition to social behaviors that communicate emotions such as facial expressions. These movements are also partially responsible for facial aging.
The process of skin aging is complex and multifactorial, as structural, functional and aesthetic changes happen at a variable rate. It is misleading to consider skin aging as a uniform biological event; several distinct biological processes may occur concurrently.3 There are five types of skin aging, including: intrinsic, extrinsic, lifestyle, hormonal or catabolic.
Intrinsic, chronological aging reflects the passage of time from gravity and genetics. Extrinsic aging is usually attributed to photoaging and smoking. Lifestyle or behavioral aging includes diet, alcohol and drugs. Hormonal aging involves dysfunction or aging of hormonal systems. Finally, catabolic aging is related to chronic diseases. These types will be explained here.
Intrinsic aging: Intrinsic skin aging is a slow process with clinical features such as smooth, pale, dry and less elastic skin having fine wrinkles that are not apparent until old age. Intrinsically aged skin shows epidermal and dermal atrophy, a reduced number of fibroblasts, less collagen and more matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Its structurally altered dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ) may contribute to increased skin fragility and reduced nutrient transfer between the dermal and epidermal layers.4
Aging Skin: Current and Therapeutic Strategies, a reference book by Linda D. Rhein, PhD and Joachim W. Fluhr, MD is aimed at providing the latest information and directions of future strategies to treat and prevent skin aging.
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