Skin Firming Ingredients
July 25, 2014
Loss of Skin Firmness:
One of the key signs of aging skin is the lack of skin firmness. Skin firmness is a term that describes the structural integrity of the skin. One key structural protein that keeps the skin looking firm is elastin. As elastin gets damaged and or degraded in the skin, the skin loses its integrity and as such becomes less elastic.
Elastin and other structural proteins are commonly degraded by free radicals – unstable, highly reactive molecules that can cause chain reactions damaging millions of cells. Research has also found that elastin and other proteins responsible for skin firmness are regulated by gene expression. Increasing the expression of some genes while decreasing the expression of others targets this aging characteristic at its source.
Maintaining Firm Skin:
Nu Skin believes that in order to effectively combat a visible loss of skin firmness in a topical product, it is crucial to have ingredients that can: 1) increase the production of proteins required for structural integrity, 2) provide an efficient antioxidant network to combat free radicals and 3) regulate the expression of genes associated with skin firmness.
One ingredient that is well known for its effect on skin firmness is Ethocyn. The inventor and manufacturer information indicates that it helps block a signal that stimulates the fibroblast in skin to stop or delay the production of elastin. The efficacy of Ethocyn was evaluated in a study conducted at an independent research center commissioned by the ingredient manufacturer. Ethocyn at 0.5% in propylene glycol, followed by Ethocyn at 0.01% in a moisturizing base was applied twice daily to 29 subjects whose aged ranged between 40 and 77 years of age. Punch biopsies were taken, and the elastin content of the skin was measured. An average of 166% increase in elastin content was noted after three months of use when compared to the baseline. Based on the findings from this study, it can be concluded that Ethocyn increases the production of elastin in the skin.
Antioxidants are also key in maintaining firm skin because they neutralize free radicals. Nu Skin has conducted research showing that a network of antioxidants is better at protecting cells than single antioxidants. A well-balanced antioxidant network should include ingredients that protect the cell membrane as well as ingredients that reduce the degradation of other protectants. One class of ingredients that protects the cell membranes is carotenoids. These are large, lipid-soluble molecules that reside around the cells, protecting them from being damaged by free radicals. An antioxidant network including ingredients such as vitamin E and CoQ10 are also crucial as these types of antioxidants help prevent the production of free radicals as well as protect other antioxidants such as carotenoids. Using a network of antioxidants create an environment where they can work together to give the maximum anti-aging benefit to the skin.
Along with increasing elastin and protection, it is also important to regulate the genes that are responsible for firm skin. In recent studies done by Nu Skin, key genes related to skin firmness were addressed by a proprietary blend of ageLOC ingredients. Results showed that in an in-vitro assay, this specific blend of ingredients is capable of decreasing the expression of particular genes that are involved in the appearance of sagging skin while increasing the expression of genes involved in the appearance of firm skin.
We believe that formulating a comprehensive, anti-aging product that specifically targets skin firmness should include ingredients that focus on improving the structural integrity of the skin, protecting the skin’s structure, and promoting youthful gene expression.