The Latest Word on Anti-Aging Actives
Today’s anti-aging skin care formulas are better than ever, agree marketers and dermatologists. Yet, even as more products reach consumers, there are still many questions that must be answered.
Few categories capture the consumer’s imagination—or discretionary income—like anti-aging products. Women and men may skimp when it comes to a shampoo purchase, but when they see that first line or wrinkle, more and more are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a wrinkle cream that promises to work wonders.
Euromonitor International estimates the global market for anti-aging products approached $15 billion (retail) last year, and predicts sales will reach $21.3 billion in 2012. It’s no wonder then why the anti-aging category is capturing the attention of marketers and suppliers around the world too. As interest in the category continues to grow, the efficacy level of products grows along with it.
“I am impressed with the amount of research that goes into finding new actives and creating new formulations that are efficacious and cosmetically elegant,” said Andrew Alexis, a New York City-based dermatologist.
“The industry has come a long way and actives have made a huge difference,” agreed Zoe Draelos, a High Point, NC dermatologist. “The industry has taken care to put together formulations that contain multifunctional moisturizers, sunscreens and other ingredients that are beneficial to skin.”
|Perricone has developed a wide range of skin care lines.
For example, water-soluble vitamin C (ascorbic acid), while very good as a supplement, has some serious drawbacks when used as a topical ingredient.
“It cannot protect cell membranes, nor can the skin maintain adequate levels when we experience oxidative stress, either from internal sources such as poor diet and stress, or from external sources such as sunlight,” he said.
In contrast, fat-soluble vitamin C ester displays greater antioxidant activity in cells than ascorbic acid does and performs this vital work at lower doses. When compared with ascorbic acid, vitamin C ester delivers eight times higher levels of vitamin C activity.
“And because vitamin C ester can reside in our cells’ fatty membranes, it continuously regenerates the vitamin E depleted by that fat-soluble antioxidant’s ongoing fight against free radicals,” he said.
According to Dr. Perricone, other questions that formulators must answer before they develop a product include: Is the ingredient backed by solid science? Is the delivery system viable—can it get key ingredients into the skin? And last but not least, does the product contain truly efficacious amounts of the targeted ingredient?
“Often the answer is no to at least one if not all of the above,” he said. “High quality antioxidants in efficacious amounts can be costly and, as with most things, we get what we pay for.”
Navin Geria, Happi columnist and vice president of R&D at SpaDermaceuticals, issued a word of caution before consumers plunk down $300 or more for an exotic topical potion that promises results overnight.
“Most long-lasting skin benefits are noticeable after a few weeks of disciplined use of the product, so consider using existing anti-aging products, and remember that if used daily, you will not see a miracle but they will produce modest beneficial effects,” he said.
The Doctor’s Opinion
Products that don’t deliver what they promise can ultimately send consumers to the dermatologist. In his practice, Dr. Alexis sees many patients suffering from severe acne who have tried a variety of products available in drugstores, department stores and online.
“When the patient comes to me, we switch them to topical retinoids, topical benzoyl peroxide and antibioitics and follow that with an oral antibiotic,” he explained.
Many companies are touting the benefits of peptides in their formulas, but Jody Comstock, an Arizona-based dermatologist, insisted that the jury is still out on this ingredient class.
“Peptides are interesting, and may have benefits, but we’re waiting for more studies that include biopsies,” she told Happi. “Do they really stimulate collagen production? Even rubbing your skin stimulates collagen.”
Dr. Comstock, who works with Obagi, acknowledged that peptides may have applications as inflammatory agents, but nothing she has seen can replace the effectiveness of vitamin A and its derivatives.
“Vitamin A can provide the most dramatic improvement to the skin from rejuvenating and exfoliating it to treating acne,” she explained. “But not everyone can use Retin A; a new form on the market combines Retin A with hyaluronic acid to make it more palatable to the skin.”
Dr. Draelos agreed that the jury is still out on peptides.
“We can’t assess the efficacy of the products. Peptides haven’t been in use long enough,” she explained.
She called retinoids the most effective topical anti-aging treatment, but at the same time, Dr. Draelos called sunscreen the most important anti-aging ingredient available.
According to Dr. Perricone, many new plant ingredients are showing great promise thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. These include Pycnogenol (Horphag Research), astaxanthin, lipoic acid, DMAE, CoQ 10, EGCG (from green tea), stem cell precursors, anti-glycating substances and olive oil polyphenols.
“While these may not all be brand new, scientific studies are ongoing with very exciting results,” explained Dr. Perricone. “Thanks to so many emerging technologies, the future looks very positive when it comes to rejuvenation of the skin.”
All the dermatologists that Happi spoke with agreed that getting the right nutrients is important for healthy skin.
“Antioxidants are very important in a diet,” explained Dr. Draelos. “Vitamin C is crucial to maintaining health, but if you don’t get it in your diet, it won’t help to apply a vitamin C-based cream.”
Use that Sunscreen
Finally, all the dermatologists agreed that sunscreen plays a critical role in maintaing healthy skin.
“The most important anti-aging ingredient by far is sunscreen,” said Dr. Draelos.
Olay Puts the Spotlight on Skin Cancer
The numbers are staggering. One in every five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer over the course of their lives, and one person will die nearly every hour in the U.S. as a result of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Although the disease is nearly 100% curable when detected and treated early, many consumers have no idea what to look for when checking their skin. This need for education drove Olay to partner with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) for an annual skin cancer awareness campaign, called Skin Cancer Takes Friends.
In 2007, Skin Cancer Takes Friends volunteer dermasurgeons performed over 9,000 free screenings and identified more than 2,400 suspicious lesions, potentially saving numerous lives. This year, the 2008 program is once again on pace for tremendous success, with a goal of performing more than 10,000 free screenings and increasing the number of participating dermasurgeons to more than 300 nationwide.
In the four years since its inception, Skin Cancer Takes Friends has evolved from an educational public-relations program led by a small group of influential dermasurgeons to a fully-integrated marketing effort, including www.SkinCancerTakesFriends.org and tapping into celebrity spokespeople, most recently Marcia Cross. The program not only helps to inform the public about the dangers of this growing, silent killer but also offers solutions by providing free skin cancer screenings nationwide from May through July. The PR-driven program works to harness the power and influence of friendship by urging people to schedule a screening for themselves and a friend, so they can go together. Dual screenings encourage true woman-to-woman connections and conversations about the disease, as well as real peer-influenced action, according to organizers.
Still, there’s room for improvement. Dr. Alexis urged the industry to develop sunscreens for all skin types.
“Many of my patients complain that sunscreens leave a whitish hue on their skin,” said Dr. Alexis.
It’s been a busy year for many anti-aging marketers, as companies roll out an array of new products. One of the busiest is StriVectin which, over a span of five months has introduced StriVectin-SD SPF 30 (February), StriVectin Neck Cream (April) and StriVectin-WF Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler (June). Why the multitude of launches?
“We work on product concepts for a very long time, and when we see a hole in the market, we try to fill it,” explained Gina Daines, director of marketing. “We saw a need for a neck and décolletage product, so we perfected it and it’s the best product on the market.”
According to Nathalie Chevreau, director of women’s health at StriVectin, the neck cream’s effectiveness can be attributed to a cocktail of ingredients that includes peptides, and plant and marine extracts. Within two hours of application, the product improved elasticity by more than 11%.
For even faster results, the Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler improved the appearance of wrinkles in just one hour—and the effect is still visible after four hours, according to Dr. Chevreau. The key ingredients in this fast-acting formula are botanical extracts.
Borba, too, has introduced several products in recent months, including Borba Targeted Wrinkle Treatment, Firming Body Cleansing Serum and Firming Neck & Décolleté Cream and HD-Illuminating Plasma Crystals Diamond-Dermabrasion Peel Treat- ment. The peel treatment contains something called Prismatic Diamond Powder to help exfoliate dead skin cells and leave skin looking smoother and more youthful instantly. Meanwhile, rice hull powder works to create a brighter complexion with increased luminosity, while the professional grade lactic acid in the Plasma Activator refines skin texture so it actually appears “lit from within.”
More than Berry Extracts?
According to company founder Scott Vincent Borba, the peel treatment works with technology, not against it, to diffuse the flaws on the face. It’s the kind of technology that sets his company apart from others, said Mr. Borba.
“The future of the industry is more than just the next berry extract,” insisted Mr. Borba. “Products must address how the technologies out there are affecting skin.”
Next month, Borba will roll out HD-Illuminating Hydrator SPF 30. It promises to improve the appearance of skin in four ways:
• Silver-titanium advanced “Plasma Technology” illuminates skin with a hint of color;
• SPF 30 UVA/UVB provides broad UV protection;
• Niacinamide, Heptapeptide-1 and Borba’s Elastin-Spandex Fiber technology rejuvenates skin; and
• Glycerin, soothes and hydrates skin.
Mr. Geria observed that stem cells are the treatment du jour. But he warned that several issues still surround the technology. For example, although the majority of manufacturers say the products contain stem cells, the promotional marketing literature is vague enough that consumers could easily think they are applying highly powerful and potent cells to their skin, according to Mr. Geria.
“Stem cell research is in its infancy,” he noted. “Applying these stem cell based products daily on the skin and expecting them to generate instant skin benefits would be a lot to ask.”
Osmotics offers a range of products that contain the anti-aging benefits of Blue Copper. The newest is Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Lip & Tuck. This 3-in-1 lipgloss pen has moisturizing, anti-aging and plumping benefits. It contains homogenized hyaluronic acid to penetrate into the lip skin. It soothes with menthol and contains a unique tri-peptide that prevents the loss of collagen elasticity, keeping the lips and mouth area firm, tight and line free. The pen retails for $35 and is available at Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and osmotics.com.
|Lip & Tuck is new from Osmotics.
Besides building collagen, Ms. Porter said peptides can quench free radicals, making Lip & Tuck an excellent product for cigarette smokers who often develop lines around their lips.
Treating acne and reducing the appearance of wrinkles may take up much of a dermatologist’s day, but there is a growing demand for products that treat hyperpigmentation, especially among African-Americans. Mr. Geria noted that soy and kinetin have shown effectiveness in reducing hyper-pigmentary effects.
Dr. Alexis reports that dischromia is among the top three reasons why African-Americans seek a dermatologist. His preferred method of treatment is 4% hydroquinone.“It is the most effective treatment available—it’s the gold standard,” he said.
At the time, however, he noted that new skin-lightening ingredients, including licorice and mulberry extracts, and arbutin, show promise.
Although StriVectin has had success with its oligo-peptide formulas, Dr. Chevreau cautioned that skin is a very complex organ, one where collagen is just one part of the equation. For example the epidermal-dermal junction (EDJ) plays a critical role in maintaining skin. To restimulate this site in older skin requires targeting it with marine-based extracts. Although she would not confirm that StriVectin is targeting the EDJ in its research, she did agree that it is an excellent opportunity for skin care advances.
Mr. Borba expects his current research will pull the cosmetic industry into an entirely new arena—one that puts an emphasis on texture.
“This industry needs stimulation,” he explained. “We’re working on a whole new process that calls for new binders and polymers and that can work with the skin to help ‘melt’ the polymers on the skin.”
He describes his concept as a “cosmeceutical prosthetic,” and expects to have prototypes in six to eight months.
“The industry has never seen anything like this,” he insisted. “We want to rejuvenate skin, and make this ‘canvas’ flawless.”
Mr. Borba said the products will impart immediate effects and beneficial results with repeated use as well.
“Borba is looking to reinvent the skin care category,” he said. “Consumers are oversaturated with creams and lotions. They want a brand that they can trust, gives them great benefits and taps into their behaviors. What I’m doing right now will leapfrog what the dermatologists and even the pharmaceutical companies are doing,” he explained.
Dr. Perricone insisted that the future of skin care cannot be found in the acceleration of invasive treatments, injectible fillers, neurotoxins or radical surgery.
“Great breakthroughs are being made that introduce safe yet genuinely transformative methodologies that not only help restore damaged, aging skin to youthful suppleness, but reinvigorate the entire body,” he told Happi.
See the Light
His research over the years has also included the study of the therapeutic effects of visible non-laser light as well as rejuvenation of facial muscles with the use of pulsed electric current to the face.
Perricone To Deliver HBA Global Expo Keynote Address
Nicholas Perricone, M.D., FACN will deliver the HBA Global Expo keynote address on Sept. 9. Dr. Perricone’s topic will be: “Strategies for Understanding & Reversing The Inflammation-Aging Connection.” The 16th annual trade show and educational conference will take place Sept. 9, 10, 11 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, NY.
Through decades of research, Dr. Perricone has found that the inflammation-aging connection is the single greatest precipitator of age-related diseases. During his HBA keynote, Dr. Perricone will illustrate the variety of factors that cause inflammation, including pro-inflammatory diets, the environment, immune system, ultraviolet light exposure, hormonal changes and stress. He will then demonstrate how diet, nutritional supplements and topical antioxidants can control inflammation and thereby delay and reverse the signs of aging.
Dr. Perricone will share his unique insight on a three-tier approach to creating vibrant skin and optimum health through diet, nutritional supplements and topical anti-inflammatories. All these work synergistically to decrease inflammation and thereby enhance the natural health and beauty of the skin.
More info: www.hbaexpo.com or call 212-600-3117.
“These treatments will restore and maintain the face in a remarkably youthful, wrinkle- and sag-free condition,” he explained.
Finally, Dr. Perricone advised that therapeutic LED light treatments in conjunction with the strengthening of muscles in the face, neck and eye area through electric current can achieve a youthfully contoured and lifted look to the face that is both natural and attractive.
With so many products and treatments to choose from, consumers often have a hard time finding the right product for their skin.
“People want answers to simple questions, like ‘What do I cleanse with?’ or ‘What do I moisturize with?’” noted Dr. Alexis.
He acknowledged that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to skin care, but he tells his patients to keep their regimens simple.
“Confusion on the part of the patient is an issue,” said Dr. Alexis. “And it’s going to get worse.”
Need a supplier for your new anti-aging product? Here's a list of them.
Active Ingredient Directory
Here is a list of suppliers of active ingredients to the cosmetic industry. For more information about the ingredients listed here, contact the supplier directly using the numbers provided.
Tel: (46) 454-82000
In the U.S.:
AarhusKarlshamn USA Inc.
Specialties: Vegetable bioactive emollients, including Lipex Shea-U, a bioactive shea butter with high triterpene alcohol (min 20%). Anti-inflammatory and fibroblast stimulating effects proven in vitro (U.S. patent 6552208) and Lipex Cellect, a bioactive phytosterols with anti-inflammatory effect shown in vitro.
Blue Bell, PA
Tel: 866-226-3834 / 215-591-3610
Specialties: Oleochemicals, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, glycerine, castor oil, castor oil derivatives, preservatives, metallic stearates, specialty esters, surfactants
Arch Personal Care Products, L.P.
South Plainfield, NJ
Specialties: Botanical actives, a wide range of biotechnological active ingredients, delivery systems, proteins, functional ingredients, rheological modifiers, and preservation and antioxidant systems.
Bayer Santé Familiale, Division Serdex
Puteaux Cedex, France
Tel: + 33 (0)1 49 06 45 63
E-mail: jean-christophe.lepetit@bayer healthcare.com
Specialties: The Serdex division is a specialized division within Bayer HealthCare that is developing, manufacturing and marketing vegetal active ingredients from exotic plants, with strong evidence of efficacy targeted at the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
São Paulo, Brazil
Tel: +55 (11) 5509-3722
Specialties: Active ingredients extracted from the Amazon and other Brazilian biomes. The portfolio includes fixed and essential oils, butter, clays and combined fractions that enhance the performance of cosmetics, providing scientifically-proven benefits.
Tel: 33 (0)2 96 95 31 32
Specialties: High-tech marine active ingredients supplier
Biosil Technologies, Inc.
Specialties: Unique silicone complexes, skin care actives, peptides, marine actives and hair care actives for the following categories: Anti-age, moisturization, skin brightening, sun protection, anti-wrinkle, anti-oxidation, anti-glycation, body contouring, hair care and hair therapy
Specialties: Organically-certified botanicals, peptides, unique delivery systems, skin brighteners, collagen boosters, self-tanning adjuvants, hair actives for men, sebum control, free radical protection, encapsulated retinol.
High Point, NC
Specialties: Antimicrobials, UV absorbers, rheology modifiers, conditioning polymers, functional silicone, ingredient protectants, colors, cosmetic colors, moisturizers, encapsulated actives
Boca Raton, FL
Specialties: Citrus Oleo specializes in supplying natural biodegradable citrus- derived raw materials like: d-limonene, orange terpenes and cold-pressed oils to the industrial, institutional and household markets. In addition, Citrus Oleo also supplies soy methyl ester, a natural soy-based solvent that is very low in VOCs and is used in a variety of cleaning products.
Specialties: Active ingredients to improve the dermatological properties of cosmetics and anti-dandruff shampoos, and provide long-term regulating effects for all common deodorants.
CLR Chemisches Laboratorium
Dr. Kurt Richter GmbH
Tel: +49 30 85 10 26 0/
+49 30 85 10 26 85
Specialties: Cosmetic active ingredients for skin and hair care.
Creations Couleurs / CIT
Tel: +33 (0)2 37 42 18 34
Specialties: Innovative and functional raw materials for skin care, sun care and colour cosmetics.
Evonik Goldschmidt Corporation
Specialties: Organic and silicone-based products, specializing in skin and hair care.
Extracts & Ingredients Ltd.
Tel: 908-688-9009, ext 259
Specialties: Pomegranate-based ingredients, pomegranate seed oil, pomegranate extracts, pomegranate juice powders, pomegranate butter; “PEG-free” Olivoil-based surfactants, emulsifiers, certified organic botanicals, extracts, certified organic seed oils, floral water organic essential oils, micronized powders.
Grant Industries, Inc.
Elmwood Park, NJ
Specialties: Anti-aging peptides, Anti-microbial (acne) peptides, a cosmetic ester of all-trans retinoic acid (Hydroxypina- colone retinoate), Grant-X instant wrinkle relaxation with GABA, TiO2 and ZnO UV-cut sun filters, active botanical extracts
New York, NY
Specialties: Swiss-based producer of cosmetic raw materials including actives, carrier systems, additives, preservatives, antioxidants, sun protection and tanning modulators.
International Specialty Products, Inc.
Specialties: Anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-wrinkle, anti-itch, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidants, DNA protection, UV protection, keratin synthesis, lip plumping, moisturizers, skin nourishers, sebum control, skin energizers, skin lighteners/brighteners, skin protectors, skin repair, skin smootheners, skin soothers, skin tensors, slimming
Specialties: Skin lighteners, anti-inflammatory agents, free-radical scavengers, cell proliferators, peptides
Kobo Products, Inc.
South Plainfield, NJ
Division of Cognis
NAFTA Region (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (33)144 79 95 17
Specialties: Actives for skin care, hair care, preservation and color cosmetics
(A Malladi Group Company)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Specialties: Food, cosmetic, and home and industrial ingredients
LCW - Sensient Cosmetic Technologies
Saint Ouen L’Aumone, France
Tel: (33) 1 34 48 57 00
Specialties: Covafresh - Covafresh IV, skin cooling ingredients; Facteur ARL, natural anti-aging complex based on vitaminized extracts; Vegetens OR, natural skin smoothing system based on vegetable complex; Cova B Trox, muscles relaxer, expression lines smoother
Lipo Chemicals, Inc.
Specialties: Marine extracts, skin brighteners, chemical exfoliants, humectants/moisturizers, delivery systems, UV protectants, tanning excelerator, liposomes, botanical extracts
Tel: +41 62 836 17 31
Specialties: Customer tailored liposomes and nanoemulsions
Rahn USA Corp.
Specialties: Active ingredients for cosmetics and personal care.
Crystal Lake, IL
Specialties: RITA natural and certified organic extracts and oils, Ritalab Active Principles, Rovisome Liposome Systems, specialty protein and organic encapsulated sunscreens from Seiwa Kasei, triclosan, ZPt, Ritaloe Aloe Products, RITA chitosan, Ritamectants, RITA hyaluronic acid, RITA kojic acid, and Ritascreen inorganic sunscreens
ROVI Cosmetics International GmbH
Tel: +49 (0)6661-96760
Specialties: Rovi Cosmetics’ core competence lies within the development and production of carrier systems for dermal applications. We offer different technologies (e.g. Rovisomes, Cerasomes, OleoSpheres, LipoFuse) that increase the bioavailability and thus the efficacy of the contained actives in the skin. To substantiate our products’ efficiency and stability we co-developed special study methods with an independent institute. Our product range comprises carrier systems containing active compounds that target various cosmetic purposes and we are a competent and experienced partner for customized projects. Our products are available worldwide through a well-established network of distributors.
Specialties: Specializes in skin care actives with protective and corrective properties that are clinically proven to prevent various sign of aging, firm the skin and visibly reduce appearnce of wrinkles, dark circles, puffy eyes, cellulite, pores, skin shine, sagging neck line, sun spots, age spots and much more.
Specialties: Lipoaminoacids, sugar derivatives, mineral salts, plant-based actives; programs: anti-aging, moisturizing, lightening, soothing, slimming and firming, and hair care
Tel: +33 555 84 58 40
Specialties: Supplier of natural active ingredients.
Tel: +39 02 339401.1
Specialties: Mild surfactants, emulsifiers, vegetable waxes, preservatives, functional ingredients, active ingredients
Tel: +33 (0)2 37 42 18 34
Specialties: Custom-tailored anti-age, sun care and visual effects formulations with advanced technologies and patented delivery systems.
Vertellus Performance Materials Inc.
Specialties: Vertellus Performance Materials Inc. is the leading supplier of Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil and derivatives to the personal care market. With the merger of CasChem and Morflex Industries to form Vertellus Performance Materials Inc., our 150 years of history continues in providing high quality, technologically-advanced Crystal castor oil and Citroflex citric acid ester derivative products to meet a wide variety of personal care, pharmaceutical and industrial applications.
Recently, Vertellus has introduced Naturechem Shea, a line of shea butter and shea butter derivatives.