JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566
Print this page
Thursday, 25 January 2007 18:52

There Are Holes in Today’s Anti-aging Strategies

Written by Ben Johnson

Have you ever considered the possibility that we all have been aging our client’s skin over the last decade with the many traumatizing treatments we provide? Would you believe me if I told you that the current mainstream approach to anti-aging skin care is not working? I’m sure you have wondered why it is so hard to get lasting results for most of our clients. Get ready for a paradigm shift in the way we approach these skin conditions. Skin care professionals spend most of the time putting the skin in a compromised position in order to achieve “results” which are often marginal, temporary improvements in the epidermis.

As a result, we are often choosing the more aggressive treatments to get “better results,” only to find more side effects with the same marginal result two months later. Due to the increase in traumatic treatments, there is a battle brewing in the administrative offices of states throughout the country to minimize what aestheticians should be allowed to do. This includes a reasonable likelihood that chemical peels will be removed from the hands of aestheticians. It is critical that we all have a better understanding of the effects of our treatment choices and the skin to which they are being applied.

Before we break down current anti-aging strategies, we need to remind ourselves of the anatomy/physiology with which we are working. It is naive to think that we know what the skin wants/needs better than the skin itself. For example, healthy epidermal skin typically renews all layers within 30 to 40 days. When we are malnourished, (sadly, this includes most of America) or when the skin is not receiving enough nutrients and immune support due to reduced dermal blood flow (again, most of America), the turnover slows from 30 to 40 days (more or less) in its cycle. This results in dull, lifeless skin, exaggerated lines, and potentially worsened areas of pigmentation; but none of that occurred because the skin did not know what it was doing! The exact mechanisms of the skin are far more complex than our current understanding, and yet we often act as if we know its needs better than the skin. The skin slows down turnover when it knows it cannot maintain a healthy barrier at its (preferred) 30-day turnover rate. It takes longer to accumulate the necessary proteins, lipids, and cellular components when their supply has been reduced. Reduced circulation to the skin occurs primarily from cold and mental/physical stress. Reduced nutrition comes from eating artificial foods and gut malabsorption (a problem plaguing as much as 70 percent of the population). When we demand that this “starved skin” turn over faster by stripping valuable lipids and proteins from the epidermis (the “exfoliation method of skin renewal”), we put the skin in a compromised position that results in a more rapid aging process. If the skin felt that the most important aspect of its function was the rate of turnover, it would never slow down. Obviously, the skin puts a premium on having an intact barrier and we all should give the idea some consideration.

Over the years we have discovered that the appearance of dull, lifeless skin and the other conditions seen with reduced turnover are improved with exfoliation. Whether it is AHA’s, microdermabrasion, or excessive retinol, the immediate improvement in appearance was enough justification for us to inflict trauma on the skin. In fact, a common belief is that if we inflict enough trauma to the skin through aggressive chemical peeling, we may create a tightening effect. Unfortunately, that “effect” is either short-term (swelling that takes many weeks to resolve) or medium-term (scarring from medium-depth and deep treatments that takes a few years to resolve). There is rarely real improvement in the health of the dermis from these treatments. The skin remodels scarring; that is one of the primary functions to keep things working properly. Are you really hoping that one of your treatments leaves permanent scarring in your dermis? I know what you are thinking… “But the superficial treatments are renewing the epidermis and making more collagen!” After any exfoliating treatment, the skin is forced to utilize its (often scarce) resources to do its best to patch the holes created in its barrier. It will still take days to weeks to complete that task and it will result in increased epidermal turnover. But at what price? The collagen that is created is primarily to fix the damage just sustained, which means there is less available to fix the skin problem that your client started with. What I’m telling you is that the net effect of the treatment was a trade; the polished skin looks better for a few days to a few weeks, but the inflammation and utilized resources that resulted from that treatment ultimately may have aged the skin more.

I know what you are thinking again… “Inflammation? The lines look better, the pigmentation is lighter, what inflammation are you talking about?” First, let’s take a common sense look at the effects of a compromised barrier. We can all acknowledge that any exfoliating treatment increases sun sensitivity. This occurs because one of the functions of the skin is to reflect light. The skin reflects as much as 80 percent of the sun’s rays when it is intact. Any time there is a “hole” in the barrier from a retinol, an AHA, or a peel/treatment, there is an increase in free radicals and UV damage. Additionally, the antioxidants and already scarce nutrients that were earmarked for the day-to-day operations of the skin are now being redirected to “damage control” as a result of the exfoliation. The biggest challenge we have as skin care professionals is overcoming what we see on the surface because, more often than not, the micro-inflammation I am talking about is not always seen as redness. That is because it occurs at the cellular level and does not stimulate a big enough inflammation cascade to require increased blood flow to that area. My theory is that visibly increased blood flow only comes when a skin event utilizes or requires more resources than are readily available. The skin recognizes the deficiency and calls for more blood flow to supply the needed nutrients, hence redness/erythema appear. Have you ever noticed that fine lines are improved with high-dose retinols, AHA’s, and/or microdermabrasion for a day or so and then they seem to return unchanged shortly after? Have you ever used a 10 percent AHA, irritant (peppers, herbs, oxygen, etc.), or high dose retinol with “nice” results, only to see those results disappear within weeks after discontinuing the treatment? My explanation of these events is that micro-swelling from micro-inflammation tightens the skin temporarily, resulting in short term “improvement” but long-term damage. Everyone agrees and research shows that chronic inflammation thins the skin. Repeated micro-inflammatory insults to the skin definitely result in chronic inflammation. Remember that inflammation also utilizes your skin’s resources, which means there is less available to maintain epidermal/dermal health and integrity.

Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself: If the entire epidermis is going to completely renew itself in 30+ days, what is the value of reducing resources and increasing inflammation during that time if it only improved the turnover rate by a few days? Is using the tool of inflammation the best tool to restore the health and vitality of the skin?

The choice is simple; either we traumatize the skin to speed turnover, or we stimulate the skin to repair itself. By forcing exfoliation, we leave the skin in a continuous state of compromise. When we stimulate the skin, we need to communicate with the right receptors while increasing circulation so that there are enough nutrients for the request to be carried out. An often overlooked aspect of skin care products is their ability to communicate with the skin. For example, many people are passionate about glycolic acid. Have you ever heard of a receptor in the skin that recognizes glycolic acid? No, because it does not exist. This highly damaging acid has only one purpose, destruction. I know what you are saying… “but it loosens the upper epidermis and stimulates turnover.” A more appropriate way to look at it is that it eats away at our protective barrier which causes a repair response. It is not working with the skin, it is simply damaging the skin. Do you think the skin is happy that you placed the AHA night cream on your face? Do you think it was feeling lazy (not turning over) and it really needed the assistance (by being burned) to keep moving through the normal process of exfoliation? I’ve been looking at the results of chronic glycolic use over the past 10 years and more often than not, the skin is significantly thinner than when they started.

Not all AHA’s are the same. The chirally correct “L-lactic acid” (“lactic acid” is not found in the skin) is the only AHA that has receptors in the skin. It is recognized by the skin (because our bodies make it) and provides moisture and other functions. That does not mean that L-lactic acid in high volumes is good for the skin, though. It will still result in over-exfoliation and damage based on its pH and chemical nature if used improperly or excessively.

Retinols also have receptors in the skin. These ingredients are much more active in repair and remodeling, as their receptors are found on the fibroblast themselves which make our collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans. The issue we have with retinols is not their mechanism of action, but rather their ability to absorb and reach their targets. One study found that only 2 percent of retinoic acid (presumably the best absorbing of the retinols, due to its pH and chemical structure) actually penetrated past the first few layers of the epidermis. This means that 98 percent of retinols applied sit on the surface of the skin damaging the barrier, over-exfoliating the skin, and increasing sun sensitivity and free radical formation. Additionally, not all retinols are the same. All-trans retinol is twice as strong at remodeling as regular retinol because regular retinol is made up of 50 percent “all-trans” and 50 percent “cis”. The “cis” form does not stimulate collagen. All-trans retinaldehyde and all-trans retinoic acid have similar strengths and are 500 to 1000 times stronger than all-trans retinol. Retinaldehyde is the least irritating form (in active doses).

So what does all of this mean? We are not achieving the results we would like; we are over-traumatizing the skin every day and we have grown accustomed to aggressive peeling techniques that have too many unwanted side effects for the results they generate. The state boards are taking notice.

In my opinion, it is time for change! I believe we need to stop relying on low pH and harsh chemicals to affect change in the skin. It is an almost barbaric approach when you think about it. I also believe that we need to stop using excessive retinols without a plan for increasing penetration better than 2 percent. Lastly, we need to reconsider anti-aging peels when their primary function is to burn the epidermis that was already on its way up/off anyway. This is a wake up call. Question everything… except that the skin knows best!

Want to read more?

Log in or subscribe to continue reading this article.

Related items

  • Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community

    Aestheia Imaging, a hologram content management, and advertising subscription company introduced its disruptive technology at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery last week at The Aesthetic Meeting in New Orleans. The company breaks the mold of in-practice marketing with the unveiling of XTHEIA; an interactive hologram display toting a Virtual Consult Assistant for medical office waiting rooms. Aestheia's launch poses a resolution to poor patient awareness; an underserved focal point of product education in the aesthetics industry.
    The company is led by Austin JM Podowski, CEO and accomplished Dallas Healthcare Business Tech executives Mike McDonald, President and Paul Herchman, Advisory Board Member. Well known Plastic Surgeon and photographer Dr. Barry DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery leads the companies Medical Advisory Board and will continue to work to enhance upon the application. The company offers a connected holographic media platform to story map the patient journey to brand and product education. Through the research and development of Aestheia's Medical Advisory Group, the company will offer holographic before and afters to patients so they can see pre-operative and post-operative procedure outcomes in true 3D, not previously available in the space.

    "We are dedicated to providing novel and ground breaking product innovation for the entire Aesthetic Community," comments McDonald. The company today offers a fully-automated and comprehensive holographic playlist for physician waiting rooms tethered to a cloud-based solution developed by the management team.
    "We are changing the way medical companies and physicians communicate with their customers and patients. The ALEXA of Aesthetics is now in the room," states Podowski. The team has also designed a customer facing iPad Pro application that allows a physician to remote control the device offering an in-app camera for patient photos. Mr. Podowski later comments, "The response received at ASAPS The Aesthetic Meeting affirms that our vision and product meet a need and resuscitate a lost connection with the consumer."
    The management team is dedicated to further pioneering advancements in hologram, AI, and AR in the evolving medical practice of the 21st century. The company is finalizing a third-round capital raise and will begin placement of their technology throughout Plastic Surgery Offices in North America in July 2019. The technology will also be on display in direct to consumer retail kiosks throughout the United States later this year. To get a sneak peak of Aestheia, follow the team's development, or learn more about the technology, follow @aestheiaimaging or visit www.aestheiaimaging.com.

  • Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010
    Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010

    Micropigmentation Procedure Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Self-Esteem & Confidence!

    Cranberr facial mask

    Cranberr facial mask
    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is estimated that in 2009 there were 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among women, and approximately 1,910 new cases in men. For the many men and women who have been, and will be diagnosed this year, the battle to get through treatment and surgery is only the beginning of the journey to survive. Although the feeling of survival is unsurpassed, the physical scars at times may leave some survivors anxious with their new appearance. Ruth Swissa has taken her passion and artistic expertise in the permanent makeup industry to provide areola pigmentation for breast cancer patients post reconstruction to help renew self-confidence and boost self-esteem.

    "Many of my patients have said that waking up every morning, and looking in the mirror is a constant reminder of their battle, which although comes with a sense of pride, it also at times causes insecurities because they don't feel like themselves," says Swissa.

    Micropigmentation is an alternative method of creating a realistic nipple and areola after a mastectomy, to achieve a more symmetrical shape and even coloring using artistic light and shade effects. Swissa works closely with her patients in order to achieve the desired coloring and size to create a natural looking effect. This procedure takes less than an hour and is usually painless.

    Ruth uses a customized medical tattooing technique for applying permanent makeup for areola pigmentation. This unique method proves to be more exact, very gentle, and less invasive than traditional cosmetic tattooing. The results look more natural and subtle in appearance.

  • Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010
    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010

    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis

    by Deirdre Shevlin Bell

    Cranberr facial mask

    The search for safe and effective relief from osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that occurs when joint cartilage wears down over time, can feel like an uphill battle. Certain natural remedies can bring lasting relief from OA according to the Arthritis Research Council (ARC) study and other experts. That is good news, since the pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility from arthritis makes it the nation's most common cause of disability.

    One massage, and call me in the morning
    Spa-lovers with osteoarthritis will be pleased to learn that all those massages that leave you feeling loose and limber are doing more than just helping you relax. According to a 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Swedish massage improves flexibility, decreases pain, and increases range of motion in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    Low-impact exercise
    "When people start to hurt, they tend to cut back on exercise," notes Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University Montgomery and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. But that is a mistake, as inactivity can make pain and stiffness even worse. Olson recommends Pilates and swimming or doing aqua-aerobics, but she emphasizes the importance of choosing gentle, weight-bearing exercise. Michael Murray, N.D. suggests that a person should find something they love, and find a way to continue doing it: If walking on concrete sidewalks is too hard on the joints, walk on the golf course.

    Spice rub
    Using a gel containing capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili, is very effective at providing temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Studies have found that capsaicin can deplete the substance that acts to transmit pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and cause inflammation in the joints.

    Healing herbs
    An ARC study evaluated several herbs and herbal combinations and found that one stood above the rest. Phytodolor, a branded combination of three herbs – aspen (Populus tremula), common ash bark (Franxinus excelsior), and golden rob herb (Solidago vigaurea) effectively manages the pain and inflammation associated with OA. Some studies have shown that aspen contains a substance that when ingested inhibits the production of certain prostaglandins in the nerves, resulting in pain relief. Common ash bark and golden rob herb also have pain-relieving properties, and common ash bark is an antioxidant – meaning it may reduce oxidative damage in the joint. The combination of the three herbs has been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation. No major adverse effects have been reported, though some people do experience diarrhea, stomach upset, or skin reactions.

    The SAMe Game
    First discovered in 1952 and widely investigated for its usefulness in treating depression, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is now showing promise as a treatment for OA. SAMe is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the body, where it contributes to the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Studies suggest that when taken as a supplement, SAMe reduces pain and also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, which are the major components of joint cartilage. Adverse effects are infrequent and mild, but can include nausea, restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and stomach upset. People with depression should consult with a healthcare provider before taking SAMe, as some incidences of anxiety and mania have been reported.

    Copyright© HealthyLifestyles.com

  • The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010
    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010

    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships Survey Fact Sheet

    This survey was created in partnership with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Galderma Laboratories, L.P.

    Within this issue, as well as our November and December 2010 issues, we will be printing important findings revealed from the recent survey, "The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships." This survey, sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, was distributed to the National Psoriasis Foundation membership database via Survey Monkey. The survey was completed by approx 1,520 people; statistics below represent the percentage of people who answered a specific question (not always all 1,520 respondents). Statistics are rounded to nearest percentage point and percentages may not add up to 100 percent depending on the structure of the question. Not every respondent answered every question.i Below is a list of findings relating to psoriasis and its impact of social relationships.

    Nearly 80 percent (78.7%) of question respondents feel that psoriasis has had a negative impact on their personal relationships.ii

    Social Relationships

    • When having a psoriasis flare-up, 63.3 percent of respondents are less likely to go out socially iii and 53.6 percent have declined social invitations or cancelled plans because of a flare-up.iv Nearly 70 percent (69.6%) feel that psoriasis has impacted their social relationships.v
    • When meeting someone new, 74.3 percent of question respondents worry that the person will notice their psoriasis,vi and 72.1 percent of respondents are concerned that people that notice will think of them less favorably.vii
    • When going out for social occasions, 79.5 percent of respondents usually only wear outfits that cover up
      their psoriasis.viii
  • Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010
    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010

    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess!

    by Natalie Pergar

    Cranberr facial mask

    Known not only as part of the elite group of super fruits, the all mighty pomegranate, English word comes from the Latin words for apple; "pomum" (apple) and "granatus" (seeded), has been dated as far back as 1,000 BC and was introduced to North America by Spanish settlers in 1769. This red beauty represents global symbolism and history ranging from righteousness, prosperity, and fertility.

    With over 760 varieties of pomegranate it is one of the oldest known medicines to man. Ancient Greek healers would use pomegranate juice to manage health problems similar to arthritis, circulation problems, digestive disorders, and infections. And to add to the wonders of the pomegranate, the fruit was also involved in ancient beauty concoctions. Today with our growing beauty culture and desire to turn back the clock, we find ourselves revisiting what our ancient friends already knew with the help of modern science and research.

    Pomegranates are packed with phytonutrients, vitamin B, and an abundance of vitamin C. They contain red arils, tiny edible seeds that are loaded with juice and provide valuable fiber. They are delicious and fantastic to eat - though I would not recommend eating the white membrane that surrounds the arils as it is quite bitter and the consensus is that it is not recommended. And for those of us that count calories, a 1/2 cup of raw pomegranate has 80 calories and 0 grams of fat!

    According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), pomegranate fruit extract contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors). Its antioxidant activity is higher than that of red wine and green tea and research suggests that pomegranate extract may have significant clinical benefits in decreasing risk for skin cancer.

    By taking pomegranate extract capsules, one could reduce or reverse the signs of aging by promoting cell turnover and creating new, healthy skin. But that is not all! Evidence shows that including it in your skin care regime can provide wonderful results too. Rich in ellagic acid to manage free radicals, pomegranate oil contains punicic acid, an omega 5 conjugated fatty acid effective in aiding cell regeneration and proliferation. Pomegranate also carries beneficial phytoestrogen and a rare plant-based source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), an anti-carcinogen.

    So I salute you, oh red goddess of history. Bring me health and wellness with all your super fruit power!

    Pomegranate, Almond Oil, and Honey Mask

    ½ pomegranate
    2 tsp almond oil
    ½ tbsp organic honey

    Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot!) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. Peel the pomegranate half, cut the fruit in pieces, and put these in a bowl or food processor. Add the honey and almond oil. Blend it all into a smooth and uniform paste. Spread this gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear. Now lie down, relax, and leave the mask on for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water and end with a splash of cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally, apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside. (For all skin types). *This fruit mask recipe peels your skin and we do not recommend using it on acne skin.

    Copyright ® 2009-2010 Natural – Homeremedies-For-Life

    Pomegranate Oat Bran Scrub

    2 ounces pomegranate juice
    2 ounces orange juice
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp sea salt
    3 to 4 ounces oat bran

    1. In a container large enough to hold two cups, combine pomegranate and orange juices. To this add the honey and mix together well.
    2. Now add sea salt and oat bran. Mix together and allow the oat bran to soak up the liquids, about 10 to 20 minutes.
    3. Make sure to apply to a clean face. Probably the easiest way is to apply in the shower after you clean your face and allow it to set while you do other things. The steam from the shower helps allow the ingredients to penetrate your skin. Then, gently scrub off as you shower.

    Copyright ® eHow.com

Login to post comments