The Cosmetic vs Skin Aging vs Beauty from the Outside
The skin is probably the organ that is most susceptible to damage produced
by free radicals because of its contact with oxygen and with other environmental
stimuli. It reveals the first signs of physical aging at around age 30.
But skin aging does not affect only the elderly; it affects everyone because
people sunbathe too much. It is not only the passing of time that makes us
age, but the accumulation of deleterious chemical events that deteriorate our
bodies into the condition that we call aging. The aging process, which
reduces the number of healthy cells, is soon visible on the skin. On facial
skin, the cumulative and inexorable process of aging is there for all to see.
The damage produced by free radicals impairs the cells’ ability to transport
nutrients, eliminate waste products, and reproduce adequately, and results in
the accumulation of by-products, such as pigment lipofuscin (age spots),
interfering with their normal functions. Moreover, too much sun exposure
increases the production of free radicals, which, in tum, increases inflammation,
and the degradation rates of collagen and elastin, thereby resulting in
Thus, anti-aging products and global facial skincare remain the cosmetic
category’s growth driver (Fig. 5.4), by an increase of7.6% in the U.S., 7%
Global facial skincare sales (in billion dollars) from 2002 to 2005.
in Western Europe, 9% in the Asia Pacific region, 21.6% in Eastern Europe,
19.7% in Latin America, and 8.2% in Africa and the Middle East. Socalled
cosmeceuticals and doctor brands continue to be a major feature of
the skincare segment .
The Cosmetic Challenge
In an attempt to defeat the undesirable effects of aging and photoaging,
cosmetologists have developed many new cosmetic formulas, keeping
abreast of what happens in the areas of biology and biochemistry and
using increasingly sophisticated and active raw materials . As a result,
moisturizing and protective micro- and nano-emulsions containing vitamins
A, E, B, C, collagen and its derivatives have been proposed (Fig. 5.5).
Interesting studies have been conducted on peptides from gelatin enriched
with glycine, which turned out to be very active, increasing moisturizing
activity and reducing the inexorable process of skin aging (Fig. 5.6) [19,20].
A double-blind clinical study recently showed that gelatin-glycine may
increase the moisturizing activity of lutein , which is currently pointed
to as an active compound in skin aging .
Scientific evidence has been presented that shows the benefits of hydrolyzed
collagen (gelatin), used both in cosmetics and in diet supplements,
in preserving joint health. This is because both the topical application and
the ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen may increase the pool of amino acids
and peptides that are useful for collagen synthesis. Moreover, gelatin may
also have a specific stimulating effect on the production of collagen by the
Moisturizing activity of gelatin-glycerine (gel-gly) plus
vitamins and oligoelements (vit-ol).
Moisturizing activity of gelatin-glycerine (gel-gly).
joint cells themsel ves . Collagen is a structural protein of the body that
ensures cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of the skin, cartilage, and
bone, which declines in terms of quality and quantity during the aging
Ceramide polymer is a new ingredient developed in Japan (Nof Co.) to
help improve the elasticity and smoothness of skin. This polymer has a
high affinity with the skin, and thanks to its similarity to natural ceramides,
it can reinvigorate the skin and restore its softness and elasticity .
Goldschmidt (Germany) has proposed a hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate
obtained through the fermentation of Bacillus sublitis to improve the skin’s
elasticity and to reduce wrinkles. Vitamin B6, an innovative liposoluble
that serves as an enhancer of filagrin production, was presented this year
by Jon Dekker (USA) at In Cosmetics. The hydrolyzed oat polypeptide
obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis from Kelisema (Italy) seems to protect
the stratum corneum against irritations and may be a solution for skin
Because consumers expect beauty and personal care products to provide
them with a unique sensory experience before, during, and after application,
Dow Coming (USA) has created specialized silicium polymers providing
lubricity, emolliency, and moisturization both for skin and hair. Silicium
plays an important role in connective tissues; the finding that it is a component
of human glycosaminoglycans and their protein complexes suggests
that this mineral plays a structural role. Indeed, silicium contributes to the
structural framework of connective tissues by forming links or bridges
within and between individual polysaccharide chains and perhaps by linking
polysaccharide chains to proteins (Fig. 5.7) [25,26]. In this way, this
mineral compound may help build the architecture of the fibrous elements
of connective tissues and may contribute to their structural integrity by
providing strength and resilience.
Chitin nanofibrils [27-30] are cosmetic components or pharmaceutical
carriers that help to restore the integrity of the skin barrier and to increase
the ability to link and retain water contained in the comeocytes (Fig. 5.8).
They are used in cosmetic and/or pharmaceutical solutions or emulsions
to stimulate the formation of a molecular film that slows down water
evaporation and helps to keep the skin perfectly hydrated.
Their mechanism of action can be considered active because they repair
the intercomeocitary cement that joins both ceramides and phospholipids
Model of the arrangement of fibronectin, collagen, and
proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix showing the role of silicon.
Photomicrograph of a chitin nanofibril at a magnification of
to form the lipidic lamellae. Moreover, these nanofibrils are easily recognized
by the cutaneous enzymes and hydrolyzed. In this way, the
N-acetyl glucosamine content can regulate collagen synthesis in fibroblasts,
also facilitating the granulation and repair of the altered skin
tissue [31,32]. Thus, nanotechnology is now present also in consumer
products (Fig. 5.9).
Presence of nanotechnology-enabled consumer products in
the health and fitness arena. Source: Woodrow Wilson Center Nanotech