Prevent facial volume loss with topical products

Decreased volume in temples, cheeks, and the eyes is a large contributor to facial aging.  Although loss of volume due to decreased fat pads and bone remodeling is inevitable, using topical products that protect existing volume, prevent skin atrophy, and restore the epidermal and dermal matrix volume should be included in luminous aging skin care.

 Dermatologist Jennifer Linder writes in the  May 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, “Although minimally invasive injectables are the gold standard once adipose tissue and bone mass have been lost, there are many proven ingredients and product categories that can be added to a client’s daily regimen to help preserve, maintain and increase the facial volume of the skin”.  She writes that facial volume loss occurs from the breakdown of skin components such as collagen and elastin as a result of time and genetics and exasperated by environmental factors like sun exposure and free radicals (which are avoidable).

Dr. Linder advocates using sunscreen and antioxidants to prevent and protect from facial volume loss.  She writes, “The human body does have its own internal free radical-fighting system, but the daily use of topically applied antioxidants significantly improves the level of protection provided to the dermis, thereby reducing the loss of facial volume. There are three distinct categories of antioxidants, although some function in multiple categories. Primary antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, rendering them harmless; secondary antioxidants chelate metal ions; and co-antioxidants facilitate the action of other antioxidants. Below are some key antioxidants to add into the regimens of facial volume loss clients.

  • Primary antioxidants—L-ascorbic acid, resveratrol, tea polyphenols, vitamin E, glutathione, silybin, ferulic acid, idebenone and coffea arabica extract
  • Secondary antioxidants—L-ascorbic acid, silybin, caffeine and resveratrol
  • Co-antioxidants—L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E and glutathione

L-ascorbic acid, the bioavailable form of vitamin C, activates and stabilizes procollagen mRNA, leading to collagen deposition.  Only L-ascorbic acid provides the needed anti-aging activity crucial to building facial volume.”

She notes these antioxidant ingredients prevent dermal matrix break down valuable to fight facial volume loss.

  • Aloe vera
  • Beta-carotene
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
  • L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Resveratrol
  • Retinoids
  • Soy isoflavones
  • Vitamin E

She also lists peptides as an important ingredient category for building the dermal matrix to maximize youth.  “A peptide is a compound consisting of two or more amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Peptides act as transmitters from the brain to the body, telling the muscles and nerves to perform specific functions. There are multiple peptides available that will achieve different results when used topically. Those that trigger the deposition of dermal components are the most critical to a regimen designed to build facial volume, and include the following.

  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-38—Stimulates the production of collagen I, III and IV; fibronectin; hyaluronic acid; laminin-5; and heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), a chaperone protein that ensures these other important matrix components successfully reach maturity.
  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-5—Increases collagen deposition.
  • Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—Improves skin firmness and elasticity.
  • Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4—Increases collagen I and IV.
  • Palmitoyl oligopeptide—Stimulates collagen production.
  • Palmitoyl oligopeptide-palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—Stimulates the production of multiple ECM components.”

Retinol, retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid are proven to stimulate dermal collagen and elastin production.  Dr. Linder states, “Additionally, retinoids are thought to be one of the only topical ingredients that encourage the proliferation of elastin.”  She notes that these are time-tested topical ingredients an individual can utilize to delay the needle (and knife).

I personally love Skinceuticals C E Ferulic antioxidant serum for day and have recently started using Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E for night.  I also like the Eminence Organics hyaluronic acid serum and although I haven’t tried it, they recently introduced an impressive peptide cream.

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Blender trend: Aronia berries are beyond superfood

Link to National Aronia Council

Native to North America and also known as chokeberries, aronia berries are gaining popularity over acai and goji berries for super high concentrations of anthocyanins – or the dark blue almost black pigment that amps up the fruits antioxidant capability to the point of being medicinal.  We always joke that all the superfoods come from the Andes, so this is great news for American farmers who are cashing in on the Whole Foods revolution.  I promise you will see this superfruit everywhere in the next 5 years because of it’s pest resistance, sustainability, and demand commercially.  Blue-black is the new green and aronia berries are the new kale.

Research at the Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology and Biochemistry at Medical University in Varna, Bulgaria demonstrates pronounced anti-inflammatory effects, improved liver function, and gastrointestinal protection from aronia fruit juice in lab rats.  Antibiotic and anti-viral properties of aronia juice were also noted by the researchers.  In the presence of aronia juice, Staph aureus and E. coli would not reproduce in the petri dish as well as type A influenza virus.  The authors cite that aronia berries “normalize the carbohydrate metabolism in diabetic patients and in streptozotocin-diabetic rats, have an in vitro antimutagenic activity and exhibit a distinct immunomodulatory activity in human lymphocyte cultures and in patients with breast cancer, suppress the growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells, inhibit the N-nitrosamine formation in rats and decrease the toxicity and cumulation of cadmium in liver and kidneys.”  

On a lighter note, other research indicates that ingesting aronia juice prior to exercise reduces cell damage (oxidative stress) by boosting the body’s natural antioxidant defenses.  Read more about aronia here and check out this resource for buying freeze-dried organic aronia as well as jelly, syrup, and other aronia berry food items.

Antioxidants and Cancer: A Complex Process

© Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime.com

© Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime.com

A big story in oncology medical news this year came from Nobel laureate James Watson, PhD.  His findings showed that levels of antioxidants in metastatic cancer cells are responsible for resistance to treatment.  As cancer cells evolve, they produce antioxidant proteins such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and thioredoxin that prevent cell death caused by treatments.  He theorizes that metastatic cancer in the late stages may be untreatable due to the high levels of these antioxidants in the cancer cells.  He warns that consuming antioxidants in the diet may “more likely cause than prevent cancer”.  His  theory was published online January 8 in Open Biology.

Maurie Markman, MD, national director for medical oncology at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, who writes the Medscape Markman on Oncology blog, commented on the theory.

“The importance of the critical relationship between oxidating activity and antioxidants in the normal functioning of cells has been recognized by many investigators, and it is not surprising that this process would be quite relevant in cancer. However, it must be emphasized that this is a very complex process and the balance between these powerful influences at the cellular level is certain to be very carefully controlled. Further, it should be noted that antioxidants are components of our normal diets. Finally, while a provocative concept, it is most unlikely that a simple approach to somehow removing antioxidants from the body will be a useful strategy in cancer management,” he explained.