Every year, billions of dollars are spent on the pursuit of perpetual youth and defying death. Recently, biology and technology have joined forces to examine how to prolong life and to keep a youthful appearance for longer. In the beauty industry, this means keeping skin looking younger for longer by treating aging at the molecular and cellular levels.
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors cause skin aging.
Longevity companies are revolutionary in their approach to skin aging.
Longevity research looks into ways to prevent aging at the cellular level before visible signs appear.
Longevity companies are looking into different mechanisms of skin aging, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, cellular senescence, and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Some longevity products that target skin aging, include Ideo's Skin Aging Serum, Ladiere's Renaissance product line, and OneSkin's face and body cream.
These revolutionary treatments involve a new way of looking at aging and are like nothing we have seen before.
Skin aging explained
The skin is the largest organ in the body and the first to succumb to visible aging. Aging of the skin reflects internal biological aging in the rest of the body. This can cause significant psychological harm to some people.
Until now, people could try to fix extrinsic causes of aging, such as environmental (UV damage and pollution) and poor lifestyle choices (smoking and poor nutrition). Intrinsic causes, such as genes governing pre-programmed cellular death, cellular metabolism, and hormone levels, were considered unfixable until the advent of longevity research.
Longevity research addresses the aging of the skin and other organs at the cellular level. It works to prevent aging, not just to conceal the signs of it. If you can fix what genetically leads to aging, there will be no visible signs.
Longevity, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical treatments
Longevity treatments are different from cosmetic and pharmaceutical treatments. Cosmetic and pharmaceutical treatments are useful only after you exhibit visible signs of aging. Cosmetic treatments just mask the signs of aging. Pharmaceutical interventions treat skin problems after they arise.
Longevity treatments are revolutionary because they treat aging and diseases before they occur, in order to prevent them. They work on different aspects of cellular problems leading to aging in humans.
How do longevity treatments work?
To prevent the signs of aging, longevity companies are looking at different causes of skin aging that occur at the cellular level. These are problems that are not yet visible to the naked eye. Fixing these subclinical issues will hopefully prevent the clinically visible consequences of skin aging.
- Oxidative stress. ROS (reactive oxygen species) are produced from normal, everyday biological functions of the body, as well as extrinsic forces, like UV damage, smoking, and pollution. Over time, the body can no longer produce enough antioxidants to neutralize ROS, which leads to cellular damage and aging.
- Inflammation. Inflammation can occur from different sources, such as UV light or poor lifestyle choices. It can lead to oxidative stress. Inflammation can cause some cells to release factors that destroy healthy cells and lead to aging.
- Cellular senescence. After constant damage, the skin's cells become senescent, meaning they no longer behave normally, and produce factors that cause this dysfunction in neighboring cells.
- Mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria power the skin cell's metabolism. After constant damage from ROS or inflammation, the mitochondria no longer function properly, leading to aging.
- Stem cells. Stem cells are pure cells untouched by damage that can become any type of cell. By tapping into the function of these stem cells, cellular regeneration and repair can be achieved.
- Autophagy. Autophagy occurs when healthy cells get rid of damaged cells in the body. ROS has been shown to interfere with this normal function. When damaged cells are not removed, this can cause dysfunction in healthy cells.
- Epigenetics. Epigenetic research deals with reprogramming dysfunctional gene expressions that occur with age.
- Cell signaling. Changes in cell signaling as we age cause changes in gene expression. If we can alter the cell signaling, we may be able to prevent aging.
- Cell changes. There are unique changes that occur in each type of skin cell. If we can tap into what causes each type of cell to age, we can prolong their life and function.
Companies offering longevity treatments:
There are only a few esthetic longevity companies at the moment. In the past, longevity companies were focused on how to prolong life. An easy jump for some companies was to turn their focus on how to prolong skin life, which ultimately improves your appearance.
Ideo Skincare began its research on neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's. They found that Alzheimer's disease was caused by a problem with the cell's mitochondria. The mitochondria are the power plants of cells that regulate metabolism. They found that skin cells also suffered from mitochondrial problems as they age.
The company discovered that their proprietary compound found in their Skin Memory Serum called RMA (resveratrol-malate-antioxidants) can help restore proper function to the cell's mitochondria. When the mitochondria function properly, the cells can fight off cellular damage that leads to aging.
Ladiere is a French-Swiss company that produces three skincare longevity products, called Renaissance face serum, eye serum, and face and neck cream. Their proprietary compound, called NADO+ Complex, contains NMN and glacial water. NMN, a derivative of vitamin B3 (niacin), is needed to produce NAD+ for cell survival.
The glacial water contains trace elements and antioxidants. Over time, the body cannot produce enough NAD+, and the cells begin to die, leading to aging and ultimately death of the organism.
OneSkin is a San Francisco-based longevity company that has looked at ways to remedy senescent cells (dying cells). Since just the presence of senescent cells has been linked to causing chronic diseases and aging, they looked at ways to eliminate this problem.
These senescent cells are believed to “infect” nearby normal cells, causing them to become senescent and secrete factors that speed up biological aging. They discovered a peptide called OS-01, which will neutralize these senescent cells and extend the skin's healthy lifespan. This peptide is present in their face and body creams.
Longevity companies are newcomers to the skin aging arena. They have begun to research the cellular causes of aging to keep skin healthy and ultimately looking youthful. A few companies have produced products that have demonstrated benefits in clinical trials. However, more research in this field is needed to fully elucidate the mystery of skin aging.
- Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Targeting aging mechanisms: pharmacological perspectives.
- BMC Biology. Horizons in the evolution of aging.
- Human Genetics. Genetics of healthy aging and longevity.
- Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The Aging Skin: From Basic Mechanisms to Clinical Applications.
- Nutrients. Microbiome and Human Aging: Probiotic and Prebiotic Potentials in Longevity, Skin Health, and Cellular Senescence.
Show all references
- Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Reactive oxygen species and the free radical theory of aging.
- Journal of Clinical Investigation. The role of mitochondria in aging.