Life Extension Magazine April 2013
Revitalize Your Aging Neck
By Gary Goldfaden, Md, and Robert Goldfaden
Most skin care regimens are formulated only for fighting the fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Your neck, however, is a dead giveaway of age.
The thin skin on your neck is especially prone to sagging and wrinkles—and often well before your face shows your age. You’ve seen many women on TV who have had face lifts but take one look at their neck and you see the visible effects of aging.
In fact, your neck and upper chest/shoulder/torso area (collectively referred to as the décolleté) may be one of the most underappreciated features of a youthful appearance.
For years, maturing individuals seeking to rejuvenate their necks resorted to potentially dangerous cosmetic procedures such as peels, laser resurfacing, Botox injections, and surgery.1
But there are safer, effective, more natural approaches to fighting the visible signs of an aging neck. Advances in research have led to the discovery of compounds that offer novel approaches to reversing the visible signs of aging. These compounds have been shown to act as chemical messengers between the dermal layers of the skin, thus allowing efficient communication to protect, repair, and strengthen the skin from the inside out.
In this article, you will learn about agents that help restore and retain a youthful-appearing neck and décolleté.
Maintaining Skin Cohesion
The dermo-epidermal junction is an area that connects the epidermal skin layer with the dermal layer beneath it. Acting as a communication center between the two skin layers, it maintains skin cohesion and distributes essential nutrients to the epidermis for healthy skin.2
As we age, the dermo-epidermal junction of the skin begins to flatten out, diminishing the contact between the epidermis and dermis.3 As a result, the skin begins to lose its elasticity and firmness. This is reflected in the skin of the neck with the development of wrinkles and sagging.
Fortunately, there is a way to rebuild this vital connection between the layers of aging skin. The peptide compound hexapeptide-10 has been shown to stimulate the formation of laminin-5, alpha6-integrin, and hemidesmosomes,4 vital building blocks of the dermo-epidermal junction that allow it to reconstruct connectivity between epidermal and dermal cells. This reinforces the skin’s tightness and promotes more elasticity.
In one study, scientists tested the effects of hexapeptide-10 on several skin parameters in healthy volunteers for 60 days. The results revealed a 9% boost in elasticity and a 53% improvement in skin compactness. Skin tone was also enhanced by 46%.4
Support Vital Skin Structures
Your skin has a network of fibers that work to keep it firm and taut. Collagen type I provides mechanical strength to the structure, while elastin is responsible for skin’s resilience and its ability to recoil back into position. These elements are continuously breaking down and being regenerated. However, factors such as excessive sun exposure, smoking, inflammation, and air pollution cause collagen type I and elastin to break down at a faster pace than they’re being regenerated.5 Over time, this accelerates aging, which manifests itself as wrinkles and loose skin.
There’s one notable ingredient that has been shown to both slow the breakdown and increase the formation of these vital skin structures. An in vitro study showed that the compound acetyl-dipeptide-13 diphenylglycine protected elastin from destruction by decreasing the activity of elastase by 23%.6 Additionally, when the cells that make collagen were exposed to acetyl-dipeptide-13 diphenylglycine, they experienced an astonishing 99% increase in collagen type I formation.6
In a human study, participants who used a topical application of acetyl-dipeptide-13 for eight weeks improved their overall skin elasticity by 14% and tightness by 16%.6
Fight Free Radical Damage
Free radicals wreak havoc on the skin’s integrity and structure, especially in the thin skin of the neck. That’s why a broad spectrum antioxidant defense is a cornerstone of any skin care regimen. And when it comes to antioxidant power, you can’t beat the goji berry.
Goji berries boast an extremely high rating on the ORAC scale, an indicator of antioxidant potency.7 They’ve been shown to boost human blood antioxidant activity by up to 57%.8 A 2004 study showed that goji berries inhibited the formation of free radicals by an incredible 82%, further confirming their outstanding antioxidant properties.9
Goji berries have a tremendous amount of nutrients that nurture and protect the skin. They contain more collagen-building vitamin C than an orange, along with vitamin E to reduce wrinkles and seal in moisture.10
Goji berries also contain bioactive polysaccharides, complex carbohydrates that repair and rejuvenate the skin of the neck by suppressing the elevation of enzymes involved in collagen destruction.11
Halt Collagen Destruction
The Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) has been celebrated for centuries in India for its high antioxidant capacity and potent anti-inflammatory effects.12 These attributes have sparked interest in the fruit’s potential as a topical ingredient in skin care preparations. And as it turns out, Indian gooseberry has the potential to protect against one of the chief causes of premature aging: ultraviolet (UV) damage.
Sun damaged skin causes an internal breakdown of collagen that contributes to fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin tone. When scientists investigated the impact of the Indian gooseberry on UV radiated human skin fibroblasts, they found that the fruit extract was effective in protecting against UV damage by inhibiting the expression of matrix metalloproteinases in the specialized skin cells.13
The powerful berry has been found to offer other benefits to the aging skin, including boosting the synthesis of collagen type I,14 halting the collagen-destructive ability of collagenase,17 and promoting dermal wound healing.15
Keep Skin Hydrated
In order for skin to stay healthy and young looking, it must be properly hydrated and nourished. Hyaluronic acid plays a vital role in creating an environment in which skin cells obtain proper hydration and nourishment. Along with water and protein complexes, hyaluronic acid acts as a filler in between the spaces of a fiber network consisting mostly of collagen and elastin beneath the surface of your skin.16
The compound’s main function is to attract and retain water, leading the skin to hold moisture and in return lessens the visibility of fine lines. What’s more, hyaluronic acid is responsible for transporting essential nutrients to the skin cells, supplying them with the weapons required to rejuvenate themselves.17
Over time, hyaluronic acid synthesis decreases due to the unfavorable effects of UV radiation and free radical damage, severely depleting its reserves.18 Replenishing hylauronic acid can nourish your aging neck, providing increased skin hydration and firmer skin tone.
A youthful-looking neck and décolleté is the hallmark of a youthful appearance. Novel agents, including hexapepitde-10, acetyl-dipeptide-13, goji berry, Indian gooseberry, and hylauronic acid work together to repair the dermo-epidermal junction, strengthen the underlying skin structure, and increase hydration to help restore a youthful-appearing neck and décolleté.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
- Caplin DA, Perlyn CA. Rejuvenation of the aging neck: current principles, techniques, and newer modifications. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2009 Nov;17(4):589-601.
- Le Varlet B, Chaudagne C, Saunois A, et al. Age-related functional and structural changes in human dermo-epidermal junction components. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 1998 Aug;3(2):172-9.
- Lavker RM, Zheng PS, Dong G. Morphology of aged skin. Clin Geriatr Med. 1989 Feb;5(1):53-67.
- Available at: http://www.lotioncrafter.com/reference/tech_data_serilesine_solution.pdf. Accessed August 17, 2012.
- Gogly B, Ferre FC, Cherifi H, Naveau A, Fournier BP. Inhibition of elastin and collagen networks degradation in human skin by gingival fibroblast. In vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 2011 March;1(1):4-14.
- Available at: http://www.lotioncrafter.com/reference/tech_data_relistase.pdf. Accessed August 17, 2012.
- Available at: http://www.oracvalues.com/. Accessed December 18, 2013.
- Bucheli P, Vidal K, Shen L, et al. Goji berry effects on macular characteristics and plasma antioxidant levels. Optom Vis Sci. 2011 Feb;88(2):257-62.
- Wu SJ, Ng LT, Lin CC. Antioxidant activities of some common ingredients of traditional chinese medicine, Angelica sinensis, Lycium barbarum and Poria cocos. Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):1008-12.
- Potterat O. Goji (Lycium barbarum and L. chinense): Phytochemistry, pharmacology and safety in the perspective of traditional uses and recent popularity. Planta Med. 2010 Jan;76(1):7-19.
- H. Zhaoa, A. Alexeeva, E. Changa,b, G. Greenburgc, K. Bojanowskia, Lycium barbarum glycoconjugates: effect on human skin and cultured dermal fibroblasts. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):131-7.
- Krishnaveni M, Mirunalini S. Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2010;21(1):93-105.
- Adil MD, Kaiser P, Satti NK, et al. Effect of Emblica offcinalis (fruit) against UVB-induced photo-aging in human skin fibroblasts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Oct 28;132(1):109-14.
- Chanvorachote P, Pongrakhananon V, Luanpitpong S, et al. Type 1 pro-collagen promoting and anti-collagenase activites of Phyllanthus emblica extract in mouse fibroblasts. J Cosmet Sci. 2009 Jul-Aug;60(4):395-403.
- Sumitra M, Manikandan P, Gayathri VS, Mahendran P, Suguna L. Emblica officinalis exerts wound healing action through up-regulation of collagen and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2). Wound Repair Regen. 2009 Jan-Feb;17(1):99-107.
- Tzellos TG, Klagas I, Vahtsevanos K. Extrinsic ageing in the human skin is associated with alterations in the expression of hyaluronic acid and its metabolizing enzymes. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Dec;18(12):1028-35.
- Chen WY, Abatangelo G. Functions of hyaluronan in wound repair. Wound Repair Regen. 1999 Mar-Apr;7(2):79-89.
- Dai G, Freudenberger T, Zipper P, et al. Chronic ultraviolet B irradiation causes loss of hyaluronic acid from mouse dermis because of down-regulation of hyaluronic acid synthases. Am J Pathol. 2007 Nov;171(5):1451-61.