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Life Extension Magazine June 2011

Skin aging

Influence of facial skin attributes on the perceived age of Caucasian women.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The facial appearance of a person does not always reflect the chronological age; some people look younger or older than they really are. Many studies have described the changes in skin properties (colour, wrinkles, sagging, micro relief, etc.) with age, but few of them have analysed their influence on the perceived age. The primary objective of this study was to assess the contribution of individual skin attributes of the face on the perceived age of Caucasian women. Secondary objectives were to assess the influence of age and gender of graders with regard to the age perception. SUBJECTS AND METHOD: A random sample of 173 subjects of 20 to 74 years of age was taken from a database of more than 5,000 healthy Caucasian women. A trained grader performed visual assessment of facial skin attributes (using a visual analogue scale), and a front face photograph was taken from each subject. Photographs were shown to 48 graders (20 men and 28 women, aged 22-64 years) who were asked to estimate the age of the subjects. Graders were classified as young (less than 35 years), middle age (35-50 years) and seniors (older than 50 years). Partial Least Square regression models were built to predict the chronological and the perceived age from the measured facial individual attributes. The contribution of each attribute within the regression model enabled to measure the relevance of this attribute with regards to age prediction. RESULTS: The eye area and the skin colour uniformity were the main attributes related to perceived age. For age prediction, older graders’ estimations were more driven by lips border definition shape and eyes opening, whereas younger graders’ (older than 50 years) estimations were more driven by dark circles, nasolabial fold and brown spots. There were statistically significant differences in graders’ age perception between gender and among age ranges. Our findings suggest that female graders are more accurate than male, and younger graders (under 35 years) are more accurate than older (over 50 years) to predict Caucasian women age from facial photographs. CONCLUSIONS: Different skin attributes influence the estimation of age. These attributes have a different weight in the evaluation of the perceived age, depending on the age and of the observer. The most important attributes to estimate age are eyes, lips and skin colour uniformity.

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2008 Aug;22(8):982-91

Overview of current thoughts on facial volume and aging.

Facial aging is a dynamic process involving the aging of soft tissue and bony structures. Much is known in regards to how the face loses volume as the soft tissue structures age. Epidermal thinning and the decrease in collagen cause skin to lose its elasticity. Loss of fat, coupled with gravity and muscle pull, leads to wrinkling and the formation of dynamic lines. The aging process has also been shown to affect the facial bones. Multiple studies suggest that the bony aging of the orbit and midface is a process primarily of contraction and morphologic change. This loss of bony volume and projection may contribute to the aged appearance. In this review, we will demonstrate how specific soft tissue and bony aspects of the face change with age in both genders and what impact these structural changes may have on overall facial aesthetics.

Facial Plast Surg. 2010 Oct;26(5):350-5

Photoprotection beyond ultraviolet radiation—effective sun protection has to include protection against infrared A radiation-induced skin damage.

Solar radiation is well known to damage human skin, for example by causing premature skin ageing (i.e. photoageing). We have recently learned that this damage does not result from ultraviolet (UV) radiation alone, but also from longer wavelengths, in particular near-infrared radiation (IRA radiation, 760-1,440 nm). IRA radiation accounts for more than one third of the solar energy that reaches human skin. While infrared radiation of longer wavelengths (IRB and IRC) does not penetrate deeply into the skin, more than 65% of the shorter wavelength (IRA) reaches the dermis. IRA radiation has been demonstrated to alter the collagen equilibrium of the dermal extracellular matrix in at least two ways: (a) by leading to an increased expression of the collagen-degrading enzyme matrix metalloproteinase 1, and (b) by decreasing the de novo synthesis of the collagen itself. IRA radiation exposure therefore induces similar biological effects to UV radiation, but the underlying mechanisms are substantially different, specifically, the cellular response to IRA irradiation involves the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Effective sun protection requires specific strategies to prevent IRA radiation-induced skin damage.

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010;23(1):15-7

Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation.

The effect of sugars on aging skin is governed by the simple act of covalently cross-linking two collagen fibers, which renders both of them incapable of easy repair. Glucose and fructose link the amino acids present in the collagen and elastin that support the dermis, producing advanced glycation end products or “AGEs.” This process is accelerated in all body tissues when sugar is elevated and is further stimulated by ultraviolet light in the skin. The effect on vascular, renal, retinal, coronary, and cutaneous tissues is being defined, as are methods of reducing the glycation load through careful diet and use of supplements.

Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):409-11

What causes dark circles under the eyes?

Dark circles under the eyes (DC) are defined as bilateral, round, homogeneous pigment macules on the infraorbital regions. Despite its significant prevalence, there are a few published studies about its pathogenesis. DC are caused by multiple etiologic factors that include dermal melanin deposition, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis, periorbital edema, superficial location of vasculature, and shadowing due to skin laxity. The purpose of this review is to discuss some of the available evidences about the anatomic features that could explain dark circles and the proposed treatments for this unpleasant condition.

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2007 Sep;6(3):211-5

In vitro and in vivo evaluation of topical delivery and potential dermal use of soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein.

Genistein, daidzein, and glycitein are soy isoflavones. These compounds can be used to protect the skin from oxidative stress induced by UVB radiation. To this end, the feasibility of skin absorption of soy isoflavones was evaluated in the present study. As assayed by flow cytometry, UVB-induced H(2)O(2) production in keratinocytes was inhibited by genistein and daidzein, confirming that these two compounds can act as free radical scavengers when keratinocytes are photodamaged. Glycitein showed no protective activity against photodamage. The effects of vehicles on the in vitro topical delivery from saturated solutions such as aqueous buffers and soybean oil were investigated. The isoflavones in a non-ionized form (pH 6) showed higher skin deposition compared to the ionized form (pH 10.8). Soybean oil reduced the isoflavone amount retained in the skin, especially for genistein. Genistein generally exhibited greater skin absorption than did daidzein. However, daidzein permeation was enhanced when an aglycone mixture was used as the active ingredient. An eutectic effect was proposed as the enhancing mechanism. In vivo skin deposition showed a linear correlation with the in vitro results. The safety profiles suggested no or only negligible stratum corneum disruption and skin erythema by topical application of soy isoflavones. It was concluded that topical delivery may serve as a potent route for soy isoflavones against photoaging and photodamage.

Int J Pharm. 2008 Nov 19;364(1):36-44

Non-sunscreen photoprotection: antioxidants add value to a sunscreen.

The association between ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure and both skin cancer and photo-aging is well documented. In addition to the conventional organic-chemical and physical-mineral type sunscreens, other non-sunscreen protective strategies have been developed. These include topically applied botanical extracts and other antioxidants as well as topical DNA repair enzymes. Standard terms of photoprotection such as sun protection factor (SPF) do not accurately reflect the photoprotection benefits of these materials. For example, in spite of minimal SPF, tea extract containing polyphenols such as (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to protect against UV-induced DNA damage and immune suppression, in part through its ability to reduce oxidative stress and inhibit NF-kB. The addition of botanical antioxidants and vitamins C and E to a broad-spectrum sunscreen may further decrease UV-induced damage compared with sunscreen alone. These agents have been shown to enhance protection against UV-induced epidermal thickening, overexpression of MMP-1and MMP-9, and depletion of CD1a(+) Langerhans cells. Non-sunscreen materials such as botanical extracts, antioxidants, and DNA repair enzymes can contribute value when applied topically to human skin in vivo.

J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2009 Aug;14(1):56-9

Topical application of green and white tea extracts provides protection from solar-simulated ultraviolet light in human skin.

BACKGROUND: Tea polyphenols have been found to exert beneficial effects on the skin via their antioxidant properties. AIMS: We sought to determine whether topical application of green tea or white tea extracts would prevent simulated solar radiation-induced oxidative damages to DNA and Langerhans cells that may lead to immune suppression and carcinogenesis. METHODS: Skin samples were analysed from volunteers or skin explants treated with white tea or green tea after UV irradiation. In another group of patients, the in vivo immune protective effects of green and white tea were evaluated using contact hypersensitivity to dinitrochlorobenzene. RESULTS: Topical application of green and white tea offered protection against detrimental effects of UV on cutaneous immunity. Such protection is not because of direct UV absorption or sunscreen effects as both products showed a sun protection factor of 1. There was no significant difference in the levels of protection afforded by the two agents. Hence, both green tea and white tea are potential photoprotective agents that may be used in conjunction with established methods of sun protection.

Exp Dermatol. 2009 Jun;18(6):522-6

Pomegranate as a cosmeceutical source: pomegranate fractions promote proliferation and procollagen synthesis and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-1 production in human skin cells.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is an ancient fruit with exceptionally rich ethnomedical applications. The peel (pericarp) is well regarded for its astringent properties; the seeds for conferring invulnerability in combat and stimulating beauty and fertility. Here, aqueous fractions prepared from the fruit’s peel and fermented juice and lipophilic fractions prepared from pomegranate seeds were examined for effects on human epidermal keratinocyte and human dermal fibroblast function. Pomegranate seed oil, but not aqueous extracts of fermented juice, peel or seed cake, was shown to stimulate keratinocyte proliferation in monolayer culture. In parallel, a mild thickening of the epidermis (without the loss of ordered differentiation) was observed in skin organ culture. The same pomegranate seed oil that stimulated keratinocyte proliferation was without effect on fibroblast function. In contrast, pomegranate peel extract (and to a lesser extent, both the fermented juice and seed cake extracts) stimulated type I procollagen synthesis and inhibited matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1; interstitial collagenase) production by dermal fibroblasts, but had no growth-supporting effect on keratinocytes. These results suggest heuristic potential of pomegranate fractions for facilitating skin repair in a polar manner, namely aqueous extracts (especially of pomegranate peel) promoting regeneration of dermis, and pomegranate seed oil promoting regeneration of epidermis.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Feb 20;103(3):311-8

Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation.

Ellagic acid, a polyphenol compound present in berries and pomegranate, has received attention as an agent that may have potential bioactivities preventing chronic diseases. This study examined photoprotective effects of ellagic acid on collagen breakdown and inflammatory responses in UV (ultraviolet)-B irradiated human skin cells and hairless mice. Ellagic acid attenuated the UV-B-induced toxicity of HaCaT keratinocytes and human dermal fibroblasts. Non-toxic ellagic acid markedly prevented collagen degradation by blocking matrix metalloproteinase production in UV-B-exposed fibroblasts. Anti-wrinkle activity of ellagic acid was further investigated in hairless mice exposed to UV-B, in which it attenuated UV-B-triggered skin wrinkle formation and epidermal thickening. Topical application of 10 micromol/l ellagic acid diminished production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-6, and blocked infiltration of inflammatory macrophages in the integuments of SKH-1 hairless mice exposed to UV-B for 8 weeks. In addition, this compound mitigated inflammatory intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression in UV-B-irradiated keratinocytes and photoaged mouse epidermis. These results demonstrate that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B. Therefore, dietary and pharmacological interventions with berries rich in ellagic acid may be promising treatment strategies interrupting skin wrinkle and inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing.

Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;19(8):e182-90