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5 New Anti-Aging Actives to Keep On Your Radar

Chemist in lab
August 8, 2017 Reviewed by Marta 1 Comment

I’m always on the hunt for new breakthroughs in skin care and have recently been scouting for new active ingredients in the anti-aging category. What I have found is a trend emerging around something called microRNA. I’ve also come across some new types of growth factors, as well as stress relievers (a new trend, mark my words). Here are some of the new designer actives that — for good and bad — piqued my interest.

Plantago lanceolata for microRNA
MicroRNAs are key regulators of gene expression. As the name suggests, they are very small molecules that bind to RNA receptors. They are the on/off switches for numerous physiological processes. Scientists recently found that they play pivotal roles in skin development, skin diseases and wound healing, and in the past couple of years there have been attempts to better understand how they work in the hope that this could lead to new anti-aging actives.

One outcome of this is Senestem, an active based on the extract of plantago lanceolata, which is a member of the plantain family. According to Sederma, who makes it, the skin recovers density and elasticity and dark spots are lightened. Senestem caught the eye of the author of a book called Epigenics and Dermatology, who noted that the way in which this ingredient may actually target microRNAs is unknown. I haven’t yet seen many skin care products touting Senestem, but plantago lanceolata extract is in Deciem’s NIOD Neck Elasticity Catalyst ($70 in the shop).

Reproage for MicroRNA
Also claiming to target microRNA is an ingredient called Reproage that is made by Liptec. This doesn’t look very convincing, and I’m actually rather puzzled by it since being first alerted to it by a skeptical member of the Truth In Aging community. The only active in Reproage is acetyl hexapeptide-8. This peptide is widely used in cosmetics and often goes by the name of Argireline. It is a neuropeptide that inhibits the formation of expression lines, and I haven’t yet been able to figure out how it can do this and now suddenly be able to also target microRNAs.

Wild indigo for stress relief
We are going to see a trend in relief of stressed skin — that’s my prediction at least. For skin, the main causes of stress are UV light, pollution, smokes and chemicals. They can impact the barrier function and break down the essential proteins that support the skin, collagen and elastin, causing premature signs of aging.An ingredient called Neurophroline is claimed to be able to block the production of cortisol, the hormone that is released when you get stressed out. It comes from wild indigo (Tephrosia purpurea), a native Indian plant and is supposed to promote the release of endorphins, which break down cortisol.

Scelleye and a new growth factor
Scelleye is an ingredient that uses a kind of tobacco plant to make a synthetic version of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). It is marketed as being especially effective for the extremely delicate eye area skin where it will “restore the activity of the epidermal basal layers, as well as to activate the proteasome and decrease carbonylation, for an effective clearance of damaged proteins.” Again, a leap of faith seems to be required since IGF-1 is a hormone that mediates growth hormone. Scelleye did receive a couple of new ingredient-of-the-year type awards from the beauty trade press last year, but then so did the iffy-looking Reproage.

SWT-7 and stem cells
This ingredient from a plant extract — namely swertia chirata — takes an approach that I haven’t come across before. It stimulates keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) production from adipose-derived stem cells. As a result, keratinocyte proliferation is boosted which leads to thickening of the epidermis. SWT-7 was inspired by technologies used in reconstructive tissue engineering for the treatment of burn injuries. The manufacturer of SWT-7 claims amazing results in only seven days. Although I’m not inclined to believe this right off the bat, this active does look worth keeping on my radar. 

  • January 11, 2018

    by Tressie

    Nice post! I think I should go for Wild indigo for stress relief as stress is the only thing which can't be ignored.

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