Marta's predictions for 2013

Twenty-twelve was an exciting year for anti-aging skincare. We found some great new brands and products that are effective at a range of prices (see my video on our “Best of Awards” for 2012). There’s always the potential for better though, so here are my predictions for 2013 and how to stay ahead of the curve with these finds:

Skin firming

This is a new area for topical skincare. Yes, claims were made for face lifts in jars, but they didn’t live up to their promise. Although I still think ultrasound and LED are the best things for lifting sagging skin, we now we are seeing in topical ingredients that go to work on the skin’s elasticity. I predict there will be more to come. For example there is Syn-Hycan. Specifically, it is aimed at lifting sagging skin. It stimulates hyaluronan (HA) synthesis and expression of the proteoglycans, decorin and lumican. There’s also Essenskin and ChroNoline – some of the Five Best ingredients for sagging skin that I identified last summer. They are still in precious few formulations –  Your Best Face Control ($160 in the shop), La Vie Celeste’s Extra Rich Crème ($75 in the shop), and Osmotics Necollete ($63). I’m betting that we’ll see more formulations with these actives in 2013.

Hyperpigmentation

We are going to see new light shed on dark spots. My prediction is that we will see new breakthroughs in hyperpigmentation treatments that are safe and don’t take a brutal approach with bleaching. Clever age spot faders will work at the cellular level. Already there are some interesting actives emerging such as tranexamic acid. This is the key active in Chanel’s new Le Blanc spot corrector and in E’shee’s Intensive Brightening Serum. It  works in a very complex way and has a role in heavy bleeding reduction – believe it or not, the mechanism by which it reduces heavy bleeding and age spots are very similar. Read more about it here and check out E’shee’s serum ($119 in the shop).

Smart packaging

I have begun to understand how important packaging is for potent beauty products. The right packaging keeps the actives going longer and keeps out microbes without having to formulate with every preservative known to man. A couple of years ago the airless pump hit the beauty scene, although it has to be said that the technology needs perfecting. Your Best Face has been tweaking its formulas, such as its Correct eye serum ($150 in the shop), to ensure they work better with the airless pump system. I think a clue to the direction in which packaging might go comes from my new find, BRAD. This line uses a special type of glass that blocks the complete spectrum of visible light with the exception of the violet part. As I mentioned in my review of Essential Elixir Multi-peptide ($95 in the store), it is supposed to lengthen the life and increase the potency of whatever is stored within it. The result is a longer-lasting potion with only a dab of phenoxyethanol.

Cell signaling

Stem cells, growth factors, power peptides have been the breakthrough actives of 2012. My prediction is that we will see more serums boasting stem cells and growth factors, and they will start trickling into the mid-priced potions. At the same time, we’ll see increasingly sophisticated and complex formulas that address different actions at the cellular level. You see these actives actually instruct cells to do things. For example, TGF-B is induced during wound healing and can increase collagen. Meanwhile, PDGF works on the fibroblast. ReLuma’s Skin Illuminating Anti-Aging Serum ($145 in the shop) has nine different cytokines. AQ claims its Active Serum ($149 in the shop) has a concentration of 42% of these growth factors. E’shee’s range focuses on just one, the FGF1, which could help with fibroblast growth and mending broken veins – see E’shee’s Serum Cellular Repair ($179 in the shop). Stemulation’s Facial Serum ($135 in the shop) uses cytokines secreted from Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells. My new find BRAD has no less than a dozen amino acids (peptides are chains of amino acids) in Essential Elixir Multi-peptide and I am about to starting testing a peptide-packed serum by Elena Rubin.

Safe preservatives

Preservatives are a necessary evil. The havoc caused by rampant bacteria could be more harmful than a tiny concentration of chemical microbe killer. Still, many of us are concerned about the long term, cumulative effects of parabens and phenoxyethanol, to name but two. I believe that we consumers are getting through to the beauty industry and that we will start to see some safe alternatives emerging. I first came across one of them, a ferment from radish root, when I was introduced to Sevani’s Rose Hyaluronic Tonique ($39 in the shop). We now use it in our own formulations for Brow Vitality Complex ($36 in the shop), Hair Vitality Complex ($49 in the shop) and Ultra Renew Gel Serum. Your Best Face is also incorporating it into its latest products, such as its vitamin C serum Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop). I am looking forward to seeing new safe preservatives come to market this year.

Anti-aging devices

In my experience, nothing works for smoothing, lifting and firming the skin like light, microcurrent and ultrasound therapies. A couple of years ago, these salon treatments got scaled down to home devices that actually worked. One of the first trailblazers was Baby Quasar’s red LED light. We launched our own LED and ultrasound device last May, Ultra Renew ($89 in the shop) and now have a second one that also has ionic, the Ultra Renew Plus ($159 in the shop). My prediction is that anti-aging devices to be used at home are the Next Big Thing. We will see them getting more powerful, Baby Quasar just relaunched with 25% more oomph ($399 in the shop). We will see them getting more efficient; Ultra Renew Plus allows you to use it in more than one mode at once. These developments are exciting because many of us find that regular use (they are only for the diligent) will see smoother and firmer skin. I believe that we will learn more about how they work and can be optimized. The best is yet to come.