Preventative Measures for Aging Skin

We are currently developing a nifty Truth In Aging iPhone app that will help you remember what all those unpronounceable ingredients do when you are in Sephora before a bewildering array of antiaging potions and lotions and squinting at the small print. As I was researching ingredients to include in the app, it struck me that there are some specific anti-aging ingredients that could prevent future damage - as opposed to things like copper peptides that go to work on existing damage.

These preventative ingredients would be great to be aware of if you are a 20 or 30-something with the tell-tale signs of that first wrinkle. Think about it, with disciplined use, they may help you stay young and beautiful. For those of us who are, well let's say, not exactly 30 anymore, these actives are also worth looking for as they will help prevent undoing all that hard won repair work we have achieved. So here is a roundup of the most promising SAPs (skin age prevention) that I have spotted.


How it works: Combats singlet oxygen, one of the strongest ROS (free radicals), which directly damages biological lipids, proteins, and DNA.
Visible results: Prevents future UV damage. Diminishes fine lines and improves elasticity.
Studies: A clinical study at Creighton University demonstrated that astaxanthin can eliminate free radicals 6,000 times more effectively than vitamin C, 800 times more than CoQ10, 550 times more than vitamin E and green tea, 75 times more than alpha lipoic acid, and 20 times more than beta-carotene. For more on astaxanthin.
Where to find it: Astaxanthin is a staple of Nicholas Perricone MD products and of Kenneth Mark MD.


How it works: A natural amino-acid that is a potent antioxidant. Australian researchers claim it can extend the HayFlick Limit, the number of times our cells will divide and reproduce.
Visible results: It prevents the cross-linking of collagen and other proteins, one of the causes of wrinkling and loss of elasticity.
Studies: Recent studies suggest this ingredient may also act as a natural anti-glycation molecule. Glucose based cross-linking degrades proteins and creates Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs), which are, in turn, responsible for leading to many age-related illnesses. Test tube experiments have shown the dipeptide to effectively protect proteins from cross-linking, to protect cells from AGEs. For more on carnosine.
Where to find it: Osmotics products and GloTherapeutics.

Teprenone (also called Renovage)

How it works: Stabilizes telomeres so that at least they won’t shorten and signal cell death. Maintaining telomere length extends the Hayflick Limit (the # of times a cell replicates) by one third.
Visible results: Prevents the onslaught of fine lines.
Studies: Researchers on telomeres won last year's Nobel Prize.
Where to find it: Your Best Face Boost.


How it works: A neuropeptide that stops facial muscles from moving and causing expression lines. SNAP-8, created by Kinerase, is being marketed as the second generation of Argireline, and is said to be 30% more effective. Our skin is naturally full of neuropeptides, but as we age, the count drops. While Botox smooths wrinkles by paralyzing the muscles through an injection of a solution derived from the botulism toxin, topical ‘Botox’ alternatives attempt to phone in the request to the cells to do the work themselves.
Visible results: Prevents the onslaught of fine lines.
Studies: None that are independent, but see more on SNAP-8 and other neuropeptides.
Where to find it: Cellbone Hydra-Peptides and Your Best Face Correct.