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Anti-aging skincare is not what it used to be

In recent years, the concept of anti-aging skincare has changed rapidly in most parts of the world. The "anti" in anti-aging skincare is essentially outdated. Skincare consumers do not have an "anti-way of thinking" about their skin and the products they use to take care of their skin. Their attitudes have shifted towards a more positive approach.

Additionally, most skincare consumers have stopped believing that skincare products potentially offer a "miracle in a jar". They do not longer believe that a cosmetic product is able to miraculously lead to the disappearance of wrinkles or any other aging-related skin features — especially not when the aging process has been going on for a long time. "Anti-aging" skincare is still booming, though, but it needs a dramatically different approach. Literally, "anti" can be replaced by "pro", "healthy", "successful" or "better". Better aging is what the skincare consumer is most interested in. "Looking the best version of yourself" while accepting that the aging process is unavoidable is the new modern credo and we're here for it.

Not "anti", but better! What, though?

"Better aging" skincare consumers are proactive and preventive in their attitudes. Prevention is better than to cure. People are starting to use anti-aging skincare products at a far younger age than before, wanting to prevent, or at least slow down, the skin aging process. In this effort they especially focus on the visible signs of aging. Skincare products which provide skin protection and the ability to "help the skin to help itself" in the aging process are of particular interest to them. Herein lies an enormous challenge for the cosmetic industry.

The first part of providing a fitting answer to the challenge is the recognition of the exact features which make skin look older. Anti-aging skincare products have always focused on wrinkles, skin firmness and uneven pigmentation. The first two topics are indeed important for "how old skin looks", but the factor pigmentation is rather more nuanced, depending on skin type. Pigmentation plays a role in how old the skin looks but zooming out is necessary. Apart from melanin, there are many more chromophores in the skin which play a role in the (unevenness of) skin coloration. With aging these chromophores can play a role in how older skin looks.

Three skin-aging drivers

A next step in providing the consumer with satisfactory products for their aging skin is understanding the factors which cause the visible sings of skin aging and, in combination with that, the exact biological mechanisms through which they bring about these problems. There are three factors which play a role in skin aging: 

  1. Time: Skin aging, for the biggest part, starts in the skin cells. In simplified terms: over time, skin cells lose their youthful functionalities and abilities. They become less proliferative and lose their capacity to react to challenges coming from the outside and inside of the body.
  2. Extrinsic factors: Sunlight is a well-known extrinsic factor which influences the skin aging process. It is said that 80% of all visible signs of skin aging are caused by UV light ("photoaging"). Modern science has now shown that infrared and visible light also accelerate the skin aging process. Other factors, such as pollution and smoking, are further examples of extrinsic factors that influence the skin aging process.
  3. Intrinsic factors: These have long been, and are still, underrated as a source of skin aging. Psychological stress, lack of sleep, diet, and many more such factors can have a strong impact, for instance on the hormonal composition within our body. Stress hormones produced inside the human body, for example, are infamous for having a large negative impact on skin. For most people it is a well-known fact that, when one is stressed, their skin will most likely suffer from it.


Understanding the mechanisms of skin aging

The three factors of skin aging — time, intrinsic and extrinsic factors — lead to the development of visible signs of skin aging. The next questions are, how do these visible signs of skin develop mechanistically, and what influences do these factors have on the biological mechanical processes leading to the formation of wrinkles, unevenness in skin color and loss of skin firmness and elasticity? As mentioned above, for the largest part skin aging starts in the skin cells. As a result of the three factors of skin aging, the skin cells "change" and, downstream of this, the architecture of skin is changed. This leads to the formation of wrinkles and loss of firmness and elasticity. As described above, unevenness of skin color is only partly due to pigmentation (although this depends on ethnicity). What is clear, though, is that there is an important aging-induced inflammatory aspect to this visible skin aging-feature.

In finding a solution to the problem of the occurrence of visible signs of skin aging and, thus, also an effective active ingredient, the cellular aspects of skin aging need to be fully understood. The main skin cells in relation to skin aging are the keratinocytes of the epidermis and the fibroblasts of the dermis. In time, under the influence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors, these cells become damaged and stressed. Typical cellular features of skin aging are an accumulation of nuclear DNA damage, a prolonged and unsuccessful DNA damage response, and oxidative stress. With age, an increasing number of these skin cells are not able to recover from these problems ("cellular aging"). 

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Introducing: CutiGuard CLR

Based on the above-described approaches and philosophy, CLR Berlin GmbH developed CutiGuard CLR (INCI: Betaine, Sucrose, Hydrolized Rhodophyceae Extract). CutiGuard CLR is based on Galdieria sulphuraria, a red algae which can best be described as an extreme extremophile. It can be found in hot volcanic sulfur springs but can just as well thrive among toxic metals like arsenic and mercury. Galdieria sulphuraria is an extremely adaptive and resilient species. In its quest to maintain viable even under the most hostile of environments, it can go through processes of "horizontal gene transfer", where resilience genes from other unicellular species, archaea, are transferred to Galdieria sulphuraria to make it even more extreme in its extremophilic existence.

The algae are grown locally and sustainably in Germany. In a cleverly designed, extremely efficient and sustainable fermentation process CLR transfers the adaptivity and resilience of Galdieria sulphuraria to a highly effective active ingredient that protects the skin in stressful environments. CutiGuard CLR constitutes a refined approach to the first sings of skin aging. It acts strongly against cell senescence. CutiGuard CLR reduces wrinkles and significantly improves skin smoothness as well as the evenness of skin color - three crucial factors for a healthy and young appearance.

Discover CutiGuard CLR on Covalo here

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