ASCP Skin Deep


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Page 33 of 92 31 Damage Control For clients who didn't prevent signs of aging, try ingredients that can repair by Mark Lees, PhD expertadvice SKIN SOLUTIONS Last issue, we discussed the two major types of skin aging and the need for daily sunscreen use to help prevent photoaging and, of course, skin cancer. In this issue, we will address contemporary performance ingredients that can also help prevent and repair skin damage that can make skin look older. ANTIOXIDANTS Antioxidants are an important category of ingredients in helping prevent damage caused by both sun exposure and other forms of infl ammation. Antioxidants work on a molecular level and are not as well understood or appreciated by consumers as other more publicized ingredients— like alpha hydroxy acids or peptides—that cause more immediately visible positive eff ects. When infl ammation occurs in the skin, oxygen molecules become unstable—these are called free radicals—and begin an assault on skin cells in an attempt to stabilize themselves. This triggers a biochemical domino eff ect of reactions in the skin that end in signaling the production of self- destruct enzymes to destroy collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid (which, as you know, are responsible for skin fi rmness, elasticity, and volume, respectively). These tiny molecular injuries to the skin's structural components are not seen immediately. Over time, however, the tiny injuries add up to cause enough structural damage to show up as wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of old-looking skin. Antioxidants work by stabilizing the oxygen radicals to prevent or interrupt the destructive cascade of chemical reactions. Because there are diff erent levels of the cascade, diff erent antioxidants help neutralize diff erent parts of the chain reaction. Well-known antioxidants in the skin care laboratory include: • Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate • Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate Over time, tiny injuries add up to cause enough structural damage to show up as wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of old- looking skin.

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