Aging is an important skin care concern, manifested as dry, rough skin with fine lines and wrinkles. Skin aging occurs either as a result of the natural aging of the body or prematurely due to harsh environmental stresses such as UV irradiation. Production of free radicals and the inability of our body to neutralize them results in oxidative damage to some of the vital components of the cell such as proteins, fatty acids and DNA. Among the changes that occur during the normal aging process is the decrease in levels of different hormones that have a great impact on the general health as well as skin health. For instance, estradiol promotes skin circulation and increases hydration; the result is a radiant, soft and elastic skin. In women, after menopause the levels reduce drastically and there are many changes as a result of that. One of them is the change in appearance and texture of skin. Environmental stressors result in production of free radicals which cause oxidative damage, results in rapid apoptosis of the skin cells. Some of the stressors have endocrine disrupting properties too and therefore hasten the onset and progression of skin aging.
Various treatments have been tried with success to delay the aging process or reduce its manifestations. These treatments include antioxidants, ingredients that promote hydration, collagen and elastin production, and hormones. Anti-aging hormones include Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, estradiol, melatonin, and growth hormone (GH). These hormones are administered either in the form of dietary supplements and injectables or as topical applications. However, it is noteworthy to mention that hormonal therapy is not always effective and can have various side effects such as hyperpigmentation. A recent addition to the anti-aging skincare is the use of growth factors and peptides that stimulate cell renewal and synthesis of essential proteins such as collagen and elastin. Another class of ingredients that has found wide applicability in anti-aging skin care is peptides that relax the facial muscles and reduce fine lines, wrinkles, under eye circles and crows feet.