Beauty Store Business

JAN 2016

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Page 43 of 111

42 January 2016 | Skincare Spotlight WHEN THINKING ABOUT WHAT CAUSES ACCEL- erated or premature skin aging, we typically think about free radicals; the sun; maybe smoking; maybe sugar. Not often do we think about inflammation. Yet we shouldÑinflammation is a pro-ager. What exactly does this mean, and why is this the case? This column may be slightly more technical or scientific than my usual review of industry trends or ingredients; but it is key that our industry understand inflammationÑand its role in aging (of the skin and beyond). Only with this clear understanding can we perform one of our key roles, which is to reeducate (or sometimes reeducate) our customers and help them lead the healthiest life possible, and look youthful for as long as possible. SOME INFLAMMATION IS GOOD As is usually the case in science, it would be too simple to just say that inflammation is bad. It is not a question of black or white; it is all in shades of grey. Between the interior of the human body and the harmful factors present in its environment, the skin provides a reactive, self-renewing, ÒsmartÓ barrier of protection. But if this barrier of protection is compromised, the second line of defense comes into play. This defense is the process of inflammation, which occurs to protect the body from infection and stimulate repair. We are all familiar with the signs of swelling, pain, heat and redness that occur with inflammation. Inflammatory protection has been key to ancestral human survival, which depended largely on the ability to resist infection and disease. Short-term inflammation is thus an important response to infection or harm being done to the body. TOO MUCH INFLAMMATION IS BAD However, over the long-term, inflammation has been found to be associated with aging and several diseases that are often observed later in life. Inflammation accelerates the aging process Diabetes, AlzheimerÕs disease and heart disease are just some of the ailments that are associated with inflammation. Aging itself appears to be a result of an accumulation of inflammation over a lifetime. As opposed to all other systems that decrease with time or become destabilized, inflammation actually progressively accumulates with age. A measure of inflammation can also predict the future occurrence of cancers, diabetes and heart disease. What helps the body survive in the short-term appears to be detrimental for long-term health. ÒInflammagingÓ is a term that refers to inflammation associated with the acceleration of the aging process. This is a chronic inflammation response that comes from both low-level exterior irritants and interior accumulation of free radical damage. Constant exposure to low-level pollution, irritants, smoke, cytotoxic substances and UV light leads the body to believe that it is being constantly invaded. This triggers chronic inflammation that sets in over time, to be ready to fight against this perceived constant invasion and protect the body. While initially triggered as a protection system, chronic inflammation leads to an increase in free radicals within our bodies. "INFLAMMAGING" AGES THE SKIN As we know, the skin is particularly susceptible to the damage produced by free radicals. Collagen and elastin, the components in the skin which maintain its healthy appearance, are easily degraded in the presence of free radicals resulting from inflammation. A state of chronic inflammation thus accelerates skin aging due to destruction of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in the skin tissue. Dermal fibroblasts produce collagen; but in a state of chronic inflammation, instead of producing collagen, these cells produce enzymes that destroy collagen and other skin tissues. This destruction allows the immune system to have easy access to the detected inflamma- tion site to treat the infection. However, in the case of chronic inflammation, there is often no infection present that can be solved by means of free radical attack. The result can be overall chronic damage to delicate tissues such as skin tissue. In combination with the increased amount of free radicals, which accumulate in the cells, the result is more inflammation and damaged skin tissue in a vicious cycle leading to accelerated aging. REEDUCATING OUR CUSTOMERS The long-term effects of inflammation on skin aging are important to keep in mind when using skincare treatments and products. Chronic inflammation can be induced or Infl ammation + Aging = Infl ammaging Help your customers understand infl ammation's impact on aging skin and how they can stay looking youthful for as long as possible. by Ada S. Polla Image courtesy of Ada S. Polla; photo by Kelli Dailey,Third Line Studios "Inflammaging" is a term that refers to inflammation associated with the acceleration of the aging process. Free Radical Production Free Radical Damage Free Radical Accumulation 1. Infammation Oxidized Proteins Accumulation Of Tissue Damage

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