Friday, January 2, 2009

The Big Five - The Skinny on Skin Care Ingredients for 2009

What's new in the world of skin care ingredients for 2009? Plenty! 2009 will see its fair share of ingredients containing berries (antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids) and peptides (stimulate collagen and promote repair) galore. The most exciting wave of the future of skin care, however, is the science and technology that produces intelligent skin care, . . . smart, targeted and programmable skin care ingredients.

1. Intelligent Skin Care: Scientifically, skin care ingredients are moving ahead as fast as medicine and medications, and often the science overlaps. Millions of dollars, if not billions, are being spent on research and development for intelligent ingredients. The goal is not to replace skin components, but to make the skin repair, regenerate and detoxify itself more efficiently, in other words, function more like a young skin than a tired, mature one. For example, we cannot replace collagen, but we can trigger the fibroblasts to make collagen. We can also slow down the function of the enzymes that degrade our natural collagen. The science is becoming so specific that some key peptides can trigger the DNA to repair itself quicker, even before more damage occurs. This is great news because as we age DNA gets slower at repairing itself and the more damaged it becomes the less likely the cell will regenerate.

2. Nanotechnology: A science where size definitely matters. The smaller, the better. Microscopic 'nano-ingredients' have the ability to penetrate deeper within the skin, directly deliver active ingredients and increase their efficiency. Companies using this type of technology can promise their clients exactly what they want . . . faster visual results. Older technology is slower to deliver, and unfortunately, the wasted time may allow certain ingredients to oxidize and lose their potency.

3. Targeted Delivery: Ingredients are often encapsulated, vectorized (loaded into a vehicle), or coupled with another ingredient to control a perfect delivery of active ingredients to a specific target. The delivery system is based on the same theory used in pharmaceuticals where each drug knows the location of the problem and is programmed to head straight for it. On that note, Cosmeceuticals, the cosmetic and pharmaceutical pairing, are once again on the rise in 2009 utilizing the successful methodology of targeted delivery.

4. Neurocosmetics: Increasing cellular communication, (the kind you don't need a long distance plan for), is becoming more and more of a priority and the future will bring even more efficiency using neurocosmetic ingredients. Neurocosmetics have the ability to affect the brain's response to topical treatments with specific ingredients programmed to trigger a desired response. The cool feeling that mint has on the skin is a perfect example of a neuro effect.

5. Time Frame Licenses: The scientific realm is accustomed to being immersed in a shroud of secrecy. This type of 'hush-hush' environment in the world of skin care has resulted in more trademarks and registered insignias seen on ingredient lists with no other explanations. Companies are giving the trade names of ingredients without disclosing what they are and how they are created. It is becoming common place for Time Frame licenses to be purchased by skin care manufacturers to use these new discoveries exclusively for a specific time period.

We predict the trend for 2009 rests heavily on science and technology in a bid to boost the efficiency of powerful ingredients. The real beauty of this trend will produce skin care products with the ability to deliver calculated results. Anti-aging skin care at its finest!