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Anti-aging Ingredients - Selection Guide

The scope of anti aging ingredients has widened; no one wants to look old when the cosmetics and personal care industry has offered several advanced solutions for the aging skin. Read on to understand the main challenges associated while formulating anti-aging formulations and choose the best anti-aging ingredients as well as other much needed ingredients & their performance characteristics while developing anti-aging formulations.

Ingredient Selection and Formulation Tips


Anti Aging Ingredients Selection Skin aging is a complex biological process, which results in a decline in biochemical and physiological function, leading to:

  • Loss of skin luminosity and smoothness
  • Lack of skin tone homogeneity
  • Dark circles
  • Loss of firmness
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Dark spots
  • Skin dryness
  • Sagging skin
  • Loss of elasticity

When developing an anti-aging formulation, the formulator faces a very complex task. In addition to proper vehicle selection, emulsifying systems and creating a pleasing and appropriate texture, he has to select the proper active ingredients and comply with stability, cost constraints and regulatory constraints.

Many biological mechanisms are affected by skin aging and suppliers offer a plethora of ingredients. So how to proceed?

  1. An approach can be to first define carefully the skin benefits that are desired together with selecting a desired texture.
  2. Once they are defined, one needs to investigate the most efficient active ingredients to achieve the desired effect through thorough literature search.

Let's discuss, in detail, different type of ingredients and their role while formulating anti-aging products...

Essential Ingredients for Anti-aging Cosmetics


The choice of texture is very important, reverse emulsion, direct emulsion, triple emulsion, gel, and oils will have an impact on the efficacy of the product.

To ease the selection of ingredients and systems, we have gathered here a list of ingredients that could be used in a formulation for First Signs of Aging: Moisturizer SPF 15 to get even skin tone and minimize lines.

The list of ingredients described in the matrix is non exhaustive. To address the first signs of aging, bringing moisture, correcting lines and improving the skin tone homogeneity, these categories of ingredients are essential.

Essential ingredients Examples
UV Filters for Anti-aging Formulations
UV Protection
  • Avobenzone 
  • Octyl salicylate
  • Octocrylene
Role of Anti-oxidants in Anti-aging Formulations
Anti-oxidant
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E 
  • Polyphenols, Green tea, Grape seed, Sylimarin 
  • Flavonoids Sylbin Resveratrol Ginko Biloba
Anti-inflammatory Actives and Anti-aging Formulations
Anti-inflammatory
  • Allantoin 
  • Glycyrrhetinic acid
  • Aloe vera, Calendula, Curcuma longa , Camomille
Melanin Inhibiting Activity of Anti-aging Formulations
Melanin inhibition
  • Niacinamide 
  • Ascorbyl phosphate 
  • Flavonoids 
  • Peptide
Collagen Synthesis for Skin Tone Improvement
Collagen synthesis
  • Copper Peptide-Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7
  • Retinol -Retinyl palmitate
  • Centelia asiatica
  • Vitamin C
Anti-aging Formulations with Moisturizing Activity
Moisturizing
  • Polysaccharides 
  • Sodium lactate 
  • HA 
  • NMF like 

  »  View all Anti-aging commercial grades and suppliers in Cosmetics Ingredients Database

This cosmetics ingredients database is available to all, free of charge. You can filter down your options by INCI, applications, origin/nature and many more dimensions.

Antioxidants & UV Filters and their Contributions to Anti-aging Formulations


Environment, pollution, solar radiation and cigarette smoke generate free radicals in the skin which can be destructive with varying degrees of severity. Proteins (collagen, elastane), cellular membrane lipids and DNA can be damaged causing disorders that can cause premature ageing. We therefore need to protect ourselves against them. The application of antioxidant and/or antiradical products on the skin is recommended.

These antioxidants and anti-radicals are either:

  • Molecular (e.g. vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols, etc.) or 
  • Enzymatic (SOD, Catalase, etc.) or 
  • In the form of trace elements (selenium, copper, zinc etc.). 

Solar radiation – particularly UVAs – received daily play a major role in the ageing process, particularly in the production of free radicals. Daily treatments integrating a sunscreen are therefore strongly recommended. Sunscreens are strongly regulated and approved sunscreens differ in Europe and in the US. Broad spectrum and balanced UV A&B is required.

Antioxidants SPF Protection
Skin Tone
Improvement
Moisture Lines Attenuation   Strengths & Weaknesses
 Vit C 
  tick
   tick
 VitC + Vit E work in synergy
 Vit E
  tick
  tick
 Quercetin
  tick
  tick
 
 Ellagic acid
  tick
  tick
 Solubility poor
Sylimarin;
Green tea extract;
Grape seed extract;
Ginkgo biloba;
Milk thistle
  tick
  tick
 Low level, color
 OPC
  tick
    Solubility-stability
 Resveratrol
  tick
  tick

UV Filters SPF Protection Strengths & Weaknesses
Avobenzone 3% SPF 15 Approved US + Europe
Octyl salicylate 5%
Octocrylene 2.74% With solvent
Homosalate 7%
Antioxidants & UV filters Selection Matrix


Role of Anti inflammatory Ingredients When Used in Anti-aging Formulations


As the skin is aggressed (heat, UV light, chemicals…), it leads to the release of enzymes such as collagenases, elastases, hyaluronidases. These enzymes degrade the extracellular matrix leading to skin wrinkling. This calls for the addition of effective anti inflammatory ingredients in the anti-aging formulation.

Small amounts of anti inflammatory ingredients are usually effective. Some natural extracts having anti inflammatory properties can be more complex to use. These extracts could be flavonoids as their strong colors, odors, and sensitivity to oxidation may shorten product shelf life and modify preparation aesthetic properties. In order to deliver active ingredients and stabilize the formulations, encapsulation technologies make them easier to incorporate.


Anti-inflammatories SPF Protection
Skin Tone
Improvement
Moisture Lines Attenuation   Strengths & Weaknesses
 Curcumin
      tick
 Solubility - Stability
Caffein
      tick
 Solubility
Resveratrol
  tick   tick
Allantoin
      tick
Aloe vera
  tick   tick
Quercetin
      tick


Collagen Synthesis Ingredients and their Contributions to Anti-aging Formulations


Rebuilding the extracellular matrix via collagen synthesis together with moisturizing the epidermis is the main approach to correct first lines.

Addition or stimulation of essential NMF elements for better skin barrier, and humectant effect, improving skin hydrolipidic barrier by adding / stimulating essential lipids, normalizing intracellular water transfer via aquaporins; For Collagen enhancers, choice is among vitamin C and derivatives, peptides, soy derivatives, retinol and derivatives, centella asiatica. Finally Skin tone homogeneity a main player in facial attractiveness is directly linked to melanin.

Anti-inflammatories SPF Protection
Skin Tone
Improvement
Moisture Lines Attenuation   Strengths & Weaknesses
 Vitamin C
      ticktick
 Expensive
 Peptides
      ticktick
 Expensive
 Retinol & Esters
         Stability/ irritation
 Centella asiatica, Whey protein, Soy isoflavones and saponins
      ticktick
 Natural


Melanin Inhibitors and their Possible Contributions to Anti-aging Formulations


To inhibit melanin production, transport oxidation several ingredients show good activity from natural ingredients, vitamins and peptides.

Peptides are very expensive while natural flavonoids concentration is limited due to color issues. Vitamin C is most used in stabilized form and is also expensive. Resveratrol is expensive. A combination of them is often preferred.

Melanin Inhibitors SPF Protection
Skin Tone
Improvement
Moisture Lines Attenuation   Strengths & Weaknesses
 Resveratrol
tick
       Stability
 Niacinamide
tick
       Affordable
 Ascorbic acid
tick
       Expensive
 Peptides
tick
       Expensive
 Licorice, mulberry,  scutellaria, flavonoids
         Colored ingredients


Moisturizing Ingredients and Their Contributions to Anti-aging Formulations


Skin deprived of moisture is more prone to aging. Dry skin types get more wrinkles and fine lines than moisturized ones. Moisturizing ingredients in anti aging formulations help in minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Moisturizers are often used as secret ingredients in several anti aging formulations.

Moisturizing Ingredients SPF Protection
Skin Tone
Improvement
Moisture Lines Attenuation   Strengths & Weaknesses
 Sodium lactate
    tick
  Affordable
 NMF like
    tick
 
 Polysaccharides
    tick
 
 Hyaluronic acid
    tick
  Expensive
 Ceramides
    tick
 
 Glycerin
    tick
   Low Cost


Commercially Available Anti-aging Ingredients for Cosmetics & Personal Care Products






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