Anti-aging technologies come to the fore in 2009

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Anti-aging skin care Skin Us

A number of new anti-aging technologies have come to the fore in the course of this year, as research and development teams chase new opportunities in this still fast-growing category.

An increasing spend on personal care products over the past ten years, combined with an aging population of baby boomers keen to maintain youthful looks means that demand for anti-aging cosmetics shows no sign of waning.

Indeed, at the beginning of this year, market researcher Mintel predicted that the anti-aging segment would be one of the few personal care categories to get through the economic downturn relatively unscathed, with sales expected to continue rising at double digit growth rates.

Anti-aging skincare​ sales in the US rose 13 percent to $1.6bn between 2006 and 2008, outpacing the general facial skincare, which was up 11 percent over the same period, according to Mintel.

Glycation makes its mark

One key area of anti-aging that emerged during the course of 2009 was the treatment of skin glycation, with European brands such as Ark Age Aware, Chanel and La Roche-Posay all launching lines targeting glycation during the course of 2009.

The glycation process impairs the functioning of biomolecules, which in skin serves to weaken the structure at a cellular level, leading to a less firm surface and a greater tendency towards wrinkling.

Although glycation as a skin care issue has taken off in Europe, it was first identified by US cosmeceutical provider Dr. Brandt, which was established by celebrity dermatologist Dr. Frederic Brandt.

The year also saw the unveiling of the world’s first anti-aging aftershave, developed by New York-based Dermaplus and launched on the market back in May.

Anti-aging aftershave

DermaLastyl-m aftershave contains elastatropin, a bioengineered form of the tropoelastin (a building block of human elastin) which appears in many of the company's anti-aging products.

The biotechnology company says the elastatropin helps decrease the appearance of existing wrinkles and restore a youthful complexion by providing support and flexibility to the skin cells.

Meanwhile, there has also been a plethora of developments for anti-aging ingredients, driven by the demand for formulations that are technologically advanced and in turn effective.

Key developments this year included the launch of Frutarom’s nutricosmetic bioactive extract, Lifevantage, adapting its nutraceutical antioxidant ingredient to skin care and a new technology developed by Texas-based HermaBiotech to render animal-derived ingredients such as collagen up to 100 times purer.

Stem cell technology

But perhaps the biggest development for anti-aging formulations was in the area of stem cell technology.

In a conference held at the HBA event, in New York, back in September, lead LVMH scientist Eric Perrier underlined how such technologies were the path towards efficacy in a jar, as opposed to hope in a jar.

Another speaker at the conference, Boris Petrikovsky, senior scientific advisor for skin care company Bellis Development, discussed his research into fetal skin and how this could present new opportunities for anti-aging ingredients.

According to Petrikovsky, fetal skin heals in a completely different way to adult skin and bears little resemblance to the classic wound repair that scientists are used to and stem cell technology can be used to render it suitable for anti-aging treatments.

As 2009 draws to an end technologically and scientifically advanced anti-aging skin care formulations continue to proliferate, and with this proving to be the key driving factor for the categories, 2010 is set to throw up some equally spectacular developments.

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