In an industry moving at breakneck speed, the advent of INFLAMMAGING serves as both a wakeup call and an ultimatum to product developers, cosmetic companies and skincare professionals alike. Scientific evidence suggests that many of today’s trademark treatments may actually exacerbate the conditions they are designed to treat in the long term, thanks to a phenomenon known as INFLAMMAGING – a term first coined by Professor Claudio Franceschi (University of Bologna) to describe chronic, persistent inflammation which is one of the main causes of ageing!
As the concept of inflammaging goes mainstream, it will result in widespread changes in the professional skincare industry, transforming everything from the ingredients to methods of its use. Most professionals are familiar with the visible signs of inflammation seen on the surface of the skin, representing infection, irritation or discomfort. However, weakened skin is at risk of invisible inflammation which exhausts the body’s defense system, dismantling key youth-sustaining skin structures, resulting in collagen and elastin degradation. The “inflammaging” process is a complex chain of events where acute inflammation and repeated injury gives way to Chronic or Silent inflammation leading to deep wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, flaccid and inelastic tissue.
How Inflammaging causes Skin Ageing
There is a direct link between extrinsic skin- ageing and inflammation – the reciprocal effect of many chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic & seborrheic dermatitis on the stratum corneum barrier which is supposed to maintain the skin’s healthy hydration levels but when this integrity is compromised, an immune disorder occurs.
The integrity of this barrier is maintained by the metabolic balance such as the synthesis of collagen fibers and the replacement of old and worn-out fibers and skin cells by means of enzymes called matrix metallo-proteinases (MMP). It is therefore important for all Skincare Professionals to promote an Enzyme Peel once a month as part of their client’s skincare maintenance program, to ensure that the stratum corneum maintains healthy hydration levels so the deeper skin layers can continue to replace old collagen fibers through the process of MMP.
Inflammaging on the other hand, destroys this balance, decreasing cellular metabolic activity and collagen renewal. Externally the skin loses its suppleness and elasticity and becomes flaccid, generating reactive oxygen species accelerating oxidative damage, which perpetuates a chronic, pro-inflammatory state!
Popular Ingredients that Combat Inflammaging
Allantoin, Turmeric, Beta Glucans, L-Bisabolol, Blue Agave, Catalase, L-Glutathione, Green Tea, Aloe Vera, Mangosteen, Willow Herbs, Magnolia Bark, Omega-3 & 6, Resveratol, Spin Traps, Tamanu Oil, Tocopherols, Camu Camu, L-Ascorbic Acid, Boswellic Acid, Copper Peptides, Giant Knotweed, Noni Fruit Extract, Rosemary Extracts, Alpha Lipolic Acid, Plant Stem Cells and Superoxide Dismutase
As a Skincare Professional you should:
- Combine treatments to target the source of inflammation choosing your Acids wisely when providing Peel treatments such as Cabernet Peel (rich in Resveratrol), Lactic, Salicylic, Malic or Pyruvic acids, which work well in the Epidermal layer.
- Reinforce the barrier functions after exfoliation by protecting the natural moisturizing factor against trans- epidermal water loss (TEWL).
- Include serums containing ingredients rich in epidermal growth factors or amino acids, phospholipids, hyaluronic acids, lactates etc. infused into the skin, followed with cremes rich in Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help counteract irritation and combat inflammaging.
- Protect your treatment results with proper UV defense (SPF 30 +) and barrier support to minimize the visible effects of inflammaging.
Inflammation, while recognized as the body’s response to cellular aggression or injury, also represents a defense mechanism designed to heal cells suffering from injury and protects the area from the consequences of that injury. However, inflammation also facilitates early tissue healing and repair as seen after any ANTIAGEING Laser treatment, allowing the body to restore itself to normal functions.
The Complete Healing of an Injury
The complete healing of an injury can take several months as it goes through three phases in the healing process.
In the inflammatory stage, healing proteins enter the damaged area, pushing the tissues apart with its swelling. This jump-starts the proliferation stage where white blood cells and macrophages begin cleaning the wound, contracting it as it receives oxygen and vital nutrients for regeneration. The remodelling stage is characterized by the production, organization and remodelling of collagen to strengthen the wound or injured area during laser, RF, peels or IPL treatments.
Research shows that repeated injury to the wounded area and insufficient time allowed for healing could lead to the chronic state of inflammation known as “inflammaging”. Although anti-inflammatory ingredients are essential in the fight against inflammaging, any successful treatment must address the reinforcement and protection of the barrier functions of the epidermis by using topical care and broad spectrum UV protection, as inflammaging will only worsen with prolonged sun exposure.