Inflammaging ~ Inflamming the Skin for the Sake of Beauty

4/16/2014 Osmosis Skincare 0 Comments

Inflammation. For the past 30+ years of aesthetic medicine, the industry has fooled you into believing that adding inflammation to the skin in order to induce the anti-aging effect is a GOOD thing. Not only is this mindset antiquated but incredibly archaic as well. In the desire for immediate gratification, we have lost all understanding and respect for skin design and function. Aging is a progressive degenerative process that results from the accumulation over time of unfavorable changes at the molecular and cellular levels. While the complete mechanism of the aging process is not fully understood, inflammation absolutely plays a major role, inevitably linking inflammation and aging.

Inflammation is really the body (and skin's) Catch-22, if you will. Subsequent to trauma or infection, the inflammatory response is the second step initiated, in order activate and complete the healing process. This cascade is designed to eradicate microbial pathogens, stimulate the tissue repair process, and bring all function to physiological homeostasis. In an acute stage, inflammation is VITAL for the body to heal. Without it we would die from a simple cut or the common cold. But in a chronic state, inflammation is the driving force behind not only chronological and biological aging, but degenerative disease as well. Harsh exfoliating strategies, constant barrier disruption, toxic ingredient profiles, all lead to a silent chronic state of inflammation in the skin. Tell tale signs of this are redness, heat, swelling, pain, and ultimately a complete loss of skin function. What actually happens, from a histological perspective, when we constantly keep our skin in a state of inflammation for the sake of beauty, and how does it actually promote the aging process? 

  • Increase in oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species, leading to protein oxidation.
  • Damage to mitochondrial DNA. Mutations here prevent ATP (cellular energy) formation, and inhibit proper cell apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
  • Sharp increase in immunosenescence, leading to a rapid decline in the skin's innate and adaptive immune system.
  • Shortening of telomeres, DNA sequences at the end of your chromosomes that are designed to protect them. Shortened telomeres are markers for biological aging.
  • Altering the way your genes express themselves, via epigenetic modification. Scary stuff, especially when it comes to skin cancer.
  • Increase of MMP’s (matrix metalloproteinase), enzymes that destroy protein and tissue.
When we understand what really happens to the skin when in a chronic
inflammatory state, we have to ask ourselves – Why does the industry keep
telling us these methods and modalities are ok?

When it comes to skin care, we here at Osmosis throw fluffy esthetic ideology out the door, in favor of real hardcore science. Why? Well, when it comes to skin, science is all we know, and science is all that matters. With that mindset, we have decided to create the ultimate partnership with the skin, respecting and supporting its structure and function. Give the skin the tools it needs to regain and maintain homeostasis, and it will respond beautifully. Choosing inflammation, as a way to promote anti-aging is something we avoid at all costs, and we encourage you to do the same.

Believe us when we say your skin will thank you.

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