It`s no secret that everyone wants to look younger. Although the fountain of youth hasn`t been discovered yet, scientists and researchers have come a long way in developing anti-aging technologies in the form of lasers, creams and serums. Here are some of the most significant anti-aging breakthroughs of the last several years:
1. Fractional Photothermolysis
The newest laser technologies can rejuvenate the skin more thoroughly and with fewer side effects than earlier laser therapies. One of the best, most popular of these technologies is fractional photothermolysis, a skin resurfacing technique in which only a small portion of the skin`s surface is targeted during each treatment. This approach not only helps the skin to heal faster; it also results in less side effects.
Laser resurfacing uses lasers to bore miniscule holes in the skin`s surface, which in turn causes collagen production to accelerate. With fractional photothermolysis, this can be done without damaging the surface of the skin, thus ensuring maximum results. Most fractional photothermolysis procedures can be done within two sessions and require a recovery period of only four days.
2. Improved Pulsed Dye Lasers
Although pulsed dye lasers have been around for years, the newest ones have been drastically improved so that they can even treat and eradicate broken blood vessels without causing bruises.
Pulsed dye lasers work by concentrating the laser beam onto the blood vessels, effectively destroying them while keeping the skin completely undamaged. Pulsed dye lasers have proven to be effective in eliminating not only blood vessels, but also scars, birthmark stains and other types of skin marks and discolorations that can give the appearance of aging.
Derived from vitamin A, retinoids are chemical compounds that can help to repair skin damage due to synthetic chemicals (such as cosmetics), sun and environmental exposure. Although retinoids can be expensive, many of today`s retinoid based products are affordably priced, making them a popular option for those who are concerned about fine lines and wrinkles.
Peptides contain proteins that have proven to be successful in stimulating collagen production. Researchers have found that peptides can also be effective in blocking the release of neurotransmitters, which can cause wrinkles. Scientists are now trying to develop new peptide formulations that can yield maximum anti-aging results. In the meantime, a variety of peptide based creams are currently available in today`s retail market. As with retinoids, these are priced to be relatively affordable and especially appeal to those who would prefer not to have laser surgery.
5. Growth Factors
Growth factors are compounds that work as chemical conduits between skin cells to stimulate collagen production. Scientists have developed epidermal growth factor serums containing enzymes that are capable of repairing skin cell damage. Growth factor serums utilize a variety of compounds, from specially formulated e-coli bacteria to natural plant stem cells.
6. Skin Filler Therapies
Although skin fillers have been around for a number of years, the newest skin fillers have been reformulated to create a fuller appearance in all areas of the face and neck. Originally created to fill fine lines and wrinkles, these new and improved plumping fillers can now be used to create a youthful, sculpted look in any type of facial structure.
7. Telomere Therapies
Scientists have found that an enzyme called telomerase is capable of extending the tips, known as telomeres, of human chromosomes. Many researchers feel that by doing so, telomerase is capable of blocking cellular senescence, a natural aging condition in which cells can no longer divide or replicate themselves. Although scientists don`t agree on how effective this can be in battling the aging process, one product, a natural telomerase activator called TA-65, is already available on the retail market.
Scientists and researchers believe that oxygen releases reactive compounds, known as free radicals that can speed up the aging process. To combat this, our cells already contain naturally produced antioxidants. In recent years, however, scientists have found ways of extracting and purifying these antioxidants, as well as synthesizing them. Today`s antioxidant supplements are usually sold in pill or cream form and typically contain vitamins A, C and E as well as coenzyme Q10.
Antioxidants are also naturally found in a number of food items such as green tea and coffee berry. Recently, scientists have found that the antioxidant found in coffee berry contains the most powerful anti-aging properties yet discovered and coffee berry based products are already being formulated for the retail market.
As one of the newest compounds on the market, ALT-711 has already been proven to be effective against heart disease and many scientists feel that it holds a number of anti-aging properties as well. ALT-711 helps to prevent glucose from attaching itself to proteins in the body and therefore can improve arterial elasticity.
10. Stem Cell Technology
This is an area that is continuing to be developed, but researchers are confident that fat cells, which contain adult stem cells, can be utilized in facial rejuvenation. Scientists believe that these stem cells can be reformatted into the skin`s structure, thus adding youthful volume.
Whether you`re considering having laser surgery, looking at health products or merely pondering the purchase of an over-the-counter face cream, your dermatologist can help you identify which anti-aging products and treatments will offer the best results, with the least side effects.