Sophia Loren, Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren, Christie Brinkley, Jane Fonda – they appear to be ageless women.
At least for females, the quest to remain young cosmetically far exceeds the desire to remain youthful biologically, though the two should not be separated.
A woman doesn’t have to grow old any longer, at least not cosmetically.
It’s called the “new face of youth,” referring to facial fillers used to produce a more youthful look as a person ages. [Dermatological Surgery Dec 2015] A cosmetic surgeon in Australia now urges women to tweak their facial appearance in their 30s so they don’t have to get a facelift in their 50s. Use of injectable facial fillers to help allay circles under the eyes, eliminate small wrinkles and does improve visual appearance to create a 20-year old look for a 30-year old. [Daily Mail Nov 19, 2016]
Fillers are commonly injected into the nose, lips, temples, jaw, cheeks and chin. One study reports 95% satisfaction with the aesthetic results. [Dermatological Surgery Dec 2015] Another study reports similar satisfaction with facial fillers. [Dermatological Surgery Dec 2015] Biodegradable soft-tissue fillers last up to a year or more with minimal side effects. [Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Nov 2015]
The most serious side effect reported is blindness from injection of fillers with fat injections and hyaluronic acid being the most prevalently used fillers. Most cases of vision loss do not recover. [Dermatological Surgery Oct 2015]
The pursuit of a youthful face appears to be almost grotesque in the later years. The late Joan Rivers is an example. She lived 81 years and this is what her face looked like in makeup in her last year of life.
Joan Rivers, age 81
Hyaluronic acid is the most common filler used. Adverse reactions to hyaluronic acid injections are commonly reported but affect a minority of subjects (4.25% in one study. [Dermatological Surgery Jan 2016] Abscesses and allergic reactions are reported. Asymmetry is another reported problem. [Head Face Medicine Sept 2016] Facial lumps may result among individuals who are said to be addicted to cosmetic fillers. [Journal Cosmetic Laser Therapy Nov 4, 2016] Adverse reactions to facial fillers can occur in the best hands. [Facial Plastic Surgery Oct 2016]
Melanin and skin aging
While scientists have discovered a gene (MC1R) that confers a younger looking facial appearance [Current Biology May 2016], women whose faces remain wrinkle-free are generally dark skinned. They have melanin pigment that protects against sun-damages. [BBC May 29, 2012]
Inexplicably women resort to cosmetics, topical sun screens, facial fillers and even full-blow plastic surgery to appear younger as they age, but it is the loss of estrogen which results in a decline in the internal production of hyaluronic acid that produces aging in the female face. Estrogen increases the activity of cells (fibroblasts) that produce hyaluronic acid and supplemental estrogen replacement addresses skin aging. Hormone replacement has positive effects upon dryness of hair and skin and skin thickness. [Therapie Jan 1996]
Hyaluronic acid is a space-filling, water-holding gel-like “goo” that resides in the space between cells called connective tissue. Hyaluronic acid produces smooth skin, thick hair, lubricates joints and the human vocal cords, facilitates fullness to lips, and lubricates joint spaces and whole-body flexibility. Very young children have ample amounts of hyaluronic acid whereas older women experience many visible changes of progressive aging as hyaluronic acid production declines or its degradation by enzymes (hyaluronidase, metalloproteinase) is accelerated.
Bioidentical estrogen is prescribed by physicians for menopausal women and it is a shame more women do not avail themselves of it. [Mayo Clinic Proceedings July 2011; North American Menopause Society; Jeffrey Dach MD]
Oral hyaluronic acid
Oral hyaluronic acid itself improves skin thickness and reverses damage caused by sun exposure. [Journal Photochemistry & Photobiology Dec 2015]
The notion that oral hyaluronic acid is not orally absorbed has been dispelled. [Nutrition Journal July 11, 2014] Oral HA is a remedy for dry skin.
HA was sold as a food in 1942 and was first used as a cosmetic product in 1979. Rooster combs, which are rich in hyaluronic acid were reportedly used by Princess Catherine, the wife of King Henry II in medieval France, to retain beauty. [Nutrition Journal 2014]
Oral hyaluronic acid is also effective in alleviating joint pain. [Nutrition Journal 2015] Oral hyaluronic acid reduces the pain associated with arthritis. [European Journal Rheumatology Sept 2015] Oral hyaluronic acid enhances the effect of hyaluronic acid injectsions into the knee joint for pain relief. [Clinical Therapy 2015]
A 25-milligram oral dose of Thai Kudzu (botanical name: Pueraria mirifica), derived from the root of an herbal that grows in Thailand and contains estrogen and estrogen-like molecules and functions like estrogen in the human body. [Bioactives.co.jp] It has been shown to relieve menopausal symptoms. [Archives Gynecology Obstetrics Aug 2011] This herbal has beneficial properties for skin. [Journal Reproductive Development Aug 2006]
Aloe vera gel
Oral aloe vera gel powder has been shown to suppress the loss of skin elasticity via its ability to inhibit enzymes (metalloproteinases) that break down the connective tissue in the skin and prevented a decline in hyaluronic acid. [Bioscience Biotechnology Biochemistry July 2016]
One study shows that the consumption of aloe vera gel providing 40 micrograms of sterols increased the internal production of hyaluronic acid by 1.5 fold and reduces facial wrinkles in women over 40 years of age. [Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology Feb 2015]
Pine bark extract (Pycnogenol is a common brand) 100 milligrams consumed orally has been shown to reduce aging of the skin and lighten aging spots. [Clinical Intervention Aging 2012] Its key anti-aging molecule is ferulic acid. [Free Radical Medicine Biology April 2000; Journal Food Science Oct 12, 2016]
Ferulic acid taken orally protects against solar ultraviolet aging of the skin. [Food Chemistry Toxicology Aug 2015; Skin Pharmacology Physiology 2007] Ferulic acid is sold as a stand-alone dietary supplement.
Lutein, obtained from marigold flower petals for use as a dietary supplement, has been demonstrated to protect skin from solar aging. [British Journal Dermatology Sept 23, 2016] Oral zeaxanthin (a cousin of lutein) allays facial wrinkles and increases skin moisture. [Journal Cosmetic Dermatology June 17, 2016]
Rose hips and astaxanthin have been shown to reduce skin wrinkling and aging. [Clinical Intervention Aging Nov 2015]
Astaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment available as a dietary supplement, 6 mg/day has been shown to reduce Crow’s feet and improve skin elasticity. [Acta Biochemica Poland 2012; Journal Dermatological Science May 2010]
Quercetin, a molecule found in onions and grapes and red wine, inhibits hyaluronidase, the breakdown enzyme of hyaluronic acid, and would therefore be considered an anti-aging agent for the skin. [Journal Biological Chemistry 1950]
The enhanced production or maintenance of hyaluronic acid (HA) internally through use of oral nutraceuticals is obviously more natural and significantly more affordable than hyaluronic acid injections. Physicians out of self-interest have errantly portrayed oral HA are non-bioavailable. Numerous nutraceuticals support healthy HA levels. – Bill Sardi