This article is written in partnership with Alive by Science. They’re dedicated to helping us live healthier and age better—we’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.
We might’ve found the Holy Grail of “Anti-Aging” Skincare.
Getting older is a strange paradox.
We are more comfortable in our own skin as we age. We are also more confronted by our own aging skin.
Time brings the wisdom of perspective. But even the wisest women I know struggle to embrace the creases and changes that also come with the territory.
We may declare ourselves “Age-Positive.” We may show off our greys. But we still click on anything with “Anti-Aging” in the headline.
Trust me, I’ve seen the analytics.
And it’s only human. We’re visual, social creatures—caring about the way we look is natural.
So, by all means, let’s reclaim and reframe what it means to “age gracefully. ” But, at the same time, let’s not cancel the complex truth because we think we should feel differently. Denying our insecurities about aging only gives unscrupulous marketers more leverage to profit from them.
How else would the Anti-Aging Products market in the U.S. have reached an estimated worth of $14.2 billion in 2020? It’s one of the few industries unaffected by the pandemic, and it’s only projected to keep growing.
As long as we fear aging, cosmetics companies can continue to bamboozle us with scientific-sounding buzzwords from air-brushed celebrities.
Let’s educate and empower ourselves instead, so we can enjoy healthier, happier aging.
With the help of Alive by Science’s chief skin science geek (not her official title), Monica Dominiak, I set out to sort a few scientific facts from marketing fiction when it comes to how our skin works, why it ages, and what we can do about it:
Want your Skin to Age Gracefully? Ask a Biochemist.
The two biggest problems with most “anti-aging” skincare?
1. We don’t understand our own anatomy: how our skin works, and what works for our skin.
2. The cosmetics industry knows we don’t know. Combined with a surprising lack of regulation, companies can claim pretty much anything without having to prove much at all.
Let’s agree, then, that it’s only sensible to stop taking skincare advice from cosmetic industry-sponsored celebrities and start taking it from scientists instead.
Science-based solutions are the way forward for those of us who want to live healthier and age better. This is what’s at the heart of Alive by Science’s mission: they’re a team of biomedical researchers, doctors, physicians, and formulators dedicated to creating accessible ways for us to benefit from the latest science in longevity and regenerative health.
Why Collagen Creams & Most Anti-Aging Moisturizers are 90% BS.
Our skin protects us from environmental threats and toxins, and it’s damn good at its job.
The biology of the skin makes it impossible for most skincare products to do anything except sit on the surface as topical fillers.
At best, they can moisturize and smooth out the stratum corneum—the outer layer of the epidermis (skin), also known as the “horny layer,” because of its toughened, animal-horn-like cells. Yes, really.
So, you’re basically a rhinoceros and no collagen cream is ever going to work.
Monica explains it a little more scientifically. The epidermis—though made up of many sublayers and only 1mm thick—is incredibly effective at keeping most active ingredients in skincare products out. The molecules inside most creams and lotions are also too large to penetrate the first dermal layer.
One more thing about collagen: it’s one of the bigger buzzwords around, but it isn’t the only reason wrinkles form on our skin as we age.
3 Causes of Wrinkles:
1. Loss of other substances in the skin like hyaluronic acid, a clear, gooey substance naturally produced by your body to retain water and keep your tissues well lubricated and moist.
2. Changes in the types of collagen and elastin in the skin. Collagen basically plumps up the skin, elastin is a highly elastic key protein that helps it bounce back when poked or pinched
3. Thickening and dehydration of the stratum corneum: that good ol’ horny layer again.
Scientifically speaking, skin aging can be divided into photoaging and chronological aging. Photoaging is characterized by morphological changes that include deep wrinkles and loss of elasticity. (1.) Skin ages when the main cells in the dermis lose their identity and function. With age, tissues lose their function and capacity to regenerate after being damaged. (2.)
Wrinkles are also not the only reason so many of us obsess about skincare and the products we use.
3 Common Skin Concerns the Anti-Aging Industry Overlooks:
1. Acne & other inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea & eczema
2. Hyperpigmentation & uneven pigment (including age and sun spots).
3. Dry and dehydrated skin.
More than just “Anti-Wrinkle” Cream: this might be the Holy Grail of Skincare >>
To complement their extensive range of science-based supplements and solutions for healthy aging, Alive by Science has launched a new line of products for restorative skincare.
It’s called Renue™ and it features four products: a body lotion, a body serum, a day cream, and face serum.
One early reviewer calls their Transdermal Lotion (body lotion) the “Holy Grail of Skincare.” As a cautious, evidence-based person, I thought this sounded a bit far-flung. But after using it myself, together with their Age Defense Day Cream and Age-Defying Face Serum for the past month, I’m inclined to see her point.
Not only does it address all three causes of wrinkles, but it also covers our more overlooked skin concerns.
I have fair and sensitive skin, probably thanks to my Scottish heritage. It’s prone to redness, sun-induced blotches and bumps, and the occasional mild breakout. I also turned 38 this year, so I’m now one of those people who click on “Anti-Aging” Anything, even though I am pro-natural and graceful aging.
The first thing I noticed is how different Renue™ products feel from most creams—even light, natural serums or oils, which I tend to favor.
Neither thick nor oily, my skin just soaks them up and feels light and silky afterward. Honestly, I have to remind myself more than ever not to touch my face because my skin is just so smooth. I can’t get over it. It only took a few days for me to feel this difference, especially on my face, neck, and arms (the areas most exposed to the harsh South African sun I’ve spent most of my life in).
My skin looks brighter and seems calmer. Some noticeable creases in my decolletage area for example also appear to have smoothed and softened. What I like about Renue™ is that it’s less like a cover-up job, and more like polishing the windows. My skin doesn’t just look better, it feels healthier, from the inside-out—like all the vegetables I eat and water I drink and exercise I enjoy can shine through even more.
They smell amazing, too (the serum, especially): clean, subtle, not overpowering or chemical-ey at all for a product that’s pretty darn powerful.
The 3 Heroes of Healthy Aging.
How and why the Renue™ products work is pretty unique. These are not your garden-variety “Anti-Aging” lotions or potions.
It heroes three science-backed healthy aging ingredients that show promising results in studies to not only support healthier cellular aging but actually regenerate damaged cells:
1. NAD+: “Our most promising anti-aging strategy yet.”
2. Resveratrol: “An effective anti-aging molecule with diverse biologic activity.”
3. Apocynin: “Improves the function of active stem cells, re-awakens dormant stem cells, and has potent immune-regulatory properties.”
Unlike most cosmetic brands, they also specify the dosage of each of these ingredients, so you know exactly how much you’re getting:
But healthy aging hero molecules are no good if they can’t get where they need to go.
Alive by Science has harnessed liposomal technology to enable these active ingredients to “enter the gates” of the outer skin layers and deliver their regenerative benefits to the cells of deeper layers and other tissues throughout
Basically, this means they break down the molecules of these three heroes of healthy aging into smaller parts, small enough to penetrate the skin. Then, they wrap each tiny molecule in a protective, oil-based layer with a natural cell structure that our body recognizes (using sunflower-based lecithin). They go a step further still, using airless technology in their packaging to prevent contamination from oxygen and bacteria, so what goes on and into your skin is truly clean, pure, and effective.
The Ultimate Skin Superhero Squad, inspired by Science:
1. Renue™ Age-Defying Essentials
2. Renue™ Age-Defying Essentials
I’m not generally someone who’s loyal to a particular brand when it comes to my skincare, but I do have a few criteria that keep me using and loving one product over another, and Renue™ ticks every single box for me: science-backed (check), effective (check), smells and feels damn good (check and check).
As any credible scientist should, Monica makes it clear that clinical research (in humans) to verify the beneficial effects of these products is ongoing. However, since launching their range, they’ve heard anecdotes of a surprisingly wide variety of benefits to the skin, including lessening of wrinkles and age spots, and improvement in appearance in many skin disorders. While this should not be taken as clinical proof of efficacy for treatment of any skin disorder, here’s what a few more actual customers had to say:
“I’ve definitely noticed less redness and smoother skin around my eyes and forehead. I LOVE these products. They are the only ones I’d ever use going forward because I see actual results. Most creams and serums are overly expensive and truly don’t do anything. I have spent so much money on luxury facial treatments in the past and now I will not be going back. I love the Renue skincare line.” ~ Caitlin H.
“I have been using Renue for about a month now and I am really shocked at the results I am seeing. With the first application, I was happy to see a kind of moisturizing effect that I was unfamiliar with. The effect didn’t feel superficial but rather restorative. I’ve tried Renue on different parts of my body and it seems to work really well just about anywhere. There are really immediate changes you can see to the surface of your skin after the first few applications, but I’ve found that with a month or so behind me I’m seeing more and more drastic changes. I’m 40 years old and had the fine lines developing under my eyes and on my forehead. Every day these lines are less pronounced. The ones under my eyes have almost vanished…I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with the quality
of product and service from a company!” ~ Terry G
“Two days is pretty fast for it to start working but I’ve noticed improvements right away. Very noticeable difference in reduction of puffiness of veins on hands from reduced inflammation and improved overall skin texture. Fine lines on face have disappeared and larger wrinkles have diminished. This is truly a breakthrough product!” ~ David G