Introduction – Efficacy test – antiwrinkles TOUCH®
In today’s society the need to take care of one’s appearance is always greater, as a “business card” in interpersonal and work relations. For this reason, the search for beauty and youth has led to the development of new technologies that can give smoothness and turgidity to the skin and seek in particular to counteract skin laxity.
The skin aging is divided into: chronological aging (genetic and hormonal process) and photo-induced aging (caused by external factors such as UV rays, smoke and pollution) (Kligman 1989, Frances 1998).
The main signs of skin aging are: skin that becomes increasingly dry and dehydrated, loses elasticity and relaxes as cell renewal slows down and the cohesion between dermis and epidermis is attenuated; the pigmentation appears irregular with the appearance of dark spots on the face and hands; the skin becomes more and more thin and tends to the pallor and in transparency the capillaries begin to glimpse; wrinkles are formed, the skin takes on a dull complexion and appears to be wasted (the collagen fibers degrade, the dermis slowly loses its density and becomes thinner).
Several names are used to indicate aging wrinkles: (a) furrows, (b) glyphic wrinkles, and (c) linear facial wrinkles. The furrows (non-permanent that disappear with stretching) are very fine micro-wrinkles of the skin surface that are present, in aged skin, in areas protected from sunlight.
The (permanent) glyphic wrinkles represent an accentuation of the main lines of the surface of normal skin. They appear on the areas of the skin with elastotic degeneration caused by solar radiation (cute rhomboidalis nuchae, criss-cross wrinkles in the cheeks). Linear facial lines (permanent) are long, narrow, or slightly curved and do not disappear with stretching.
These are considered the deepest and (Kligman 1985) develop in very specific areas on the face and their path is often perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. In young people, linear facial wrinkles (expression wrinkles or virtual wrinkles) disappear immediately after the release of facial muscle contraction due to elastic recovery of the skin. In older people, linear wrinkles become permanent, even when the face is relaxed, such as during sleep (Burton 1998) or after death (Piérard 1989).
Aging is genetically determined, but much can be done to try and slow down this process; the signs of time can be fought above all by leading a healthy and balanced life, avoiding smoking and alcohol, taking a healthy diet rich in fiber, protecting the skin from climatic aggressions and sun exposure.
During the last decades, in the dermo-cosmetological field, there has been a proliferation of cosmetic preparations, invasive treatments and medical devices with the aim of improving aged skin. Among these : injectable fillers, botulinum and chemical peels, together with dermabrasion and laser techniques, are now standardized techniques for aesthetic rejuvenation.
Several studies have also shown that topical preparations based on tretinoin, vitamin C, a-hydroxy acids, niacinamide and N6-furfuryladenine can be effective in treating photo-damaged skin (Rokhsar 2005; Kawada 2008; Rubino 2005).
Anti-aging creams are predominantly moisturizers that can also contain functional substances (such as retinol, AHA, antioxidants, UV filters). Recent studies have allowed to develop active ingredients of modern biochemical conception that are classified as active deep.
Every consumer’s dream is also that of being able to have an anti-aging cosmetic, with surface active with immediate effect, which gives visible and very marked effects in a very short time, better if the first application. In order to satisfy this need, for some years, surface agents have been used next to the active depths, able to immediately modify the visible appearance of wrinkled skin.
In this category of immediate effect active substances we find classical molecules such as AHAs and polyhydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid and, in general, biopolymers that with their lifting effect are able to uniform the skin microrelief and improve the brightness.
Nowadays there are many commercial moisturizers that boast a filler effect and there is no work on them published in dermo-cosmetology magazines. As a result, scientifically objective studies are needed to validate these effects or attributed.
The proof of efficacy can be evaluated in different ways (Colipa 1997) but the test on human volunteers is the preferred one. With the introduction of non-invasive instrumental measurement techniques that apply to humans, the properties of dermatological cosmetic products can be evaluated objectively, allowing the detection of subtle changes in morphology and skin function otherwise not detectable by sensory means.
These efficacy assessments are essential to provide evidence-based support for manufacturers, for dermo-cosmetic sector operators who need advice and for the consumer.