Epigenetic skincare changes the way our genes work, even preventing us from aging.
4 Minute ReadEducation
19.05.23 (Updated 27.06.23)
Skincare industry giants have been delving into epigenetics for a few years now because when cracked, it’s a complete game-changer for anti-aging skincare. For those of us outside the laboratories though, epigenetic skincare remains somewhat of an enigma. Let’s clear that one up.
Firstly, what decides skin aging?
“Skin aging can be roughly divided into intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging,” explains Dr Graeme Glass MD PhD, Plastic Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery and Aesthetic Director of LYMA. “Intrinsic aging is the inherent propensity in all of us to age down to our genetic pre-programming and it happens to everyone. Extrinsic aging on the other hand, is the result of the cumulative environmental exposures that we have throughout our life that damage our tissues and result in the acceleration of the aging process. Examples of factors that contribute to extrinsic aging would be ultraviolet radiation, smoking, alcohol consumption and dietary factors.”
But it’s not just the outside elements, heightened stress levels within our bodies can accelerate the aging process too. “Though it's multifactorial and complicated, there's also good evidence to suggest that stress disorders create hormonal changes, having an effect on our overall health. So our behaviour can also affect the way that we age,” says Glass.
Our DNA changes as we age
We might think our DNA is written in indelible ink at conception and iron-clad, when in fact our DNA changes with age as various genes get turned on and off. Gene expression is ever evolving because DNA methylation increases gene expression. The best explanation of DNA methylation in simple terms is that it’s, “A chemical reaction in the body in which a small molecule called a methyl group gets added to DNA, proteins or other molecules. The addition of methyl groups can affect how some molecules act in the body. For example, methylation of the DNA sequence of a gene may turn the gene off so it does not make a protein.”
What is epigenetics?
So our gene expression keeps changing according to what the body is exposed to and that’s governed by a naturally occurring biological modification process called the epigenome. “The epigenome has been identified as the control panel for our genes, determining which of them is turned on or off at any given time,” aptly reports Vogue. The word ‘epi’ means above, overseeing, or bossing if you will, so epigenetics focuses on what dictates how and when those genes are turned on or turned off.
Making the most of your mitochondrial function
Mitochondria might‘ve become colloquial in skincare lingo but it helps to understand mitochondria’s role in skin aging. Mitochondria are cells containing thousands of proteins and they’re responsible for generating ATP energy in skin. The more the mitochondrial activity, the better skin cell turnover, regeneration and essential barrier protection. As we age, our mitochondrial function declines and skin is unable to heal as quickly, loses elasticity, tone becomes uneven, pigmentation amasses and wrinkles and fine lines start to form. Epigenetic skincare is heavily concerned with the mitochondrial decline of skin cells because much of our skin’s behaviour and therefore appearance, is down to keeping those energy levels buoyed.
Can skincare change gene expression?
As of right now it can. Powered by Genolytic™ technology, LYMA Skincare has been engineered by the world’s most innovative geneticists to achieve an epigenetic breakthrough. Instead of superficially treating the top 20% of cells in the skin, Genolytic™ technology targets the remaining 80% of living cells that conventional formulas cannot reach. Cellular energy is supercharged, mitochondrial decline is slowed, and active cell renewal is accelerated.
“LYMA Skincare is formulated to be the most effective topical skincare product on the market, bar none,” says Dr Graeme Glass, LYMA’s Aesthetic Director who was instrumental in the development of this world-first feat.
How does LYMA’s epigenetic skincare work?
If our external elements such as UV exposure, pollution, what we consume and how we manifest stress can all change our gene expression, why can’t topical skincare? Ah, now we’re thinking like the beauty boffins! Epigenetic skincare is the development of face creams and serum formulations able to tweak gene expression to our benefit - skincare ingredients that can counteract undesirable increases or decreases in cell activity by turning certain genes up or down like a handy control dial or dimmer switch. Find the gene expression that’s responsible for cell death or the one releasing inflammatory toxins, turn it down a good few notches. Likewise, identify that particular gene expression responsible for collagen synthesis and deliver the right potent actives that tell it to dial up, and get making more.
If epigenetic skincare is entirely capable of altering the trajectory of skin aging, why aren’t we plastering this on billboards across the country? Well it falls into the quagmire of legislation because skincare brands are not allowed to claim products work on the genetic level, as that gets into drug territory which is the realm of the FDA. For now at least, epigenetic skincare must stick to cosmetic benefits like brighter, plumper, glowing complexions. Even if claims can’t be fully communicated, these advances are monumental for our skincare regimen. We’re all on the cusp of owning a face cream that doesn’t just treat the existing signs of aging, but could be the solution to changing the way we age forever.