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Turn back the clock on aging skin

How epigenetic science restores the natural balance in your skin cells

As we notice the effects of age on our skin, we might think, “Wow, I need a denser dermis.”

No? Just me?

Alright, so our skincare concerns tend to be a little more practical — whether we want to erase wrinkles, brighten our eyes or tighten the contours of our skin. But to really understand how factors like age, lifestyle and environmental pollutants transform the skin, we have to go beyond the surface level and dive deep into the genetic code. Let’s take a look.

Published On: 09/25/18

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Getting the message across with mRNA

Inside the dermal matrix, a few key players are responsible for protecting the structure and youthful look of your skin.

When it comes to rejuvenating your skin, mRNA is the reigning champ. Helpfully supplied by your DNA (or genes, if you’re already tired of acronyms), mRNA contains the instructions that dictate important dermal functions, like ones that consolidate your skin structure and preserve its youthfulness.

If mRNA is both the messenger and the message itself, ribosomes read and carry out its instructions. As per the message, ribosomes produce proteins that regenerate and protect your skin.

Now let’s go down one more level. There are several types of micro-RNAs that carry out different functions in your body. Let-7b, for example, regulates and neutralizes different types of mRNAs, attempting to keep all these processes in balance.

As you get older, micro-RNAs start to accumulate in greater numbers. When you rack up too many, the little guys end up neutralizing too many mRNAs. That means less protein production in your cells, which is why your skin starts to sag or lose firmness with age.

If that sounds dire, don’t be alarmed: epigenetic science has advanced to the point where we can help regulate these dermal functions and improve the skin’s ability to regenerate. Here’s how.

Redefining your skin with sea buckthorn

To help all those moving parts in your skin maintain balance, scientists at BASF have been researching the properties of sea buckthorn. A wild shrub with origins in China and Germany, Hippophae rhamnoides or sea buckthorn berries slow the aging process and improve the skin’s barrier function.

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Made from an extract of sea buckthorn seeds, RNAge™ takes skincare a step further. In developing this product, BASF chemists harnessed the seed’s ability to adapt and boost the skin’s self-regulation functions.

By regulating the number of micro-RNAs in your skin cells, Let-7b included, RNAge promotes the synthesis of proteins and improves the regenerative abilities of your skin.

The result? The seed extract reinforces the inter-fiber cement, elastic fibers and fiber connectors in your skin — or, in plain language, helps your skin recover its structure and density. Studies of RNAge showed improvements in the skin’s biochemical properties, including that balance of micro-RNAs. The tests also measured visible changes in attributes like the half-chin angle and overall skin firmness, showing off the product’s ability to reshape facial contours for added definition.

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Reinterpreting the genetic code

Thanks to the advent of epigenetics, you aren’t beholden to the genetic codes that define the way your skin ages. If that sounds mildly futuristic, you might be right. There’s still more research to be done in the field of epigenetics, but plenty of established science helps us reverse the effects of age on our skin.

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