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Your anti-aging products are getting old

Shedding new light on skincare that promotes healthy-looking skin at every age

Published On: 11/04/18

Have you heard? The conversation around age and beauty is changing.

Particularly in the skincare industry, fresh-faced youth is often used as the benchmark for beauty. With recent calls to diversify representations of beauty to include more skin tones, body types and ages, consumers have made one thing clear: it’s time to flip the script.

Beauty standards are shifting. The language surrounding age and beauty is evolving. Many women are, understandably, sick of being told to fight against the natural passage of time, which is why even widespread terms like “anti-aging” are going out of style.

I mean, let’s be real: we’re not going to war with our faces. We’re not trying to FIGHT wrinkles or BANISH freckles or EVISCERATE the natural onset of sun spots. We just want products that address our needs at different stages of our lives.

As skincare companies adopt new beauty terms to stake their claim in this changing market, they need to walk the walk as much as they talk the talk. That means listening to their customers and making meaningful changes to their approach.

So, what do women really expect from their skincare products — and what products actually deliver on those expectations? Let’s take a look.

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What’s my age again?

News flash: Most women aged 40 don’t aspire to be 20 again. Seriously, if humans discovered time travel, would you really want to relive a decade of figuring out what to do with your life, who to date and how to act like a real adult? The thought gives me chills.

So, contrary to popular belief, the end goal is not to look half your age. At least that’s what BASF found when they surveyed 235 women between the ages of 40 and 73.

First, participants were asked to picture their aspired age — in other words, the age they would like to look. Sixty percent of women said they wanted to look between 5 and 10 years younger than their actual age. That’s a far cry from 25.

Next, the survey asked participants how many years younger they expected to look with the use of a high-quality skincare product. Eighty percent of them said 5 to 10 years.

Based on those results, you might infer the main concern in “anti-aging” skincare is not to erase your age but to look your best at every age. All pretty reasonable demands, right? As it turns out, that 5-to-10-year range is also totally attainable.

Looking great for yourself

While working on a skincare product called Replexium®, BASF devised a way to measure visible improvements in the skin’s condition and translate them into the number of years that skin looks younger. I’ll spare you the math, but they basically evaluated specific factors — like skin density and the appearance of wrinkles — and worked out numbers to show how those factors correspond to a younger-looking visage.

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When they studied the effects of Replexium®, BASF scientists noticed a 21 percent improvement in the skin’s firmness within three weeks. That corresponds to seven years’ worth of improvements in your skin’s firmness.

Let’s just pause to take in the fact that a bunch of women signed up for a trial and regained seven years in 21 days. Similar products take much longer to achieve comparable results — 56 days, in one particular instance. Time travel much?

Actually, no — it’s a little less pseudo and a lot more science. Replexium® is a blend of two peptides in a bio-available complex, meaning the product increases the availability of peptides in your skin. The peptides, in turn, send signals to the molecules in your skin and convey instructions that lead to improved skin density and appearance.

The two peptides in Replexium® target both layers of the skin, the dermis and the epidermis, as well as the dermal-epidermal junction that connects them both. As a result, the product reduces the appearance of wrinkles and promotes denser, firmer-looking skin overall.

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You’re out of touch, I’m out of time

Based on BASF’s data, most women have pretty realistic skincare goals. With skincare sales projected to push $130 billion by 2019, it seems consumers are also willing to pay for products that address their wishes and expectations.

For many women, that means buying products that proffer specific, science-backed results — not some notion of prepackaged infinite youth. You know, because consumers like it when skincare companies actually deliver on their promises.

With that in mind, Keats’ famous line from 1820 still holds up today: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”

Ain’t that the truth.

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