These days, there seems to always be a new must-have skin care or beauty product that advertisers and social media influencers claim to be as the new favorite, offering substantial results you won’t believe. This has led the average American woman to spend about $8 or more a day on 16 skin care and beauty products, racking up a lifetime bill of about $300,000. Unfortunately, cost and skin care complexity don’t correlate to healthy, youthful skin. In fact, according to one study, skin care can be broken down into three simple layers that offer the best scientifically-proven routine with simple products and key active ingredients, all of which is outlined in the game-changing Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™.
First introduced in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™ is an educational tool based on an extensive scientific study and literature review of skin care ingredients, formulas, and technologies. Its goal is to simplify the process of product selection while ensuring patients and physicians are able to cover all the skin care bases to properly support and maintain healthy skin cell functions. The ideal outcome is a holistic skin care regimen that protects, repairs, transforms, and optimizes skin health while preventing consumers from spending too much money on products that either don’t do enough or are overkill. In other words, the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™ helps you streamline your skin care routine for optimal results. The pyramid can be used by beauty novices and aesthetic professionals alike, establishing a way in which anyone can easily discuss the relative pros and cons of a particular skin care program.
Skin care forms the foundation of any effective aesthetics treatment plan, but a multi-pronged approach that incorporates skin care, healthy foods, regular exercise, and quality sleep alongside aesthetic treatments offers ideal outcomes for diminishing or repairing skin damage while providing optimal support for healthy skin cell renewal. Before we can move into all of those other areas, though, we need to understand how to form that skin care foundation. According to the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™, it’s as easy as one, two, three.
Also known as the fundamental layer, this base level of the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™ focuses in on the key ingredients that help to provide protection from the ongoing daily skin stressors, such as environmental and ultraviolet (UV) damage, as well as repair skin from any daily damage. The key ingredients and factors to look for when covering this first tier are SPF, DNA enzymes, and antioxidants. Avoiding or protecting against UV radiation is top priority, with experts agreeing it’s the cause of at least 80% of skin aging. Smoking, environmental pollutants, and even fluorescent lighting are other factors that create free radicals and inflammation that contribute to the accelerated aging of the skin.
Daily sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 is essential—using a product that is separate from your daytime moisturizer may be the best choice to better support proper re-application throughout the day. The introduction of antioxidants will also help protect against environmental factors that cause cellular damage, including air pollution, free radicals, and UV light. Some powerful antioxidants that may crop up in skin care ingredient lists include vitamin E acetate, grape seed extract, and even organic black tea. Finally, DNA-repairing enzymes may be added for those who may have skipped out on sunscreen and proper skin care at a younger age and are now looking for a solution that addresses existing cellular damage.
For those unable to afford more advanced options, this tier is the one to focus on. Opting for a skin care regimen that at minimum covers this base tier will better help to sustain skin health and prevent further damage from occurring. From here, you can always work to add elements that cover the additional two tiers whenever possible.
Also considered the transformation level, this middle layer of the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™ prioritizes moisturizing, exfoliating, and cell turnover. Key ingredients recognized as being frontrunners in support of these essential functions include retinoids for cell regeneration and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) for exfoliation. Newer formulations of AHA-based exfoliating products often feature a more moisturizing base, reducing irritation while offering better balancing or correcting skin hydration for improved skin barrier function.
Additional skin hydration is a key focus in this middle layer. Improving and maintaining proper hydration helps our skin to effectively reflect and release toxins and other harmful elements, thereby resisting DNA damage and accelerated aging. To effectively support skin hydration, we need to support lipid barrier function, an essential component of skin health that acts as a kind of glue to trap in water molecules and natural oils for optimal skin hydration, softness, and elasticity. Lipid production naturally decreases with age, particularly after we reach 40. However, supporting skin’s natural hyaluronic acid production with humectants (moisture-attracting elements) like isoflavones, sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides can better help support and sustain healthy skin hydration levels.
This final and top layer of the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™ is all about stimulating and optimizing skin’s natural cellular functions to boost skin health. This level of the pyramid may be considered the finishing touch for healthier, younger-looking skin that starts with a simple but powerhouse skin care regimen and certainly grows in importance as skin ages and its natural cellular functions begin to slow. More specifically, this is an important tier for those seeking to repair already damaged skin or wanting to target specific signs of premature aging.
Focusing in on this top level, we can better optimize skin functions by providing it with the bio-signals needed to stimulate the creation of peptides, cytokines, fibroblast growth factors, and more—all elements that support the maintenance and renewal of healthy skin cells. Ingredients like polypeptides and mugwort leaf extract, as well as growth factors from stem cells are the ones to look for in this tier. On the topic of stem cells, note that growing stem cells in a laboratory, particularly bone marrow stem cells, are preferred to plant stem cells. This is because bone marrow stem cells are more effective at healing injury and rejuvenating skin, while plant stem cells, although often available at a lower cost point, are unable to send the same kinds of signals to human skin cells as they very much vary in characteristics and functions.
With so many products making bold claims in the aisles of your local drugstore, finding the right skin care regimen that will actually deliver the results you’re looking for can be overwhelming. Rather than spending too much time and money testing a variety of products until you find the right one, utilize the framework of the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™ and seek out the advice of a trusted skin care specialist. They will be able to outline a plan that streamlines and simplifies product selection, putting your needs first and helping to find the right match for your expectations and your budget.
For those interested in a complete skin care system that touches on each tier of the Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid™, consider Venus Skin™. Featuring advanced stem cell technology, highly concentrated formulas, and several other key active ingredients to support each tier of the pyramid, the streamlined Venus Skin™ system offers solutions for all skin types and needs. All Venus Skin™ products are also non-carcinogenic, paraben-free, hydroquinone-free, cell-free, and cruelty-free, omitting all the bad stuff and keeping only the good.
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