How to Slow Down Aging Skin In Three Steps

For years you thought it was a given that you'd inherit the lines and creases of your parents—but new research suggests you can to shift aging into slo-mo.

Two influences come into play with skin aging: extrinsic (outside) forces, like UV damage, and intrinsic causes, which are dictated by our DNA.

We know we can control damage from factors like sun exposure (with sunscreen and other protection), but science is discovering that we also have power over internal triggers-much more than we realized. So, yep, you can actually slow down the aging of your skin. The food you eat, the supplements you take, the lifestyle you follow, and even some things you put on your skin can shift your genes to interpret (or "express") the information coded in your DNA in a way that actually slows aging. 

"It all comes down to communication," says Shape Brain Trust member Ellen Marmur, M.D., an associate clinical professor of dermatology and genetics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. "You can influence the way your body induces production of a protein or a gene product by affecting the communication among those genes. For example, after a day outdoors, the body may ask, How much protein should I make to counteract damaging UV exposure? We can sway the answer to that question." These strategies do just that.

Use Creams that Affect Genes

New topical formulas can support the communication among your stem cells and keep gene activity robust. Augustinus Bader, a professor of applied stem cell biology and cell technology at the University of Leipzig in Germany, developed a hydrogel for burn victims that healed their wounds without skin grafts. How? A burn cuts off communication among healthy skin stem cells, inhibiting healing. Bader's patented gel reconnects those severed lines, enabling the body to repair itself.

And aging, it seems, is a bit like enduring a long, slow burn. It doesn't happen overnight, but Bader says "communication between stem cells breaks down over time," causing genes once responsible for key processes like collagen production to simply switch off. Bader infused his hydrogel technology-a cocktail of peptides, lipids, and amino acids-into an antiaging cream that keeps your skin smoother, firmer, and plumper for longer. NEOVA DNA Total Repair uses enzymes to help skin repair itself.