Nutraceutical ingredients that are changing the anti-aging game

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / PeopleImages
Getty Images / PeopleImages

Related tags Beauty from within cosmeceuticals

Skin covers a whopping 20 square feet of the human body—So it’s no wonder consumers want to protect their largest organ.

Whether it's reducing wrinkles and fine lines or achieving that “dolphin skin” look, the anti-aging category is on fire as aging becomes a force to be reckoned with for much of the population. 

So what does it take to formulate a great beauty-from-within product? Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) said he knows exactly what it takes. Armed with a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements, the vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for NutraScience Labs said that as we mature, we naturally become more interested in anti-aging. 

Aging attracts unprecedented attention

Bruno pointed out that according to Pew Research, 68% of all Americans are middle-aged or older. Generation X (40-55 years) represent 27%, while  Baby Boomers (56-74 years) comprise 30% and the Silent Generation (75-92 years) makes up 11% of the US population.  

“Even amongst Millennials, who represent 30% of the population, some are just about to turn 40 and are now more interested in anti-aging,”​ said Bruno. “Men are definitely interested in this category—especially products for memory and joint function. However, more than used to be the case, many men now appear to be interested in the anti-aging aspect of their skin. This is certainly more prevalent in Millennials and Generation Xers.”

Ingredients driving anti-aging skincare  

Ingredients that have a direct impact on the aging process, or that impact some of the less desirable attributes of aging are quickly gaining popularity. 


Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant compound found in grapes, peanuts and Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum​), providing antioxidant protection to the plants—as well as to humans who consume them. Bruno explained that the excitement surrounding resveratrol is associated, at least in part, with the understanding that it helps activate the SIRT 1 gene, associated with longevity. Resveratrol also neutralizes free radicals that can damage skin. A 2010 study​ found that the free radical molecules that resveratrol fights against create the effects of aging in skin and can damage any cell in the body.

Bacopa monnieri

The herb Bacopa monnieri​ has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for about 3,000 years. The memory and learning enhancing effects of Bacopa have been studied in healthy adult populations with mostly positive results related to cognition.  A 2017 systematic review​ indicated that of nine clinical double blind placebo controlled B. monnieri human trials, eight demonstrated improvements in memory, attention, cognition and mood.

“Aging is generally associated with age-related memory impairment (ARMI), which is relatively common and should not be confused with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Nevertheless, people begin noticing that their memory isn’t as good as it used to be. Multiple human clinical studies found that daily supplementation with Bacopa monnieri leaf extract (standardized for 50% total bacosides), provided significant benefits in Total Memory Score,”​ said Bruno. 

Eggshell membrane

Eggshell membrane acts as a source of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and calcium—all of which have been investigated for joint health. Two open-clinical studies​ found eggshell membrane an “effective and safe therapeutic option for the treatment of pain and inflexibility associated with joint and connective tissue (JCT) disorders.”

“Aging is also associated with wear and tear on joints, so stiffness and reduced mobility often occurs. Supplementation with a preparation of eggshell membrane (the thin membrane just under the shell that you sometimes have difficulty removing when you’re peeling a hard-boiled egg) has been shown to be an effective and safe alternative strategy for joint pain and stiffness,”​ explained Bruno.

Collagen peptides

Collagen supplements, perhaps the most well-known of the anti-aging ingredients, are made from the bones and tissues of animals.  Some scientists assert they can genetically modify things like yeast and bacteria to create “vegan” collagen​.

“The most obvious signs of aging include the appearance of our skin—especially wrinkles. Part of the reason for the increase in wrinkles is the loss of collagen in our skin which happens as we age. The good news is that supplementation with collagen peptides have been shown to stimulate collagen production, reduce eye wrinkle volume​, and improve skin elasticity, skin moisture and skin roughness,”​ said Bruno. 

He added that using certain ingredients together is ideal when trying to achieve a common goal. “For example, while supplementation with collagen peptides help stimulate collagen production, vitamin C is also necessary for the formation of new collagen—so using collagen peptides and vitamin C together is an appropriate combination.”

Looking ahead

“I predict growth in consumer interest in using both topicals and supplements to achieve healthier, younger looking skin—beauty from the inside out and outside in,”​ Bruno forecasted. 

According to a 2020 Global Industry Analysts report​ by Research and Markets, the global market for anti-aging products, estimated to be $52.5 billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of $83 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.8% over 2020-2027.

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