Science Glossary

Antioxidants play an intrinsic role in stopping and reducing the number of free radicals as it prevents the harmful effects of oxidation. The use of antioxidants in skincare products is a great approach to improve the overall health state of the skin. Vitamin E is a key antioxidant in our range of skincare. Examples are vitamin A, C and E which are found within our botanicals such as Cacay, Passionfruit Seed Oil oil and Camu Camu.

Collagen is a protein. The primary structural component of the dermis and the most abundant protein found in humans, collagen, is responsible for conferring strength and support to our skin. These proteins give skin its youthful, supple and toned appearance. However, both are susceptible to damage from inflammation and free radicals and when exposed can become less effective. As we age, collagen production slows down and elastin has less spring. Structural destruction and loss of dermal collagen fibre bundles lead to wrinkling and increased appearance of muscular detachments.When damaged, the molecules ‘cross link’ and become stiff and inflexible which ages the skin dramatically. Damage caused by inflammation and free radical formation also triggers the release of collagen- and elastin-digesting enzymes and their degradation is a key factor in loss of skin tone, skin sagging and wrinkles. NAYA’s Cacay oil supports to increase collagen turnover and inhibiting the break-down.

The extracellular matrix (ECM) has many functions: it surrounds and supports cells, influences cell shape and movement and regulates cellular functions through signalling. It consists of fibres (e.g. collagen and elastin), proteoglycans and polysaccharides (e.g. hyaluronic acid) which provide a voluminous hydrated matrix and adhesive glycoproteins (e.g. fibronectin) which connect cells with fibres. It is essential for processes like growth and skin healing. When the skin is under stress and when inflammation is present the ECM’s function deteriorates.

Fibroblasts are the main cell type found in the dermis. They produce the Extracellular Matrix (ECM) and play a critical role in skin damage repair. They release synthesis to maintain the structure of the ECM. NAYA’s newest Antioxidant Defence Booster contains a botanical which has been specifically designed to induce fibroblast synthesis within the dermis to protect against such skin damage and help prevent wrinkles forming.

Free radicals are molecules that have lost an electron, leaving them ‘incomplete’ and less stable. They seek to restore balance by replacing their missing electron and are therefore more reactive complete, stable molecules. Free radicals gain electrons and become ‘complete’ by reacting with healthy cell molecule and stealing one of their electrons. This re-balancing process can cause irreparable damage to healthy cell molecules; the free radicals may react with important cellular components such as DNA or the cell membrane. This contributes significantly to the ageing process as once the process has started, it can cascade, resulting in oxidative stress, damage to the skin structure and at excessive levels inflammation within our skin. Thus we include antioxidants in each of our products as part of our base formulation.

GAG family, including hyaluronic acid, along with collagen and elastin, are among the primary constituents of the dermis and are responsible for conferring the outward appearance of the skin. Photo-aged skin has been shown to be characterised by reduced levels of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found in young skin at the periphery of collagen and elastin fibres and where these types of fibres intersect. In aged skin, such connections with hyaluronic acid disappear. Read more about Hyaluronic Acid in our detailed blog entry. Hyaluronic acid is also involved in cellular repair and the regulation of inflammation. NAYA includes hyaluronic acid as part of our product’s formulation.

Immune Triggers are a group of cell-signalling molecules that work within the skin’s defence system. They stimulate or inhibit cellular activities and play a key role in the inflammatory process and the repair of damaged skin. This response is then regulated back and forth to stimulate or suppress the inflammatory response when required. It is important for these immune responses to be regulated ensuring the skin isn’t in a persistent state of inflammation which can cause premature ageing. Today’s stressful lifestyles, alongside UV damage and external aggressors, facilitate this cycle of inflammation.

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the body’s destructive reactive oxygen species i.e. free radicals and the body’s ability to detoxify these reactive intermediates i.e. antioxidants. Free radicals may react with important cellular components such as DNA or the cell membrane and cause irreparable damage to the cell or cause the cell to die. If there is an excess within the body, chain reactions occur and this can contributes significantly to the ageing process. Once the process has started, it can cascade, resulting in oxidative stress, damage to the skin structure and at excessive levels inflammation within our skin. NAYA’s formulation works to harness this free radical damage, oxidative stress and systematic inflammation by using antioxidants throughout its products – this is the first fundamental step towards helping to fight inflammation which can lead to pre-mature ageing.