Telomeres. Have you heard of them? At Bend Beauty, science and research is at the crux of who we are as a company. We are constantly exploring new ingredients and testing our products to ensure maximum efficacy. Recently, we’ve done some exciting research around our Renew + Protect formula and its affect on telomeres – and the results were impressive.
But first, let’s dive in to what they are.
What are telomeres?
Telomeres are the protective caps at each end of cells’ chromosomes that protect their DNA. Without telomeres, cells’ genetic material may be lost during cell division.
Every time cells divide, a natural process with aging, their telomeres shorten until eventually, they become so short that cells lose their ability to divide properly. This status, called senescence, hampers necessary cellular regeneration and tissue repair, and is associated with cell death1. Thus, telomere length is a marker of cellular ageing2.
Are you with us so far? The key takeaway here is that longer telomeres = good. Shorter telomeres = not good.
What causes telomeres to shorten?
Telomeres also shorten in response to external and internal stresses3, like oxidative stress attributed to normal bodily functions, such as breathing and inflammation, and disease associated chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress is caused by reactive oxygen containing molecules, that damage DNA, protein, and lipids, and is one of the main contributors to aging4. Therefore, oxidative stress and telomere shortening are key factors in the aging process.
Telomerase is an enzyme that helps maintain telomere length during cell division. It is mainly found in stem cells or quickly renewing/immature cells, but it’s levels are very low or absent in most normal/adult cells1. Therefore, without stimulating telomerase activity, telomere shortening is inevitable during normal cellular, and overall aging.
Now that you understand the concept of telomeres, stay tuned for more information about our exciting research about Renew + Protect and how it affects them.
1. Shammas M. A. (2011). Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 14(1), 28–34. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834121b1
2. Orioli D, Dellambra E. Epigenetic Regulation of Skin Cells in Natural Aging and Premature Aging Diseases. Cells. 2018 Dec 12;7(12):268. doi: 10.3390/cells7120268. PMID: 30545089; PMCID: PMC6315602. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315602/
3. Victorelli S, Passos JF. Telomeres and Cell Senescence – Size Matters Not. EBioMedicine. 2017 Jul;21:14-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.03.027. Epub 2017 Mar 21. PMID: 28347656; PMCID: PMC5514392. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514392/
4. Valdes AM, Andrew T, Gardner JP, Kimura M, Oelsner E, Cherkas LF, Aviv A, Spector TD. (2005). Obesity, cigarette smoking, and telomere length in women. Lancet, 366(9486), 662-664. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66630-5. PMID: 16112303. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16112303/