Ask Dr. Xi: Biological vs. Chronological Aging

From Anti-anti-aging: Enough with all the stereotypes, stigma and shaming around aging! I’m 62 and feel terrific!  There’s got to be a better way to talk about our life stage.

Dr. Xi: I couldn’t agree more.  Changing how we think and talk about aging starts with better understanding of the aging process itself.  The simple scientific fact is, the continuum of a woman’s life can be divided into several life stages with certain characteristics of each stage.  There’s infancy, puberty (adolescence), maturity (reproductive age) and menopause (perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause).

While there are definite time frames associated with each, women can reach these milestones at different Chronological Ages.  For example, a woman might have a child at 22, 32 – or even 42.  And experience menopause at 45 or 55. Age no longer dictates how any of us grow older.

That’s why when thinking about our skin’s health and appearance, we need to consider the differences between Biological Aging and Chronological Aging. Chronological Aging is your age in calendar years. The number of years that have passed since our birth. Not much we can do about them except celebrate each one!

But, Biological Age, also called Physiological Age, is a molecular measure indicated by how well your cells function over time. Diet, exercise, sleep, stress, lifestyle habits (smoking, alcohol intake and the likes) along with your attitude, all influence our Biological Age.  And a simple Google search will give you lots of tips for improving those conditions.

A woman reach her hands in the air as she does yoga with a lake and mountains in the background

To help further explain this phenomenon, I’m reminded of one particular saying popular in the financial world.  Compounding. Compounding is when you earn interest on your investment over a period of time and consequently witness a growth on your earnings. This principle can be applied to anti-aging in the sense that we cannot change our chronological age, but we can alter our biological age to a degree by changing our lifestyle.

For example, let’s say that starting from age 45, we age by approximately 2% every year. So, ten years later we reach the age of 55. This is chronological aging.

However, let’s say we lead an unhealthy lifestyle, which causes us to age by 3% every year. It may not seem like a big difference from the 2%, but by compounding, our appearance will resemble 60 years old when we are truly 55 years old.

On the other hand, if we take daily action to care for our skin, the year-over-year percentage decreases to 1% — resulting in a younger, 50-year-old appearance at the end of that 10-year span.

A woman with her head tilted as she puts i-On Age Disrupting Skin Cream on her cheek.

That 1% is considered biological aging, which can be modified by our lifestyles and routines. Although we may not see a lot of changes at the beginning, one can observe a significant difference 10 years later. Little by little and day by day, you will achieve your long-term goal and you will feel beautiful.

One factor that significantly impacts a woman’s Biological Aging is under-reported and not well understood – until now. Excess iron builds up in the body and skin during menopause.

Here’s what happens. During menstruation, women eliminate excess iron through monthly blood loss. When menstruation ceases, that iron accumulates in ferritin (the iron storage protein).  This iron overload, when exposed to UV radiation, blue light, air pollutants and other irritants, creates free radicals that cause oxidative stress. As a consequence - Biological Skin Aging is accelerated.

Iron stored as mineral inside ferritin on the left with text on the right that says "My research has shown that by reducing the amount of iron in skin, we can actually change skin's future to help prevent oxidative damage before it does its dirty work."

That’s why I formulated i-On® Age Disrupting Skincare with DII®.  It helps control iron levels in skin similarly to the way your body did during menstrual years for a biological youthening effect.  My active ingredients then help skin repair, rebuild and retain moisture.

My DII® technology is uniquely formulated with a patented technology that features a proprietary form of Vitamin C unlike any other you may have experienced or read about. It actually releases stored iron from ferritin.

Once the iron is released, it can continue to exert its harmful effect. To prevent this, I added a naturally-sourced, buffered Pearl Powder that clears the released iron so it cannot cause damage. The integration of these two powerful ingredients work in unison to help prevent oxidative stress from occurring rather than attempting to neutralize free radicals after they appear as most antioxidants do.

Gray bubble-like shapes floating around.

Without the need to fight free radicals, Key Peptides, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract (a form of seaweed) and Sodium Hyaluronate plus anti-irritants and moisture barrier can efficiently boost collagen production, reduce discoloration, and deliver deep, long-lasting hydration.

In this way, i-On® Age Disrupting Skincare technology actually disrupts the root cause of Biological Skin Aging before it starts—that’s one step earlier than any other technology currently available in the market. 

i-On® Skincare is easily incorporated into your existing daytime and evening skincare regimen. Depending on your individual needs, I recommend the following daily routine: cleanse skin with your favorite face wash and/or clarifying toner. If you use a serum product, apply before you apply i-On® Age Disrupting Skin Cream and Age Disrupting Total Performance Eye Cream. Follow with a nourishing skin oil and/or hydrating toner if desired in the evening.  And be sure to use sunscreen daily.

It’s the skincare of the future.  Here today.