Using Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Retinoids to Combat Aging Skin

Custom scientific illustration for Priori Skincare Company explaining the effects of alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids to combat the signs of aging skin." title="Custom scientific illustration of combating aging skin with alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids.


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Priori Skincare Company


Custom scientific illustration created for the Priori Skincare Company to explain what goes on structurally as skin ages, and how their alpha hydroxy acids and retinoid containing products can help minimize these changes, therefore reversing the signs of aging skin such as wrinkles, brown spots and uneven tone. All the panels of the illustration share a lot of the same characteristics, such as cell types, but have been manipulated to show effects of products on the entire group of cells in relation to each other. This illustration was included in the article entitled The Skin Health and Beauty Pyramid: A Clinically Based Guide to Selecting Topical Skincare Products, published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, April 2014, Volume 13, Issue 4.

The illustration was broken into three distinct panes. The far left image shows photo damaged aged skin, with a rough, scaly stratum corneum, deep wrinkles, dark pigmentation or brown spots of concentrated melanin and a decrease in moisture levels. The middle panel depicts the effects of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) on the skin by showing an increase in the level of hydration between the cells within the epidermis and dermis which begins to smooth out the wrinkles in the skin, a smoothing and thinning of the stratum corneum helps even out tone, and causes an increase in the number of fibroblasts in the dermis. The far right panel depicts the effects of both AHA and retinoid on the skin by showing an increase in the number of cells in the epidermis, an increase in the number of actively dividing cells in the basal layer of the epidermis, a reduction in the amount of melanin present in the skin, and an increased number of active fibroblasts in the dermis as well as collagen fibers. These effects combine to plump up and smooth out wrinkles in the skin, reversing the signs on aging.

This was an interesting image with a lot of different elements which needed to be cleanly and clearly illustrated for consumer educational purposes. The end result was a client who was very happy with the finished image that we created from his concept sketch.

Key Elements of image:

  • Dermis
  • Epidermis
  • Stratum corneum
  • Melanocyte
  • Fibroblast
  • Collagen