Inflammaging: The hidden link between inflammation and aging

Inflammaging: The hidden link between inflammation and aging

We all know that aging is a perfectly natural part of life, and learning to accept and even embrace this process can work wonders towards improving your self-confidence and overall outlook. And, of course, there’s nothing like living through an actual pandemic to put things in perspective and make some of our everyday worries seem pretty insignificant by comparison. 

That being said, skin damage and premature aging are things that most of us would probably like to avoid. Fortunately, science has revealed a number of key insights on what causes premature aging and how we can maintain the optimal health and integrity of our skin at every stage of our lives. 

In particular, the critical link between chronic stress, which can result from both internal and external factors, inflammation, and aging has become increasingly apparent in recent years. Inflammation is our body’s natural response to stress, infection, or injury, acting as an essential protective mechanism to guard against pathogenic microbes. However, a persistent state of chronic inflammation that does not resolve can have a number of harmful effects that become increasingly severe with age.

From this observation, the concept of ‘inflammaging’ was born. This term refers to the process by which a chronic state of low-grade inflammation can drive the aging process and promote the development of a number of age-related diseases. The effects of inflammaging can be felt throughout the entire body, but they are most visible on the skin - the body’s largest organ and the one that is most exposed to the outside world. Therefore, our skin is particularly vulnerable to assault from external stressors, such as smoking, pollution, and UV radiation, which damage the DNA and proteins in our skin cells and activate pro-inflammatory pathways. These pathways lead to the expression of a whole array of harmful molecules, such as reactive oxygen species and tissue-degrading proteins, which promote hyperpigmentation, collagen breakdown, decreased epidermal integrity, and premature aging. 

Notably, another key driver of inflammation in skin that is usually overlooked in discussions of inflammaging is the bacterium Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes for short). This microbe lives on both the skin surface and deep within the pores (aka pilosebaceous follicles) and is particularly prevalent on sebum-rich (oily) regions of the body such as the face and upper back. C. acnes is also a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character, in that it’s found on everyone’s skin and likely protects from invasion by other pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus, but it is also highly pro-inflammatory and in certain instances, can cause breakouts, blemishes, and even deep-tissue infections. Recently, a number of studies have helped us better understand these seemingly conflicting observations by showing that certain types (or strains) of C. acnes are more potent drivers of inflammation than others, and these are more commonly found on people with problem skin. These strains of C. acnes have further been found to secrete a whole array of proteins with tissue-degrading activities, including those that breakdown hyaluronic acid, a critical part of the skin’s support matrix that promotes wound healing and modulates inflammation in skin. These findings suggest that certain strains of C. acnes can promote a continual cycle of inflammation and tissue damage that may contribute to premature aging, particularly in combination with other harmful environmental stimuli, such as UV radiation and pollution. 

It has therefore become clear that the best way to protect your skin from this onslaught of inflammation-inducing attackers is with a multi-pronged approach. This objective should include avoiding exposure to harmful stressors, such as cigarette smoke, as well as the daily use of mineral-based SPF and clean skincare products that contain antioxidants, which help to fend off damage from environmental pollutants and UV. Additionally, using a product to combat the C. acnes bacteria is key. Hence, Wild Resilience™ Active Phage Serum from Ellis Day Skin Science can represent a vital part of this multi-pronged strategy to ward off inflammaging and skin damage using the power of phages. Our proprietary Cutiphage™, the key ingredient in this revolutionary product, works to knock out the bad strains of C. acnes that cause breakouts, blemishes, and inflammation. By restoring balance to the skin microbiome, Wild Resilience can help to create a more healthy and resilient skin environment that is better equipped to deal with anything that the modern world can throw at it. 

While we can’t avoid aging altogether, by maintaining a healthy microbiome and protecting it from environmental assaults, we can help our skin stay strong, healthy, and resilient every step of the way. 

As always, if you have any questions about the science behind Wild Resilience and how this product can enhance your skincare routine, please email us at We’re happy to help!



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About Ellis Day Skin Science

We believe that modern skincare must be grounded in true microbiome science. We believe the answers are in the wild, natural world, which includes the surface of your skin. 

At Ellis Day Skin Science, we pioneer natural phage-based products that target and kill bad bacteria associated with inflammation, damage, and aging, and enable good bacteria to flourish. By doing so, we aim to reset your microbiome for optimal skin health.

We use cutting-edge science to leverage nature, creating products that are just as kind and conscientious as they are effective, so that all can feel empowered with balanced, clear, radiant, and resilient skin.

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