100 years ago “the fountain of youth” conjured images of a decade long trek through a jungle following the coordinates on a stolen pirate map. It’s the thrill of the chase or the power and fame that drives you to the ends of the earth searching for the key of everlasting youth and beauty. In attempts to prevent myself from turning into the image above, I follow my e-coupon to the local drug store where I can buy radiance and youth in a tiny cosmetic bottle. You would be quite shocked to know that many of these shoppers are in their twenties, where most would expect that age to be a bit higher. I took a quick poll of our office and the women here at CIS began their anti-aging process at the average age of 19! The general consensus was PREVENTION, not treatment. When questioned about products they all loved their own and swore by it, which does make sense, since every face and skin type is different. Diet, ethnicity and lifestyle choices (i.e. smoking, tanning and sun exposure) are significant contributing factors in early signs of aging, but there have been some major industry strides over the past few years to combat some of the early signs of aging. Nearly $100 billion, the cosmetics industry in 2012 accounted for one-fifth of the global and personal care value, with skincare at the top of the food chain. Of that, anti-aging has been the fastest growing category for five straight years. With the average national age of the female population on the rise, the anti-aging product will remain champion for the foreseeable future. The anti-aging market is no longer solely battling wrinkles. Dark spots, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, uneven skin tone and dark under eye circles are now topping lists of anti-aging concerns among consumers. If the trends continue, almost $3 billion will be spent on anti-aging products by 2015. The overwhelming demand has beauty and personal care manufacturers and suppliers on high alert. Staying ahead of the “curve” has led to some exciting breakthroughs in natural products, UV absorption, and multifunctional ingredients. Personally, I look for the multifunctional ingredients. I’m always searching the aisles for the latest sheer coverage and pore refining toner. I’ve heard the world “cosmeceuticals” thrown around from time to time but the FDA does not test or regulate many of the brands and products on the shelves today. The process would cost the larger companies millions of dollars to execute and millions more in revenue for the fickle female shoppers who are always on the lookout for ‘the next big thing.’ More than anything the word “cosmeceuticals” is more of a marketing buzz word. The products that have been FDA regulated and tested with proven results can be prescribed to you by your local physician and can be found at most pharmacies. Just for fun we decided to age me to the max with a neat app our Marketing Coordinator found. No judgment please! It’s scary fun!