A promising strategy for maintaining a healthy and youthful phenotype during aging is that of mild stress-induced beneficial hormesis. The basis of hormesis lies in the molecular pathways of stress response, which are essential for the survival of a biological system by activation of maintenance and repair mechanisms in response to stress. Moderate physical exercise is the best example of a hormetin that brings about a wide range of health beneficial hormesis by first challenging the system. Similarly, other natural and synthetic hormetins can be incorporated in cosmeceutical formulations, and can help achieve benefits including maintenance of the skin structure and function. Several polyphenols, flavonoids and other components from spices, algae and other sources are potential hormetins that may act via hormesis. Stress response pathways that can be analyzed for screening potential hormetins for use in cosmetics and cosmeceuticals include heat shock response, autophagy, DNA damage response, sirtuin response, inflammatory response and oxidative stress response.
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