Have a sweet tooth? You're not alone. Who doesn't love a sweet treat now and then! The problem? refined sugars and carbohydrates accelerate the formation of "AGE's".
Advance Glycation End Products (or AGE for short), occur when sugar molecules attach to fats and proteins (amino acids) creating a "sticky" mess", restricting cellular function and releasing free radicals. The end result (as it pertains to skin care), is damage to the connective tissues (collagen and elastin) responsible for firmness, smoothness and suppleness, as well as the development of chronic inflammation which is thought to be a primary contributor to premature aging.
Since one of the keys to aging well is maintaining a youthful appearance, we want to ensure our fibroblasts are producing plenty of healthy collagen. We also want our skin functioning in a way that allows proper healing and renewal to maintain our radiant complexion as we become older.
The damage from AGE's result in:
- premature aging
- reduction in skin suppleness
- skin sag
- loss of radiance
- loss of collagen
Glycation generally shouldn't be a problem for healthy adults (non-diabetic) since it is naturally occurring throughout our lives, even at the best of times. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables still delivers natural sugars into our systems. The real issue begins when we start to introduce our bodies to excessive amounts of the sugary and processed foods so readily available today. Candy, baked goods like bread and cookies, pasta, as well as "browned" foods such as grilled meats and fried foods (I'm just as upset as you are) can overwhelm our bodies ability to process them, resulting in a flood of free radicals and oxidation (and if you smoke, know that smoking reduces the antioxidants in your body available to counter this damage.)
Our bodies natural desire is to break down old collagen that has become damaged and replace it with fresh, new collagen. For this to happen properly, we need to ensure our diets are rich in antioxidants, and amino acids (protein) derived from a well balanced diet, which may include supplementation. What happens inside our bodies has a tendency to show up in our skin.
When it comes to skin care products and the surface of our skin, selecting products that contain usable, "bio compatible" ingredients is very important. Forget about "large molecule" ingredients like collagen. Focus instead on ingredients that prevent oxidation, encourage healing, reduce inflammation and have the ability to penetrate deep enough into the skin (in large enough amounts) to make a difference.
A few ingredients we recommend in an anti-aging cream for healthy collagen and elastin:
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Copper Peptides
- Bee Venom
- Green Tea
- Vitamin E
Remember, we can't stop the clock, but we can make it tick smoothly! Minimize sugar and processed carbs, you'll feel better, age well, and decelerate AGE-ing.