Most skincare products do not penetrate beyond the outer layers of the skin and that's a good thing: it means the skin is doing its job. The skin’s function is to act as a strong protective barrier and keep out substances that might cause irritation, infection or damage.
So, to effectively fight the three biggest enemies to the health and youth of our skin, we have to work mainly from the inside out.
Meet the 3 main threats to the health and youth of our skin and the 3 nutrients that neutralise them.
Enemy No. 1 = Glycation
Glycation is the process whereby sugars bond haphazardly with proteins or lipids and impair their structure and function.
In the skin, glycation targets and breaks down protein components, such as collagen and elastin, which together form the pliable mesh that gives our skin structure, strength and elasticity.
As these protein components are broken down, the skin gets thinner, weaker and loses its natural elasticity and firmness. The result is wrinkles and sagging.
Ally against glycation = Alanine
There’s a unique dipeptide that interferes with the glycation process and prevents the damage it causes. It’s called carnosine. Unfortunately, carnosine levels in the body fall with age and carnosine supplements are not readily absorbed.
Instead, the amino acid alanine, which is well absorbed as a supplement, can effectively upgrade levels of carnosine and help the body prevent the damage caused by glycation.
Enemy No. 2 = Free radicals
Free radicals can damage all components of skin cells. They are natural by-products of oxygen reactions in the body, but are also multiplied by excessive sun exposure, environmental pollutants and chemicals applied to the skin. If they affect a cell’s DNA, they can compromise the healthy functioning of the cell and ultimately lead to degenerative conditions.
Ally against free radicals = Cysteine
Cysteine is an amino acid that replenishes levels of the natural antioxidant glutathione in the body, which are depleted by age and illness. Glutathione neutralises free radicals and prevents them from causing damage to cells.
As a bonus, cysteine also lends a hand to reduce glycation and inflammation – skin enemy no. 3.
Enemy No. 3 = Inflammation
Acute inflammation in the body is a vital, protective response to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation is the perpetuation of the inflammatory response.
Chronic micro-inflammation in the skin impairs the healthy functioning, repair and renewal of skin cells and accelerates ageing. It can be caused by excessive sun exposure, environmental pollutants and by irritants commonly contained in skincare products.
Ally against inflammation = Turmeric
Turmeric, a spice used in India for thousands of years in cooking and as a medicinal herb, counteracts inflammation more effectively than many drugs and without side effects. It is also a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial agent.
In summary: defence against glycation, free radicals and inflammation in the skin starts with healthy nutrition from within the body, by providing a healthy, balanced diet and targeted supplements. It is also complimented from the outside in, by limiting sun exposure and choosing nourishing skincare free from chemical and natural irritants.