If we want to look at our anti-aging practices from an informed and discerning perspective, it’s good to know what’s going on in there that causes wrinkles (and other not-so-fun manifestations of skin aging). So far, we know about three main things that happen in the skin when damage is caused. Click HERE for the 1st Villain I wrote about, Click HERE for the 2nd in the series. Read on for the 3rd biochemical phenomenon in my series:
Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs)
AGE is a a conveniently-coincidental acronym for Advanced Glycation End-products, which are the evil little products of a reaction between glucose (sugar) and proteins… Specifically collagen and elastin in this case (glycation).
Yes, it tastes good, but excess sugar in your diet screws up more than just your waistline.
How does it cause aging?
Glucose is good, of course, in the way of providing energy. But when there’s extra glucose, it rumbles with our collagen and elastin. This process produces AGEs, which make these fibers crispy and easily breakable. This reaction contributes to inflammation, slowed/inhibited growth of cells, and wrinkles (oh my!).
To simplify, think of it as turning your normal, elastic rubber band-like fibers into an old, dried out and crumbly rubber band. When AGE’s wreak havoc, your rubber bands are in an accelerated aging state, causing that loss of elasticity, sagging, and wrinkles.
In an article for Prevention, dermatologist Dr Frederic Brandt (well-known for his research in AGE’s) breaks it down further: “Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling… The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile.
The article goes on to describe that “AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage—still the main cause of skin aging.”
yikes! What Now?
1) It’s time to build some new Collagen. If you’re not already, start using a Retinol or Retinoid.
My favorites for sensitive or dry types:
My favorites for resistant or oily skin types:
Rx Tretinoin .05 or Tretinoin .1 creams
Cut down on simple sugars in your diet. From a dietary perspective, refined sugar seems to impact glycation about 10 times more than glucose.
Yup, just another reason… Sorry.
3) Use topical antioxidants.
These guys are ONCE AGAIN a great way to cut down on all the domino effects of damage. . Click HERE to read more about them.
4) Try a Targeted Treatment Cream: One of my fave go-to’s is Skinceuticals AGE Interrupter. Give it a Go if you’re in the market for a rich, cosmetically-elegant treatment cream.
And Until Next time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!