WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO AGEING SKIN?

Did you know that genetics are believed to contribute to no more than 3% of ageing?! Oxidative damage created by a combination of too many free radicals and too few antioxidant defences is the single most important factor involved in ageing skin.

FREE RADICALS

The body is under constant attack from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have one or more unpaired electrons. In an effort to become stable and ‘whole’ again a free radical will create havoc by stealing an electron from another molecule. This creates a domino effect with damaging consequences. 

Free radicals are constantly created as part of natural processes that use oxygen e.g. turning food into a form of energy that the body can use (ATP). It is an excess of external free radicals from factors such as UV exposure, cigarette smoke and environmental pollutants that contributes most significantly to oxidative damage.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants help to counteract the effects of damaging free radicals, they essentially do this by donating electrons without themselves becoming harmful free radicals. Antioxidants need each other to be effective in stopping free radicals. Consuming a varied diet filled with antioxidants is the best strategy to create an effective 'antioxidant shield' against free radicals!


MY TOP 5 ANTI-AGEING SKIN ANTIOXIDANTS

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1)   VITAMIN C

Vitamin C helps to maintain and promote collagen synthesis, an important protein that helps to keep skin young and firm. Combined with vitamin E it can help to limit UV damage, which is one of the leading contributors to ageing skin.

A study of 60 females aged 20-75 found that using a daily moisturising cream containing vitamin C was highly efficient as a rejuvenation therapy, inducing significant collagen synthesis in all age groups.

Vitamin C foods: peppers, dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. kale), berries, broccoli, kiwi, guava & oranges.

2) VITAMIN E

Alongside working with vitamin C to defend against UV damage, vitamin E helps to protect against collagen cross-linking and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to ageing skin. 

Vitamin E foods: nuts, seeds, avocados, olives & dark green leafy vegetables.

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3) VITAMIN A & CAROTENOIDS

Vitamin A helps to increase collagen production and topically it has been shown to reduce wrinkles. Carotenoids help to defend against UV-induced skin damage and increased levels of carotenoids have been associated with fewer wrinkles and younger looking skin.

Vitamin A is found in animal foods such as liver, oily fish and eggs.

Some carotenoids are converted into the active form of vitamin A in the body. You can find carotenoids in orange fruits & vegetables such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, papaya and carrots.

4) COENZYME Q10 

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a powerful antioxidant that is vital for energy production and is found throughout the body. Levels decline with external sources of free radicals (particularly UV exposure) and with age. As the outer layer of the skin contains a 10-fold higher level of CoQ10 than the the inner layer, it makes sense that the topical application of CoQ10 has been shown to quickly replenish levels of skin CoQ10 increasing antioxidant defences and reducing free radicals. CoQ10 helps to protect against UV-induced skin damage and may help to rejuvenate the skin, resulting in fewer wrinkles.

Coenzyme Q10 foods: oily fish, organ meats, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables.

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5) POLYPHENOLS

Polyphenols hold potent antioxidant properties and are found in a wide range of plant foods. Some of the richest sources of polyphenols include spices, herbs, cocoa and dark coloured berries. Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols and studies suggest protective benefits of green tea against both UV damage and skin cancer. 


EXTERNAL FREE RADICALS

Strong antioxidant defences are important however minimising your exposure to excess free radicals in the first place is crucial. Oxidative stress not only contributes to ageing skin but is also a leading contributory factor to a huge list of common chronic diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and even cancer! 

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©NATURALFOODTHERAPYLTD


REFERENCES / FURTHER READING

Rinnerthaler, Mark, et al. "Oxidative stress in aging human skin." Biomolecules 5.2 (2015): 545-589.
http://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/5/2/545/htm#B7-biomolecules-05-00545

Poljšak, Borut, Raja G. Dahmane, and Aleksandar Godić. "Intrinsic skin aging: the role of oxidative stress." Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Pannonica Adriat 21.2 (2012): 33-6.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aleksandar_Godic/publication/232062534_Intrinsic_skin_aging_The_role_of_oxidative_stress/links/0912f512645925d9cd000000.pdf

Kammeyer, A., and R. M. Luiten. "Oxidation events and skin aging." Ageing research reviews 21 (2015): 16-29.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163715000033

Ganceviciene, Ruta, et al. "Skin anti-aging strategies." Dermato-endocrinology 4.3 (2012): 308-319.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.4161/derm.22804

Schagen, Silke K., et al. "Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging." Dermato-endocrinology 4.3 (2012): 298-307.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/

Crisan, Diana, et al. "The role of vitamin C in pushing back the boundaries of skin aging: an ultrasonographic approach." Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology 8 (2015): 463.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562654/

Telang, Pumori Saokar. "Vitamin C in dermatology." Indian dermatology online journal 4.2 (2013): 143.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/

Shao, Y., et al. "Molecular basis of retinol anti‐ageing properties in naturally aged human skin in vivo." International journal of cosmetic science 39.1 (2017): 56-65.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ics.12348/full

Kafi, Reza, et al. "Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin a (retinol)." Archives of Dermatology 143.5 (2007): 606-612.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/412795?vis=656103048.14204160005139

Köpcke, Wolfgang, and Jean Krutmann. "Protection from Sunburn with β‐Carotene—A Meta‐analysis." Photochemistry and photobiology 84.2 (2008): 284-288.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2007.00253.x/full

Stahl, Wilhelm, and Helmut Sies. "Photoprotection by dietary carotenoids: concept, mechanisms, evidence and future development." Molecular nutrition & food research 56.2 (2012): 287-295.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.201100232/full

Lademann J, Meinke MC, Sterry W, Darvin ME. Carotenoids in human skin. Experimental dermatology. 2011 May 1;20(5):377-82.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01189.x/full

Muta‐Takada, Keiko, et al. "Coenzyme Q10 protects against oxidative stress‐induced cell death and enhances the synthesis of basement membrane components in dermal and epidermal cells." Biofactors 35.5 (2009): 435-441.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/biof.56/full

Prahl, S., et al. "Aging skin is functionally anaerobic: Importance of coenzyme Q_ {10} for anti aging skin care." Biofactors 32.1-4 (2008): 245-255.
https://content.iospress.com/articles/biofactors/bio00984

Inui, M., et al. "Mechanisms of inhibitory effects of CoQ10 on UVB‐induced wrinkle formation in vitro and in vivo." Biofactors32.1‐4 (2008): 237-243.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/biof.5520320128/full

OyetakinWhite, Patricia, Heather Tribout, and Elma Baron. "Protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in skin." Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 2012 (2012).
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390139/

Pérez-Jiménez, J., et al. "Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database." European journal of clinical nutrition 64 (2010): S112-S120.
https://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/full/ejcn2010221a.html


The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your GP or other qualified health care provider.