Tag Archives: skin care and antioxidants

Antioxidants Critical To Anti-Aging

Demand For Anti-Aging Products Soaring

Anti-aging products now account for close to $9.8 billion of the skin care market. That’s more than doubled since 1997. One of the major ways skin ages is through a loss of collagen. Collagen is a naturally occurring substance that helps keep skin looking plump, lifted, and line-free. We lose some collagen because of the natural aging process, but even more can be lost due to sun exposure and toxins in our environment.

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These exposures increase the rate at which free radicals are absorbed into the skin, where they attack and destroy collagen. When left unchecked, free radicals destroy the skin’s support structure. Once the damage is severe enough, skin sags and wrinkles form.

That is one reason why the loudest anti-aging buzz right now is antioxidants ― nutrients that attack and disable free radicals before they have a chance to destroy our collagen and our skin. Some may even help increase natural collagen production. Antioxidants can reverse collagen damage, which means younger looking skin.

Although research on topically applied antioxidant green tea showed it has strong anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties, an 8-week medical study conducted at Stanford University was disappointing from a cosmetic perspective. The study failed to demonstrate anti-aging effects. More promising, however, were studies conducted, by David McDaniel, MD, of the Eastern Virginia College of Medicine on a number of other antioxidants. Specifically, McDaniel looked at the protective capacity of several topically applied antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, kinetin, alpha-lipoic acid, and idebenone. While all showed some benefits to the skin, McDaniel found idebenone to be the clear leader of the pack.A powerful micronutrient related to CoQ10, (another natural defender against cell damage) idebenone appeared to also provide a strong defense for skin.
“Clinical studies thus far have shown that idebenone…quench[es] inflammatory reactions and… is a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals,” McDaniel recently told the Dermatology Times.
According to dermatologist Bruce Katz, MD, however, many women cannot tolerate idebenone products. “It can cause redness and irritation in some women that makes it difficult to use,” says Katz, director of Juva Skin and Laser Center in New York City.  He advises women with sensitive skin to check with a dermatologist before trying products containing idebenone.Some of the testing may have already paid off for an ingredient derived from the little known fruit called the coffee berry that some now hail as the strongest antioxidant ― and possibly the most powerful anti-aging ingredient ― to date. The same plant that bears the fruit of your Starbuck’s buzz, may also add a kick to your complexion. Coffee berry is gaining in popularity, and it contains high levels of antioxidants. Coffee berry was introduced to doctors at the 2007 American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting. Since then, new research and a handful of products have been launched.

“It’s arguably the hottest thing out there now,” says Joel Schlessinger, MD. Schlessinger, who is president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Esthetic Surgery. “There is a current study showing coffee berry has higher antioxidants than any product ever tested ― including green tea and idebenone.”

The first coffee berry product ― a skin cream called Revale ― has already hit the market. AOne is Estee Lauder’s new “Future Perfect” line, boasting a “skin recharge cocktail” that offers the anti-aging protection of an antioxidant known as NDGA that occurs naturally in the body. Recent studies have shown that, when applied topically, it may act somewhat like estrogen, helping to prevent the loss of collagen in skin.

Clinique’s Continuous Relief Antioxidant Moisturizer boasts eight antioxidants. At least one ― Eukarion-134 ― supposedly has the unique ability to recycle itself after each free-radical hit. This is significant because most other antioxidants lose their protective power after attacking and disabling a single free radical molecule. By recycling itself, this new antioxidant keeps on working, continuing to fight the damage that leads to aging, for a longer period on the surface of skin.

Bearing a slightly more scientific pedigree are ingredients known as “peptides.” The frenzy actually began several years ago when the National Institutes of Health funded studies on wound healing. These studies showed that a chain of five peptides could instruct the body to ratchet up collagen production in response to wounding. More recently, smaller studies found that when applied topically, this same peptide chain seemed to respond to aging, collagen-deficient skin as if it were wounded and so encouraged collagen production.While the level of activity is still under debate, the next generation of this technology ― known as tripeptides ― is already here.
“These are designer peptides,” says Beer, who describes them as “groups of amino acids” that inhibit some of the natural enzymatic ― and yes, aging ― processes that break down and destroy critical components of youthful skin, including collagen. “By providing stability for these and other critical components,” Beer says, “[tripeptides] tip the scales in favor of remaining more youthful and less damaged.”Lumene, a Scandinavian company exporting moderately priced skin care to the U.S., is counting on that. They combine tripeptides with the antioxidant properties of sea buckthorn oil, for their new Premium Beauty line ― with research they claim proves it works.
The much more costly Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense Line offers a tripeptide formula that not only has antioxidant properties, but also claims to stimulate collagen production.
Narins continues to site a lack of published medical data. Schlessinger is even more blunt. “Cosmeceuticals can do some wonderful things for the skin,” he says, “including diminishing brown spots, improving texture, and making the skin feel smooth again. But filling in wrinkles ― I don’t think so.”Until published medical studies do surface, it may be up to consumers to decide for themselves if even the cosmetic results have merit.One more class of products offering new hope in a jar takes the sci-fi approach of tinkering with DNA to turn back the clock one molecule at a time. One such product is called “Remergent.” Sold through doctor’s offices, Remergent reportedly works by delivering to cells small packets of enzymes with the capability of repairing DNA. When DNA, the basic component in all living cells, is damaged ― whether by too much sun exposure, or through the chemical assaults of pollution ― cells undergo changes that can result in anything from accelerated aging to disease, including cancer.
Skin Care News via http://www.webmd.com/beauty/aging/more-hope-jar-anti-aging-skin-care-promise
Geneva Skin care and facial
To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.
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Skin Health Improved With Antioxidants

Nutrition Key To Skin Care Health

By Gerald Imber, MD

Two scientific terms that have become unavoidable are free radicals and antioxidants. These are now understood to be crucial issues in the health and beauty of one’s skin, so pay attention. Free radicals are charged chemical particles of oxygen that enter into destructive chemical bonds with organic substances such as proteins. The result is an oxidation, or chemical burning, of the substance, which destroys it. Protein is denatured, genes may be broken and dangerous residual substances may result from the chemical changes.

Examples of oxidation in nonscientific daily life include the rusting of an iron grill left in the atmosphere, the quick browning of cut potatoes, peaches or avocados left in the open air. It is interesting to consider that when a sliced avocado or peach is treated with lemon juice (a source of the antioxidant vitamin C), it does not brown. But before we jump to the conclusion we wish to see, immersing them in water inhibits the oxidation as well. Knowledge of all this has been around for a long time, though only recently has the process become a consuming interest of researchers and health faddists alike. At the same time that the destructive capabilities of free radicals were becoming known, many compounds that combat this destructive oxidation were identified. They are known as antioxidants, and include among their number many vitamins that were felt to be healthful even before the reasons were clarified.

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Various activities of daily life have been shown to increase the presence of oxygen free radicals associated with destructive oxidation. Exposure to sunlight is known to lead to oxidative destruction of the skin, including increased incidence of skin cancer and the collagen-destroying processes causing wrinkles. Strenuous aerobic activity has been associated with increased free radical formation. But while athletes produce more free radicals, they may have also developed a more effective method of combating the damage with natural antioxidants. The evidence of free radical production leading to oxidation and tissue damage is real; some of the findings are confusing, and we are only just scratching the surface of understanding a very important mechanism.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been given credit for all sorts of miracles, proven and unproven. It is a potent antioxidant and a necessary component of tissue collagen production. Again, we are advised that normal diets, including citrus fruit, provide adequate vitamin C. Over the years scientists and clinicians have waffled over claims for the ability of vitamin C to prevent colds and lessen the length of time that symptoms persist. It is generally believed that these qualities are overstated or wrong. One study did show vitamin C to be effective in preventing cold symptoms in 50% of marathon runners tested but only a tiny percentage of the general population. Since I’m so set against subjecting one’s body to marathon running, I nearly opted to leave that bit of information out. The significance of all this is confusing.

Antioxidants such as vitamin C are key players in the prevention of cholesterol plaques forming in the arteries and are generally necessary for sustained good health. The importance of vitamin C is well-known for its role in the healing of wounds and maintenance of the integrity of tissues. It is important in collagen synthesis, and its absence causes the disease scurvy, which results in tissue breakdown and open wounds. This was in the past a common condition suffered by sailors during long sea voyages. The association of citrus fruit with prevention of the disease led to British ships carrying stores of limes for consumption on extended passages, hence earning British sailors the nickname “limey.”

Excess vitamin C is quickly and harmlessly excreted in the urine. Most proponents believe that 1,000 milligrams per day is adequate for the desired antioxidant effect. A 2008 study quantified the ability of 1,000mg/day of vitamin C to clean up the free radical in muscle after exercise, but questions whether this is beneficial. I’m confused, and I’m sure you are too. Stay tuned—there is surely more to come.

Everything considered, I continue to recommend, and use, daily supplements of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C.

Vitamin C has also been shown to be a powerful antioxidant when applied to the skin. This is where real progress is being made. Free radicals derived from metabolic processes interfere with the production and maintenance of collagen in the skin. When collagen fibers are inadequate in number or misaligned, the skin structure breaks down and loss of elasticity and wrinkling result. Vitamin C protects the collagen in the skin and is necessary for new collagen production and wound healing. Free radicals from the environment have also been said to enter the skin and cause tissue damage, though how this happens is a mystery to me. The function of the skin is to keep the outside environment outside. That’s how it works. And the difficulty in getting topical vitamin C into the skin illustrates that fact. But mechanisms aside, vitamin C applied to the skin can work if it can get into the skin in sufficient quantities. We will deal with this issue in depth a bit later in the text.

Vitamin E

Along with the knowledge of the destructive capability of free radicals is the knowledge that they are products of normal metabolism and are neutralized by antioxidants. These antioxidants are either enzymes within the body systems or antioxidants derived from the diet. The diet-derived group includes vitamin E (tocopherol), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), carotenes (vitamin A), and many others. Vitamins C and E are among the major nonenzymatic antioxidants that protect skin from the adverse effects of aging and sun damage, and for this purpose, topical application seems far more effective than oral supplements. We don’t yet know how much is optimal for this function, but we are discovering how to most effectively deliver it to the skin. The fat-soluble vitamin E molecule is too large to penetrate the skin and significantly raise circulating levels, but application of vitamin E to the skin has consistently shown the ability to retard the inflammation from sun exposure and UVB damage and, in fact, reverse the sun damage. There is also a great deal of evidence that vitamins C and E are enhanced in their antioxidant function when applied together. Current conservative advice is that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables should be adequate for normal healthy adults. Daily oral supplements of vitamin E have long been recommended but have fallen into scientific disfavor due to conflicting reports. Some studies claim it promotes cardiac health; others contradict the findings. A 2009 study indicated that most basic studies were universally flawed and suggested that larger (and perhaps larger than tolerated) doses might be necessary to be effective. I no longer encourage taking vitamin E supplements until more information is available. The effect of vitamin E on the skin is another matter. All evidence indicates that it is an important element for maintaining youthful, healthy skin and preventing and reversing sun damage.

Topical antioxidants like vitamins C and E are potent tools for reversing sun damage to the skin. No one doubts their value; the issue is getting the large molecules through the skin, and a great deal of progress has been made on this front. Effective vitamin C serums are available, and they work. But delivering enough of the antioxidant remains a problem; measuring its effectiveness objectively is another. A relatively unexploited but easily documented property of topical antioxidants is their ability to prevent redness from sun exposure. Both vitamins C and E reduce the red inflammatory reaction from the sun when applied half an hour before exposure. This can be documented and crudely quantified, so we have a way of measuring results and comparing them. When C and E are applied together the effect is cumulative, in other words, more effective than either alone. When another antioxidant, melatonin, is added to C and E, the protective effect is many times greater than using C or E alone, or C and E in combination. Apparently, the addition of melatonin eases the entry of the antioxidants into the skin. This breakthrough has made the topical delivery of antioxidants into the skin a more effective reality. The unique quality of the combined antioxidants has been known for a number of years. Whether the reduced inflammatory response translates to fewer skin cancers is not yet clear. What is known is that vitamins C and E, combined with melatonin, drive antioxidants into the skin, and these same antioxidants have been shown to protect the skin from the inflammatory response to the sun and help reverse previous sun damage to the skin.

I think this represents great progress, and a serum containing potent levels of vitamins C and E and melatonin is now an important component of the Youth Corridor program.

Melatonin

Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and is known to influence the circadian rhythms of the body: sleeping at night, being awake during the day. It has also been recognized as among the most powerful of antioxidants. The ability of melatonin to eliminate free-radical contamination in cellular function has been repeatedly demonstrated. And as noted above, it is very effective as a topical antioxidant in its synergetic action with vitamins C and E. The ability of melatonin to help drive vitamin C into the skin and its anti-inflammatory action have made it a very important ingredient in skin-care products. I believe the combination of vitamin C, vitamin E and melatonin represents the most truly effective way to get enough of these antioxidants into the skin to impede collagen destruction, encourage collagen production, reduce facial wrinkles and undo sun damage.

Natural antioxidants and antioxidant supplements

There are many antioxidant supplements available. Most of these compounds have beneficial properties in their natural state, which should not be overlooked. But the question is whether antioxidant supplements actually provide the help they promise. Systemic antioxidants are necessary to prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which then becomes layered into artery walls as life-threatening plaque. As recently as June 2009, the American Heart Association declined to underwrite the use of antioxidant supplements for this purpose. It concluded there is not enough evidence that vitamins C or E or beta-carotene supplements are of any benefit, though it encouraged the dietary intake of foods high in antioxidants in the natural state. Foods such as citrus fruits, carrots and pomegranates are high on the long list of healthy sources. Green tea is a great source of the powerful antioxidant group called catechins. Catechins have been credited with improving cardiac health, among other benefits, and many experts encourage consuming multiple cups of green tea daily. Numerous studies show the benefit of these catechins in boosting immune response and protecting against cancer. Green tea extract applied to the skin is active in protecting against skin cancers caused by UVB rays, the most dangerous wavelength in sunlight. There appears to be enormous value in consumption of green tea and its use in skin care preparations.

Decaffeinated tea retains its antioxidant value as well, so you can drink your antioxidant all day, buzz-free. Apparently, green tea is not baked in the production process and maintains more of its active catechins than other types of teas. Green tea has no calories, and though it is admittedly an acquired taste, once you get into it, it tastes great. Over the long haul, it may stain teeth slightly, as does coffee; but the simple expedient of brushing a few times daily seems to neutralize the problem.

Lycopene is perhaps the most potent dietary antioxidant. It is found in abundant supply in tomatoes, carrots and other yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables. Its importance in cardiovascular health has been established, and one can infer that if it gets into the arteries it will also reach the skin. Here’s the good news about lycopene: It appears to be most effective in the cooked state in tomatoes, and is most readily digested and absorbed in combination with fats such as olive oil and cheese. Which makes an excellent case for pizza.

Coldwater fish supply abundant amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, while supplements may not. This does not mean that supplements do not help, simply that there is no evidence of that help. That is not the same thing. In the case of beta-carotene supplements, there is evidence of significant negative impact of high doses on the survival of some cancer patients.

The point of all this is, don’t let any food faddist, vitamin salesman or profiteer fool you. There is no clear, scientific evidence that supplements can do the same job as healthy eating. So, why do I continue to use and suggest vitamin C supplements? The evidence of its effectiveness comes and goes in waves. There is nothing to indicate vitamin C is harmful, and reputable scientific investigators have taken both sides of the question over the years. But one would not be wrong in abandoning vitamin C supplements as well.

Source: http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/ingredients/Antioxidants-Free-Radicals-and-Skin-Care-227888041.html?page=1

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

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