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March 29, 2022
Everyone has sugar and fried food cravings at some point, especially when stressed. We get it. However, not only are they bad for your waistline, glucose levels, teeth, and health in general, they are actually one of the main culprits for skin aging (and acne too!), as it triggers a reaction in the body called glycation.
When we eat, the body breaks down carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables into sugars like glucose and fructose, which are the essential fuel for cells and energy metabolism. Glycation is a process in the body triggered by proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids reacting with sugar in the bloodstream. The end result of this reaction is the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). High levels of AGEs have been linked to the development of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and Alzheimer’s, as well as premature aging.
Besides general health, AGEs are also detrimental for the skin. This is because, receptors for AGEs are found in both the epidermis and dermis, more so in the sun-exposed areas of the skin as compared to other areas. This essentially means, the AGEs will stick to the skin, affect keratinocyte and fibroblast function, adhere to existing collagen and elastin that normally help keep skin firm and supple and make them stiff, dry and brittle instead, accelerate inflammation and oxidative stress that further destroy these existing collagen and elastin, and lower the production of new collagen and elastin, as well as yellowing the skin.
The result, is skin that loses elasticity and firmness, sags, turns dull and yellowish, and forms wrinkles and fine lines, as well as inflamed breakouts.
The appearance of glycated collagen is often first seen at the age of 20. It then accumulates at a rate of about 3.7% per year, reaching a 30-50% increase by age 80, whilst visible signs of glycation are usually seen by age 35, and worsen over time.
Excess sugar triggers the glycation process and produces AGEs, which then stick to existing collagen and elastin in the inner layer of the skin.
As a result, collagen and elastin become stiff, dry and brittle, while inflammation and oxidative stress further destroy them, and lower the production of new collagen and elastin. Skin then turns yellow with wrinkles and fine lines.
Even at normal glucose levels, some degree of glycation occurs, and the damage accumulates slowly over time. This essentially means, unless you do not eat at all, there is no way to completely stop glycation. However, there are food that you can stop eating, or eat less at least, to avoid the formation of excess AGEs and the subsequent acceleration of skin aging.
The body already obtains sugars like glucose and fructose from foods like carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables in a normal, healthy diet, thus it is paramount to limit other sugar intake, most notably desserts and soft drinks, as sugar is a key component in the glycation process. This was confirmed by a study which found people aged 50 to 70 with high random blood sugar levels consistently looked older than those with lower blood sugar levels.
Fried, Seared, Roasted & Grilled Foods
Not only are AGEs produced by the body, they are also found in foods with the amount mainly dependent on the method of preparation. For instance, grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, and frying produce much higher levels of AGEs than boiling, poaching, and steaming. Cooking over ceramic surfaces rather than directly on metal can also reduce AGE production.
Humans are born omnivores, which means the most natural, healthy diet for human beings should contain both plant and meat. Unfortunately, AGEs are naturally present in all uncooked animal-derived foods. While going vegan / vegetarian is a personal choice, and oftentimes not a healthy choice for many, it is still best to eat proportionally more plant than meat. Also, consider cooking meat with acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, tomato juice, or lemon juice, as it can reduce AGE production by up to 50%.
Foods such as butter, cream cheese, fried eggs, mayonnaise, cheese, oils, nuts etc. are found to contain more AGEs than lower-fat foods. For instance, Nonfat milk has significantly lower AGEs than whole milk, and bagels have 10 times less AGEs than biscuits (made with butter).
Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol naturally present in grapes, berries (such as mulberries, cranberries, blueberries and bilberries), and cacao beans. It is produced by plants as a protective antibiotic to fight off fungal attacks, drought, UV radiation and inflammation.
Besides improvinging cellular function, protecting the skin from harmful enzymes, improving the function of fibroblasts responsible for creating healthy collagen, and inhibit tyrosinase to downregulating melanin production, the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal substance have also been proven to display antiglycation activity as well.
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Ferulic Acid is a plant-based antioxidant found in oats, rice bran oils etc. which is known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, inflammation, pigmentation, and redness. Studies have shown that it also helps inhibit the formation of AGEs, and mitigate the AGEs-induced inflammatory response in HUVEC cells.
holi(oil) Ageless Face Serum <- Click to shop
Brilliant Light Multi-Correction Repair Serum <- Click to shop
Acting as a cellular messenger, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 inhibits glycation damage to the skin by reducing cell damage during inflammation and promoting glycosaminoglycan renewal. Studies have also shown that Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 can significantly stimulates the regeneration of collagen fibers in the dermis and the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin, which helps reduce wrinkles, as well as tighten skin by attracting moisture to the epidermis.
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
Skin Quencher <- Click to shop
Immersion Serum Concentrate <- Click to shop
Vitamin C is a necessary substance for skin health. It is also known to fight free radicals, stimulate collagen synthesis to prevent wrinkles and skin sagging, fade pigmentation and brighten skin. What most people do not know, is that many studies have shown that vitamin C also demonstrates excellent results in inhibiting the glycation process and AGE formation.
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Unseasonal Kind Lipid Replenishment Oil <- Click to shop
Korean Red Ginseng
Apart from its many health benefits, studies have demonstrated that Korean Red Ginseng can significantly reduce oxidative stress and the formation of AGEs. It has also been shown in vivo to have an inhibitory effect on the cross-linking with existing collagen, thus the existing collagen and elastin structure is protected.
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Not only does green tea, an antioxidant superstar, prevent premature aging, treat acne, and reduce redness and irritations, it has also been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process while stimulating collagen synthesis.
LILOU Radiant Hydra Balm <- Click to shop
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
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Turmeric is rich in a compound called Curcumin. Not only is it a spice and a health supplement with amazing antioxidant properties, it also exhibits antiglycation properties by inhibiting the formation of AGEs and the subsequent accumulation of AGEs in collagen. With less AGEs adhering to existing collagen and elastin, skin suppleness is preserved.
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Sage, Rosemary & Lemon Balm Extracts
Studies have shown that sage, rosemary and lemon balm extracts, all of which are rich in polyphenol and rosmarinic acid, can significantly inhibit the formation of AGEs, and suppress glycation-associated reactions such as yellowing of collagen and degeneration of elastin, which in turn improves skin elasticity. In fact, they are believed to even provide potential benefits with regard to glycation-associated tissue damage in blood vessels!
Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum <- Click to shop
Surrounding Surfaces Cuticle Treatment <- Click to shop
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