All women -even men- desire having a young, smooth & vital skin as long as they can while they grow old. A degree of losing skin vitality over years of age is unavoidable, but there are number of factors that if you paid attention to; you can slow down skin deterioration process, among these processes is the center of our topic: Glycation.
Know what glycation is, and learn ways to slow it down as possible.
What is Skin Glycation?
Glycation is the process by which sugar gets bind to protein resulting in a cross-linking. But how is that related to your skin aging?
Your skin is composed of two layers: an outer called epidermis and the one below it is called dermis; the dermis is consisted of multi-protein matrix structure, especially collagen fibers (the one that give your skin flexibility and young-appearance). When sugar bind to collagen and form cross links, collagen becomes tough, inflexible and tears easily.
Increased glycation triggers chain of events which leads to the production of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), those AGEs impose insult to the characteristics of protein, resulting in deterioration in the appearance and function of collagen in supporting the skin (i.e. gaining old-looking skin).
Glycation and AGEs not only affect the skin; this rigidity in protein structure affects the vascular, coronary, renal and nervous system tissue as well.
So slowing down glycation is important not only for you to maintain young, good-looking skin, but also to maintain healthy internal organs and vessels walls, which brings us to the next point…
How can you control skin glycation?
As we mentioned before, glycation is an inevitable process since protein and sugar are normal components of your body, so can’t prevent it totally, but what you can do is avoiding having a 40-year old skin at the age of 30 by following these guidelines:
- First things first: Food intake.
The most powerful way to decrease glycation is by reducing the availability of its leading element, i.e. reduce unnecessary sugar and carbohydrates intake especially added sugars and processed carbs, and watch your overall daily calories, the more sugar circulating in your blood, the higher the chances for glycation and production of AGEs.
Aim toward more healthy food choices most of the times and know more about foods that accelerate your aging process.
Over-cooked, over-heated & caramelized foods increase the production of AGEs, so chose more low and slow cooking.
Regular exercising improves the body’s ability to utilize and process sugar, reducing its availability for glycation, by enhancing insulin sensitivity and burning those extra sugars hanging out in blood, as a result; decreasing AGEs.
Read more about the golden gifts of physical fitness.
Some nutrients have been found to protect against glycation insult to the skin and boost healing capacity. They include:
- Blueberries: Stabilizes collagen matrix, strengthen its integrity & promote its biosynthesis, protects against AGEs formation & oxidative stress.
- Pomegranate: Increase collagen synthesis, thickens the skin’s outer layer hence reversing visible signs of aging, in addition to powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Tea blends: White, black, green, and especially red teas are good sources of antioxidants and have inflammation & oxidative stress-protection power.
- Vitamin C: Applying vitamin C to the skin can help combat oxidative stress and collagen degeneration, improve skin firmness and elasticity; promoting youthful- looking skin.