Glycation is the damage to proteins caused by sugar molecules and has become a buzzword amongst skin care experts, having long been a focus of study in people with diabetes, and now as part of the skin aging process.
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“The word that has been on the minds of dermatologists and other skin care researchers for many years is glycation, which is what happens on the cellular level to age our skin,” says skin care expert Ron Cummings, founder and CEO of AminoGenesis Skin Care.
“Antioxidants fight inflammation caused by free radicals, which are largely created from external, environmental factors such as excessive sunlight or cigarette smoke. Glycation, though, damages from the inside out.”
Using antioxidants and topical moisturizers are a good start to keeping the effects of aging at bay, but they only go so far, Cummings says.
The skin care guru adds that it is even more important to reverse the damage to skin caused by glycation, which became possible only recently.
Glycation is the one of the main aging factors on the skin as sugar molecules in the body bombard cells bonding with fats and proteins.
The proteins then become misshapen and excrete exotoxins that disrupt cellular metabolism. Collagen, which makes skin look smooth and plump, is a protein that’s particularly vulnerable to glycation.
The damage manifests as wrinkles, lines, discoloration and edema. Rather than attacking a cell from the outside, like a free radical, glycation occurs from within.
“Just as antioxidants have revolutionized anti-aging efforts around the world, anti-glycation will be understood to be exponentially more effective,” Cummings adds.