A complex mechanism which has yet to be fully explained by science, aging of the skin is primarily due to intrinsic and extrinsic processes (1).
Intrinsic processes are related to genetic and natural criteria: cell renewal gradually slows down, the effect on cells of accumulated oxidative stress accelerates this cell death, certain age-related changes (including the menopause and andropause) impair collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis, etc.
But collagen, a protein present in tendons, muscles, cartilage, the epidermis, etc, provides elasticity to the skin (2).
And hyaluronic acid forms a kind of cement between skin cells and, with its ability to absorb large amounts of water,hydrates and protects the skin against external aggressors (3).
These intrinsic processes of skin aging thus result in a loss of skin elasticity and the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots , as well as a drying effect on the skin (hence some people choose to take supplements such as Marine Collagen and Injuv Hyaluronic Acid to help compensate for these losses).
Extrinsic processes, meanwhile, are linked to external factors which, for the most part, subject skin cells to excessive oxidative stress, and accelerate aging of the skin (4).
So to fight premature skin aging, two strategies are required: you need to both minimise any external aggressors, and boost your internal defenses.
Though it might be very appealing to soak up the sun as soon as the warm weather returns, it’s worth bearing in mind that UV rays damage our skin.
Not only can they generate mutations in DNA and alter gene expression, which eventually leads to skin cancer, but they also stimulate the expression of certain enzymes which damage the extracellular matrix and accelerate collagen breakdown (5).
In fact, the sun is a major extrinsic factor in skin aging. So by all means sunbathe but do so with the protection of a sunscreen and for no more than two hours at a time.
A small Asian plant from the Fabaceae family, astragalus is part of the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia, considered by Asian systems of medicine to be an adaptogen plant.
In fact, over the last 50 years, numerous studies have shown this plant to contain molecules with multiple health benefits: astragalosides, and in particular, astragaloside IV.
This remarkable substance may actually slow down the shortening of telomeres (the tips of chromosomes), thus extending the lifespan of cells. What’s more, in vitro research has shown astragaloside to have antioxidant properties. It also inhibits the formation of advanced glycation end products (6).
All these benefits make astragaloside IV (which you can find standardized to almost 98% in the supplement Astragaloside IV 98%) an excellent aid to combatting oxidative stress and promoting skin rejuvenation (7).
Recognized as important factors in cellular oxidative stress, smoking and alcohol have terrible effects on the skin.
Every time a smoker takes a puff, 200,000 free radicals are released. In addition to oxidative stress, smoking leads to vasoconstriction – constriction of the blood vessels. As a result, red blood cells are unable to get through to the upper layers of the skin which then lose elasticity, thickness and vitality. Hence smokers tend to have more wrinkles and a duller complexion (8-9).
Worse still, nicotine irritates the sebaceous glands and can cause cysts to develop behind the ears and in the groin.
And there’s no parity between men and women here; women are more vulnerable to smoking-induced skin damage (10).
As for alcohol, excessive consumption depletes the liver, causing general fatigue and slowing down cell renewal.
It also leads to telomere-shortening, thus accelerating cellular aging.
Lastly, unlike tobacco, alcohol is a vasodilator which means it can cause generalised redness and swelling of the face, resulting in a puffy appearance, etc. (11)
In short, if you want to put the brakes on skin aging, stop smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.
Vitamin B3 is essential to health in that it is involved in numerous mechanisms: metabolism of lipids, maintaining tissue integrity, as precursors of the coenzymes NAD and NADP, etc. Vitamin B3 is thus crucial for a number of metabolic reactions (12).
Vitamin B3 is primarily found in 3 forms: nicotinamide riboside chloride, niacinamide and niacin, recognized for helping to maintain normal, healthy skin (13).
Vitamin B8, also known as biotin, is incorporated by the body in the structure of a coenzyme essential for several metabolic processes: protein metabolism, gluconeogenesis, nervous system function,renewal of skin and hair cells (14) ...
To fight oxidative stress and skin aging, it’s therefore a good idea to eat plenty of chicken, liver and seafood (you can also supplement with Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride , Niacinamide, or Natural Skin Formula, a supplement that contains biotin, hyaluronic acid, collagen and a number of other beneficial molecules) (15).
As the body’s first line of defense, the skin (along with mucous membranes) forms the foremost barrier against air pollution … … and is thus its first victim, atmospheric pollution being potentially responsible for almost 4 million deaths globally, according to the WHO (16).
The skin is thus under constant attack from tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes, fertilisers, pesticides, etc. which, through bioaccumulation, cause oxidative stress, and as a result, more rapid skin aging.
It’s therefore crucial to cleanse your skin daily, especially your face, with a mild soap to remove pollutants, and also to apply a protective mask in the morning to prevent bioaccumulation of fine particles in the skin (17).
Used for thousands of years in many traditional systems of medicine (Chinese, Ayurveda, etc), turmeric is recognized as a powerful antioxidant which plays a role in maintaining an effective immune system, the quality of the blood, and the health of the liver, respiratory tract and skin (18).
As such, it constitutes a key element in any strategy to slow down aging of the skin and support the fight against oxidative stress (you can take our supplement AntiOxidant Synergy, which in addition to turmeric, also contains many other compounds such as resveratrol and glutathione).