Age Gracefully: Combat Skin Aging with Your Diet


As the saying goes, the key to longevity is to age gracefully. That includes our skin, the largest organ of the body. Skin aging is defined by its components: natural, heat, and photoaging – critical factors that cause skin aging damage.

According to Boosting the Photoaged Skin: The Potential Role of Dietary Components, which appeared in the May 2021 online issue of the journal Nutrients, “skin photoaging is caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV), and manifests as rough, dry, and sagging skin, deeper skin wrinkles, excessive skin pigmentation, or angiotelectasis, even leading to various benign or malignant tumors, such as solar keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.”

Addressing skin damage may involve methods, such as the use of sunglasses, window films, and clothing – along with topical treatment of active ingredients, and medical cosmetology.

From a prevention standpoint, what you eat may prove to be the best skin defense. The Nutrients study authors from Korea and China, comment that, “phytochemicals, functional proteins and peptides, functional sugars, functional oils, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals are well-known to improve the photoaging-associated morphological abnormalities and functional decline.”

The Korean and Chinese literature reviewers sought to, among other objectives, “provide insight into the preventive and therapeutic potential of various food-derived active ingredients in skin photoaging and their underlying mechanisms.”

The oral administration of phytochemicals has been shown to have beneficial effects at reducing the risks associated with skin aging, while boosting photoaged skin. Carotenoids, such as astaxanthin and lycopene, are two such examples.

Astaxanthin, note the reviewers, “has diverse functions in skin biology, including photoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. Oral administration of astaxanthin is protective against UV-induced skin deterioration and is helpful to maintain healthy skin.” 

Lycopene, found in tomatoes and tomato-based products, “is recognized as a potent antioxidant. Lycopene has been found to be efficient in skin photoaging.”

The polyphenols dihydromyricetin, a flavonoid, and ellagic acid, a polyphenol dilactone, both found in fruits and vegetables, are used for anti-photoaging treatment. 

Resveratrol – a naturally occurring polyphenolic phytoalexin found in grapes, red wine, peanuts, mulberries, and fruits, “in a placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study, caused facial skin moisturization and elasticity to be enhanced, “while facial skin roughness and depth of wrinkles were reduced, in subjects, who were orally supplied with a resveratrol–procyanidin blend.”

Green tea catechin is a natural iron chelator and antioxidant. In a study using oral supplementation with green tea polyphenols containing catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, and glucuronidase/sulfatase, the blend, “protects against the UV-induced sunburn response, immunosuppression, and photoaging of the skin.”

The Korean and Chinese study reviewers site a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study employing supplementation with green tea polyphenols that, “significantly reduced the UV-induced erythema in facial skin, improved skin elasticity, roughness, density, and water homeostasis, and increased the blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin.”

Other synergistic nutrients that promote healthy skin are plant extracts – such as cacao beans, which improve skin health; garlic, that supports skin structure; the bioactive collagen peptides Verisol caused, “eye wrinkle formation (to be) reduced, and biosynthesis of procollagen I, elastin, and fibrillin in the skin was significantly increased.” Oral administration of fish oil may offer a protective effect against skin photoaging. 

Immune function is also a key factor to skin health and reducing skin disease risk. Probiotics – microorganisms that exert a beneficial effect on the health, when consumed in sufficient quantity and strain – may play a significant role in skin health via regulating intestinal microbiota and metabolites and improving systemic immunity. Interested in an Immune Support FormulaClick Here!

Vitamin C – a water soluble antioxidant – is important to collagen biosynthesis – protecting against oxidation (ROS) generated by UV radiation, while vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin antioxidant – combined with vitamin C has shown to relieve sunburn on human back skin.

Before you decide to experiment with the next latest and greatest antiaging skin supplement formula, we recommend that you consult with a dermatologist, who specializes in the clinical aspects of skin aging and the associated skin diseases.

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