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A skincare expert shares what everyone should know about the effects of glycation on their skin

by , 24 January 2017
A skincare expert shares what everyone should know about the effects of glycation on their skin
If you know a thing or two about anti-ageing, you know that eating antioxidant-rich foods, for example, is an effective way to fight ageing naturally.

But do you know about the biological process underlying for most skin damage and how you can address this problem?

Read on to learn to learn about glycation - the skin's number one ageing factor - and for skincare expert Ron Cummings', founder and CEO of AminoGenesis Skin Care, top tips for addressing it.

Glycation damages your skin from the inside out

Glycation occurs when sugar molecules bond to proteins or lipid molecules with enzymatic regulation. According to Cummings, glycation has long been a focus of study in diabetes sufferers. This is because diabetes can lead to even more serious health complications, such as nerve damage and blindness.
 
“People with uncontrolled diabetes have excess blood sugar, so they experience a higher rate of systemic glycation,” Cummings says.
 
So what about the effects of glycation on your skin? “The word that has been on the minds of dermatologists and other ski-care researchers for many years is glycation, which is what happens on the cellular level to age our skin,” Cummings explains.
 
“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,” he adds.

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Glycation is the skin’s number one ageing factor

Time to get technical – let’s take a look at what exactly happens in your body when glycation occurs. Cummings explains that the sugar molecules in your body attack your healthy cells and bond with proteins and fats. These proteins then become deformed and releae exotoxins, which disrupts your cellular metabolism.
 
Cummings stresses that collagen – the protein that keeps your skin looking firm, plump and youthful – is especially vulnerable to glycation. The most obvious signs of glycation damage include lines, wrinkles, edema (swelling) and skin discolouration.
 
As you can now see, glycation bombards your cells from the inside rather than the outside. This makes it very similar to free radical damage.
 

Using moisturisers and topical treatments only go so far when it comes to treating glycation

Cummings admits that using moisturisers and topical treatments is a great start to ward off the effects of ageing, but they only work up until a certain point. Using anti-glycation topical solutions are the most effective way to treat the effects of glycation on your skin, he says. Cummings confirmed that these solutions have been clinically shown to work.
 
Cummings goes on to say that while your favourite moisturiser, a DIY recipe you found online or your grandmother’s secret skincare solution may act as an effective moisture evaporation barrier, these solutions will only work temporarily... and they won’t reverse the effects of glycation.
 
On the other hand, new, advanced ant-glycation treatments directly target the signs of ageing by releasing the sugar molecule’s bond with protein. Ultimately, this allows your cell to return to its natural state and shape, Cummings explains.
 
If you’re experiencing skin ageing and think it may be due to the effects of sugar, you should consult your doctor. If this is the case, he or she will be able to prescribe an anti-glycation topical solution, which can quickly get your skin looking glowing and youthful again. 

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