Anti aging is a huge topic. Grooming impacts aging issues. After all, much of our grooming addresses this issue: we are constantly searching for the “fountain of youth” through cosmetics, suplements, medicine, anti aging creams, vitamins, human growth hormones, potions and serums. Volumes have been written on this anti aging, and there is a myriad of anti aging treatments and products to remedy this fact of life. Truthfully, scientists do not fully understand the aging process so research and think twice before you spend a wad of money. Expect to see billions of dollars-more money than ever spent on anti-aging skin care products in 2006.
What causes aging? Aging is the process of changes in collagen and elastin, connective tissues which provide elasticity and firmness to our skin. Since everyone is different, this process occurs at different times in each individual’s life but expect it to start in your twenties. Your skin dries out as it loses its elasticity and the fat underneath it begins to diminish. This process – the loss of connective tissue and fat – makes your skin droop and wrinkle. The big culprit in aging, some say it is 90%, is the sun. Too much sun, especially over a long period of time, will increase the aging process. Of course, too much sun is also the cause of skin cancer. Another big culprit is cigarettes. Research suggests that smoking has a huge impact on aging. Smoking decreases the blood flow to the skin. These two big culprits probably impact aging more than chronologic aging itself.
Despite all of the hype, most of us still enjoy the sun and we still like that healthy, tanned glow. If you have the need for a tan or you just spend a great deal of time in the sun due to work or sport, it is essential to apply plenty of sunscreen and wear proper clothing for protection against aging and cancer.
When considering aging, most of us tend to focus on our face. After all, our face is generally our focal point. There are many skin care products on the market for anti-aging.
Some of the anti aging ingredients that you will encounter are the following:
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are used in chemical peels. Includes the following:
Glycolic acid is found in sugarcane and fruit. It exfoliates the skin.
When you see hydroxyl , hydroxyl, associated with the word acid, it is usually an alpha-hydroxy of some sort. Lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, mixed fruit, triple fruit, and sugarcane extract are also alpha-hydroxy acids.
Tocopherol is vitamin E. research has suggested that Vitamin E slows the aging process by reducing wrinkles and skin roughness. Vitamin E is the main antioxidant found in skin. However, absorption by the skin may be minimal.
Collagen is a protein found in some products but when used topically it produces no effect on the skin’s collagen. It is not absorbed by the skin. It must be injected to fill in wrinkles. Collagen is derived from animals and can produce allergic reactions.
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative. It has skin healing properties.
Alpha-lipoic acid penetrates the skin. It is an antioxidant that also increases the effectiveness of Vitamins C and E. It exfoliates the skin to superficially reduce wrinkles.
Kinetin is a plant-based growth factor. It seems to reduce wrinkles, may help produce collagen, and reduce uneven pigmentation. It may be an antioxidant. More studies are necessary.
Copper peptides are a combination of copper and proteins. Copper peptides enhance healing, enhance the effects of antioxidants, and stimulate collagen production.
Coenzyme 10 is a nutrient that reduces fine wrinkles, especially around the eyes. It does not irritate the skin. Some studies suggest that it is beneficial in preventing sun damage if applied before exposure.
Phytoestrogens or soy isoflavones mimic estrogen. They reduce wrinkles, lighten spots, and protect against sun damage.
Green tea is an antioxidant that protects against sun damage, skin cancer, and may reduce wrinkles.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that facilitates collagen generation. It may thicken skin, reduce wrinkles, and protect skin from sun damage.
All of these ingredients need further study. Many have been tested on animals only. Since the FDA does not monitor the cosmetic industry closely, it is important to do your own research.
Most companies have anti-aging product lines formulated especially for men, since men have different skin care needs than women. Arbonne International makes an anti-aging line specifically for men called NutriMenC RE9. 4VOO has an anti-aging line as well.
Besides topical anti-aging solutions, you might try dietary solutions. Eating healthy can slow the aging process. Research suggests that eating foods rich in antioxidants can neutralize free radicals in your body.
Some of these antioxidants include Selenium, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamins B-6, B-12, C, E, and Folic Acid. Fruits and vegetables are rich in these antioxidants.