Research has revealed that glycation and byproducts of sugar metabolism (glycotoxins) produce wrinkles on even the most sunscreened of skins.
The first reason most of us get wrinkles is because we are in the sun too much, which causes cellular damage if we are not protected. Over time, this causes a breakdown in the skin’s proper structure, leaving us with wrinkled skin. The next reason is because we all get old, right? Maybe wrong. It could be the normal response of our body to sugar.
What is glycation?
Glycation is the process whereby sugar molecules in your body cling on to your fats and proteins with no action by an enzyme. This forms what’s known as Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) that result in protein fibres becoming stiff and malformed. This occurs a lot in skin – full of collagen and elastin, which are proteins. This interaction causes the proteins to become weak, discoloured and less supple, showing up as a loss of vibrancy and buoyancy of the skin. This means more wrinkles, more sagging and less glow.
Any time that you grill, fry, toast or roast food, you end up eating a lot of AGEs too, so anything crusty, grilled or baked (yes, muesli is a culprit) has an AGE dose. As you age, glycation damage can become more apparent because your skin reduces its production of collagen and elastin.
How can we help prevent glycation?
The bad news is, you can’t really do anything because you can’t stop eating. It’s just the way our bodies work. A solution in a tube, however, was presented at the 9th World Congress of Cosmetic Dermatology held in Athens, Greece a few years ago. Researchers found a topical compound that significantly reduces the AGE content in human skin. The compound is called Theraglycan-3, and was found – amazingly (too good to be true?) – to make skin look 8-10 years younger apparently, in the study the company discussed.
But does it work?
Sadly, the product that was so excitedly anticipated doesn’t seem to have anything backing it up (reviews, website, other medical journal articles), but the idea is interesting. Watch this space for further sugar-fixers!