Cosmetics that Protect and Enhance the Health of the SkinOctober 2004
|LE Magazine October 2004|
|Cosmetics that Protect and Enhance the Health of the Skin|
Effects of Combining Vitamins C and E
A study of vitamins C and E in young, aged, and photodamaged human skin sought to ascertain the various levels of these antioxidants in each skin type. The findings showed that the concentration of vitamin E was significantly lower in the epidermis (upper layer) of photoaged skin (56% lower than in young skin) and aged skin (61% lower than in young skin). There was no difference in vitamin E levels in the dermis of each skin type. In photoaged skin, vitamin C levels were 69% lower in the epidermis and 63% lower in the dermis; in naturally aged skin, vitamin C levels were 61% lower in the epidermis and 70% lower in the dermis. Glutathione concentrations were also lower compared to young skin. These results show that the antioxidant defense systems in normal aged and photoaged human skin are significantly diminished compared to that in young skin.19
Critics used to claim there was no evidence that topically applied products affected skin aging. Many recently published studies have proven the skeptics wrong. The science clearly substantiates that free radicals play an important role in causing skin aging, and that topically applied antioxidants confer significant protection and can even partially reverse some aspects of skin aging. Newly available lipsticks, foundations, and eye preparations contain broad-spectrum antioxidants to provide the skin with all-day protection.
Cell-Renewal Effects of Vitamin A
One characteristic of sun-damaged skin is the degradation of its supporting structure caused by reduced collagen synthesis. A study of 72 people of various ages sought to determine whether the topical application of natural vitamin A could improve function in both naturally aged, sun-protected skin and photoaged skin. In one of the study groups comprising people aged 80 years and older, topical application of vitamin A for seven days increased fibroblast growth and collagen synthesis, while reducing levels of a collagen-degrading skin enzyme called metalloproteinase. The overall findings indicate that naturally aged, sun-protected skin and photoaged skin share important molecular features, including connective tissue damage, elevated metalloproteinase levels, and reduced collagen production. Topical vitamin A treatment reduced matrix metalloproteinase expression and stimulated collagen synthesis in naturally aged and sun-protected skin, as it does in photoaged skin.23 Vitamin A drugs (Retin-A®) have shown more profoundly acute effects in reversing aging effects in both photodamaged and naturally aged skin, but some people find them irritating to the skin.24
One of the most disfiguring skin diseases is the appearance of cancer. In a study that sought to compare the effects of dietary administration of a vitamin A drug (13-cis-retinoic acid) to those of the natural form of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), female mice were administered a chemical carcinogen to evaluate the incidence and severity of mouse skin tumor promotion. The results showed that retinyl palmitate inhibited the number and weight of tumors, whereas 13-cis-retinoic acid decreased the weight, but not the number, of tumors promoted.25
In another study, tumors were chemically induced in a group of Swiss mice over a 23-week period. The topical application of the drug 13-cis-retinoic acid was compared to natural vitamin A (retinyl palmitate). This study showed that both the vitamin A drug and natural vitamin A inhibited the development of skin papillomas and had a marked effect on skin cancers.26 Vitamin A may be one of the vitamins best documented to protect against several types of human cancers. One of its mechanisms is to induce healthy differentiation and apoptosis of aged cells. Vitamin A protects the skin by helping to facilitate cell renewal and possibly by preventing skin cancers.
Studies show that the upper layer of the skin or epidermis can be easily saturated with natural vitamin A by topical application. Besides being a precursor for retinoic acid, vitamin A also has potential as a scavenger of free radicals. Vitamin A absorbs ultraviolet light to help protect the skin’s most delicate areas against damaging free radical attack.27 Natural vitamin A thus functions via several pathways to guard against normal and sun-induced skin aging.
The new anti-aging lipsticks and foundations contain a natural form of vitamin A to nourish the skin all day long with this cell-renewing nutrient.
The Need for All-Day Protection
Considering that women often apply cosmetics on a daily basis, it makes sense that the cosmetics should include ingredients that block damaging ultraviolet light, guard against free radicals, stop inflammatory processes, replenish collagen, stimulate cellular renewal, and restore the skin’s natural antioxidants. Exciting new studies show that certain nutrients, when topically applied, can reverse some aspects of skin aging. With the newly available nutrient-rich cosmetics, women have a convenient way to benefit from scientifically documented skin-restoring agents all day long.
A large percentage of the population is infected with herpes simplex virus 1, which causes cold sores or fever blisters on the lips. Exposure to solar radiation is one cause of cold-sore outbreaks. With the advent of high-SPF lipsticks that contain agents that protect against ultraviolet light, it may be possible to avoid sunlight-induced herpes outbreaks on the lips.
For the past 21 years, most Life Extension members have been using the Rejuvenex® anti-aging cream. A brand-new Rejuvenex® formula is now available that provides even greater percentages of skin-enhancing agents, including a potent dose of green tea extract and other new ingredients.
Even more exciting is that for the first time, women can use everyday cosmetic products that contain the skin-protecting ingredients discussed in this article. These new cosmetics enhance a woman’s appearance while allowing her to simultaneously nourish her skin with vitamins A, C, and E, along with green, red, and white tea extracts. These anti-aging cosmetics are also fortified with high-SPF sun-blocking agents to guard the skin and lips against the deleterious effects of ultraviolet A and B light.
For ultimate benefit, the new Rejuvenex® should be worn under all cosmetic preparations. Descriptions of the new Rejuvenex® formula and the new nutrient-enriched cosmetics appear on the following pages.
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2. Sander CS, Chang H, Salzmann S, et al. Photoaging is associated with protein oxidation in human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol. 2002 Apr;118(4):618-25.
3. Nola I, Kotrulja L. Skin photodamage and lifetime photoprotection. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2003;11(1):32-40.
4. Lu YP, Lou YR, Xie JG, et al. Topical applications of caffeine or (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) inhibit carcinogenesis and selectively increase apoptosis in UVB- induced skin tumors in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Sep 17;99(19):12455-60.
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7. Katiyar SK, Mukhtar H. Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate treatment to mouse skin prevents UVB-induced infiltration of leukocytes, depletion of antigen-presenting cells, and oxidative stress. Leukoc Biol. 2001 May;69(5):719-26.
8. Katiyar SK, Elmets CA. Green tea polyphenolic antioxidants and skin photoprotection (review). Int J Oncol. 2001 Jun;18(6):1307- 13.
9. Chung JH, Han JH, Hwang EJ, et al. Dual mechanisms of green tea extract (EGCG)- induced cell survival in human epidermal keratinocytes. FASEB J. 2003 Oct;17(13):1913-5.
10. Vayalil PK, Elmets CA, Katiyar SK. Treatment of green tea polyphenols in hydrophilic cream prevents UVB-induced oxidation of lipids and proteins, depletion of antioxidant enzymes and phosphorylation of MAPK proteins in SKH-1 hairless mouse skin. Carcinogenesis. 2003 May;24(5):927-36.
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12. Available at: http://www.hsrmagazine.com/ hotnews/31h3016734.html. Accessed July 28, 2004.
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