Anti-aging Agents: a Guide to Key Ingredients in Anti-aging Skincare

anti aging

Anti-Aging Agents

Wrinkles, sags, lines, freckles and “liver spots” are all normal accompaniments of aging–or are they? We hear so much hype about what goes on in the aging process it becomes really difficult to separate fact from fiction. However, we do know that there are some topical ingredients that will help the skin combat oxidative stress, regenerate tissue and heal itself. This list covers just a few of the anti-aging heavy hitters you will find in MV products. For a more complete discussion of aging, please visit the About Aging page.

Alpha-lipoic acid—A powerful anti-oxidant. Alpha lipoic acid’s antiaging benefits are in part likely related to its ability to increase levels of the amino acid glutathione, which also possesses anti-aging properties.

Australian bush plum– With the average vitamin C content of 3.0 – 3.5% (range= .2 to 5.9%) the bush plum provides the most concentrated natural source of vitamin C known. The typical bush plum contains about 2907 mg vitamin C per 100 grams of edible fruit.

Beta-carotene—a natural precursor to Vitamin A, whose cell regenerative properties have given it the reputation as the “skin vitamin.” Vitamin A is essential for skin health. Supplements are often given to help with cases of stubborn acne.

Carrot seed essential oil– This essential oil is widely appreciated for its ability to help heal dry and dehydrated skin. Carrot seed essential oil has a high carotol content, which provides good skin-rejuvenating properties. It also contains beta-carotine and it is rich in vitamins A & E. The oil’s aroma is sweet and it is an excellent essential oil for mature skin.

DMAE– (dimethylaminoethanol) An amino acid and antioxidant membrane stabilizer. DMAE works synergistically with antioxidants to enhance their strength, and to help repair and stabilize skin cell membranes by expelling waste.

Evening primrose oil– Evening primrose oil is one of the most concentrated sources of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. The body converts the GLA in evening primrose oil into prostaglandins, substances that function like hormones and help to regulate body processes. It also contains substantial amounts of polysaturated omega-6 fatty acids.

Ginseng extract– (Panax quinquefolium) When applied to the skin, ginseng has been shown to enhance the cellular function of skin cells and stimulate skin cell regeneration. It is useful in combating wrinkles and the visible signs of aging. Ginseng is extracted from the root of the ginseng plant after the plant reaches maturity, which may take six or more years.

Glyconutrients—provide nutrients so skin can biosynthesize hyaluronic acid and other glycosamineglycans, thus maintaining skin plumpness. Read more about the benefits of glyconutrients on the Glyconutrients page.

Gotu Kola– Known for its remarkable wound healing properties, gotu kola is often used for treating burns and skin ulcers.

Helichryssum essential oil– Helichrysum stimulates production of new cells, so it’s used in skin products to treat acne, scar tissue, bruising, mature skin, and burns. It also helps to prevent sunburn. It treats bacterial infection and inflammation and helps to boost the body’s immune system. Its healing properties can quell a chronic cough, bronchitis, or fever, and it can alleviate pain by numbing nerve endings. It also lessens muscle pain, arthritis, enlarged veins, liver problems and counters allergic reactions like asthma. Its scent helps relieve depression, nervous exhaustion, and stress.

Idebenone- a powerful anti-oxidant. Results of a clinical trial were presented in February 2004 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. They wanted to find out which ingredient offered the best protection against free radicals. Idebenone finished first against vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, kinetin, and alpha-lipoic acid. The benefits of this ingredient include shielding skin from environmental damage, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reducing dryness and smoothing skin texture.

Kombucha tea— Kombucha, also known as the Manchurian or Kargasok mushroom, is not a mushroom but rather a mixture of bacteria that includes Acetobacter xylinum, Acetobacter ketogenum and Pichia fermentans, and various yeasts. It contains lactic acid and glucoronic acid, essential for the biosynthesis of hyaluronic acid, an important component of the skin’s dermal layer that contributes to skin elasticity and plumpness. It acts as a humectant.

Pearl powder– By slowing down the development of melanin (the chemical in our body responsible for colour pigments) it prevents and facilitates the fading of pigmentation spots. Rich in proteins, pearls also help to renew skin cells. It is also rich in vitamin B-complex and polysaccharides which strengthen the muscles and improve metabolism. Taken internally, pearl powder also acts as a source of calcium to aid those with bone loss. Some Chinese experts claim that it has the ability to filter the sun’s rays and correct damage done to the skin by the sun. Common uses: evens out skin tone, clears acne and rosacea, fades pigmentation marks and is beneficial for general complexion maintenance.

Quercetin–a bioflavonoid (or flavonoid), which is a type of pigment found in almost all herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Bioflavonoids provide the body with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection, and quercetin is among the most powerful and effective of known anti-inflammatories and antioxidants

Resveratrol– Resveratrol ( trans-3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene ) is a protective compound produced by grapes and other plants in response to environmental stresses. Studies have demonstrated that resveratrol has potent antioxidant activity and also has the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation. These actions may help prevent free radical damage throughout the body and provide protective support to the cardiovascular system.

Rose hip seed oil– Rosehip seed oil contains Vitamin A, which helps to delay the effects of skin aging, assists with cell regeneration, and promotes increase of collagen and elastin levels. Rosehip seed oil also contains a high amount of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. In particular, it is rich in linoleic and linolenic acids, important skin nutrients.

Seabuckthorn oil– Sea Buckthorn oil has multiple benefits in the area of restorative and anti-aging skin care. Natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids help reverse damaging effects of sun radiation and minimize long term effects of sun exposure. Promotes natural skin restorative processes. Tolerated by any type of skin, sea buckthorn oil is especially beneficial for rosacea-prone skin as it provides long term anti-inflammatory, restorative and revitalizing action.

White tea– well-documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Topical white tea polyphenols are likely to slow down the development of some signs of aging. In particular, since the sun protection benefits of white tea are particularly well documented, it makes sense to use a sunscreen with white tea in it, and particularly a sunscreen with zinc oxide, as ZO is chemically inert and will not react with white tea (which some chemical sunscreens might do, especially in sunlight).

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