When adopting a plan for anti-aging and longevity of your skin you must consider more than just sunscreen and antioxidants. Though sunscreen is vital for protection against UV damage and antioxidants help disarm age-promoting free radicals; one must jump start the repair process to efficiently replace and repair damaged cells. The idea is to keep your skin looking youthful by influencing cells to act like younger cells. To do this you need energy.
Where does needed energy for skin longevity come from? Your Mitochondria, that's where. As you may recognize from me discussing this in earlier posts, mitochondria are organelles in almost every cell in your body whose primary function is to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is the fuel necessary for your skin (and all cells) to repair damage and replace senescent (non functioning) cells with new, robust cells. Important cells like fibroblasts in your dermis are fueled by ATP. Fibroblasts are responsible for making collagen, elastin and glycosamino acids. These are the components that give your skin firmness and resist wrinkles. The energy produced by mitochondria is also responsible for activating stem cells hidden in the niches of your epidermal basement cell layer to make keratinocytes. Keratinocytes give skin its strength and resistance to protect it from environmental aggressors. Stem cells in the epidermis also produce melanocytes, the pigment producing cells that give your skin color and protect you from UVA (the aging rays of the sun) as well as UVB (the burning rays). The problem is that as we age we lose mitochondria and the energy it produces.
Why does this happen?
There are many theories on why we age. The most popular in the skincare industry, as well as the supplement industry is the Free Radical Theory of Aging.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
In the skincare world it was once thought that the Free Radical Theory of Aging was the sole reason for aging. The free radical theory of aging asserts that aging is caused by the accumulation of damage inflicted by reactive oxygen species (free radicals). While this concept has been very useful in defining the contribution of oxidative damage to the aging process, an increasing number of studies now put that in question. This is because oxidative damage represents only one of many causes of aging and does not completely explain other factors like why there is an inevitability of DNA damage accumulation over time.
The Wear and Tear Theory of Aging
The Wear and Tear Theory of Aging is deeply ingrained in our thinking. It is often what you hear when older people talk about how their bodies just aren't working the way they used to. We look at our bodies like our cars, a machine that through wear and tear will simply break down over time. At first this theory seems the most plausible. It fits in with our own life experiences. It takes into account cell senescence where after a certain amount of damage cells die or become zombie cells (not really dead or alive). Also telomeres, those little caps at the end of chromosomes that protect them and get shorter and shorter each time the cell divides. Eventually telomeres become too short and the cells are unable to further divide.
We now know that genes are responsible for only about 20% of aging, most of it is environmental. Through epigenetics there are ways to turn on "good" longevity genes and turn off "bad" aging genes. This is something that is under a lot of study right now. Within cells that continue to divide, the DNA can sustain damage and errors that accumulate. The simple act of dividing, again and again can cause errors (mutations) to occur.
The Wear and Tear Theory of aging may have less credence due to the fact that mitochondria may suffer DNA damage simply because of a mistake, an error that alters and depletes mitochondrial DNA.
The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging
The Mitochondrial Theory of aging doesn't discount everything from the Free Radical Theory of Aging or the Wear and Tear Theory of aging. It just expands upon them. It suggests that the free radicals formed in the normal process of cellular respiration are responsible for aging.
During mitochondrial respiration, when the mitochondria takes up food and oxygen to make ATP, some oxygen free radicals are created. These free radicals can damage the mitochondria itself. As the mitochondria are damaged they produce less energy for cells to do... well...everything a cell must do. And, as we age there are less mitochondria, making less energy.
The two most researched ways to increase mitochondria and ATP is to increase exercise and through calorie restriction. But, what can we do to focus on increasing energy (ATP) in our skin?
Numerous studies have demonstrated the anti-aging effects of CoQ10 (Firming Peptide Serum) in effecting dermal fibroblasts. It is a potent ingredient in anti-aging and regenerative skincare. Topical application of CoQ10 containing serums help replenish the levels of this antioxidant in both the dermal and epidermal layers of older skin (60+ years). Also known as ubiquinone CoQ10, this is a vital component in ATP production and helps protect against photodamage. There is also research showing that environmental factors deplete the presence of CoQ10 in the skin. The latest research suggests that topical application of CoQ10 has antioxidant and skin-soothing effects. As such, it is one of many helpful antioxidants for skin that boosts energy.
Nicotinamide ( AGELESS Longevity Serum) also known as Vitamin B3 or niacinamide. It is a precursor of NAD+, which is required for mitochondrial ATP production. The topical application of nicotinamide has shown anti‐inflammatory effects against rosacea, acne, hyperreactive skin, and hyperpigmentation. It is also used as a brightening ingredient for skin with uneven pigmentation.
Ergothioneine is in the cell’s principal energizing antioxidant (Revitalize Cell Therapy) which is derived from mushrooms. Ergothioneine restores power to cells, quenching age producing free radicals and supporting cellular activities from detoxification to the production of youthful proteins. Within days, signs of repair are enhanced, and an even tone and clarity begins to return to skin. The best time to supplement with ergothioneine is before bed as active repair occurs during deep sleep.
LED RED LIGHT THERAPY
Red light therapy uses a safe wave of light that has just the right depth to stimulate ATP in the lower layers of the skin. Red light therapy is designed to enhance cellular function. We've used red light therapy for years in our spa as part of our anti-aging facials. It can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and enhance the performance of energy-making mitochondria in skin cells. Red light therapy when used regularly has also been shown to increase the number of mitochondria in skin cells and boost their function.
It took some consideration when deciding which anti-aging device to offer clients that they could use at home. Microcurrent devices also stimulate ATP and are traditionally used to tone facial muscles. In spas the microcurrent devices are often much stronger than home models. They do provide an increase of cellular energy as well as increased penetration of products and their performance ingredients. Microcurrent devices work well except, like doing sit ups, you need to remain loyal to your daily workout to stay toned. Otherwise your skin will become flaccid.
With LED Light therapy you don't have to worry about keeping up with an intense routine. You really should be loyal to your treatments in the beginning, but missing a day here and there isn't really a big deal. I just think it's an easier path to follow. Plus using a device that has multiple variations of light as does LightStim for Wrinkles allows you to reach many layers of skin and get a better result. LightStim uses four wavelengths: amber 605nm, red 630nm, deep red 660nm, and infrared 855nm to stimulate the skin's natural rejuvenation processes. This device is FDA cleared for the treatment of wrinkles on the entire face.
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.