Skin Metabolism and Longevity

Most people think of metabolism with respect to whether they are gaining or losing weight easily. In reality metabolism is a vast subject dealing with all the chemical processes that occur in the body to maintain life.

Metabolism is a series of sciencey chemical processes within cells that provides the energy needed to keep them alive and healthy. From a longevity perspective we want to understand what lifestyle choices we can make that will influence health and specifically the health of our skin. Influencing your skin's metabolism will give you healthier, younger acting skin for years to come.

Understanding how general metabolism affects your skin can also answer questions you have about why your skin is changing over time. So let’s put on our science hats and bear with me for a few minutes to discover what basic metabolism is and how it affects you and your skin.

Basic Metabolism

Living organisms are unique in that they can extract energy from their environment and use it to carry out activities such as growth and development, repair and reproduction. It all boils down to being able to utilize three essential biomolecules. These biomolecules are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Each performs differently in sustaining reactions in our bodies (and our skin) that are essential for promoting life and longevity.

You probably recognize that it is the food we eat where we get these biomolecules. But it’s important to understand that although the plants and animals we eat contain proteins, fats and carbohydrates they don't necessarily come in the right configurations that our bodies need. So we break down these nutrients into their smallest components through digestion. Then we reassemble them to become more usable for us as humans.

The smallest sub part of proteins is called an amino acid. Our body breaks down proteins into amino acids through digestion. The same goes for fats which are broken down into fatty acids and carbohydrates which are broken down into sugars. One of the most common subunits of carbohydrates is glucose.

Why Amino Acids are Important for Skin

Amino Acids are exceedingly important for healthy skin. They are the building blocks of skin. When strung together they create peptides (short chain amino acids) and the larger proteins that make up our collagen and elastin. These are the fibers that structure the dermal layer of our skin. They work together with aquaporins (little ducts in cell membranes that draw moisture into cells) and keep your skin hydrated. Some amino acids help your skin produce antioxidants while others are antioxidants themselves. Keratin proteins make up the surface protective cells of the outer layer of the epidermis. Amino acids also help to strengthen your immune system and increase resilience for an overall healthy appearance. They protect skin from free-radical damage and reduce signs of aging. That’s why LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee has created several peptide based products including Peptide Firming Serum, Brightening Peptide Serum, Stem Stim and our peptide packed AGELESS Longevity Serum.

Peptides naturally occur in the skin but can be boosted by peptide based serums in your skincare products. Most of our clients search out peptides because they recognize that (like Vitamin C) peptides are an essential component for making collagen. More collagen means firmer, stronger, younger looking skin. Even dermatologists have started to recommend peptides to their patients who are concerned about aging skin. You may have seen collagen creams that claim to support the formation of collagen in your dermis. The problem with collagen proteins is that they are just too big to get absorbed into the skin. They are however, still a useful ingredient, as collagen is a water loving molecule that is very helpful for surface skin hydration. Peptides, with their shorter chains of amino acids, can often penetrate cell layers more easily. Peptides often break the Dalton rule, which says that for a substance to penetrate the skin’s barrier it must be smaller than 500 Daltons. A Dalton is a unit of molecular mass. Many peptides are larger than 500 Daltons. So how do they penetrate the skin?