Beauty Buzzword: Glutathione

Some time ago, we shared some information on protecting your skin from the elements using antioxidants. But as you know, not all antioxidants are created equal.

If you haven’t already heard about glutathione, here’s your quick primer on the extraordinary antioxidant that’s set to make waves in the skincare world in 2012.

Antioxidants as free radical fighters

As the cells in our body perform their everyday functions, they incidentally create free radicals. These byproducts accumulate over time and become progressively more detrimental to our health.

In the context of aging, we know that free radical damage is a significant contributor to unsightly skin issues such as wrinkles, dark under eye circles, and age spots.

This is where antioxidants come in. We can use these powerful molecules to offset the negative effects of free radicals. One way to do this is by consuming a diet that includes antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables – but that’s not the only way, especially since this doesn’t directly target skin cells.

Glutathione: the master antioxidant

Our cells are also able to produce their own antioxidants. Because glutathione is widely considered to be the strongest, it is also known as the “master” antioxidant.

Glutathione detoxifies our body of toxins and pollutants, increases our energy, repairs DNA damage, and optimizes our immune system. Imagine how that power would positively affect our skin, the body’s largest organ.

The body produces glutathione naturally, but certain compounds have been scientifically proven to encourage our cells to produce more of it. This is an important concept to consider in regards to caring for our skin, particularly as we age, since our body accumulates free radicals over time.

Fortunately, there are now products on the market that are able to stimulate the body’s natural glutathione production. When applied directly to the skin, they are an effective way to reverse the signs of skin aging.

The role of glutathione in anti-aging skincare

Glutathione is the powerhouse antioxidant on which other antioxidants depend to function properly. Antioxidants commonly found in anti-aging skincare products, such as Vitamins C and E and CoQ10, are less effective without glutathione.

A recent study published in the scientific journal, Fitoterapia, showed that Schisandrin B increased glutathione production at the cellular level. This means that these powerful compounds are able to help our cells naturally produce more glutathione to attack free radicals.

Schisandrin B is derived from the Schisandra berry, an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Extracts from the Schisandra berry have been proven to be safe and effective in topical cosmetic applications. In over two decades of research and development, Glissandra Skincare has identified and isolated the most potent compounds from the Schisandra berry for use in its advanced anti-aging skincare products.

Keep your skin looking young, healthy, and beautiful

Do your skincare products promote the health of your skin by stimulating skin cells to produce glutathione? Can you find Schisandrin B on the ingredient list of the products you’re currently using? If you’re constantly struggling to fight aging skin, consider how much more effective it would be if your body was able to do more on its own.

Glutathione is changing anti-aging skincare. By taking a holistic, health-focused approach to caring for our skin, beautiful, younger-looking skin is finally within our reach.

References

Chiu PY, PY Lam, Yan CW, Ko KM. Schisandrin B protects against solar irradiation-induced oxidative injury in BJ human fibroblasts. Fitoterapia 2011; 82: 682-691.

Quirin, Dr. K. W. et al. Supercritical Schisandra Extracts – a New Concept for Personal Care Cosmetics. Cosmetic Science Technology, 2008.

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A holistic approach to caring for your aging skin

We’ve come to accept the signs of skin aging – wrinkles and expression lines, droopy eyelids, age spots, dark circles, dry skin, enlarged pores, sagging skin, and more (lucky us!) – as an inevitability.  Fortunately, the science of aging has advanced at a remarkable rate in recent years, providing tremendous insight into the causes of and effective solutions for our aging skin.

Numerous studies have identified five major causes of skin aging:

  1. Mitochondrial decay
  2. Inflammation
  3. Oxidative (free-radical induced) damage
  4. Depletion of cellular components, such as collagen and elastin
  5. Adverse external factors

In light of this, it would make sense that your skincare regimen be equipped to combat all causes of skin aging – especially the leading cause, mitochondrial decay – through a comprehensive, holistic approach.  Many anti-aging skincare products contain some combination of common ingredients, such as peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid, but they don’t stand up to all causes of skin aging simultaneously.  Neglecting even one cause renders the entire approach significantly less effective.  You wouldn’t go into battle with a hole in your armor, would you?

We understand that the condition of our skin as we age, whether we retain our young and healthy look, is influenced in part by genetics and also by environmental factors, which is fantastic if you’ve been blessed with good genes.  But while you can’t control the former, the good news for everyone is that you can control your exposure to adverse external factors, such as the sun, pollution, smoking and poor nutrition.  Avoiding these, while maintaining a conscientious skincare regimen that addresses all causes of skin aging, are easy steps you can take to control your skin’s aging process.