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.

Consumer Reports rates anti-wrinkle serums

Earlier this month, Consumer Reports released the findings of their recent anti-wrinkle serum tests. The verdict: that the products they evaluated fell short on their claims. Citing inconsistent results and only minor improvements to the wrinkles of their research subjects, the organization all but dismissed anti-aging products entirely. If readers caught only the headlines, they’d find themselves considerably misinformed about the efficacy of certain products available on the market today.

It’s difficult to argue with some of the points brought up in the report, which suggests that consumers focus on moisturizing and sun protection. However, Consumer Reports neglects to investigate the reason why the serums they tested failed: the products don’t necessarily address anti-aging holistically. It is a stretch to imply that anti-wrinkle serums don’t work; after all, Consumer Reports tested only nine well-known brands, none of which take a comprehensive approach by targeting all accepted causes of skin aging.

Scientific research in the area of gerontology has found that a number of factors contribute to skin aging, including inflammation, external adverse environmental factors, and the depletion of cellular components, such as collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Oxidative (free radical-induced) damage is often cited as a culprit, and products are loaded with antioxidants accordingly, despite their limited ability to produce results.

Scientists have now discovered the fundamental cause of skin aging: mitochondrial decay. For that reason, an effective anti-aging serum must include ingredients to address all causes of skin aging, but particularly mitochondrial decay. Fortunately for consumers, potent extracts from the schisandra berry have been proven to be effective in reversing age-related mitochondrial deterioration – so a real anti-wrinkle serum, one that lives up to its promises, does indeed exist.