Glycation and the Skin

Skin care advice from the experts at UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care:


woman's face; UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care; Madison, WisconsinYou may have heard the term "glycation" or "AGEs" being tossed around in consumer magazines, on skin care product labels, web-based articles and the like. So, what exactly does it mean?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, glycation (sometimes called non-enzymatic glycosylation) is the result of typically covalent bonding of a protein or lipid molecule with a sugar molecule, such as fructose or glucose, without the controlling action of an enzyme. All blood sugars are reducing molecules. Glycation may occur either inside the body (endogenous glycation) or outside the body (exogenous glycation). Enzyme-controlled addition of sugars to protein or lipid molecules is termed glycosylation; glycation is a haphazard process that impairs the functioning of biomolecules, whereas glycosylation occurs at defined sites on the target molecule and is required in order for the molecule to function.




Simply stated, glycation is the cross-linking of proteins and sugars to form non-functioning structures in the body. What are the effects on our skin? Premature aging due to glycated fibers that become less elastic with reduced regenerative abilities leading to skin damage such as wrinkling, laxity, cracking and thinning skin.


How does this happen? Too much sugar in the diet.


What are AGEs?


AGEs are Advanced Glycation End-Products caused by the cross-linking of excess sugar proteins. This causes the human body to produce antibodies resulting in skin inflammation. Once the AGEs form, it tends to result in a breakdown of collagen and elastin in our dermal layer. Think of collagen as your bed's box spring and elastin as the mattress. One provides the support structure (collagen) and the other provides the spring and resiliency (elastin).


Intrinsic aging, caused by internal factors such as hormonal shifts and metabolic slowdown, contributes greatly to skin sagging, creping, thinning and cracking.


Solutions for "Intrinstic Aging"


SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter is a unique treatment formulated with blueberry extract, Proxylane, and phytosphingosine to help prevent the glycation process and correct severe signs of intrinsic aging in mature skin. This multi-faceted and uniquely-textured formulation is optimized to prevent and correct the most visible signs of aging, while minimizing the associated discomfort and dryness.


And for the delicate eye area, try SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex. This three-dimensional treatment product contains a unique combination of ingredients to dramatically improve severe signs of intrinsic aging around the eyes. Upon immediate usage, optical diffusers improve radiance and minimize the appearance of dark circles and capillaries.


Both products are available here at UW Health Transformations.


As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Often, too much dairy in the diet can contribute to acne and skin breakouts. Too much fat in the diet can tax your body in various ways. Yet, we need some fat to maintain homeostasis in the body, just like we need oil in our car or the engine will burn up.


Sugars in the diet have their purpose as well. Our skin is our largest organ and its six functions are for protection, absorption, secretion, sensation, excretion and heat regulation. What you take in affects your skin, one way or another.


Bottom line… everything in moderation.



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