All About Glycation

All About Glycation

It's no secret that people want to keep their skin looking young, vibrant, firm, and wrinkle-free for as long as possible. Many attempt to keep wrinkles, sagging, dull skin, and other signs of aging at bay by using a number of products to correct fine lines and keep their skin looking healthy, youthful, and hydrated. While anti-aging products can work to help the situation, certain things you eat can also impact your skin, particularly when it comes to sweet, sugary treats and harmful carbohydrates. Just as eating too many cookies, pies, ice cream sundaes, and other desserts can pack on a few pounds to your overall weight and cause other problems to the body, these sugar- filled delicacies can lead to thinner and sagging skin, which aids those signs of aging in creeping up sooner rather than later. This process is called glycation and has been a hot topic in the world of dermatology. To help you better understand what glycation is and how it can add years to your face, let's take a look at some research we've done on the topic and how it can be prevented.

What Is Glycation?

When you eat lots of sugary desserts and treats, especially as you get older, your body is unable to break down the sugars as well as it does for other foods. This is because the glucose and fructose that are created from carbohydrates do not react well with the fats in sugary foods. The body is able to break down some of these fats and sugars, but too much of a tasty treat can be harmful. These excess sugars create molecules called advanced glycation end-products (or AGEs), which is where the glycation process gets its name. The process becomes more dangerous when AGEs cross-link to another protein, which can harden structures in the cardiovascular system, affect functioning of the kidneys, and make collagen production more difficult. The older you get and the more glycation impacts your body, the less flexible collagen becomes. Not only is glycation harmful to your skin, but it can also be devastating to other organs in your body.

How Glycation Impacts Your Skin

Just as the sun does damage to the more visible parts of the skin, glycation has its own ways of affecting the appearance of your skin. Glycation can make the skin thinner due to the lack of or slowing of collagen production. The thinner your skin becomes, the more it tends to sag, which is one way that wrinkles and signs of aging can appear. AGEs have also been found to create an uneven or dull skin tone, lead to hyperpigmentation, inflammation, or, in more serious cases, the formation of tumors. Acne, rosacea, and other conditions can also become worse thanks to glycation. Glycation does tend to take a bigger toll on those who are already seeing signs of aging, but it can also start showing on the skin of those who are younger and are not yet noticing wrinkles, dullness, or sagging skin.

Glycation Prevention

Aside from using the right skin care products, simply eating better and cutting out sugary sweets, processed foods, and certain carbohydrates can prevent glycation from becoming a problem for both your skin and your body. Be sure to read food labels to understand what you are consuming and how it will impact your body. How you prepare your food can also prevent glycation from becoming a problem or it can help increase AGE content in your meals. Cooking with water (think boiling and steaming) reduces the chances of AGEs forming. On the other hand, grilling or frying food on high heat helps increase AGEs in the meals you are preparing. Everything is fine in moderation, but too much of something sweet, processed, or carb-filled can lead to AGEs. Foods like tofu, lean meat, vegetables, eggs, healthy grains, and fruits like blueberries and peaches are just some of the low-glycemic foods out there that are good for your body and your skin. Aside from watching what you eat, there are other ways to prevent glycation and keep your body and skin healthier. Frequent exercise and weight management, reducing alcohol consumption, protecting your skin from the sun's powerful UV rays, and adding more antioxidants into your diet can all make a difference when it comes to keeping AGEs from forming. If you are a frequent consumer of sugary, sweet treats and find your skin becoming thinner and more susceptible to wrinkles and other signs of aging, you could be affected by glycation. Aside from making healthy choices to your diet and lifestyle, signs of aging can be corrected using the right skin care products. At Calysta Labs, our Clarifying Charcoal Mask can make the skin feel and appear firmer and more youthful. The many natural ingredients used in the product provide multiple bene fits to the skin and can ultimately keep those wrinkles and other signs of aging from creeping up.