The anti-aging skin care market is constantly flooded with new “superhero” products and supplements that claim to be the miracle cure for improving the appearance of aging skin. What many of these products fail to factor into their approach, however, is a chemical process called glycation, which is one of the largest contributors to accelerated lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and nearly all other visible signs of aging on the skin. This begs the question, is there a product or ingredient that can help to slow or even reverse the damaging effects of glycation on the skin? While the answer may be a bit more involved than using one simple ingredient, research shows that carnosine, which is made up of two amino acids, possesses strong anti-glycation properties. Read on to learn more about what glycation is and how amino acids and other anti-glycation ingredients may be able to help.
Glycation is a naturally-occurring chemical process that happens when sugar molecules attach to proteins like the collagen and elastin in your skin, thus causing them to lose their functionality . In addition to damaging proteins, glycation creates byproducts known as advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs. Accumulations of AGEs within the body can lead to a number of health and skin concerns, including diabetes, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, and accelerated skin aging . Because AGEs can develop in response to consumption of certain foods, including sugar and fried foods, as well as created by the body due to exposure to things like UV rays and air pollution, combating this process can be a difficult feat. First, it’s important to consider making dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce glycation and the formation of AGEs. These can include things like limiting your sugar intake, wearing sunscreen every day, and cleansing your skin regularly to help remove pollutants and other toxins.
What Is Carnosine?
Carnosine is a dipeptide, meaning that it is made up of two amino acids: histidine and alanine. It is perhaps most well-known for its use as a supplement for athletes. This dipeptide has been shown to help buffer the body’s production of lactic acid, which occurs at much higher rates during intense exercise . However, we now know that carnosine also possesses strong antioxidant and anti-glycation properties, giving this supplement an added benefit to not only athletes but also anyone at a high risk for diabetes or other negative effects of glycation and AGE formation .
How to Reverse the Effects of Glycation on Your Skin
Carnosine supplements may be able to significantly reduce the harmful effects of glycation throughout the body. However, when it comes to combating signs of aging caused by glycation, using the right topical ingredients, in addition to supplements and dietary changes, will yield the most dramatic results. First, you can look for amino acid skin care products that contain all or nearly all of the 20 amino acids contained in the genetic code. Many of these amino acids have demonstrated strong antioxidant qualities, which can help to neutralize the oxidization of potentially harmful free radicals in the skin, which can otherwise contribute to signs of aging. Like carnosine, many different peptides are formed when the right combination of these 20 amino acids are joined together. This is why using an expertly-formulated product that contains all of these amino acids is going to be much more effective than simply using one or two. Additionally, Albizia julibrissin, also known as the Persian silk tree, is another anti-glycation ingredient that can be applied directly to the skin to help stop the cause of accelerated skin aging in its tracks. You can find this powerful ingredient in AminoGenesis A.G.E. Control Dual Treatment Anti-Glycation Treatment.
With so many new anti-aging products constantly making their debut, it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to find the right one. But if you really want to see dramatic results, you need to choose a product that will address one of the biggest root causes of skin aging: glycation.
 Life Extension