When your body detects an injury or trauma, it responds by triggering acute inflammation, which, in turn, signals the healing process. Although some amount of inflammation is part of your body’s natural defense system, chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to serious health and skin concerns. This is because when not addressed, chronic inflammation can end up attacking healthy cells, creating more problems than it can fix. When it comes to your skin, long-term inflammation has been linked with numerous skin diseases and even signs of aging . Read on to learn more about how inflammation affects your skin’s health and appearance and what you can do to reverse the damage.
What Causes Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol, genetics, using the wrong skin care ingredients, and an unhealthy diet. Inflammation and oxidative stress accelerate a process known as glycation, where sugar molecules gradually damage cells. Diets high in pro-inflammatory foods like trans fats, simple carbohydrates, and processed meats can also contribute to chronic inflammation.
The Effects of Inflammation on the Skin
When your skin becomes injured, your body releases enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) through the inflammation process. The role of MMPs is to destroy the damaged cells so that the wound repair process can continue and generate new, healthy cells. When inflammation is prolonged, MMPs eventually break down the collagen fibers in your skin, while simultaneously preventing new collagen from forming . The result is signs of premature aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin. In addition, inflammation plays a major role in flare-ups of chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Thus, treatment for these conditions often involves taking steps to reduce inflammation by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, using gentle skin care products, and, in some cases, taking certain medications that may help to minimize inflammation.
How to Reduce Inflammation for Healthier Skin
There are a number of ways that you can reduce inflammation, including making small, yet impactful changes to your daily skin care routine. Certain ingredients have been shown to help lower and better manage chronic inflammation, which can mean smoother, clearer, and healthier-looking skin. Some of the best skin care ingredients to combat inflammation are:
- Antioxidants, which provide protection against free radicals that could contribute to inflammation. One powerful antioxidant, vitamin C, is also involved in the process of collagen production, making this an excellent addition to your skin care routine.
- Ergothioneine, a naturally-occurring amino acid derived from histidine. Ergothioneine has been shown to possess strong antioxidant properties in order to protect against a number of cellular stressors .
- Peptides, which are formed when amino acids combine into short chains via peptide bonds. Peptides send messages to your cells to produce collagen and tissue growth factor (TGF), two key factors in skin anti-aging strategies.
In addition to knowing which ingredients to look for in your skin care products to help calm inflammation, it’s equally important to understand which ingredients could be contributing to inflammation. Certain alcohols that dry the skin, petrolatum-based ingredients, and even some essential oils can lead to inflamed skin. Instead, choose skin care products that contain a variety of both essential and nonessential amino acids, peptide blends, and antioxidants. These ingredients are some of the safest and gentlest available, making them highly effective for virtually all skin types and conditions. Just be sure that your amino acid skin care products are formulated properly, such as those by AminoGenesis, one of the leaders in revolutionary amino acid skin care.
Want to Learn More?
For more information on how amino acids can help your skin–whether wrinkles, sun damage, or dry, flaky conditions are a concern–sign up today to become an AminoGenesis Insider. We’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest news and research in amino acid skin care, as well as send you special deals and offers on AminoGenesis products to help you keep your skin looking and feeling its absolute best.