Lipodissolve Injections (Mesotherapy) are an injection of medication, homeopathic medicine, vitamins, plant extracts, or other substances directly into cells under the skin. Aesthetic Mesotherapy works by breaking up fat in cells that is then excreted through the body via the lymphatic system.
At Harbour Medispa Hamilton we inject exclusively Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Sodium Deoxycholate (DC). PC is an emulsifier that makes up 40% of the human cell membrane. PC is a natural substance that is FDA + TGA approved for use in food and is also naturally found in egg yolks, as well as other foods. DC is a bile salt constituent that is made naturally in the human liver and used to break down the fats found in our food. When injected together, PC and DC work to break down the fat in our fat cells from a hard mass into a more liquid state that can then be passed through the body and eventually excreted.
Lipodissolve Injection is a minimally invasive procedure that is a great alternative to surgical liposuction. In fact, liposuction is proven to be ineffective at eliminating cellulite and it can often make cellulite more prominent. Liposuction works by removing fat cells, while Mesotherapy removes the fat from the fat cell; making it a very safe and effective alternative. Lipodissolve Injection patients experience no downtime, minimal bruising and pain, and are able to maintain their cellulite and fat loss with proper nutrition and exercise. Liposuction on the other hand is a surgical procedure, requiring two or more weeks of downtime, significant bruising and pain, weight gain in abnormal places post-procedure and many possible complications ranging from serious infection to possible death.
The results of Lipodissolve Injections are long-lasting. Follow-up procedures may be necessary for some patients. These follow-up procedures are done on an as-needed basis. To achieve maximum results, it is important for the patient to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen. This is not a weight-loss strategy but rather a therapy to spot reduce fat.
Lipodissolve Injections can be used successfully on many trouble areas of the body including; love handles, stomach, saddlebags, bra bulge, inner thigh, inner and outer arms, buttocks, abdomen, double chin, face, neck, back, and waist. We understand that even with proper diet and exercise some areas of the body are just too stubborn. Whether you need to reduce cellulite for bikini season, tighten the abdomen post-baby, or just need a little chin reduction, Lipodissolve Injection is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment for unwanted fat deposits. So there is no need to feel unhappy with these little trouble-spots or go under the knife to correct them.
Lipodissolve Injections Pre-Procedure Guidelines
Please read the instructions below carefully.
• Discontinue Anti-Inflammatory medication (eg Ibuprofen, Aspirin) at least 3-4 days before your procedure.
• Discontinue any blood thinners or any herbs, supplements, or vitamins 1-2 weeks before your procedure.
• Discontinue Systemic Steroids (Prednisone, Hydrocortisone, etc.) 1-2 weeks before your procedure. Steroid Injections (cortisone) should be discontinued at least 1 month before your procedure.
• Drink lots of water, especially on the day of your procedure.
If you have any questions, you are welcome to call the clinic mobile 0418 180 949 or send an SMS and we will reply to you
Lipodissolve Injections Post Procedure Guidelines
Please read the following steps carefully.
0-7 Days Post Lipodissolve Injection:
• It is recommended that the patient rest the day of the procedure. However, after the first 24 hours exercise is highly recommended to help achieve maximum results.
• A cool shower or compress will soothe any irritated areas.
• Drink at least 2L of water every day to help your body flush out fats that have been broken down. Water does not mean tea, coffee, sodas, or juice.
• Mild inflammation, bruising and tenderness may occur. Bruising may last from 3-7 days.
• It is normal for the localized fat in the treatment area to change consistency due to the bop layer of fat cells breaking down and leaving the cell walls.
• Do not consume alcoholic beverages for the first 7 days following your procedure.
• Avoid smoking. Smoking delays healing and can increase the risk of complications.
• DO NOT TAKE systemic steroids such as; Prednisone, Hydrocortisone, etc. for at least 2 weeks following your procedure.
• Do not take hot baths or go to saunas during the first few days following your procedure.
1-4 Weeks Post Lipodissolve Injection:
• Continue to increase your exercise, especially in the treated area of the body. Exercise will aid the body in fat burning after your procedure.
• Continue to drink 2L water every day to help your body flush out fats that have been broken down.
4 -6 Weeks Post Lipodissolve Injection:
• Your next Lipodissolve Injection session should be scheduled for 4-6 weeks after your procedure.
Matrix PDO Threadlift Hamilton | Harbour Medispa | Facial Rejuvenation
What are Matrix PDO Threads?
WHAT ARE THEY?
Matrix PDO Threads are inserted into the sub-dermal level, in a mesh-like pattern, to promote the creation of new collagen. The threads activate collagen synthesis which produces a gradual skin thickening, skin tightening and rejuvenation effect.
They are minimally invasive and can also be used multiple times.
WHAT ARE MATRIX PDO THREADS MADE FROM?
Our mono threads are made from Polydioxanone – an absorbable polymer. This material is both flexible and durable.
The threads become a support structure for your face, allowing collagen production to increase. Overtime, the threads are absorbed by the body.
HOW DO MATRIX PDO THREADS TIGHTEN THE SKIN?
They induce natural collagen production, which creates a tightening effect. This effect lasts for 6-12 months.
Results may be seen in 6 weeks and will continue to improve over 2 to 6 months. While the threads slowly dissolve, their effects may last up to 12 months.
PDO threads differ from thread lifts, which use long barbed threads to lift tissues. Instead, mono threads provide an improvement of fine lines and wrinkles by gradually stimulating natural collagen production.
There are two different types of Matrix Threads:
Matrix Mono Threads. Matrix Mono Threads are a type of single PDO filament which are smooth and made without barbs. They are inserted into the skin in a mesh-like pattern, producing a tightening effect. While Matrix Mono Threads tighten the skin, they provide no lifting effect.
Matrix Double Screw Threads. Matrix Screw Threads feature a double thread screw, consisting of 1-2 intertwined threads, which provide volume to the area being treated.
They are used by patients who only desire skin tightening and rejuvenation.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A MATRIX PDO THREAD TREATMENT?
Topical anaesthetic is applied to the treatment area. The PDO Threads are inserted using a micro-needle or a cannula. There is no incision and subsequently, no stitches required.
Treatments sessions typically take between 30 to 60 minutes. The procedure must also be provided by a medical professional who has been fully trained.
WHAT AREAS CAN MATRIX PDO THREADS BE USED TO TREAT?
The threads can be used to treat the following areas:
MINT™ PDO Thread Lift Hamilton Minimally Invasive Non-Surgical Thread Lift using PDO Threads
What Is A Thread Lift?
In athread lift, threads are inserted underneath the skin to instantly and effectively lift sagging skin. The threads are mainly used on the face and the neck, but can also be used to lift skin on the body.
The thread lifting procedure does not involve surgery. It is a minimally invasive and very safe and effective in-office procedure with little downtime—especially when performed by an experienced surgeon.
Thread lift is not a new concept. It’s been used in cosmetic surgery for decades internationally, although it is newer to the United States.
The original thread lift procedure started in the late 1990s and was performed up until the mid 2000s. This procedure fell out favor primarily due to the use of permanent threads, which increased the chance of infection and thread breakage. These older, barbed, permanent threads were also difficult to work with and required a more invasive anchoring method into the scalp, temple or brow region to hold up the loose skin. The knots used to anchor these threads had to be tied carefully so that the thread did not release from the anchored site.
Another issue with these permanent threads was that the skin could be only pulled in one direction, which made the results appear two-dimensional. The old thread lifting procedure also required overpulling the skin to get a good result, increasing the downtime, akin to what is now called a mini-facelift. Additionally, these permanent threads made any future surgery in the same area more difficult.
In 2015, Gwyneth Paltrow, actress turned wellness expert, made headlines for covering the older thread lifting procedure on Goop. She called it an “under the radar approach” to anti-aging, despite the fact that it wasn’t considered to be completely safe at the time. Thanks to new research, advancements and FDA approval of newer dissolvable threads, the thread lifting procedure is making a huge comeback.
How Is The Thread Lifting Procedure Of Today Different That The Thread Lifting Procedure Of The Past?
The newer thread lifting procedure is radically different from the older one. Because the original threads were made of permanent, nonabsorbable suture materials, once they were placed underneath the skin, they were there to stay – forever. Today’s threads are completely dissolvable, meaning the body naturally breaks them down over time. These absorbable threads are better than the older threads for many reasons:
They are far safer with very low risk of infection. Bacteria don’t have a permanent foreign material to live on and hide from the body’s immune system. This makes the risk of infection pretty much nonexistent. Permanent sutures, on the other hand, can provide a hideout for bacteria.
They have far less chance of breakage over time.
They improve skin quality by stimulating collagen production, making the skin firmer and tighter to enhance the initial lifting results.
They provide a more natural, three-dimensional look, since they can be lifted in two directions.
What Are The Advantages Of A Thread Lift?
As we age, we lose volume in our face and our skin starts to sag. The result is a longer, more square and older-looking face. While BOTOX® is great for smoothing wrinkles that are formed with movement and dermal fillers are excellent at restoring facial volume and improving deep folds, there was still an unmet need in cosmetic dermatology: a nonsurgical way to effectively lift sagging skin to restore the face’s natural and youthful V-shape and vitality.
Although traditional facelift surgery is an excellent way to address sagging skin, it also carries with it a lot of expense and downtime. Many people are also afraid to “go under the knife” as you may not come out looking natural and liking the results—which, unfortunately, cannot be reversed.
The thread lift is the perfect solution to address sagging skin without surgery that looks natural and is also effective and safe when performed properly. It’s quickly becoming the treatment of choice, especially for busy individuals who need to quickly resume their daily activities.
Summary of the advantages of the Thread Lift
Instant lifting: People love the instant lift of sagging skin that takes years off the face and neck.
Natural results: Natural yet noticeable results can be achieved with the thread lift. There’s no worry of looking“ over-pulled” or “wind-blown” as with a surgical face lift.
Non-Surgical: Since the procedure doesn’t involve any cutting and incisions, it doesn’t leave any permanent scars like traditional facelift surgery.
Minimal downtime: Because the procedure is far less invasive than a surgical facelift, the downtime is very minimal. Most people are able to return to work soon after the procedure.
Collagen stimulation: The threads stimulate your own skin to gradually produce more collage in the treatment areas over several months. You not only get the benefit of an instant lift, your skin also gets firmer and tighter over time!
Cost-effective: Thread lift is a very cost-effective way to achieve a more youthful appearance compared to other aesthetic procedures, like Ultherapy.
Safety: The thread lift procedure is very safe. In fact, it can be even safer than dermal fillers. Although very rare, dermal fillers have a chance of being injected into blood vessels, which can result in skin necrosis or other major side effects. Since the threads are thin, they don’t have the potential to block blood flow in vessels. Also, since the procedure is done under local anesthetic, it doesn’t carry the risk of general anesthesia used in a traditional surgical facelift.
What Types Of Absorbable Threads Are Available?
Two main types of absorbable threads are used in the today. These are the PDO (Polydioxanone) and PLGA/PLLA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid) threads. Both PDO and PLGA have been used safely for many decades in different surgical specialties.
In the United States, the NovaThreads (PDO threads) and the Silhouette Instalift (PLGA threads), a.k.a Silhouette Soft in Europe are the most popular. These threads have brought the thread lifting procedure back into the spotlight. The MINT PDO threads are also FDA approved and are one of the preferred PDO threads, as it is a stronger thread.
What Is The PDO (Polydioxanone) Material That’s Used To Make The Threads?
PDO is a synthetic polymer (a type of sugar molecule) that is colorless and crystalline. It’s been used in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications (such as rods, screws and pins in orthopedics and sutures for heart and eye surgery) for many years because of its extremely safe profile. This material has excellent biocompatibility (e.g. it’s non-allergic and non-antigenic) and is also completely biodegradable and doesn’t create scar tissue. Since the body completely absorbs the PDO material, possible complications are significantly reduced.
What Are The Various Types Of PDO Threads And How Are They Are Used In Thread Lifting?
As the thread lifting procedures become increasing popular, there are more and more clinics that are starting to offer this treatment. However, it can be challenging for consumers to figure out what types of threads and procedures are best. PDO threads come in varies sizes, shapes and thicknesses. Knowing how to use them correctly and effectively comes with years of experience, skill and knowledge. Although procedures using PDO threads can seem simple, they require advanced skills to use them effectively and safely.
There are two main categories of PDO threads: non-barbed and barbed:
PDO Thread Categories
Mono-filament (smooth) threads
Unilateral vs bilateral
Braided (twist, screw) threads
Uni-directions vs bi-directional vs z-type
Cutting barbs vs molding barbs
Non-Barbed PDO Threads – Collagen Stimulation (Smooth or Braided)
These “non-barbed” threads come in two main forms: smooth (mono-filament) and braided (twist, screw).
The smooth threads are usually single, very thin threads (i.e. the diameter of your hair). The braided threads come in one or more threads that are intertwined in a helical fashion around the inserting needle. These threads are typically very short, usually 1” or 1.5”.
These threads are mainly used for collagen production and are inserted into fine lines and wrinkles. Some immediate effect can be seen after the insertion of these threads. However, since it takes time to build collagen, more noticeable results will be seen few weeks later, with continued improvements over the next 3-6 months. For even better results, more of these non-barbed threads can be inserted a few months later to continue to stimulate collagen production.
These threads are best used in conjunction with BOTOX® and dermal fillers to help soften forehead and neck lines, lift up sagging eyebrows and upper eyelids, tighten loose skin under the eyes, lighten dark circles, soften vertical cheek and smile lines and soften upper lip and neck lines. Some techniques utilize numerous threads inserted right underneath the skin to give a “lifting” effect. However, the lift that is achieved with this technique is minimal and doesn’t last as long as the lifting that’s achieved with thicker barbed threads.
Usually around 10 – 20 smooth threads are inserted right underneath the skin in a “mesh” (criss-cross) pattern to help with fine lines and to firm up the skin through collagen production. The braided threads can give a little bit more volume than the smooth threads. Hence, they can be used for deeper wrinkles and lines and are also good for defining lip borders.
Barbed (Cog) PDO Threads – Lifting
Barbed (or cog) threads are thicker mono threads with barbs on the threads. These barbs hook and hold the tissue underneath the skin. When these barbed threads are inserted, the barbs open up like an umbrella to form a support structure that lifts and repositions the sagging tissue.
Depending on how they are inserted, these threads can give different results. Many providers insert them in a “floating” fashion, which means these threads are not anchored anywhere in the skin. This is an easier insertion method. Consequently, people can quickly become disappointed with the minimal lifting effect that may last only several months.
A more effective way to insert these barbed threads is by using the “anchoring” technique. This provides more significant lifting and also sustains the lift for a longer period of time. This advanced “anchoring” procedure is highly technical and must be performed well to achieve excellent results and minimize potential side effects.
What Is MINT And What Are The Advantages Over Other PDO Threads?
A successful outcome of a thread lift procedure depends both on excellent technique and the type of suture used. MINT (Minimal Invasive Nonsurgical Thread) PDO threads, with their stronger lifting power compared to other PDO threads, is the material of choice.
The MINT PDO threads were designed to most effectively perform a nonsurgical facelift by lifting up sagging skin to restore a more youthful V-shape.
WHY MINT PDO
MINT PDO threads are the latest innovation from South Korea. They have several distinct advantages over other threads. MINT PDO is a heavy gauge barbed thread. The heavier gauge and patented barbs allow the threads to give more lifting and lasting hold than weaker threads. Like all PDO threads, it also promotes collagen in the treated areas and dissolves 6-9 month after insertion, with lifting effects lasting for at least one year or more.
Patented Molded Barbs
The barbs on the MINT PDO threads are machine molded through a patented process, rather than cut into the threads, which weakens them. Hence, these barbs achieve a stronger hold on the tissues to give better results.
Unique 360˚ design
MINT PDO threads have molded barbs around the threads in a unique 360-degree pattern. This design enables the molded barbs to hold the tissues from all directions. This further contributes to their strength and long-lasting lifting power.
Bi-directional Helically Positioned Barbs
The barbs on the MINT PDO threads are also bi-directional and helically positioned to further contribute to the strong anchor on the soft tissue to sustain the lift.
Anchoring Strength and Tensile Property
MINT PDO threads are superior to other PDO threads, as the patented molded barbs will retain their anchoring strength on the tissue, providing a longer-lasting result.
MINT has a diameter of 0.400 – 0.499mm, which is USP size 1-0 for a stronger tensile strength. Bi-direction and helically positioned barbs on the MINT strongly anchors onto the tissue and gathers, then approximates to the desired position.
Are MINT PDO Threads FDA Approved?
Yes. MINT PDO threads have received its 510(k) clearance from the FDA and are currently being used in many other countries worldwide. MINT PDO threads are manufactured in Hans Biomed’s research facility in South Korea and shipped all over the world. They are currently used in more than 15 countries worldwide, including in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Which Areas Can Be Treated With The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure?
Mint PDO thread lift is very versatile and can be used for many areas on the face and neck. The main areas that are lifted include:
Nasolabial fold and smile lines (mid-face)
Jowls and jawline (lower face)
Chin and neck
Who Are Good Candidates For The MINT PDO Thread Lift?
Thread lifting is an ideal solution for both men and women with mild to moderate skin laxity and sagging skin in the face and neck. The best candidates for thread lifting are men and women 30-60+ with relatively good skin tone. Thread lifting is a great alternative for men and women who don’t wish to undergo traditional face lift surgery with its long downtime, expense and potential complications, but still want to look refreshed and lifted, naturally. It’s also an excellent choice for those who just want to lift their skin and not get too much volume, as with fillers. Also, it’s a great choice for those who need more than just skin tightening that is achieved with aesthetic skin tightening devices.
What Are The Contraindications For The MINT PDO Thread Lift?
Thread lifting is not performed on women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Thread lifting should not be performed on those with active skin infection or inflammation.
Patients with blood clotting disorders are not good candidate for thread lifting.
How Do I Prepare For The MINT PDO Thread Lift?
Before your procedure, to minimize bruising from the procedure, stop all blood thinners for at least 10 days (e.g. fish oil, aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, turmeric, etc.). If you are taking blood thinners for medical conditions, please inform us before the procedure.
How Is The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure Performed?
Photos are taken.
A strong topical numbing cream is applied.
Oral pain analgesia is given before the procedure, if desired.
The topical numbing cream is removed after 30 minutes and treatment area is thoroughly cleansed and prepped.
The treatment area is marked with the thread lift design to optimize the results.
Local anesthetic (Lidocaine) can be injected into all the areas where the threads will be placed to ensure the patient doesn’t feel any pain during the thread insertions, if needed.
The threads are inserted underneath the skin in the predetermined areas.
Excess threads are cut off.
Arnica and ice packs are applied to minimize any bruising.
Post-procedure instructions are given to the patient. The treatment area is thoroughly cleaned.
How Long Does The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure Take?
Depending on the areas treated, it takes about 20-30 minutes to insert the threads. However, the patient will be at the clinic for about one hours, which includes the prep, numbing and post care.
Is The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure Painful?
You may feel some slight stinging during the lidocaine injection if it is required. However, once all the lidocaine injections are complete, you shouldn’t feel pain from the threads.
Right after the threads are placed, you will feel some tightness in the treatment areas. You may have some soreness for several days to couple weeks, depending on the number and location of threads. Oral analgesic can be prescribed as needed for post-op comfort.
What Will I Look Like Right After The PDO Thread Lift Procedure? What Is The Recovery After A PDO Thread Lift Procedure?
You will see immediate lifting of the loose skin right after the procedure. Due to you will have some swelling. Most of the swelling should resolve in few days. There may be some mild bruising that lasts a few days to a week. You’re able to wear mineral make-up the next day.
Patients are able to resume their normal daily routine right after the procedure.
Since the threads are absorbable, no sutures need to be removed after the thread lifting procedure.
To book an appointment contact Harbour Medispa Hamilton
AVOID the use of Ibuprofen, Asprin, Aleve, Fish Oils and Vitamin E Supplements – this helps to prevent bruising
AVOID the use of topical products containing Tretinoin, Retin-A, Retinol, Retinoids, Glycolic Acids, Alpha Hydroxy-Acid or other “Anti-Aging” product
24-HOURS BEFORE TREATMENT
AVOID excessive alcoholic beverages 24 hours before your treatment – this helps to prevent the likelihood of bruising.
DAY OF TREATMENT
Arrive 5 – 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment with a clean face – please do not wear makeup
Use a cold compress to reduce swelling or bleeding, if necessary. Ice and over-the-counter medication can be used to reduce any minor side effects. If you do experience these effects, they are easily concealable with makeup.
AVOID makeup or product application for 24 hours after treatment to help prevent infection
AVOID exposure to intense heat (sun lamp or sunbathing) and/or intense cold for 24 hours after your anti-wrinkle injection treatment
AVOID the use of Ibuprofen, Asprin, Fish Oils and Vitamin E Supplements for 24 hours after your treatment
AVOID rubbing for your face and any strenuous activities for up to 72-hours post-treatment
Most patients require treatments 3 to 4 times a year for optimal results. After several maintenance treatments, your facial muscles being treated begin to respond much quicker and remain trained, thus requiring less frequent treatments. Find Harbour Medispa Wilston at La Parisian Luxury Day Spa.
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: No connected account.
Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to connect an account.
Anti Aging Foods | Promote Healthy Skin Aging From Inside
Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.
Skin has been reported to reflect the general inner-health status and aging. Nutrition and its reflection on skin has always been an interesting topic for scientists and physicians throughout the centuries worldwide. Vitamins, carotenoids, tocopherols, flavonoids and a variety of plant extracts have been reported to possess potent anti-oxidant properties and have been widely used in the skin care industry either as topically applied agents or oral supplements in an attempt to prolong youthful skin appearance. This review will provide an overview of the current literature “linking” nutrition with skin aging.
Beauty comes from the inside. The connection between nutrition and skin condition or rather the effect of nutrition on skin aging has been an interesting research field not only for scientists but also a common field of interest for humans throughout the years, from ancient times to nowadays. Skin aging consists of two didactically independent, clinically and biologically, distinct processes.1 The first is intrinsic skin aging, which represents chronological aging and affects skin in the same pattern it affects all internal organs.2 The second is extrinsic skin aging, which we view as aged skin and is the result of external factors and environmental influence, mainly chronic sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation but also smoking, pollution, sleep deprivation and poor nutrition.
Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against extrinsic skin aging effects. The best prevention strategy against the harmful action of free radicals is a well regulated lifestyle (caloric restriction, body care and physical exercise for body), with low stress conditions and a balanced nutritional diet, including anti-oxidative rich food.
Frequently researched antioxidants such as carotenoids, tocophenols and flavonoids, as well as vitamins (A, C, D and E), essential omega-3-fatty acids, some proteins and lactobacilli have been referred as agents capable of promoting skin health and beauty.3,4 To find a proper balance, this review considers the beneficial “anti-aging” effects of increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling recently.
The appropriate generation of ROS (for instance after physical exercise) has beneficial cell-protective and anti-aging effects. ROS activate via stimulation of STE-like 20 protein kinase 1 (MST1) and Jun N-terminus kinase (JNK) specific phosphorylations of forkhead box class O transcription factor (FoxO transcription factors), which thereafter translocate from the cytoplasm into the nucleus and thereby induce the expression of anti-oxidative enzymes like superoxide dismutase, catalase and others. The expression and upregulation of the cell’s own intrinsic antioxidative enzyme systems finally do the “job” and protect the cell against accumulating and harmful cellular levels of ROS.5 Remarkably, upregulation of nuclear FoxO levels suppresses cell proliferation and induces apoptosis.
The aim of this work is to review the existing literature and eventually to give an insight to the question whether diet actually influences the way our skin ages.
Vitamin C, also named L-ascorbic acid, is water soluble, photosensitive and is the most important antioxidant in the hydrophilic phase. Vitamin C is not naturally synthesized by the human body and therefore adequate dietary intake of vitamin C is required and essential for a healthy human diet.
The richest natural sources are fresh fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, blackcurrant, rose hip, guava, chili pepper or parsley. Stability of the vitamin C molecule depends on aggregate condition and formulation.
L-ascorbic acid can be used orally and topically for skin benefits. Vitamin C is a cofactor for lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase, which stabilize the triple helical structure of collagen.6 It also plays a role in cholesterol synthesis, iron absorption and increases the bioavailability of selenium. The most commonly described cutaneous manifestations accompanying vitamin C deficiency are attributed to the impaired collagen synthesis. Enlargement and keratosis of hair follicles mainly of the upper arms and curled hairs, the so-called ‘corkscrew hairs’, are usually described. The follicles become hemorrhagic with time and they sometimes mimic the palpable purpura of leucocytoclastic vasculitis.7
Additionally, vitamin C deficiency is known for causing scurvy, a disease with some manifestations such as fragility, skin lesions in form of petechiae, gum bleeding, ease of developing bruises or slow wound healing.8
Topically ascorbic acid is used in various cosmetic products, for example in lightening of skin dyspigmentation, anti-aging and sun protection formulations. The idea of sun protecting products is to have a combination product between a “passive” protection with a UV filter and an “active” protection with the antioxidant. UVB protection by vitamin C is frequently mentioned in the literature.6,9–11 However, the study by Wang et al. indicates that more work in formulation of cremes is needed, since there seem to be many products in which the desired effects are not measurable.12 The use of vitamin C in cosmetic products is difficult as its reducing capacity occurs very fast and its degradation may occur under the presence of oxygen even before the topical application to the skin.13
Nutricosmetic products with L-ascorbic acid work as free radical scavengers and repair the membrane bound oxidized vitamin E.14 A long-term study observed the effects of a combination of ascorbic acid and d-α-tocopherol (vitamin E) administered orally to human volunteers on UVB-induced epidermal damage. The treatment was well-tolerated and could be used prophylactically against the hazardous effects of solar UV irradiation and skin cancer, according to the authors.9 Another paper describes an 8-week study, which compared topical and systemic antioxidant treatment. Topical and systemic treatment both seemed to be good photoprotectants.15
There are many preparations of vitamin C- based products available on the market, but these are predominantly based on more stable esters and other derivatives of vitamin C which more readily penetrate the skin but are not necessarily converted to the only active vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid.16 These topical or oral products do not have the effects provided by L-ascorbic acid.
Tocopherols (vitamin E)
The vitamin E complex is a group of 8 compounds called tocopherols. Tocopherol is a fat-soluble membrane bound antioxidant and consequently a free-radical scavenger especially of highly reactive singlet oxygen. Tocopherol is like vitamin C a naturally occurring endogenous non-enzymatic antioxidant.
Vitamin C and vitamin E act synergistically. When UV-activated molecules oxidize cellular components, a chain reaction of lipid peroxidation in membranes rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids is induced. The antioxidant d-α-tocopherol is oxidized to the tocopheroxyl radical in this process and it is regenerated by ascorbic acid to d-α-tocopherol.17,18 Beside ascorbic acid, glutathione and coenzyme Q10 can also recycle tocopherol.
Higher amounts of tocopherol are available in vegetables, vegetable oils like wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and seeds, corn, soy and some sorts of meat. The intake of natural vitamin E products helps against collagen cross linking and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to aging of the skin.
With the process described above, D-α-tocopherol is involved in stabilizing the cell membrane by inhibiting oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid of membrane phospholipids. Topical applied vitamin E is described to reduce erythema, sunburned cells, chronic UVB-induced skin damage and photocarcinogenesis in the majority of the published studies.13,19 Vitamin E deficiency has been associated with a syndrome of edema with papular erythema or seborrhoiec changes, dryness and depigmentation in premature infants.20
There are many clinical studies, which have tested the effects of tocopherol. The data seem to be controversial, but high doses of oral vitamin E may affect the response to UVB in humans.21 Data of Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage and Thiele suggest that vitamin E levels are dependent on the density of sebaceous glands in the skin. In a 3-week study with daily oral supplementation of moderate doses of α-tocopherol significantly increased vitamin E levels measured in skin sites rich in sebaceous glands, such as the face. This should be considered when designing clinical vitamin E studies.22
Oral combination treatments of vitamins C and E, partly with other photoprotective compounds, did increase the photoprotective effects dramatically compared with monotherapies. Experts recommend that this synergetic interplay of several antioxidants should be taken into consideration in future research on cutaneous photoprotection.23
Carotenoids (vitamin A, β-carotene, astaxanthin, retinol)
Carotenoids are vitamin A derivates like β-carotene, astaxanthin, lycopene and retinol, which are all highly effective antioxidants and have been documented to possess photoprotective properties. Findings of Scarmo et al. suggest that human skin, is relatively enriched in lycopene and β-carotene, compared with lutein and zeaxanthin, possibly reflecting a specific function of hydrocarbon carotenoids in human skin photoprotection.24
β-carotene is the most prominent member of the group of carotenoids, natural colorants that can be found in the human diet.25 Compared with other carotenoids, the primary role of β-carotene is its provitamin-A activity. β-carotene can be cleaved by BCMO1 enzyme into 2 molecules of all-trans-retinal. There is no difference between naturally occurring and chemically synthesized β-carotene. Furthermore, β-carotene can also act as a lipid radical scavenger and as a singlet oxygen quencher, as demonstrated in vitro.26 Based on the distribution of BCMO1 in human tissues it seems that β-carotene metabolism takes place in a wide variety of organs, including the skin.27
Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangos and papaya are some examples of β-carotene containing fruits and vegetables.
Upon dietary supplementation, β-carotene can be further enriched in skin, in which it is already a major carotenoid.28 β-carotene is an endogenous photoprotector, and its efficacy to prevent UV-induced erythema formation has been demonstrated in various studies.29,30 In healthy volunteers, a 12-week oral administration of β-carotene may result in a reduction of UV-induced erythema.31 Similar effects have been described in volunteers receiving a lycopene-rich diet.32
The systemic photoprotecting effect of β-carotene depends both on dose and duration of treatment. In studies documenting protection against UV-induced erythema, supplementation with carotenoids lasted for at least 7 weeks, with doses > 12 mg/d of carotenoids.31,33–35 With treatment periods of only 3–4 weeks, studies reported no protective effects.36 Furthermore, β-carotene supplementation can significantly reduce the rate of mitochondrial mutation in human dermal fibroblasts after UV irradiation.37
Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish and crustacea. Astaxanthin is biosynthesized by microalgae or phytoplankton, which are consumed by zooplankton or crustacea. They accumulate astaxanthin and, in turn are ingested by fish which then accrue astaxanthin in the food chain.38 Therefore, astaxanthin has considerable potential and promising applications in human health and nutrition39 and has been attributed an extraordinary potential for protecting the organism against a wide range of diseases (reviewed in refs. 40 and 41).
The UV protective effects of algal extract containing 14% of astaxanthin compaired to synthetic astaxanthin have also been tested. The authors of this study reported that preincubation with synthetic astaxanthin or an algal extract could prevent UVA-induced alterations in cellular superoxide dismutase activity and decrease in cellular glutathione content.42
In a study of Camera et al. the modulation of UVA-related injury by astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, and β-carotene for systemic photoprotection in human dermal fibroblasts has been compared.43 Astaxanthin showed a significant photoprotective effect and counteracted UVA-induced alterations to a great extent. The uptake of astaxanthin by fibroblasts was higher than that of canthaxanthin and β-carotene, which lead to the assumption that the effect of astaxanthin toward photooxidative changes was stronger than that of the other substances. A recent study of Suganuma et al. showed that astaxanthin could interfere with UVA-induced matrix-metalloproteinase-1 and skin fibroblast elastase/neutral endopeptidase expression.44 Both studies suggest that effects of UVA radiation, such as skin sagging or wrinkling can be prevented or at least minimized by topical or oral administration of astaxanthin.36,42,44
Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons and papayas (but not strawberries or cherries). Although lycopene is chemically a carotene, it has no vitamin A activity.
β-carotene and lycopene are usually the dominating carotenoids in human blood and tissues and are known to modulate skin properties when ingested as supplements or as dietary products. While they cannot be compared with sunscreen, there is evidence that they protect the skin against sunburn (solar erythema) by increasing the basal defense against UV light-mediated damage.45
A study confirmed that the amounts of lycopene in plasma and skin are comparable to or even greater than those of β-carotene. When skin is exposed to UV light stress, more skin lycopene is destroyed compared with β-carotene, suggesting a role of lycopene in mitigating oxidative damage in tissues.46 Lycopene and tomato products are also mentioned for preventing cancer.47,48
Retinol is important for the human body; however the body itself cannot synthesize it. Retinol, a fat-soluble unsaturated isoprenoid like its two important metabolites retinaldehyde and retinoic acid, is essential for growth, differentiation and maintenance of epithelial tissues and influences reproduction. In human skin two retinoid receptors are expressed, which can be activated by retinol and its metabolites.49
Retinaldehyde, additionally being important for vision, is created by in vivo oxidation of retinol in a reversible process. The normal plasma concentration of vitamin A in humans is 0.35–0.75 μg/ml.50,51
Retinol must derive from diet. Natural retinol and retinol ester are contained in liver, milk, egg yolk, cheese and fatty fish etc. Naturally occurring and synthetic vitamin A (retinol) show similar biological activities. Different retinol products, both for cosmetic (topical) and pharmaceutical (topical, systemic) use can be found on the market.
In a review of topical methods to counteract skin wrinkling and irregular pigmentation of aging skin, Bayerl evaluates the effects of vitamin A acid derivatives, chemical peeling and bleaching agents. Also, the effects of UV protection by using sunscreens and topical antioxidants are reviewed.52 The topical retinoid treatments inhibit the UV-induced, MMP-mediated breakdown of collagen and protect against UV-induced decreases in procollagen expression.53–55
Endogenous retinoids cannot be linked to the pathogenesis of common skin diseases like acne and psoriasis. Oral treatment with retinol or retinal derivatives has not been proposed as a possible anti-aging treatment. Humans require 0.8‒1 mg or 2400‒3000 IU vitamin A per day (1 IU = 0.3 µg).51
Unfortunately the large CARET trial mentioned lung cancer-promoting effects of 25,000 IU retinyl palmitate combined with 30 mg β-carotene intake in smokers.56 Thus, the belief that chemical quenching of free radicals by natural compounds like retinyl palmitate and β-carotene exerts always beneficial effects has been challenged. Omenns data showed that an artificial systemic increase of antioxidants by dietary supplementation intended to modify UV erythema thresholds may have severe internal adverse effects which even may not only increase risk of cell aging but of tumor promotion. However experts still recommend dietary intake of fruits and vegetable.
In humans vitamin D serves two functions, it acts as a prohormone and the human body can synthesize it itself through sun exposure. Skin is the major site for UV-B mediated vitamin D3, and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 synthesis. Smaller amounts of vitamin D2 and D3 come from the dietary intake of animal-based foods such as fatty fish or egg yolk. Some products like milk, cereals and margarine can be enriched with vitamin D.
Excess of vitamin D is stored in fat of the body and can result in toxic effects. This toxicity presents with nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, weakness, weight loss and constipation. Food-intake of vitamin D high enough to cause toxicity is very unlikely.
The skin is one of the key tissues of the human body vitamin D endocrine system. It is important for a broad variety of independent physiological functions, which are reviewed in Reichrath et al.51 Besides its role in calcium homeostasis and bone integrity 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] is also essential for numerous physiologic functions including immune response, release of inflammatory cytokines and regulation of growth and differentiation in normal and malignant tissues such as breast, lung and colon.51 1,25(OH)2D3 protects human skin cells from UV-induced cell death and apoptosis,57 inhibits the activation of stress-activated protein kinases,58 such as the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38, and suppresses IL-6 production. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have documented the protective effect of 1,25(OH)2D3 against UVB-induced skin damage and carcinogenesis.58,59 Furthermore, 1,25(OH)2D3 induces the expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in human skin60 and plays a significant role in preventing opportunistic infections. With increasing age the capacity of the skin to produce vitamin D3 declines and consequently the protective effects of the vitamin. There are several factors contributing to this deficiency state among them behavioral factors, for example limited sun exposure or malnutrition, which can be partially altered by behavior modification and various intrinsic factors like reduced synthetic capacity. In skin, the concentration of 7-dehydrocholesterol—a vitamin D3 precursor—showed an approximately 50% decline from age 20 y to age 80 y61 and the total amount of pre-vitamin D3 in the skin of young subjects was at least two times greater than when compared with that of the elderly subjects. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation is therefore of great importance in the elderly population.13
Chang et al. also suggest an association between skin aging and levels of 25(OH)D3, another precursor of vitamin D. It may be possible that low 25(OH)D3 levels in women, who show less skin aging may reflect underlying genetic differences in vitamin D synthesis.62
Many other studies that tested oral vitamin D treatment showed skin cancer prevention, which is linked to anti-aging effects.63,64
In 2009, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Canadian Cancer Society recommended a 200 IU/day dosis for children (0–14 y), 200 IU for the age population between 14–50 y, 400 IU for the 50–70 y and 600 IU for people over their 71st year of age.65
A higher dose of vitamin D 1000 IU/day (adults) and 400 IU/day (children 0–14 y) intake has been recommended for individuals with known risk factors for vitamin D insufficiency like dark skin individuals, elderly persons, photosensitive individuals, people with limited sun exposure, obese individuals or those with fat malabsorption.65
The Food and Nutrition Board published a new recommendation for dietary allowance levels and tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) for vitamin D intake in 2010. The recommended dietary allowance (Table 1) represents a daily intake that is sufficient to maintain bone health and normal calcium metabolism in healthy people.66
Recommended dietary allowances for vitamin D
400 IU (10 mcg)
400 IU (10 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
600 IU (15 mcg)
800 IU (20 mcg)
800 IU (20 mcg)
*AI, Adequate Intake; IU, international unit; mcg, microgram, 40 IU = 1 mcg.
Long-term intakes of vitamin D above the upper intake levels increase the risk of adverse health effects. Most reports suggest a toxicity threshold for vitamin D of 10,000 to 40,000 IU/day and serum 25(OH)D levels of 500–600 nmol/L (200–240 ng/mL).
With daily intakes below 10,000 IU/day, toxicity symptoms are very unlikely. However, recent results from observational studies, national survey data and clinical trials have shown adverse health effects over time at much lower levels of vitamin D intakes and serum 25(OH)D. Since serum levels of approximately 75–120 nmol/L or 30–48 ng/mL have been associated with increased all-cause mortality, greater risk of cancer at some sites like the pancreas, greater risk of cardiovascular events as well as more falls and fractures with elderly subjects, the Food and Nutrition Board advises that serum 25(OH)D levels above 125–150 nmol/L (50–60 ng/mL) should be avoided and cites research results that link vitamin D intakes of 5,000 IU/day with a serum concentration at a maximum of 100–150 nmol/L (40–60 ng/mL).66
Polyphenols have drawn the attention of the anti-aging research community over the last decade, mainly because of their antioxidant properties, their great intake amount in our diet and the increasing studies showing their probable role in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.67 Their total dietary intake could be as high as 1 g/d, which is much higher than that of all other classes of phytochemicals and known dietary antioxidants.68,69 They are mostly found in fruits and plant-derived beverages such as fruit juices, tea, coffee, and red wine. Vegetables, cereals, chocolate and dry legumes are also sources for the total polyphenol intake.69 Several thousand molecules having a polyphenol structure have been identified in plants being generally involved in defense against UV radiation or aggression by pathogens. Depending on the number of phenol rings and the way that these rings bind to one another, polyphenols can be divided into many different functional groups such as the phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and lignans.67 Flavonoids are also further divided into flavones, flavonols, isoflavones, and flavanones, each with a slightly different chemical structure.6
It has been reported that the polyphenolic content of foods can be easily affected or seriously reduced by methods of meal preparation and culinary traditions. For example, onions, which are a major source of phenolic acids and flavonoids, and tomatoes lose between 75% and 80% of their initial content when boiled over 15 min, 65% when cooked in a microwave oven and 30% when fried.70 In French fries or freeze-dried mashed potatoes no remaining phenolic acids were to be found.71
Laboratory studies of different polyphenols such as, green tea polyphenols, grape seed proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, silymarin and genistein, conducted in animal models on UV-induced skin inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage, suggested that these polyphenols, combined with sunscreen protection, have the ability to protect the skin from the adverse effects of UV radiation, including the risk of skin cancers.72 The underlying mechanism of polyphenols actions has been a major discussion over the last decades. One of the most abundant theories is that the cells respond to polyphenols mainly through direct interactions with receptors or enzymes involved in signal transduction, which may result in modification of the redox status of the cell and may trigger a series of redox-dependent reactions.73,74 As antioxidants, polyphenols may improve cell survival; as prooxidants, they may induce apoptosis and prevent tumor growth.69,75 However, the biological effects of polyphenols may extend well beyond the modulation of oxidative stress.69
Some interesting polyphenols, flavonoids and botanical anti-oxidants and their properties, which have drawn attention for their unique anti-aging effects are discussed next.
Phlorizin belongs to the group of dihydrochalcones, a type of flavonoids and it is naturally occurring in some plants. It could be found in the bark of pear (Pyrus communis), apple, cherry and other fruit trees. It has been used as a pharmaceutical and tool for physiology research for over 150 y. However, its anti-aging effects have only been reported in the last years. Investigations of the effects of phlorizin on lifespan of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed an improvement of the viability of the yeast, which was dose-dependent under oxidative stress.76 Further investigations on humans are needed.
Many other botanical extracts, which are not discussed in this review, have been described to have potent anti-oxidant properties. Among them silymarin,77 apigenin78 and genistein79 have been demonstrated to have beneficial effects on skin aging parameters.
The nutrient-sensitive kinase mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates nutrient signaling. This mTORC1 is the central hub regulating protein and lipid synthesis, cell growth and cell proliferation and the process of autophagy and is thus intimately involved in central regulatory events associated with cell survival and cell aging. Intriguingly, all natural plant-derived polyphenols like EGCG, resveratrol, curcumin, genestin and others are natural inhibitors of mTORC1, recently described in this journal.80 Natural polyphenols exert their major metabolic activity as mTORC1 inhibitors, a fundament aspect relating calorie restriction and/or nutrient-derived mTORC1 attenuation to deceleration of aging. In fact, it has recently been demonstrated that mTORC1 inhibition by rapamycin extended life span in mice.81 This antioxidants from naturals souce exhibit more crucial functions as “Botanical mTORC1 inhibitors” and attenuate mTORC1 signaling, a beneficial property which decelerates cell metabolism, energy expenditure, mitochondrial activity and thus total ROS generation and oxidative stress load of the cells.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant, natural polyphenol, abundant in the skin of grapes (but not in the flesh). It has been the subject of intense interest in recent years due to a range of unique anti-aging properties. High concentrations of natural resveratrol and resveratrol oligomeres are found in grape shoots from Vitis Vinifera. Resveratrol and its oligomeres, trans-piceatannol, the dimers epsilon-viniferin, ampelopsin, iso-epsilon-viniferin, the trimers miyabenol C and the tetramers hopeaphenol, R-viniferin and R2-viniferin belong to the sub-group of stilbenes. Resveratrol works both as a chelating agent and as a radical scavenger and in addition it takes part in inflammation by inhibiting the production of IL-8 by LPS-induced MAPK phosphorylation and a block of NFΚB activation.82 In 2002 Bhat et al. reported that resveratrol possesses cancer chemopreventive activities.83 Cardiovascular benefits via increased nitric oxide production, downregulation of vasoactive peptides, lowered levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and cyclooxygenase inhibition; possible benefits on Alzheimer disease by breakdown of β-amyloid and direct effects on neural tissues; phytohormonal actions; antimicrobial effects; and sirtuin activation, which is believed to be involved in the caloric restriction-longevity effect have also been reported.84 As far as skin is concerned, resveratrol has been recently shown to possess a protective action in vitro against cell death after exposure of HaCaT cells to the nitric oxide free radical donor sodium nitroprusside.85 Furthermore, Giardina et al. reported in 2010 that in experiments in vitro with skin fibroblasts treated with resveratrol there was a dose-related increase in the rate of cell proliferation and in inhibition of collagenase activity.86 Steinberg showed that resveratrol oligomers hopeaphenol, epsilon-viniferin, R2-viniferin, ampelopsin inhibit the growth number of human tumor cell lines significantly stronger than resveratrol itself.87,88
Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and is frequently found in rice dishes to add yellow color to the otherwise white rice. Curcumin has been shown to protect against the deleterious effects of injury by attenuating oxidative stress and suppressing inflammation (reviewed in ref. 89). In human fibroblasts curcumin induced cellular stress responses through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway and redox signaling, thus providing evidence that curcumin-induced hormetic stimulation of cellular antioxidant defenses can be a useful approach toward anti-aging intervention.90 Oral ingestion in rodents has produced correction of cystic fibrosis defects and inhibition of tumor proliferation, but human trials are lacking.6,91,92
Green tea polyphenols
Green tea polyphenols (GTPs) derivating from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis have been postulated to protect human skin from the cutaneous signs of photoageing. In animal models, UV-induced cutaneous edema and cyclooxygenase activity could be significantly inhibited by feeding the animals with GTPs.93 However, in a study in 2005, although participants treated with a combination regimen of topical and oral green tea showed histologic improvement in elastic tissue content, clinically significant changes could not be detected.94 Many laboratories have reported that topical treatment or oral consumption of green tea polyphenols inhibits chemical carcinogen- or UV radiation-induced skin tumorigenesis in different animal models. Studies have shown that green tea extract also possesses anti-inflammatory activity. These anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea are due to their polyphenolic constituents present therein. The major and most chemopreventive constituent in green tea responsible for these biochemical or pharmacological effects is (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).95 EGCG can directly inhibit the expression of metalloproteinases such as MMP-2, MMP-9 and MMP-12,96 and is a potent inhibitor of leucocyte elastase,97 which is instrumental in tumor invasion and metastasis.
Topical application of green tea extract containing GTPs on C3H mice reduced UVB- induced inflammation.98 The researchers also found protection against UV-induced edema, erythema, and antioxidant depletion in the epidermis. This work further investigated the effects of GTPs after application to the back of humans 30 min before UV irradiation. A decrease of myeloperoxidase activity and infiltration of leukocytes compared with the untreated skin was documented.99
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble, endogenous (synthesized by the body), vitamin-like substance that is mainly stored in the fat tissues of our body. It is present in most eukaryotic cells, primarily in the mitochondria and plays an important role as a component of the electron transport chain in the aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy. Ubiquinol is also a well-known powerful antioxidant compound. In the skin, CoQ10 is mainly to be found in the epidermis where it acts in combination with other enzymic and non-enzymic substances as the initial barrier to oxidant assault.100 Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. The amount of CoQ10 needed in human organism can be gained through a balanced diet, however in the market CoQ10 is available in several forms as a supplement, including soft gel capsules, oral spray, hard shell capsules, and tablets. As a fat-soluble substance it is better absorbed when taken with fat rich meals. CoQ10 is also added to various cosmetics. It has been shown on rats that a CoQ supplementation elevates CoQ homologs in tissues and their mitochondria, thus causing a selective decrease in protein oxidative damage, and an increase in antioxidative potential.101 Furthermore, in a human study where 50 mg each of vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and selenium were administered combined with the use of topical bio-cosmetics, an increase in stratum corneum CoQ10 was noted after 15 and 30 d of ingestion.102 In cases of primary CoQ10 deficiency in vitro experiments have shown that they should be treated with CoQ10 supplementation and that complementary administration of antioxidants with high bioavailability should be considered if oxidative stress is present.103 On the other hand, in experiments contacted on mice the supplemental intake of CoQ10 had no effect on the main antioxidant defense or pro-oxidant generation in most tissues, and had no impact on the life span of mice.104
The term probiotic is defined as “living microorganisms, which, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health effect on the host.”105,106
The most commonly used probiotics in humans and animals are enterococci, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which are natural residents of the intestinal tract.
A prebiotic is a non-viable food component that confers a health benefit on the host associated with modulation of the microbiota.107 Oligofructose and other oligosaccharides are prebiotic which have a significant effect on the population of luminal flora, in particular, stimulating bifidobacterial populations.
Currently, finding alternatives to antibiotics for skin treatment is receiving a lot of interest in research. It has been found that, similarly to the gut microflora, the skin’s microbiota plays a beneficial role. Thus, the possibility to modulate the microbiota more selectively is highly interesting.
UV exposure is known to negatively affect immune system functions.108 Clinical studies that used probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus johnsonii NCC 533) to modulate the cutaneous immune homeostasis altered by solar-simulated UV exposure in humans suggest that certain probiotics can help preserve the skin homeostasis by modulating the skin immune system.109,110
According to Schouten et al., a prebiotic diet caused reduced acute allergic skin response in recipient mice.111
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from linolenic, linoleic and oleic acids. They cannot be produced in the human body and they have to be consumed through our daily dietary intake. EFAs have also been known as vitamin F. Arachidonic acid is a semi-EFA, as it can be synthesized in the body from linoleic acid. The two families of EFAs are ω-3, derived from linolenic acid, and ω-6, derived from linoleic acid, with the number indicating the position of the first double bond continuing from the terminal methyl group on the molecule.6,112 They are present in multiple food sources such as fish and shellfish, flaxseed, hemp oil, soya oil, canola oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, walnuts, sesame seeds, avocados, salmon and albacore tuna. EFAs are essential for the synthesis of tissue lipids, play an important role in the regulation of cholesterol levels and are precursors of prostaglandins.113
The association between nutrient intakes and skin aging has been examined in 2008 in 4025 women (40–74 y), using data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Skin-aging appearance was defined as having a wrinkled appearance, senile dryness, and skin atrophy. Higher linoleic acid intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of senile dryness and skin atrophy.114 In a study where the effect of fish oil on UV (UV) B-induced prostaglandin metabolism was examined, 13 patients with polymorphic light eruption received dietary supplements of fish oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for 3 mo. The authors managed to show a reduction in UV-induced inflammation, possibly due to lowered prostaglandin-E2 levels.115 Furthermore, oral administration of an antioxidant mixture containing vitamin C, vitamin E, pycnogenol and evening primrose oil significantly inhibited wrinkle formation caused by chronic UVB irradiation through significant inhibition of UVB-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity accompanied by enhancement of collagen synthesis on hairless mouse skin.116
EFAs can also be found as artificial supplements in the market. Fish oil supplements are usually made from mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, or seal blubber, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and often contain small amounts of vitamin E. They might be also combined with calcium, iron, or vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C or D.
It is widely accepted that caloric restriction (CR), without malnutrition, delays the onset of aging and extends lifespan in diverse animal models including yeast, worms, flies, and laboratory rodents.117 Although the underlying mechanisms remain still unknown, some explanations such as alterations of hormone metabolism, hormone-related cellular signaling, oxidation status, DNA repair, apoptosis, and oncogene expression, have been postulated.118,119 In a histological study on Fischer 344 rats undergoing dietary CR, the histomorphological changes resulting from intrinsic aging were delayed or prevented by CR. Namely, a trend toward increased values for collagen and elastic fibers, fibroblasts, and capillaries and a prevention of age-related increase in the depth of the epidermis, dermis, and fat layer was observed in skin samples from CR rats.120 Furthermore, in skin tissues of mice with CR weight control a palette of genes showed a differential expression when compared with mice receiving normal diet. The authors concluded that dietary CR showed profound inhibitory impact on the expression of genes relevant to cancer risks.121 Studies evaluating CR in nonhuman primates and its effects on human health, and on the metabolic parameters are ongoing.
To conclude, nutrition and skin aging still remains a controversial and conflicting subject. A promising strategy for enhancing skin protection from oxidative stress is to support the endogenous antioxidant system, with antioxidants containing products that are normally present in the skin.11 However, this should be not confused with a permanent intake of non-physiological high dosages of isolated antioxidants. Fruit and vegetables consumption may represent the most healthy and safe method in order to maintain a balanced diet and youthful appearing skin.
When metabolized, alcohol produces free radicals, which are chemicals in the skin that injure our precious collagen. These collagen fibers keep our skin firm and structured. Think of alcohol’s free radicals ingest collagen, poking little holes in those fibers. And when you lose collagen the consequences are fine lines, wrinkles and laxity. In fact, like sun exposure, alcohol breaks down collagen.
The Fix: Antioxidant creams and serums applied to the skin. Use them daily for best results, but definitely at bedtime if you drank alcohol. Antioxidants are the cure to free radicals. They effectively cut those damaging results produced by alcohol to save collagen and prevent wrinkles, fine lines and laxity. Vitamin C serum is a source of very powerful antioxidant you should incorporate into your skin routine. Ounce for ounce it’s simply the nuke of antioxidants. If you’re planning to drink, apply it in the morning to protect and at night to treat.
And it’s a good idea to also take supplements like omega–fatty–acids (fish oils) as well as lycopene and glutathione. At dinner, with your drink, order green vegetables or berries for dessert, as they are loaded with antioxidants. And instead of that venti iced coffee order a green tea!
Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C Active serum is available in clinic at Harbour Medispa, Hamilton
Live Now is an active skincare range designed for busy modern women which will help reduce the build-up of excess oil and dead skin cells, normalize the function of cell renewal, reduce inflammation, and prevent bacteria formation deep within the hair follicle and pores.