If I told you that you could take certain nutrients to dramatically reduce your worst wrinkles, would you take them? Like most of my patients, I’m betting you would. And, it’s easier than you think. You may already be taking one or more of these supplements already. Let me tell you more about them…
All Natural Gene Booster Diminishes Wrinkles
In 2011, a group of researchers out of Unilever Laboratories reported about a new “anti-wrinkle pill” in the British Journal of Dermatology. It contained a combination of several different natural extracts that work together as “gene boosters” to reduce wrinkling.
In their study, the supplement was taken 3 times a day. After 14 weeks, study participants were shown to have 5% more collagen in their skin. They also had tighter cheek areas, about 10% shallower crow’s feet, and significantly decreased facial furrows in other areas.
Sounds great right? Except for one little thing. The anti-wrinkle pill, sold as The Strength Within was only sold in exclusive spas in the UK, Europe and Canada. You can try to buy it from one of the UK based companies that sell them over the internet but you may have a hard time getting it through customs. Amazon has sold the product but currently lists it as unknown when the product will again be available.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefit of the nutrients in The Strength Within. Fortunately, they’re just simple vitamins and other nutrients found in various “anti-wrinkle” supplements available in the US. You can also buy each ingredient separately from a health food store. Here’s what these nutrients are and what they do for your skin:
1. Antioxidants Vitamin C and E. Antioxidants help fight inflammation in your skin. Inflammation damages collagen and causes it to break down through “free radical” oxidation. Vitamin C helps collagen rebuild itself and studies have shown that low Vitamin E levels speed the rate at which skin wrinkles. Take 1,000 mg Vitamin C and 400 mg Vitamin E daily for best results. Both can also be applied topically where they help repair collagen from the outside in.
You can make your own topicals to ensure potency and save money. You’ll want to buy a powdered L-Ascorbic acid form of Vitamin C at a health food store. Mix 1/4 tsp Vitamin C with 1-2 tsp of filtered water. Add a little pure aloe vera gel to the mix (for spreadability) and apply to your face. If it burns, try increasing the amount of water or decreasing the Vitamin C to 1/8 tsp. Vitamin E capsules can simply be poked with a toothpick to release its oil. Spread it around eyes and on lips where your skin is much thinner and prone to wrinkles.
2. Soy isoflavones. These are natural, plant-based estrogens that replace lost estrogen. When estrogen stores decrease in menopause, certain enzymes called proteases build up and break down collagen. By age 55, you could have lost about 40% of your collagen stores. This is typically the age when increased sagging and wrinkling becomes noticeable. Soy isoflavones help to replace missing estrogen in the skin that fights these proteases. Soy isoflavones can be found in soy proteins or taken in a pill form.
3. Lycopene. From tomatoes, lycopene protects skin by creating a natural sunscreen. It boosts UV ray protection by 33%. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory. Put more lycopene in your diet eating cooked tomatoes like tomato sauce, chili, etc, as the heating process releases the lycopene. You can also take lycopene in a supplement form, at least 60 mg a day.
4. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. The most common source is fish and/or fish or krill oil supplements. Walnuts, and other mixed nuts, contain PUFA’s as well. They also help turn off inflammation throughout your body and protect collagen stores. Not only will your facial appearance benefit but so will all the joints of your body. Joints move by collagen-based ligaments and tendons so it’s important to keep them strong. About 2 grams daily of PUFAs is best for overall anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition to these particular ingredients, dermatologists also know that the following nutrients also do a big job in keeping skin younger. You can find them combined in several U.S. based products:
1. Coenzyme Q-10. Works to boost energy production throughout the body. This helps skin cell turnover as well.
2. Resveratrol. A great anti-aging antioxidant from grapes that fights aging at the cellular level, preserving telomeres at each end of your DNA.
3. Alpha Lipoic Acid. Another great antioxidant, ALA also prevents sugar molecules from attaching to collagen. Sugar turns into a strong acid in the body. It eats away at collagen giving it a “Swiss cheese” appearance and weakening it. Get 50 to 100 mg a day.
4. Green Tea Extract. Also a powerful antioxidant that helps turn off inflammation.
5. Vitamin A/Retinol, Retin-A. You need about 3,500 to 5,000 mg of beta carotene to make Vitamin A each day. It benefits many organs throughout your body, but especially your eyes, lungs and skin. Applied topically in products like Retin-A, Vitamin A helps diminish superficial wrinkles and aging brown spots.
To keep your skin looking younger, you can choose a “package deal” of nutrients in one supplement, or you can take each nutrient one by one. You can find the nutrients mentioned above in a good vitamin/supplement/natural foods store, or online. Whichever way you take these nutrients, you’ll see a significant decrease in facial and neck wrinkling after a few short weeks. Be sure to use a good moisturizer (even simple, economical Baby Lotion will work); and drink enough water for your body weight. You can noticeably decrease sagging and wrinkling in just a few days if you stay well-hydrated.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
First Anti-Wrinkle Pill Shows Signs of Success, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128314.300-first-antiwrinkle-pill-shows-signs-of-success.html?page=2#.VJ_AbckLE
Skin Care for Wrinkles, http://skincareforwrinkles.com/supplements/anti-aging-supplements/
Dry Skin and Wrinkles, http://www.livestrong.com/article/179260-dry-skin-wrinkles-under-the-eyes/