Paying the price for free radicals
One of the biggest enemies to healthy skin is free radicals.
Free radicals are cells that are damaged during the process of oxidation – such as when the flesh of an apple turns brown after it has been sliced.
While oxidation is a normal part of cellular function, a small percentage of cells – about 1 to 2 percent, according to Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University in Boston – will become damaged and turn into free radicals.
Free radicals are highly-charged cells that are missing a critical molecule. They cause carnage when they rampage through the body in search of another molecule to fill that void.
External toxins are most often responsible for the generation of free radicals, experts say.
Some – such as cigarette smoke and drinking too much alcohol – we can avoid, but others, such as air pollution and pesticides and other toxins lurking in our water – are harder to escape.
Antioxidants are the good guys here, since they can donate a molecule to the damaged free radical – restoring it to an undamaged state – without resulting in damage, itself.
Stronger = younger
The loss of collagen and elastin also play a critical role in aging skin.
“Collagen is the primary component of the body's connective tissue,” according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, who said about 80 percent of the skin below the outer layer is collagen. Collagen gives skin strength, he says.
Elastin, on the other hand, allows skin to stretch and bounce back. When levels are low, the skin no longer bounces back when stretched, but instead, begins to sag.
Most skin care products say they’ll help restore the collagen and elastin in your skin. And while the promises sound good, they’re about as superficial as they come. The shelves are packed with products, but most don’t work because they don’t penetrate deep enough to make a difference.
Real cellular transformation happens deep below the skin’s surface, where collagen and elastin levels can be restored, hyaluronic acid levels get a boost and free radicals are destroyed.
Xtend-Life’s skin care products work hard to go deep below the surface of the skin, through patented ingredients that help to erase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, strengthen the skin’s structure and restore the youthful glow we are all searching for when we scour the endless shelves of skin care products.
In addition to rebuilding collagen and elastin, Xtend-Life’s products contain an extract from sea kelp that not only helps to prevent the breakdown of hyaluronic acid – a step that contributes to the aging process – but also gradually encourages the increase of hyaluronic acid levels to those of a younger person.
Xtend-Life also offers the powerful Nano-Lipobelle H EQ10, a version of coenzyme Q10 designed to penetrate deep into the skin – most stay on the surface, where they do little good – to prevent wrinkles while attacking free radicals.
From the inside out
A healthy body shows itself through healthy, supple skin, but sometimes, the most successful products work from the inside out. All the creams in the world won’t really make much of a difference if you’re not taking in the proper nutrients, experts say.
“Unless your skin is getting the nutrients that it needs, it just won't look its best,” according to Lisa Drayer, R.D., author of “The Beauty Diet.”
Drinking plenty of water is a good first step – hydrated skin looks younger and is less likely to show blemishes, experts say – while eating a diet rich in antioxidants and other nutrients can feed your skin from within.
Some good choices include lycopene-rich tomatoes, salmon and flaxseed for the Omega-3 fatty acids, sweet potatoes, broccoli and other foods full of vitamin C, greens such as spinach and kale to help boost skin renewal and dark chocolate to get your sweet share of skin-friendly flavonoids.
Foods such as gelatin can also help boost collagen and elastin production, while beans may reduce the effects of aging for women.
Estrogen helps prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, but when menopause occurs, estrogen levels drop off.
Beans – as well as split peas, flaxseed, sprouts and brans – contain phytoestrogens, which mimic the effects of estrogen on the body, erasing the damage.
To boost the diet with supplements, consider Xtend-Life’s Omega-3 Premium, which features all the benefits of fish oil along with antioxidants. It offers a patented lycopene extract that has been shown in studies to help support skin density and thickness while decreasing scaling and roughness, restoring that youthful glow we all want.
It also includes a form of astaxanthin, an antioxidant derived from algae that helps fight free radicals, especially those environmental ones we can’t control.
A two-part process
Essentially, skin care is a two-step process, one part moisture and nutrient boost through creams, lotions and serums, another part vitamin and mineral boost from the inside out.
Check out the rest of our website to find the Xtend-Life products that are best suited to help you make your skin look and feel its best.