What is the best wrinkle treatment?
The years may bring wisdom, but they also bring unwelcome signs of facial aging, perhaps just as life is getting good. If lines and wrinkles don’t feature in your plans just yet, you may rightly search for a solution. Is it possible to delay, or even reverse, lines and wrinkles?
What causes wrinkles?
As your largest organ, skin constantly encounters two types of stimuli that influence aging – extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic aging results from external exposures such as ultra-violet light (‘photoaging’) and pollution. Intrinsic influences include poor nutrition, alcohol, smoking, stress and chronological aging. Both categories of stimuli create damaging reactive oxygen species (“free radicals”) that attack cells. In addition, ‘glycation’ a chemical reaction between sugars and proteins creates glycated proteins. When ‘oxidised’ by free radicals, these can form particularly damaging advanced glycation end products, or AGE’s.
The primary target of AGE’s is collagen. Within healthy skin, the largest component is the extracellular matrix (ECM), a jelly-like substance containing polysaccharides, water, fibrous structural proteins and proteoglycans. Among the structural proteins are 16 types of collagen, primarily type I (~85%), type III and IV – the latter provides basement membrane flexibility. AGE’s degrade collagen by cross-linking the proteins, rendering it brittle, breakable and unable to form strong fibres. As if that wasn’t enough, senescent (aged) cells produce collagen-degrading metalloprotease enzymes.
In summary, when your skin thins and becomes wrinkled, the culprit is reduced collagen.
Effective nutritional wrinkle treatment
Fortunately, nutritional science has been working on the distressing problem of wrinkles. It is known that nutrients like antioxidants and fatty acids delay aging and improve skin integrity[2-4]. However a less known, but extensively researched, supplement for skin health is collagen hydrolysate. It is also impressively effective.
Animal and human studies show that collagen hydrolysate intake:
- Stimulates genetic expression of both type I and type IV collagen in the skin[5-7]
- Suppresses activity of collagen-damaging metalloproteinases[5, 7]
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles. In a recent (2014) double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, daily consumption of the bioactive collagen peptides present in Puraz 100% collagen resulted in a significantly reduced eye-wrinkle volume (objective measurement) and a more youthful ECM profile. After 8 weeks the skin exhibited a 65% increase in the collagen precursor “procollagen” and 18% increase in elastin, which provides pliability. Proteoglycans, which hold moisture, were also increased. Encouragingly, the results were strongest in those over 50 years old.
- Reduces effects of UV damage. Collagen intake reduces UV-B induced wrinkling in mice and humans. The Journal of Medicinal Food reported this year on a placebo-controlled study in which individuals taking collagen with astaxanthin (as in our Krill Oil) showed significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration in photoaged facial skin.
The science is clear: you don’t have to surrender to the signs of aging. You can start taking action today:
Wrinkle treatment info
Sara Lake is a Christchurch (New Zealand) based nutritionist, food blogger and MSc student of human nutrition at Massey University.
1. Daniel, S., M. Reto, and Z. Fred Collagen glycation and skin aging. Cosmetics and Toiletries Manufacture Worldwide, 2002.
2. Boelsma, E., H.F. Hendriks, and L. Roza, Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001. 73(5): p. 853-64.
3. Heinrich, U., et al., Antioxidant supplements improve parameters related to skin structure in humans. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2006. 19(4): p. 224-31.
4. Chiu, A.E., et al., Double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of green tea extracts in the clinical and histologic appearance of photoaging skin. Dermatologic Aurgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 2005. 31(7 Pt 2): p. 855-60; discussion 860.
5. Zague, V., et al., Collagen hydrolysate intake increases skin collagen expression and suppresses matrix metalloproteinase 2 activity. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2011. 14(6): p. 618-24.
6. Proksch, E., et al., Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2014. 27(3): p. 113-9.
7. Yoon, H.-S., et al., Supplementating with Dietary Astaxanthin Combined with Collagen Hydrolysate Improves Facial Elasticity and Decreases Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 and -12 Expression: A Comparative Study with Placebo. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2014. 17(7): p. 810-816.
8. Fujii, T., et al., Effects of amla extract and collagen peptide on UVB-induced photoaging in hairless mice. Journal of Functional Foods, 2013. 5(1): p. 451-459.