Plant-derived substances are important allies for our bodies, and they protect and repair our skin from the effects of aging. But which substances are the most useful?
It is now known that using plant-derived substances in cosmetic products significantly alters cutaneous aging. Natural approaches and modern technologies — and the two are not antithetical — have made new ingredients available that can interfere with the most important mechanisms by which skin aging occurs.
An anti-aging product is expected to exert its effects at different levels: protection against oxidative stress and environmental risks (UV, pollution, climate); enhancement of epidermal barrier function; stimulation of cell turnover and metabolism; regulation of genetic expression; block of dermal degradation; induction of repair; hormonal replacement; support of microcirculation.
All these activities can lead to evident results in terms of improving the signs of aging and normalizing skin parameters (water content, elasticity and turgidity, texture). First and foremost are vitamins: A (retinol) maintains trophism and fights tissue degradation; E (tocopherol) with its marked antioxidant activity and important moisturizing properties; C (ascorbic acid), with its important stimulating action on collagen fiber production; B5 (pantothenic acid) which stimulates the tissue’s metabolism; H (biotin) which favors the biological processes of tissue repair and cell turnover; F (linoleic acid) for a correct essential fatty acid intake, and for cutaneous health and integrity.
Other plant-derived substances, called ceramides, are surprisingly similar to the lipid substances present in the epidermis. They are responsible for the skin’s barrier functions, i.e. preventing excessive water loss and the penetration of potentially harmful substances. Ceramides are therefore key cosmetic ingredients thanks to their moisturizing and emolliating properties. Soy phospholipids maintain the fluidity and integrity of biological membranes. They also play a fundamental role as vehicles, optimizing the bioavailability of some plant-based active principles.
Soy isoflavones, rich in phytoestrogens, help improve the appearance of aging skin by stimulating fibroblastic collagen and elastin production, by protecting them from being degraded by elastase and collagenase, and by exerting strong antioxidant and immune-stimulating effects. Borage oil provides essential substances for the protection of skin structures. Centella asiatica stimulates the synthesis of new collagen and elastin. Gingko biloba and sweet clover protect cutaneous capillaries and stimulate microcirculation.
The cosmetic treatment of aging skin cannot disregard the mechanism of action of environmental causes of aging: chronic silent inflammation. It is here the star role of plant-derived antioxidants comes into play: lycopene in tomatoes, carotene in carrots, and polyphenols (in green tea, in turmeric, in grapes, to name just a few examples).
All the substances listed above have another considerable advantage: they can be provided either by one’s dietary intake or by specific food supplements or through cosmetic treatments. These multiple delivery mechanisms obviously enhance their effectiveness!
Article of Dr Adele Sparavigna for https://4me.styl