Questions & Answers

Question:  I went to buy a glycolic acid cleanser and  was told that  something called  “MMP”  is  much better.  Its also much more expensive.  I can’t afford to keep buying a skin care  product and  then  learn that  there are better ones.  Is MMP   a good ingredient to look for?

Answer:  MMP  is an umbrella term for enzymes  ( eg collagenase) which break down old proteins ( eg old collagen).  The  body  produces them naturally and as we get older or are under stress, the  body produces  more of them.  Sunlight, alcohol and smoking  also increase MMP levels. We need MMPs to avoid build-up of   old damaged tissues– but too much MMP can increase  aging and skin wrinkling.

I think that the product you were offered had an anti-MMP compound that actually blocks MMP activity.   A lot of ingredients can act as an MMP inhibitor– something that prevents MMP from attacking the skin.  Retin A  has strong anti-MMP activity, as do antioxidants, aloe and chamomile.

Anti-MMP’s could be a nice additional ingredient, but alone this appraoch  doesn’t have the juice that other anti-agers can offer.  For example, glycolic acid removes dead dry skin cells,  and stimulates circulation as well as growth of new collagen and elastin.    Glycolic acid is a skin care  basic  and I would put my money on the best one I can find.

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