Are Ceramides the Key to Beautiful Skin?

I get frequent questions about individual anti-aging  ingredients. Can it REALLY reverse aging?  Is it natural?  Dangerous?   Last time, I reviewed idebone, a powerful antioxidant.  Today I’m evaluating ceramides.  I’ve seen it advertised  on a number of products and  thought it was finally  time to do a little research.

Here’s how it works: The cells of the top layer of the skin are held in place by fatty ceramides, a substance  which kind of acts like glue to keep the cells in order.  In addition ceramides hold onto water  molecules,  helping to attract and retain moisture in the skin.  And it will probably come as no great surprise that ceramide levels decrease as we get  older.  By age 60, we  have lost so much ceramide that the upper layer of the skin is 30% thinner.

Ceramides are used  lotions, creams … Continue Reading…

Is Retin A Better than Antioxidants?

This week the questions  concern  antioxidants.  They seem to be everywhere  and in every type of beauty product:

Question 1— Which is more important for anti-aging skin care- antioxidants or Retin A?

Answer — These two wrinkle fighters work in different ways.  Antioxidants  act to reverse  cellular damage caused by UV rays.   Retin A works  by  returning skin cell growth  to youthful levels, promotes exfoliation of old tired skin cells and encourages growth of new strong collagen.  Its not a matter of which is better– you really need them both, especially in the long  sunny summer days.  What’s really good news  that they are an excellent tag  team  for reversing skin aging.   Each offers unique benefits and they don’t interfere with each other.   At night top  your Retin A with an antioxidant rich moisturizer.  During the day, anti0xidants in a sunscreen  add … Continue Reading…

Real Time Beauty Questions

Sometimes anti-aging  ingredients and skin care  product descriptions sound like a review sheet  for  a medical board exam.  This week  questions about two  anti-aging ingredients sent  me to Pub Med, the  NIH online medical library for the answers. 

Question 1– What is Idebenone?

This is a synthetic antioxidant that is designed to mimic CoQ10, a naturally  occurring oxidant found in our cells.  (FYI  CoQ10 which is responsible for energy, decreases as  we get older).  Idebenone is an especially powerful antioxidant, perhaps the most powerful antioxidant in our anti-aging arsenal. Antioxidants in general  help prevent aging by dealing with free radicals in the cells.  Our biggest sources of  free radicals are cigarette smoke, alcohol and sunlight.  It certainly makes sense to put antioxidnts into a sunscreen where it can do hand to  hand combat  with … Continue Reading…