Can Protecting Your Telomeres Slow the Signs of Aging?
Aging happens to us all. But it seems to happen at wildly varying rates. Have you ever been shocked to learn that someone was ten or 15 years older than you expected? Do they just have good genes? Maybe, but more precisely, they have good telomeres.
What are telomeres? Just the key to longevity, youth, and health. Want to know more?
We’re going to get a little science-y here. It’s worth it. Telomeres are little caps at the ends of chromosomes that help maintain genomic structural integrity and protect DNA from alteration.
The length of telomeres predicts the aging process. When telomeres get too short, cellular replacement and repair processes become limited leading to premature cellular aging.
While telomeres shorten naturally with age, many factors can accelerate the process. Things like environmental stressors (pollution, UV exposure, chemicals), illnesses, or lifestyle factors (smoking, poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, and inflammation) can all negatively impact telomere length.
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent premature aging. Elissa Epel, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, whose research focuses on aging and metabolism, notes, "small, moderate health behaviors add up over decades to mean better longevity, longer telomeres, lower inflammation.”
There is also growing evidence to suggest that you can do more, not just to slow, but to reverse cellular aging caused by damage to telomeres. The body produces an enzyme called telomerase that recaps and elongates shortened telomeres leading to increased cellular lifespan and improved cellular function. Certain skin care ingredients can help support and encourage its work.
Skin care ingredients to help encourage the protection and repair of telomeres
Look for skin care ingredients that reduce inflammation, counter oxidative stress, and stimulate cellular repair.
Peptides have been shown to initiate synthesis of telomerase and the elongation of telomeres. These cell-signaling agents trigger a cascade of proteins that are involved in the telomerase production complex. This helps slow the aging of cells and encourages them to function like younger cells.
Peptides are also prolific inflammation-reducers and stimulators of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin.
Oxidative stress caused by UV, pollution, and chemicals damages telomeres. Antioxidant ingredients can help protect against this damage.
Studies suggest that telomere loss in skin cells can be delayed by treatment with vitamin C and that vitamin E preserves telomerase activity. Vivant’s Spin Trap Vitamin C & E serum is a potent blend of both antioxidant superheroes.
Vitamin A is the king of antioxidant therapies and should be part of any ageless regimen. If you are new to vitamin A therapy, start with Vivant’s Derm-A-Gel Daily Vitamin A to allow your skin to acclimate.
Bioactive phenolic compounds are plant metabolites with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activity. Some of the highest concentrations are found in sources like green tea, grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, grape pomace, kiwi extract, aloe, and algae. The beneficial effect of these agents has been widely studied.
You’ll find these ingredients in many of Vivant’s formulas. Some of our favorites are Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser (green tea, kiwi extract, grape extract), Skin Nourishing Toner (rosehip oil, green tea extract, grape pomace, kiwi extract), Marine Skin Nourishment Cream (grapeseed oil, sea algae extract, whole leaf aloe), and Algae Soft Mask (sea algae extract, whole leaf aloe).
Because UV is one of the biggest oxidative stressors contributing to telomere degradation, daily sunscreen is a must. Vivant’s Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15 provides sun protection and moisture in one lightweight, non-greasy formula that perfect on its own or under makeup. Or mix it with a little mineral powder to create your own foundation.