Glycation occurs when you eat sugars - not just refined sugar, but anything that turns into glucose in your body - and the glucose hits your bloodstream. These sugars latch on to proteins, and through a "binding" mechanism between sugar and protein, cause your skin to ultimately become stiff and brittle. Much of this results from large molecules generated from the glycation process, which are called advanced glycation end products, appropriately abbreviated as AGEs.
The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you produce. As they multiply, these molecules wreak havoc with proteins, including collagen and elastin, which keep our skin firm and elastic. The result is sagging, wrinkled skin. Yikes!
Obviously, limiting sugar in your diet is a way to fight glycation, but foods that contain sugars aren't always the obvious cookies, cake, and candy. Many foods, particularly the processed kinds like ketchup, sodas, salad dressing, pasta sauces, and cereal, contain high fructose corn syrup (a sugar). Even natural foods like orange juice and carbohydrates will cause glycation. There goes my diet!
An NIH-funded research team working on diabetes and cancer uncovered the link between 3DG (3-deoxyglucosone) and our skin. 3DG is present in skin and causes:
- decreased production of collagen,
- collagen and elastin cross-linking,
- formation of advanced glycation end products, and
- oxidative stress and free radicals.
The scientists then discovered how to control 3DG, a product of the body's breakdown of sugar and a key ingredient in skin aging. Further research led to the development of Supplamine, a combination of natural amino acids and a substitute sugar that does not cause toxic 3DG, oxidative stress, or free radicals. The MEG 21 moisturizing, anti-aging, and anti-wrinkle products developed by Dynamis Skin Science incorporate the discovery.
Since I'm a carb queen, I knew that the MEG 21 products might offer a refreshing treat for my skin. Dynamis Skin Science generously sent me samples of three of their four MEG 21 products: Face Treatment, Advanced Treatment, and Eye Treatment. After a three-week test, I can already see results!
The MEG 21 Face Treatment increases moisture, firmness, and smoothing as it provides an immediate glow and great dry skin relief. It has a nice consistency (it's specifically formulated for the face and for use under makeup), and I like the fact that I know it's there. My dry skin needs proof that a product is providing 12-hour moisture. The MEG 21 Face Treatment is infused with soy-based liposomes and leaves my skin soft and supple.
The MEG 21 Advanced Formula fascinates me. Although it's marketed specifically for hard-to-treat areas of the neck, chest, and upper arms, I unwitting used it on my face and loved it. After telling my contact at Dynamis Skin Science about that, she recommended I use it around my eyes because of its high concentration of Supplamine. Almost immediately, the crepiness I hate over the "inside" upper lid started to firm. That's because MEG 21 Advanced Formula has a higher amount of the active ingredients, with some of them not encased in liposomes, and it is enriched with shea butter and green tea extract.
The MEG 21 Bright & Firm Eye Treatment combines Supplamine with additional active ingredients, including three scientifically proven botanical extracts that brighten the skin, firm and strengthen the fragile eye area, and decrease puffiness and dark circles. The botanical ingredients are pfaffia, marapuama, and white lily. These ingredients help to gradually reduce the appearance of fat deposits under the eyes through local improvements in micro-circulation and a "lipolytic modulating effect," and they also reduce the appearance of dark circles.
There are clinical studies that show the effectiveness of MEG 21 products. All - that's 100% - of the participants had an increase in moisture, smoothness, and firmness after four weeks of use. Moisture levels were increased by 45%, and fine lines and wrinkles were reduced by 43% from baseline. That's pretty impressive!
I wondered whether younger women would appreciate MEG 21 as much as I do. I learned that MEG 21 products are great for all skin types, even for acne-prone skin. Also, the telltale signs of glycation are evident in skin as early as age 23. Starting use early can help people "age gracefully."
I'm going to continue to use these products. They are sold by physicians and licensed skin care professionals. You can see a list of suppliers at this link. You may find that sources near your home are few and far between. The good news is that if you Google MEG 21, you will find some online sources.
Photo courtesy of Dynamis Skin Science