Monday, December 24, 2012

Put down the fruitcake!

As you know, fruit cake and other holiday desserts are loaded with sugar. Did you also know that sugar makes your skin dry and dull and leads to wrinkles?

The cause is a process called glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Unfortunately, the collagen and elastin proteins that help keep our skin firm are most vulnerable to glycation. Once damaged, collagen and elastin fibers become brittle, causing wrinkles to form and skin to sag. According to an article in the British Journal of Dermatology, these negative effects can begin to appear around the age of 35 and rapidly increase after that.

Luckily, new collagen can be built with products that contain retinoids; ask your doctor about lotions and serums that have retinol. Once you have used a collagen building product, it is important to take further steps to keep your skin looking healthy and young.

First and foremost, reduce your sugar intake and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. Next, be sure to drink plenty of water, and consider supplementing your diet with at least 1mg of B1 and B6 vitamins every day.

Green tea is also a great antioxidant. When used topically, it can more easily reach the dermal layer of skin where collagen and elastin reside.

Greenville Dermatology will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we are happy to share with you a recipe for a green tea face mask that you can mix at home:

·         Brew green tea; double the usual amount of tea, but keep the amount of water the same. You want the tea to be potent.

·         Let the tea cool to room temperature.

·         Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of rice flour; you want a smooth consistency so that it is spreadable, but not runny.

·         (Optional) Add half of a mashed banana and/or mango; banana moisturizes and mango cleanses.

We encourage using prescription lotions and serums for more drastic results, but this mask is a great home remedy to tone skin between treatments.

So, apply your mask, grab a bottle of water and ring in 2013 with great skin!

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