glycation: how A.G.E. contribute to skin aging

Glycation is a reaction that happens both inside and outside of our bodies. It is a process by which sugars (primarily fructose and glucose) bond with proteins and fats to form advanced glycation end-products, or A.G.E. These pro-inflammatory compounds can cause the all-important collagen and elastin in our skin to become weak and stiff, accelerating the visible signs of aging. Although a certain amount of sugar is necessary for healthy body function, it has been asserted that a low glycemic diet is a beneficial part of any anti-aging regimen.


Because these A.G.E. also induce a browning reaction (called a Maillard reaction, as it was discovered by chemist Louis-Camille Maillard in 1912), they are often added to many foods we consume to improve their color, taste and appearance. Unfortunately, this is clearly a sales and marketing benefit, not a health benefit. High levels of A.G.E. are being studied for their role in type II diabetes, ocular diseases and heart diseases.

Below is a list of some ingredients and the PCA SKIN products they are found in that help fight the visible skin aging that can be exacerbated by glycation:

  • Aminoguanidine (Nutrient Toner, A&C Synergy Serum®)
  • Arginine (Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Body Therapy, A&C Synergy Serum®, Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night)
  • Niacinamide (ReBalance, Rejuvenating Serum, Hydrating Serum, Pigment Bar®, Activator (Step 1 from the Oxygenating Trio))
  • Green Tea Extract, Flavonodis, Antocyans – different polyphenolics (these are found in a wide range of PCA SKIN products)

Nutrient Toner’s blend of aminoguanadine and multiple polyphenol antioxidants make it a great choice for anti-glycation. A&C Synergy Serum® and Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30 are also excellent options.

Feel free to call us at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546] or email us at anytime with questions about glycation and how to fight its ill effects on the skin.


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