When it comes to our skin, the signs of aging are well known. It might start with some dryness and dullness on the cheeks, then come the fine lines around the eyes and so on. But have you ever wondered about the underlying causes of those changes? Is there a magical clock inside our bodies that somehow knows to switch off the fountain of youth as the years creep up on us?
Well, it may not be a magical clock, but there is something inside of each and every one of our cells that keeps track of time in a sense — controlling when and how often our cells divide and replenish themselves. These timekeepers are known as telomeres.
Telomeres are small pieces of DNA that cap off and protect the end of each chromosome in our cells. Chromosomes are the long, twisted strands of DNA that make up our genetic code. For cells to divide and replenish themselves (as they do by the billions throughout our lifetime), a copy of the chromosomes must be made. And each time this happens, a small piece of each telomere gets lost, like the plastic end of a shoestring wearing down over time.
When telomeres become too short to function, they signal that it’s time for the cell to become inactive or die. In the case of skin cells, that means they can no longer replenish themselves to overcome environmental assaults like pollution and UV radiation. Cue the visible signs of aging noted above, as well as thinner skin that takes longer to heal.
While it’s not (yet) possible to stop telomeres from getting shorter, the good news is that the rate at which they shorten isn’t set in stone. Some of this is controlled by heredity (hence why some families never seem to age!). But there are also lifestyle and environmental factors that affect telomeres. For example, people who eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, stay at a healthy weight and avoid smoking all tend to have longer telomeres — and therefore often look younger.
From a skincare perspective, scientists have begun to use their knowledge about telomeres to develop powerful compounds that can help protect slow and prevent the signs of aging at a cellular level. One of my favorite such ingredients is Renovage™ — a clinically-proven ingredient shown to maintain and delay the shortening of telomeres and to extend the lifespan of skin cells by 30%.
As part of my Advanced Botanical line, I’ve combined Renovage™ with natural anti-aging herbs and extracts to produce my incredibly effective Ylang Ylang Moisture Quench Firming Cream.
In this “fountain of youth” moisturizer, the telomere-protecting power of Renovage™ combines with plumping and fortifying ingredients like hyaluronic acid and konjac root extract to deliver smoother, softer and firmer skin. It also contains Peruvian Inca Inchi Lipactive and Schisandra berry extract (Sqisandryl) to help strengthen the skin barrier, as well as shea butter, mango butter and cocoa butter to leave skin supple and hydrated.
Whether you’re looking to prevent signs of aging or hoping to turn back the hands of time you’ve already begun to see, our Ylang Ylang Moisture Quench Firming Cream helps you harness the power of science and the power of nature to take control of the aging clock right at the source. Combine it with good nutrition, regular exercise, ample SPF and other healthy habits to help look — and feel — your best long into the future!
In beauty and health,