Anti-Aging Effects of Turmeric Can Help You Look Younger

Full of skin-loving compounds — including a peptide and curcuminoids — studies show that turmeric can help keep your skin beautiful, healthy, and youthful. Turmeric compounds may even be able to reverse the signs of aging. This includes preventing or repairing damage to the skin's epidermis, dermis, and hair caused by chronic sun exposure(xi.24-25)

Figure XI.2: The Layers of Skin

Figure XI.2: The Layers of Skin (xi.26-27)

What Causes Signs of Aging Skin?

As we grow older, the appearance of our skin changes due to internal and external factors. Whereas young skin is smooth and supple, signs of aging skin include the following: (xi.24-2528)

Internal and external causes for these signs of aging include: (xi.24-2528)

Figure XI.3: Factors that Cause Skin to Age

Figure XI.3: Factors that Cause Skin to Age

Shortened Telomeres

Internal factors, such as telomeres, are mostly out of our control but can be influenced by external factors. For example, studies show some plant compounds (e.g., resveratrol) can lengthen the telomere ends of our chromosomes. Telomeres help keep DNA stable as cells replicate, which allows cells to replicate more often. They are easily damaged by free radicals and grow shorter as we age. UV radiation can also shorten telomeres. (xi.28-29)

UV Radiation and Photoaging

In fact, experts suggest UV radiation from chronic, unprotected sun exposure causes up to 80% of aging skin on the face. Both UVA and UVB generate free radicals and increase inflammatory transcription factors, cytokine proteins, and immune system cells. Over time, these destroy collagen and elastin and cause wrinkles and other signs of aging skin: (xi.28-29)

Figure XI.4: UV Radiation and Aging Skin

Figure XI.4: UV Radiation and Aging Skin

UV radiation and high blood sugar can cause the accumulation of AGEs — advanced glycation end products. AGEs are molecules formed primarily when sugars react with and bind to proteins. Piled up on skin's structural proteins (collagen and elastin), AGEs make skin stiff. They also promote free radicals and inflammation that lead to collagen breakdown. (xi.30-31)

How Can Turmeric Help?

Fortunately turmeric compounds can counteract many of these detrimental effects by suppressing inflammatory proteins. So what's the visible benefit of turmeric's behind-the-scenes cellular activity? How about: (xi.52830)

Manufacturers also add turmeric compounds to skin care products for its antiseptic properties and ability to prevent fats in moisturizers from turning rancid. Turmeric is often included in skin treatment creams that contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are used to treat signs of aging (e.g., wrinkles and age spots) and acne. Turmeric reportedly counteracts the mild skin irritation frequently caused by AHAs. With all these healthy skin care benefits, it's no surprise to find turmeric and curcuminoids as ingredients in many modern, commercial skin care products(xi.232)

Inflamed small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. (xi.24)

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