What to do against accelerated skin aging?
Have you ever heard of AGE? This is not a new manufacturer for household appliances. As an abbreviation, the term stands for Advanced Glycation Endproducts and these are responsible, among other things, for the saccharification of the skin. The result is accelerated skin aging.
Sometimes one has the feeling of experiencing a real aging surge within a short period of time. Is this just a subjective feeling or can one really age in spurts and what role do AGE’s play in skin aging? Here is an interview with anti-aging expert Roswitha Sieghold from Parfümerie Brückner in Munich.
What do you consider to be part of anti-aging?
“For me, anti-aging is a very broad topic. Here at Parfümerie Brückner, the focus is of course on the skin. My special anti-aging advice covers not only the skin but also our ‘inner’ aging. How should I eat to age more slowly, which micronutrients can delay our aging?
But just as crucial to how young or old someone looks or feels is their own lifestyle. What interests does he have, how does someone dress, the activities and social contacts, the posture and body language.”
How long have you been involved with this topic and how did it come about?
“My entire professional career has always been about beauty and anti-aging. It’s been more than 35 years now. I have seen many trends come and go. What has always remained is the desire of many people to delay aging. In my own interest, too, I began early on to study current research intensively, especially from the field of gerontology. In all approaches of scientists to delay aging, our nutrition and the sufficient supply of all vital substances is and has always been a central issue. That’s why then a few years ago I did a 1-year training as a nutritionist and more recently the additional training as a micronutrient consultant, specializing in the holistic approach to anti-aging counseling.”
Is there an answer to the question why we age?
“In fact, aging itself has not yet been 100 percent deciphered. Researchers are still debating the mechanisms of the aging process. It is generally proven that damage to cells, tissues and genetic material over the years is less easily repaired by our body’s own protective systems. But exactly what leads to this loss of function is still being researched.”
How important is personal lifestyle versus genetic disposition?
“This is where science agrees! Contrary to widespread opinion, our genes play a role in just about 25 percent. The rest is in our hands with our personal lifestyle. What is certain is that we can influence our aging through our diet and lifestyle. Everyone should take advantage of these fairly simple mechanisms!”
What is part of a holistic anti-aging concept for you?
“For me, a holistic anti-aging concept includes the skin, nutrition, lifestyle and, if necessary, styling and makeup. I observe the person: how does he move, what is the overall appearance, the charisma. There are many factors that play together to make someone look young or old.”
They have a particular approach when it comes to anti-aging. You define the AGE value: what exactly is meant by it and what role does it play in your concept?
“In my special consulting concept, which can be booked with us at Parfümerie Brückner and is unique in Munich, the sugaring of the skin is the focus. More and more often today, you already hear about glycation – the saccharification – of the skin. However, many are not yet aware that glycation has a major impact on the aging and beauty of the skin.
I determine the level of glycation of the skin. This is also called AGE. The abbreviation AGE stands for Advanced Glycation Endproducts.
AGEs are, in simple terms, harmful molecules circulating in the blood that form sticky cross-links. They are formed when simple sugars (fructose, galactose, glucose) react uncontrollably with the body’s own proteins and fats.
The problem with AGE’s is, they accumulate in tissues, skin and blood vessels. However, they cannot be utilized by the body. Thus, as we age, the AGE concentration increases. The skin loses its firm appearance and gets wrinkles earlier. This is associated with health risks, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis or type II diabetes.
Therefore, everyone who takes care of his skin and pays attention to his health should also know his AGE value. Because only if I know where I currently stand, I can, if necessary, counteract in time”.
How exactly do you determine the AGE value?
“With the help of the AGE reader. This is a handy device that is mainly used in diabetology and nutritional medicine. The measurement takes place by means of an optical procedure on the skin of the forearm. A completely harmless ultraviolet light beam produces a characteristic fluorescence in AGE molecules. Its intensity provides information about the AGE concentration. This takes just 12 seconds and is completely risk-free. Immediately, the client receives his value, which is displayed in a color chart.”
How high or low should the value be and what Are the experiences from your consulting? Is that out of balance for most clients?
“To understand the measurement result, you need to know that there is a linear relationship between AGE value and calendrical age. The measurement result is compared with optimal reference values of persons of the same age. The lower our own AGE value is compared to the reference value, the lower our cellular age is. Our biological age lies behind our calendar age – aging is delayed. If our own AGE value is higher than the reference value, our cell age is also higher, with all the negative consequences.
Unfortunately, our western diet favors the formation of AGEs. That’s why I often experience elevated levels as well.”
How should I imagine the subsequent consultation?
“Often the measured value decides which consultation is booked afterwards. If the value is very good, the brochure that comes with each measurement is usually sufficient. There is a lot explained in it and it contains many tips. Skin care is always discussed and adjusted if necessary.
If the value is improved, a more intensive consultation follows. It starts with a precise anamnesis. What is the desired goal, what is the current status: diseases, medications or supplements already taken. The current care ritual, does the person smoke, how is the exercise, lifestyle, etc.
Then the client keeps a food log. For seven days, all food and beverages consumed must be recorded. I then evaluate the nutrition log and all the facts gathered. At a further appointment, I then work out a customized care and nutrition concept together with the client. After eight weeks, there is a follow-up appointment with another measurement.”
According to the measurement result, what is the role of skin care and how important is the right diet? So what can you do from the outside, what from the inside?
“In my consultation with the AGE Reader, nutrition and skin care go hand in hand. Nutrition is skin care from the inside and has a huge impact on the saccharification of the skin. We can also eat AGE’s directly, namely whenever we eat foods that are overly heated, roasted, fried or grilled, for example, or when we smoke. There are foods that already have a very high AGE content (e.g. fried bacon, butter, parmesan) and those that help to reduce it like tomato, apple, orange, cinnamon, oregano or green tea
The goal of the advice is to reduce AGE formation via a wisely chosen diet and preparation method. For example, using lower temperatures in cooking, moist heat, shorter cooking times, or acidic ingredients such as lemon or vinegar. There are also micronutrients that have been shown to lower AGE levels. For skin care, there are now many creams that specifically target glycation. We have a lot to offer here at Parfümerie Brückner.”
How do you see the future of anti-aging?
“I think people are becoming more health conscious and are placing more emphasis on natural ingredients, but of which the effect must be clearly proven. Slow aging is becoming the new anti-aging. Not avoiding aging at all costs, but pushing it back as far as possible. Aging research is very active. We can expect a lot more on that front.”
What GIVES there for new trends in this market area?
“The topic of sustainability will increase even more. Both in terms of packaging and ingredients. Clean beauty is already a big topic. Generation Z thinks very sustainably.
The pandemic has caused buying behavior to change even faster. On the one hand, even more in the direction of online retail, but regional stores are also being supported more strongly again. Good advice and service will continue to exist in the future!”