Probably the most down-played ingredient in skincare, ALA deserves more recognition as a powerhouse anti-aging active.
As we know, our skin ages intrinsically (chronological aging) and extrinsically (from our environment). One of the best ways to combat both types of aging is through exercise and nutrition. In our skin, topical antioxidants play a key role in helping to prevent senescence, or the gradual reduction of cell rejuvenation and the degradation of of our extracellular matrix (ECM).
What is ALA?
ALA is a fatty acid and coenzyme associated with energy production in our cells. Our bodies create ALA naturally and we can increase ALA in our bodies by consuming red meat, spinach, and beans, or through supplementation, like a topical serum. Hint. Hint.
What makes ALA special?
It plays a significant role in our stratum corneum by helping to strengthen the barrier and regulate water, nutrients, and bacteria. This function of ALA makes it integral at promoting a smooth skin texture and brighter, even-toned complexion.
Deeper, it plays an important part in the production of new collagen and keeping our existing ECM strong. ALA is a fat and water-soluble antioxidant in its own right, but what makes it special is its ability to recycle and replenish other antioxidants in the skin. Keeping our skin revived with these anti-aging heroes helps prevent and correct lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Our ALA hero
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British Journal of Dermatology. October 2003. 149(4)