Probably everybody knows by now that nutrition plays a crucial role in health and healthy ageing, so it should not surprise anyone that science is making room for anti-ageing vitamins – vitamins that can reduce or slow down the damaging effects of aging. When we think of vitamin supplements, we usually imagine something which is ingested like a pill, but many vitamins and minerals are effective when applied to the skin as well.
The anti-ageing treatments of today often rely on vitamin and mineral supplements or skin care products which contain vitamin and minerals, because of the increasing evidence that these substances help slowing down ageing. Many of the anti-ageing vitamins are in fact antioxidants.
Their role is to remove free radicals, which are byproducts of metabolism which damage body cells, contributing to both aging and disease. Free radicals are continuously produced in our bodies, therefore a continuous supply of antioxidant vitamins and minerals are needed in order to prevent cell damage. There are many foods which have been identified as powerful antioxidants, such as chocolate and blueberries, while antioxidant vitamins and minerals include A, B-6, B-12, C, E, and selenium.
Essential nutrients have been known to people for centuries. Moreover, given the scientific proofs, the idea of anti-ageing vitamins is not to be distrusted – of course that a body which benefits from all the essential nutrients is going to last longer than one which does not get them.
The idea of putting vitamins into topical preparations is more controversial, though, and there is less scientific evidence for it. Tests suggest, however, that anti-ageing vitamins applied on the skin do have beneficial effects, especially with skin problems such as dry skin, sunburn or eczema. Although generally these products contain low concentrations of vitamins, they are much more beneficial as anti-ageing treatments than simply offering protection from the sun.
One thing to remember is that Vitamin A actually increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, therefore one should use this vitamin only in combination with sunscreen when having an anti-ageing treatment. On the other hand, vitamins C and E are renowned for their ability of blocking harmful sunlight and for this reason they can be considered topical anti-ageing treatments in themselves. However, their sunblocking properties do not substitute for an effective sunscreen, therefore they should not be used instead of sunblock.
We might not be able to stop aging completely, but with the proper vitamins and minerals we can slow this process down enough to where these substances allow our body the ability to balance out our nutritional needs.