Why Glycation Should Be Your Skin Concern

By Kuma-san, 01 April 2022

Glycation And Skin Ageing

Everyone talks about anti-ageing ingredients and products, but anti-ageing is such a broad and profound term used in the skincare realm. It covers almost everything from antioxidants to collagen peptides, and to other peptides and vitamin derivatives that have even just little effects on reversing signs of ageing.

But there is another bad guy on the skincare block - a process called "glycation." Here is a closer look at this lesser-known, skin-ageing villain.

Image source: The Skin Cellar

Glycation is the covalent attachment of sugar to the collagen in our skin which is in charge of the skin's elasticity and firmness. When sugar gets attached to the skin's collagen, the collagen begins the glycation process and starts to break down and become less elastic.

Not only that, there are wastes and by-products of the glycation process called Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs), that cause oxidative stress to the skin and body, which in turn, accelerate the ageing process.

Glyoxal, a by-product is also a toxic dicarbonyl compound capable of damaging cells via AGE formation. One of the AGEs formed in the presence of glyoxal is carboxymethyl lysine (CML), which has been used extensively as a biomarker for ageing.

Signs of Glycation

skin aging

In layman terms, AGEs in skin cells are known to promote stiffness and loss of elasticity through their buildup in connective tissue, however, they are also linked to other skin concerns such as

  • Loss of elasticity due to collagen breakdown
  • Prone to pimples and blemishes due to the micro-inflammation from glycation.
  • Pore issues due to the oxidative stress caused by AGEs
  • Signs of fine lines and wrinkles due to the loss of matrix support caused by AGEs
  • Hyperpigmentation as a result of skin responses to AGEs

While all the above skin conditions can be complex and are often as a result of a combination of environmental factors, however, research has shown that glycation also plays a significant role in the deterioration of these skin issues and cause skin ageing and premature ageing.

Premature or Mature Ageing?

Many of us have come to an age where we accept natural ageing and believe that our skin is supposed to be wrinkled, dull, not elastic etc., and we gladly welcome ourselves into the mature age after turning 30 or even in our early 20s.

After we turn 40 and 50, we further believe that the skin should naturally look saggy, with no hope for it to be young again. We talk about premature ageing quite often, while you may think it does not apply to you, research has shown that most signs of ageing are a result of premature ageing.

Premature ageing shows signs of ageing that happened faster than natural ageing should, and therefore could be adding a significant amount of years of aged appearance to the skin. Glycation plays an important role in causing premature ageing. Research has shown that premature ageing can be prevented and some even reversed over time through the right methods and ingredients.

What causes Glycation?

Typical sugars that participate in glycation are glucose, fructose, or their derivatives. Every time we put delicious fruits or chocolates into our mouths, we are at risk of skin glycation. Glycation is inevitable and most food that we eat and its digested by-products could cause glycation. But not to worry, here are ways to help you reduce the amount of glycation and reverse some of the already damaged signs.

Delaying and Reversing Glycation

  • Reducing Sugar in Your Diet

Sugars found in vegetables such as sweet potatoes are complex sugars with significantly lower glycemic index than other types of sugars. Eat natural whole foods that are rich in nutrients and complex sugars, so as to replace added sugars in your diet.

  • Avoid Fragrance & Colourants in Skincare Products

Fragrance and Colourants, both natural and synthetic are known to cause long term sensitivity and inflammation. Our skin is so good at hiding inflammation that you can not see or feel the micro changes that have been happening in different layers of the skin - such as the UVA damages from the sun exposure that do not cause any short term visible difference. In the long run, fragrance and colourants can sensitise the skin and worsen glycation of the skin.

  • Looking out for Carnosine in Skincare

Extensive research has shown that Carnosine is a promising skincare ingredient as a potent antioxidant with strong anti-glycation properties. Carnosine is a naturally occurring dipeptide with the ability to act as an antioxidant and/or antiglycation agent in cells. Numerous findings provide further evidence for carnosine's ability to suppress the formation of AGEs, and show that it even protected cells from lethal concentrations of glucose, and provided extended cellular life after a toxic amount of glucose exposure.

Start Preventing Pre-Mature Ageing Right Now

  1. Svelty’s Diet Supplements

The No. 1 weight management brand in Japan, Svelty Pakkun Yeast is a diet supplement that helps to break down sugar and carbohydrates in the food, bind dietary fat together and prevents fat and carbohydrates from being absorbed by the body to minimise skin glycation.

It is an effective and innovative supplement brand that believes in a holistic approach to good health, delivering functional benefits that will improve your daily diet and achieve real results for your health and body.

  1. Shinya Koso's Digestive Enzymes

Shinya Koso

If you are looking for ways to prevent messing up your gut health or curb your sugar cravings, get a little help from Shinya Koso, a fast-acting active enzyme supplement developed by world-renowned gastroenterologist, Dr. Hiromi Shinya.

This fast-acting enzyme supplement replenishes your digestive enzymes, which results in a faster breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and sugar, as well as better nutrient absorption and gut health. The Advanced Range now comes with increased active enzymes to aid the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and sugar, as well as a sugar blocking function to help curb your sugar cravings so you take in less sugar and prevent skin glycation.

  1. Minon Amino Moist

MINON Amino Moist is a skincare series produced by Daiichi Sankyo, a global pharmaceutical company from Japan, to meet the needs of female users with sensitive skin. Since the first product was released in 1973, MINON has been a long-selling brand for over 40 years that is highly trusted by Japanese medical practitioners.

Formulated with a cocktail of 9 types of amino acids to help with high moisture retention and most importantly, two purifying amino acids, Lysine HCI and Carnosine to address skin yellowing glycation.

The MINON Amino Moist range is Non-Allergic, Non-Toxic, and Non-Alkaline, thus it is safe to use for people with sensitive skin.


AXXZIA is Japan's No.1 Leader in the Anti-Glycation skincare brand, and its AG Theory AG Drink takes care of your appearance and health from within. It resists glycation processes, supports the production of collagen by the body via scientifically combined concentrates of plant origin - a proprietary development from its laboratory.

Take one tiny bottle a day and your body will thank you for protecting it from premature glyco-ageing. 

Sugar-Proof your skin with Osakakuma

    Now that you are aware of this hidden skin-ageing villain, arm yourself with an anti-glycation arsenal and you'll have less to worry about premature aging!  

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