Remember the old wive’s tales that were passed down from generation to generation? They used to tell us what to do and not do using very little science, if any, to back it up. Women looking for ways to stay looking young and have healthy skin were treated to a number of pieces of strange advice up to, and including, to always carry an acorn in your pocket and do facial exercises to prevent wrinkles.
With the advancement of science and the availability to share that information with others across the internet we now know that neither an acorn in your pocket or facial exercises are going to do much at all for the health and appearance of your skin. One of the best ways to try and improve something is to understand it first. So let us take a quick look at the skin you’re in and let knowledge be power.
Human skin has three distinct layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin—basically what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror. It provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone. The dermis is just beneath that, containing tough connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands. The deepest layer of our skin is the hypodermis which is made primarily of fat and connective tissue. Those three layers combined create an incredibly effective physical and chemical barrier against harmful components including one of our biggest enemies, with regards to skin care, UV light.
UV light, or ultraviolet light, also comes in three main types: UVA rays, UVB rays and UVC rays. UVA rays age skin cells and can damage their DNA. These rays have also been linked with long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but may play a role in skin cancers.
UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays and can damage skin cells’ DNA directly. They are the main rays that cause a sunburn.
UVC rays have more energy than the other two types but they don’t get through our atmosphere and are not in sunlight. Both UVA and UVB rays can damage skin and cause skin cancer. UVB rays are a more potent cause of at least some skin cancers, but based on what we now know, there are no safe UV rays. This is the reason why it is mission critical to protect your skin against harmful UV rays.
So what can you do to protect yourself and improve the overall health of your skin? Well, the recent rise in skin care products for maintenance and healthy skin tells us that this is obviously an issue that not only isn’t going away, but becoming more and more important to people all over the world.
There are two answers, a century old, to help improve your skin from damage which has been deemed as photo-aging. And both are backed by science. For example, one is the oldest skin healing secret used centuries ago by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Interestingly, Yang Guifei, a legendary imperial concubine in the Tang Dynasty and known as one of the most beautiful women in the Chinese history, is said to have regularly consumed the Tremella mushroom for maintaining her eternal beauty. So what makes this mushroom so powerful for the healing and beauty of our skin?
Since we’ve brought up the subject of UVA and UVB, the scientific community is playing tug-o-war with sunshine. Too much causes damage and just enough is good for our skin, bones and mood. What makes the Tremella mushroom so special is it contains high levels of natural vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown recently to have potential effects against skin cancer.
Those who worship the sun a bit too much, looking for that golden god look, will find that their skin becomes dry and damaged from many years of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Tremella is shown to be 25% greater for improving the skin’s ability to absorb water and retaining it longer for healthier and smoother skin than the expensive hyaluronic acid.
Back on the subject of photo-aging though. In one particular animal study Tremella was used in a medium and high dose. The collagen content in the UV-induced animal skin was enhanced by 22 and 26%. The results of the study suggest that Tremella could prevent collagen losses induced by the sun’s powerful UV rays.(1)
The second centuries old skin care secret comes from one of the oldest known gemstones. The pearl is formed in the core of the shell of a ‘live’ oyster. Other gems are found in rock, but the pearl is found in a living creature bringing life to a gem that will truly bring that healthy glow to your skin. Pearls contain something very special called conchiolin. It is a unique protein acting like keratin, a form of collagen found in our skin, bone, cartilage, tendons and your hair. Like the Tremella mushroom, conchiolin from crushed pearls (into a fine powder) has the ability to hydrate the cells, such as those in your skin. This pearl-like protein improves skin cell metabolism, facilitates the repairing of damaged skin cells, and improves circulation.
Both the Tremella mushroom and pearl powder continue to be studied and they are showing remarkable results by improving the health and appearance of the skin. One particular cream called Aquamella has been developed and is available to the consumer right now. This cream contains both Tremella and pearl, but is further enhanced with alpha-lipoid acid and CoQ10. Studies show alpha-lipoid acid restores the radiance we all desire for our skin, tightens up the pores and diminishes those fine lines. CoQ10, a nutrients we all know well for cardiovascular health, can help slow down and reverse the aging process of our skin.
I suggest anyone looking for a powerful and natural way to improve your skin look up Aquamella cream. I’ve been using it on a daily basis and one of the things I’ve noticed is how smooth my skin is becoming in such a short time. Aquamella is available from a company called Mushroom Wisdom who spends quite a bit on research and their Tremella is wildcrafted and not grown in a laboratory.
If you are like me and spent your formative years worshipping the sun, only to get burned by accelerated aging, it’s time to turn back the clock. The fountain of youth has been found! You don’t have to look any further.
- Wulf, H. C., Sandby-Moller, J., Kobayasi, T., & Gniadecki, R. (2004). Skin aging and natural photoprotection. Micron (Oxford, England: 1993), 35(3), 185–191.