Looking for a powerful anti-aging, anti-inflammatory antioxidant? Look no further than alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
What Exactly is Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)?
ALA is found naturally in the mitochondria portion of our cells, as part of an enzyme system that helps energy production. It’s both fat- and water-soluble, meaning that it’s easily absorbed through the lipid layers of your skin and works well as a free-radical fighter in the cell plasma membrane. Further, ALA is 400 times stronger than Vitamins E and C combined (both of which are renowned for their antioxidant properties).
A New Model for Understanding Aging
Whether in the skin or elsewhere in the body, aging cells need energy to keep them functioning properly. We know that a young cell (just like a young person) is characterized by its energy; by taking supplemental ALA and by applying ALA topically to the skin, we can deliver therapeutic amounts of this substance to help increase energy for proper cellular metabolism, which is desperately needed by cells for their cellular repair.
ALA Can Help Repair Damaged Cells
ALA first concentrates in the cell plasma membrane, where it neutralizes free radicals. It then moves on to the watery interior of the cell—known as the cytosol—where it can also quell the activity of free radicals and prevent activation of other pro-inflammatory chemicals.
But that’s not all. A study published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics acknowledged that menopause is often accompanied by degenerative processes such as arteriosclerosis and atrophic changes of the skin (skin that is thin and wrinkled).
ALA and Aging Skin
These changes suggest an acceleration of aging triggered by estrogen depletion. The data in the study supports the concept that antioxidants such as ALA and several others (including the spice turmeric) may help to prevent antioxidant deficiency, thereby protecting the mitochondria from cellular degeneration. They also found that combinations of these antioxidants—both in the diet and applied topically for skin protection—may have favorable effects on the health and quality of life for older women.
Dr. Perricone recommends supplementing with ALA every day, along with a liberal application of topical ALA formulations for optimum cellular protection of the skin.
ALA and Skin Benefits
As a topical, ALA provides multiple benefits to the skin. When incorporated into a lotion formulated for the delicate, thin-skinned eye area such as our Advanced Eye Area Therapy, you can experience a significant decrease in the appearance of under eye circles, loss of firmness and puffiness. ALA can also help reduce swelling and puffiness in the face.
Its anti-inflammatory effects also help reduce visible redness and blotchiness, resulting in skin tone that appears more even and often making foundation unnecessary. ALA can help shrink the appearance of pores and impart a healthy, radiant-looking glow to the skin.
Need to address visible fine lines and wrinkles? ALA is excellent at this given its capacity to regulate production of nitric oxide, which controls blood flow to the skin. This is the secret to eliminating the appearance of dark circles and the reason ALA can help transform the complexion from dull, pasty, and pale to vibrant and glowing.