Stimulating skin health starting from within

Life Extension Europe: Shoulder with hand with natural nails, skin health

This blog gives you the key information on the ways in which you can boost ceramide, collagen, and keratin formation within aging skin, from the inside.

Costly cosmetics can but impermanently shield the tell-tale signs of a body's faigued and aging. Health and vitality of hair, nails, and skin are established in the health of the tissues which compose them. 

A wholely contarasting path is to nourish the aging body’s vital structural proteins from within by reinforcing the essential keratin and collagen and ceramides required to maintain structural integrity and an appealing appearance.

On the outside of our body, the physical signs of ceramide, collagen and keratin breakdown results in hair loss, dry and wrinkled skin, and dull, brittle nails.

What may come as a surprise is that these signs are not merely superficial. They are changes reflective of more serious issues on the inside, including changes in blood vessel walls, bone, connective tissues, and other vital organs where these essential structural proteins are predominant.

An innovative, oral formulation of specialized bioavailable collagen and keratin, plus biotin, silicon, and other micronutrients, has been demonstrated to help healthy protein structures at both the microscopic and the visible levels. 

These advancements, being observable to the eye, portray a major turnaround in the protein structure and composition of the entire body.


What are ceramides? 

Ceramides are oils naturally produced by the body, to retain the skin's moisture. In young skin, ceramides are what keep its firm, wrinkle-free, moisturised appearance.

Oral ceramides derived from rice are deemed to work internally to stimulate the production of ceramides in the skin, facilitating a more hydrated, youthful appearance. (1,2) 

Plant-derived ceramides are known as phytoceramides and can be taken orally. These lipids are believed to encourage the production of ceramides in the skin. 

Researchers have now achieved clinical success by using ceramides from a non-genetically modified rice extract that is gluten- and allergen-free. (1) 

Taken orally, these rice-derived phytoceramides work from the inside out to hydrate, smooth, and rejuvenate skin all over the body. (1,2)

Further, researchers have pinpointed four herbal extracts that work together to mitigate skin aging driven by pollution and UV radiation. (3) 

The combination consists of: 

  • Rosemary extract
  • Olive extract
  • Lippia citriodora extract
  • Sophora japonica extract

In a clinical trial, 96% of participants taking the herbal extracts had a substantial reduction in wrinkle depth. (3) Ingested, these nutrients can deliver a strategy to rejuvenate skin and protect against environmental injury.

Reducing wrinkles 

External dangers for the skin, age is not the only factor for declining ceramide content, UV radiation and pollutants in the air play a huge role. 

In addition to inducing oxidative stress and inflammation, pollutants cause overexpression of the protein aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR).

AhR overactivation increases the expression of genes responsible for oxidative stress, inflammation, immunosuppression, pigmentation, skin cancer, and premature skin aging. (3,4)

This combination of herbs along with oral ceramides has been validated in clinical trials to have the ability to help block and possibly reverse skin aging signs.

The affore mentioned four part herbal blend combination can reduce wrinkles greatly. 

In a test involving 100 women between 35 and 65, The treatment group took 250 mg of the blend orally for 12 weeks. 

The researchers measured an exhaustive list of factors, such as skin moisture, radiance, and smoothness to evaluate the overall look and health of the skin. (3)

The group taking the herbal extracts had: (3)

  • A 10-fold greater decrease in wrinkle depth
  • A 3-fold improvement in skin moisture
  • 5 times the skin brightness or radiance
  • 2.5 times more lightening of dark spots
  • A nearly 5-fold reduction in water loss
  • An 18-fold greater increase in skin smoothness

These improvements in skin appearance are presumably due to the decrease in water loss, which implies a clear advance in the skin barrier function.

A fortified barrier function means pollutants are less able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to cause damage.

Lab studies display that this blend may fully inhibit the pollution-induced increase in the expression of the AhR receptor, which can cause pigmented spots, inflammation, and oxidative stress. (3,4)

Collagen and keratin

The deterioration of hair, nails, and skin appearance is not only unappealing, but it is also a visual indication of aging connective tissue proteins throughout the body.

This surfaces as a result of a decline in the body’s production of keratin and collagen. Collagen and keratin are two types of proteins found abundantly in human tissues and have very important structural functions.

Insufficient intake of specific vitamins and minerals further contributes to the loss of essential structural proteins.

Many of these changes can now be intercepted, slowed, or even reversed with a novel mixture of bioavailable keratin and collagen, along with specific vitamins and minerals.

What is collagen?

There are connective tissues throughout the body, in the skin, bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and more. They give structure, strength, and support to tissues. 

All connective tissues have protein fibers within them that influence the mechanics and strength of that tissue. Collagen makes up a large proportion of these fibers.

Collagen is produced primarily by connective tissue cells called fibroblasts and by cartilage cells called chondrocytes. But they produce less collagen as we age, gradually declining at a rate of about 1.5% per year. (21)

In the skin, this loss of collagen has immediate, visible effects. Skin loses elasticity and strength, leading to sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. (22)

Bioactive Collagen Peptides®

To fight this issue, scientists have produced Bioactive Collagen Peptides® that deliver building blocks for collagen synthesis and promote the production of new collagen and elastin in the extracellular matrix of the skin. (14) This helps provide increased suppleness and elasticity to aging skin.

The keratin importance

Keratin is largely responsible for making skin strong, waterproof, supple, and flexible. Skin strength and resistance to tearing and penetration come from an abundance of tough, but flexible fibres of keratin in the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. 

Keratin cells and fibres also hold the moisture content of the skin by providing a waterproof yet water-retaining barrier.

Dry skin associated with lower keratin content creates more than just appearance concerns. Dry skin causes itching and irritation that can lead to scratching and excoriation, further compromising the health and integrity of the skin. (20)

Solubilized keratin contains highly bioavailable protein-forming building blocks, including sulfur-containing amino acids, to help replace the keratin that is lost in the aging process. (4,5) 

The result is the delivery of high-quality keratin proteins directly to the cells that help form hair, nails, and skin. (9)

Solubilized keratin has a high bioavailability, meaning that it can rapidly start replenishing depleted keratin. (11)

Laboratory studies have shown that soluble keratin helps stimulate skin cells to proliferate at a rate up to 160% greater than they would without the protein, permitting cells to then increase their production of structural proteins. (9) 

This results in an increase in the thickness of the epidermis, which translates to a reduction in fine lines and depth of wrinkles. 

Furthermore, the promotion of healthy skin cells also lessens water loss by improving the skin’s barrier function and providing firmness and elasticity. (9,12)

Chronic oxidative stress and ultraviolet light exposure can lead to a reduction in skin vitality. (13) 

In preclinical research, supplementation with this new keratin has been shown to encourage rebuilding of the natural enzyme systems in cells, including glutathione and superoxide dismutase. (9)

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C nourishes considerable benefits to skin health. 

In studies, vitamin C has been shown to: (5-7)

  • Promote the formation of collagen, the skin’s main structural protein
  • Help to facilitate reduction in DNA damage in the skin
  • Scavenge harmful free radicals, including oxidants from UV radiation
  • Enhance skin antioxidant activity in just two weeks
  • Helps hinder melanin production, reducing the appearance of dark spots

Life Extension's vitamin C supplements are created based on the influential scientific findings of its ability to help sustain more youthful collagen levels.


Silicon is an essential trace element involved in the metabolism of connective tissue. (16–18) 

It plays an important role by activating the hydroxylation enzymes for cross-linking collagen, supporting its elasticity and strength. (17) Better collagen ultimately translates into better hair, skin, and nails.


Biotin’s beneficial effects on the health and appearance of fingernails have been established for over 25 years.

As far back as 1989, a study of the effect of biotin on aged and damaged fingernails revealed that daily supplementation with 2.5 mg of biotin delivered firmer and harder fingernails for 91% of treated subjects after approximately 5.5 months. (15)


What is astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a red caroteinoid, found in pigmented sea life like shrimp and flamingos, it offers wonderful protective benefits to the skin. 

Researchers investigated astaxanthin's ability to protect the skin against the effects of pollutants and aging. Studies showed that astaxanthin:

  • Can improve wrinkles on skin, elasticity, and texture, (23,24)
  • Can boost skin moisture content while reducing skin water loss, (23,24)
  • Inhibits the underlying processes that produce wrinkles and age spots, (23-25)
  • Enhance collagen production in skin cells, which helps maintain or restore skin's youthful plumpness and firmness. (26)

These findings show that astaxanthin can help prevent the visible signs of skin aging and pollutants, while protecting some of its critical barrier functions such as water retention.

UV protection

UV protection studies demonstrated improved skin resilience against UV exposure, reducing burning, retaining moisture, and enhancing skin texture. Combining astaxanthin with phospholipids enhances its bioavailability. These findings establish astaxanthin as a valuable ally in maintaining skin integrity, reversing aging signs, and promoting overall skin health.


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