Are Your Skin Cells Talking To Each Other?
CELLULAR COMMUNICATION AND HOW IT AFFECTS SKIN HEALTH
It stands to reason that every cell in the body is related to every other one, and in healthy, normal skin they can all speak to each other, exchange information and maintain homeostasis (the tendency of organisms to auto-regulate and maintain their internal environment in a stable state).
The language that cells use to communicate is determined by some key atoms and molecules – Vitamin A is the most important of these, literally from cradle to grave. In order to have clear signals to preserve and promote healthy cell development and maintenance, the cells need Vitamins A, C, D and E from nutrition. They can also be applied to the skin in the form of creams, gels and oils, but this is where it is so important to ensure that the molecules are ‘active’ or ‘alive’. As these signals need to be delivered in the vicinity of the cells, it makes sense to apply them topically. Most skincare products use ingredients that have to be stored for many years in warehouses where they degrade over time, or they have to be packed in containers that are open to the air, which kills them and renders them useless. A system of anaerobic packaging and date stamping with a short shelf life is the only solution to maintain the integrity of the signalling ingredients.
Healthy thriving skin needs an endless communication of high-quality information, and to restore malfunctioning or faulty skin cells is like teaching stroke victims to speak again. If any of the key signals are deficient (Vitamins A, C, D, and E) the skin will age faster, fail to heal quickly and become thin and fragile. Pigment production will become abnormal and the skin may even develop cancers.
If there was any one word to describe the job that Vitamin A performs in the skin, and throughout the body, it would be ‘Normalisation.”
Paradoxically, the body has a proven ability to restore and replace damaged tissue which is accessed through the process of wound healing. This is where Skin Needling comes into its own, stimulating a cascade of growth factors that are able to restore tissue and replace old and damaged components with new ones.
Research over the last 100 years has given us some very important pointers:
- Enough Vitamin A in cell storage ensures a constant momentum for cells to specialize better.
- Much of the damage in cells is caused by an excess of free-radical molecules or atoms, which can be countered by supplying ‘free-radical mops’ like vitamins C and E and a myriad of other antioxidants like resveratrol, beta-carotene and a large and varied group of molecules known as polyphenols.
- Vitamin C is an indispensible cell instruction for maintenance of connective tissue and pigment formation.
- Enough vitamin D procured through controlled sun exposure at the correct times ensures a healthy skeleton and healthy skin cells and helps prevent many cancers. When sunlight is not sufficient, an oral supplement will do.
- Good general health, with balanced gender hormones, positive metabolic balance, and the absence of persistent inflammation of any kind in the body are of invaluable assistance to ensure effective and healthy cell communication.
Active skin care need no longer dwell in the realms of whims and mystical botanical extracts. It is a logical and systematic application of knowledge based on fundamental and profound communication on the cellular level. The result of this change is healthier, better quality, and coincidentally more beautiful skin for much longer.
Ernst Eiselen is a specialist GP practicing in the northern suburbs of Perth in Western Australia. A fortuitous meeting with Dr Des Fernandes and a resultant interest in the properties and role of vitamin A in humans fed his great interest in, and passion for, issues surrounding skin health and combating skin cancer. Ernst qualified at Pretoria University in 1981 and became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practice in 2009. Co-author of Vitamin A Skin Science.