How to Heal Cell Damage and Wounds
Fresh off March Madness, Kentucky is likely licking their wounds this week after a tough loss to Connecticut. On that note, it seemed appropriate to talk about wounds, as they relate to our skin, and how to help repair the skin when a wound occurs.
When I speak of wounds, the obvious - a cut or burn - probably come to mind, but wounds can also be in the form of acne, damage at the cellular level and DNA-related mutations. These are caused by extrinsic (external) and intrinsic (internal) factors like sun exposure, pollution, stress, smoking, free radicals, the foods we eat, and the list goes on.
On the other side of the coin, some wounds are actually good. For example, certain exfoliating treatments actually cause a wound or trauma to the skin which signals the cells to begin the repair process. This is how old cells are shed and new ones are able to come to the surface (basically it’s a way to reduce the visible signs of aging).
What classifies as a wound?
As I mentioned, wounds can be anything from a cut or burn (from heat and sun exposure), to acne and even ingrown hairs that have become irritated and inflamed. Speaking of inflammation, this is the body’s response to trauma. It indicates to the body to begin the healing process. Without it wounds and infection would not heal. When that’s not enough, or you want to speed and improve the process, there are a few skin care ingredients you can turn to.
The anti-dote to wounds
The ingredients for wound healing have a few primary properties and should be fairly easy to remember, they all start with “anti” - antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial. Ok, I lied. There is one other ingredient that works wonders on wounds - epidermal growth factor (EGF).
Antioxidants include vitamins, bioflavonoids, polyphenols, tocopherols, retinol, goji berry, grape seed extract, green tea, to name a few. Antioxidants provide the nutrients necessary to aid in skin or cellular repair.
Though I said inflammation is necessary to wound healing, it reaches a point when it becomes dangerous - when it is chronic or persists. This is where anti-inflammatories come into play. As the name implies they work to reduce inflammation and speed wound healing. Antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients will keep bacteria at bay while the wound heals. Green tea, arnica, grape seed extract, and boldine (D).
Last, but not least, is EGF. This is a pretty magical ingredient. It serves an important role in regulating cell growth and development. EGF is composed of 53 amino acids, which heals skin injuries (pretty stellar for keeping that youthful look too). The men’s skin care arsenal could not be complete without this amazing ingredient – that is why RA for Men has added ReCharge, a light gel based EGF cell renewal compound.
Finally, the best antidote is to obviously try to avoid the wound in the first place. In this scenario I mean wounds associated with sun exposure. If you have to be in the sun for any duration, be sure to wear a good blocker like zinc. Incidentally zinc is also an antimicrobial and boosts the skin’s immunity.
So, where do you find these? Skin-building serums and toners, cleansers and masks are great places to look. For instance, the RA for Men Complex VI, Shave Oil Antiox Serum, Stone Power and Cacti Mud Mask, all contain these wound-healing ingredients. Happy, healthy skin!