While you’d be forgiven for thinking mitochondria belongs in your brain’s archived files labeled “year 7 Science Class”, their function and importance are beginning to get mainstream airtime.
What are mitochondria?
Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, as they play a critical role in generating energy for the body's cellular processes. While their function in energy production is well-known, recent studies have shed light on the essential role of mitochondria in the skin. Not only is it your interface to the world, the skin is responsible for protecting the body by providing a barrier against the environment, regulating temperature, and protecting against harmful radiation.
At Aleph, we’ve been champions of mitochondrial function since the beginning which is why we always put mitochondrial function at the forefront of our product development.
We figure we’re already removing harmful ingredients from the mix, we might as well be doing more good with the products we put on our skin too.
Why we should pay attention to mitochondria in the skin?
Healthy mitochondrial function is essential for the maintenance of skin health. The skin is a highly active tissue, requiring a significant amount of energy to perform its various functions. This energy is generated by the mitochondria through a process known as oxidative phosphorylation. In addition to producing energy, mitochondria play a vital role in regulating cellular metabolism, cell death, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. When mitochondria become damaged or dysfunctional, it can lead to a range of skin conditions, including premature aging, inflammation, and even cancer.
Recent studies have shown that mitochondrial dysfunction is a common feature of many skin diseases. For example, in psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, there is a decrease in the number of functional mitochondria in the affected skin cells. In addition, mitochondrial DNA mutations have been linked to an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
Mitochondria play a critical role in maintaining healthy skin. From generating energy to regulating cellular metabolism and ROS production, mitochondria are essential for the proper functioning of skin cells.
How do you protect your mitochondria?
Together with Khalid Ghanima from Urban Herbalist, we’ve put together some tips on how to best support the mitochondria from the inside out.
One way to support healthy mitochondrial function is through proper nutrition. Healthy mitochondria depend on getting nutrients from a healthy, balanced lifestyle. That means maintaining a diet full of antioxidant-rich foods and staying hydrated and avoiding processed and sugary foods. Regular exercise has been shown to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, which can increase the number of functional mitochondria in the skin.
Another way is to protect and feed the skin topically. Applying a high quality sunscreen (without all the nasties) is always the first and to help protect against future damage. The more you can do to minimise your skin’s contact with harmful UV rays, the better.
Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, CoEnzyme Q10, and Totarol, can help to protect mitochondria from oxidative stress, which can damage their structure and function. Focus on filling your daily intake with phytonutrients, Omega 3’s, and Vitamin C. This will include large servings of fresh vegetables with special focus on dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard as well as moderate servings of fruits especially berries.
If you’re a fan of supplements, Khalid suggests Vitamin C, Glutathione or NAC, Vitamin E, Astaxanthin, Polypodium, Pycnogenol.
Aleph Products Are Built For Skin Health
The entire Aleph collection is built around skin health. We’ve carefully selected and sustainably sourced many phytoactive ingredients including Totarol, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Hibiscus Syriacus Callus Extract to help even skin tone, decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and lead the skin down a path of proactive aging over time.
Explore our full range of hero ingredients, and learn more about our skincare-infused makeup range, powered by nature.