Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Rupali Goswami (Beauty Expert) on 05th Oct 2020
Lipoic Acid For Anti-Aging: Uses & Benefits
NNobody is fond of acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, and other skin issues. While it is very common to have problematic skin, it still tears up our confidence in a million pieces.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having skin issues from time to time, as it is affected by many factors in our surroundings. The problem arises when these skin issues directly attack our confidence level.
Nowadays, the usage of serums and face oils and acids has become popular among people to use as a cure for their problematic skin. The thought of using acids on your skin seems crazy, right?
There are so many acids that work towards providing benefits to your skin. You can transform your skincare routine by introducing some wonderful forms of acids, such as AHA, Salicylic acid, Hyaluronic acid, and many others.
What is Lipoic Acid:
One such acid that has gained more attention in recent times is known as Lipoic acid. Made in the powerhouse of cells, i.e., mitochondrion, this form of the compound is naturally present in humans, animals, and plants. This acid is known for its high level of antioxidant properties.
While most antioxidants are made up of either water-soluble such as vitamin C or fat-soluble such as vitamin E, lipoic acid is made up of both water fat-soluble, which can be easily absorbed by the skin. Lipoic acid also restores vitamins like vitamin E and C in the body.
The process of aerobic metabolism, which includes converting blood sugar into energy using oxygen, is a primary role of lipoic acid. The human body only produces lipoic acid in small amounts, whereas animals and plants are a great source of this acid.
Some of the foods that contain a good amount of lipoic acid are red meat, organ meat, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, beets, etc.
Lipoic acid can also be used in supplements in some cases such as fat burning, improvement in metabolism, blood glucose control, collagen production, etc.
Lipoic acid for anti-aging:
Anti-aging can quickly be accelerated by roaming around in the sun. It is the number one cause for creating permanent damage to the skin, leading to skin wrinkles, pigmentation, discoloration, and age spots.
It has been scientifically proved that moisturizers or serums containing alpha-lipoic acid can slow down aging by improving elasticity, reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and roughness in the skin.
It is also helpful in raising other antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione, that protects against skin damage. Studies have shown that consuming these antioxidants in the form of supplements or applied topically on the skin can be very useful for the health and quality of life.
Whenever you apply any moisturizer, serum, or face oils, spend some time (3-5 minutes) to gently massage your face to activate microcirculation that helps the skin absorb those ingredients better and relaxes your face muscles. Also, it gives it a nice calming effect.
Protection against sun damage:
If you go to a dermatologist with any skin problems, they will always tell you to wear a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 in it. Sun damage can happen even when there is no sun outside, cloudy or raining. Sunscreen is for every season, forecast and place, whether you are inside or outside your house.
Lipoic acid is based on both water and fat-soluble, making it easier for our skin to absorb it quickly within the layers for better protection against the sun's harmful radiations.
Great for exfoliation:
Lipoic acid is considered to be a natural exfoliant and can help with the process of collagen breakdown. It helps with the minimization of the appearance of pores and clearing breakouts, scars and pigmentation. It reduces dullness and helps regulate the right amount of oil production, which helps with the skin's texture, leaving it soft, smooth, glowy and supple.
Which skin type can use Lipoic acid:
People with nearly all skin types and all skin concerns can use skincare products consisting of lipoic acid. Lipoic acid can be used to even out skin tone, brighten up the skin, improve skin texture, reduce signs of aging, and future damage to the skin.
Lipoic acid is even useful for people with sensitive skin dealing with acne, breakouts, pigmentation, scars, inflammation, etc.
Other health benefits of Lipoic Acid:
There are many other health benefits which can be experienced by using lipoic acid such as:
Diabetes is a disease in which either your body becomes unable to produce insulin or can’t find an effective way to use the insulin that has been produced. It is a disease related to metabolic issues that results in high blood sugar.
Diabetes can affect every organ of the body resulting in kidney failure, loss of vision and heart diseases. Studies have shown that lipoic acid can bring high blood sugar to lower blood sugar levels in both animals and humans.
Experts have found out that lipoic acid can help bring blood sugar to a lower level, eliminating the fat that gathers in muscle cells that target the insulin less effectively.
Nerve damage can cause pain, abnormal sensations and numbness. Oxidative stress causes diabetes, Lyme disease, shingles, thyroid disease, and kidney failure. With a high dosage, lipoic acid can fight these stress levels by producing more antioxidant activities.
Research done in 2012 in the Netherlands concluded that giving a dose of 600 mg lipoic acid for three weeks showed a significant improvement in neuropathic pain.
Studies have also shown that lipoic acid can help with the recovery process if taken before and after the carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.
Lipoic acid can promote weight loss in a lot of ways. A study done on animals showed that it reduces an enzyme activity that is presented in our brain’s hypothalamus called activated protein kinase (AMPK). You may feel a lot hungry when this enzyme is more active.
There is no proper proof between lipoic supplement dosage and weight loss. It mainly works with your body mass index to improve fat and convert them into lean muscles.
Lipoic acid does not change your body weight drastically, but a small amount of change can be seen in your weight.
May lower the risk of heart disease:
Research has shown that the studies done on animals, humans, and labs may reduce the risk of several heart diseases with lipoic acid. High in antioxidant properties, lipoic acid neutralizes the free radicals and oxidative stress, directly linked to heart diseases.
Endothelial dysfunction is a disease in which there is no artery blockage in the heart, and the blood vessels narrow instead of opening up, which is caused by hypertension, smoking, diabetes, etc. Lipoic acid has shown visible improvements in endothelial dysfunction.
Lipoic acid has also shown improvements in health conditions by altering lipid composition in the blood, increasing good cholesterol, and lowering bad cholesterol.
Did you know:
Lipoic acid may show improvements in glucose utilization related to metabolic disorders.
Side effects of Lipoic acid:
The risk of side effects in lipoic acid is low because it occurs naturally in our cells. It is generally considered safe, whether in the form of supplements or applying topically on the skin. However, there is still a possibility of when it can become toxic for us.
Some very common and mild side effects that can be seen with the consumption of lipoic acid are:
- Muscle cramps
- Pinching sensations
Lipoic acid should not be taken without a proper prescription and advice from your doctor recommending you the right amount of dosage. If you are taking any other medication-related to diabetes, thyroid, or any other health-related issue, it is best to seek a professional's advice.
It is not advised to use lipoic acid among children and pregnant women as there are very few studies related to its use. A few reports that came out showed the side effects like vomiting and seizures among children.
Did you know:
Administered to a mouse, lipoic acid was found to slow disease progression.
During the initial usage, lipoic acid may cause your skin to purge a little, but that happens because our skin tries to get rid of all the dirt, excess sebum, and bacteria, resulting in breakouts and irritation.
It is very important to be careful while incorporating a new compound in your skincare routine. There is no appropriate dosage of lipoic acid as it has been considered safe, but research has shown that adults can handle up to 2,400 mg without damaging side effects.
Supplements are believed to have more than 1,000 times of lipoic acid than foods.
If you are not sure about incorporating lipoic acid in the form of supplements or serums, you can always choose to benefit from food.
- red meats
- organ meats like liver, heart, kidney, etc.
- Brussels sprouts
- green peas
- rice bran
Lipoic acid is an anti-aging secret that your skin will love, and it is very useful for keeping your overall body health in check. From repairing damaged skin cells to weight loss, this ingredient can do wonders for your body.