Since mankind first discovered the mirror, the quest to retain a youthful appearance for as long as possible has been a primal desire in our species. A basic truth is everyone wants to get older, but nobody wants to feel or look older.
How you feel depends on the physical shape you’re in. The good news about that is that most people can improve this with a healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, regular exercise, and proper sleep.
When it comes to how we look, however, it’s not quite so simple. Skin needs constant maintenance to keep it in optimal condition, and until recently, reversing damage was so difficult that many would contend it to be impossible.
If you’ve never heard of tiron before, that’s hardly surprising. Tiron is a little-known organic salt compound normally used in heavy industry to prolong the life of metals such as iron and titanium, due to its anti-oxidative properties.
It is also used in detergent manufacturing, because it belongs to a group of compounds called catechols, which have strong hydrophilic (water-attracting) properties. Hydrophilic chemicals repel oily grease and lipids.
Industrial tiron is derived from benzene. There is, however, another form of tiron that is derived from papain, an enzyme found in papaya fruit. This may hold the most promise in the development of tiron-based cosmetics and sunscreens.
Tiron solves your skin’s problems the same way it helps prevent metal from rusting: by acting as an anti-oxidant.
There’s a certain type of ultraviolet radiation that penetrates deep into the skin. This radiation reacts with oxygen-carrying free radicals, breaking them down. The reaction produces heat energy, and the effect is similar to a microwave. It literally cooks your skin from the inside.
This is why sunburn always feels more hot and painful hours after the initial sun exposure. It takes time for that heat to work its way up to the surface where your pain receptors are.
Damage caused this way is referred to as oxidative stress. It inhibits DNA synthesis, slowing production of important skin components such as collagen and elastin, which help keep your skin strong and smooth.
The opposite of smooth is wrinkled, and that’s exactly what you get when your body isn’t producing enough collagen and elastin.
Tiron works on a molecular level to bind free radical oxygen, reducing the opportunity for UV radiation to cause oxidative stress.
A study by the Newcastle University (UK) found that tiron was the most effective anti-oxidant for preventing skin damage, and by a large margin. Researcher from the China Medical University also found supporting evidence of the mitochondrial protection offered by tiron. In combination with the amino acid L-glutathione, tiron appears to prevent DNA damage and promote the production of healthy DNA.
Prevention of mitochondrial DNA damage is certainly one of the most important steps in protection and preservation of healthy skin with a youthful appearance. Tiron seems to have the most potential to provide this necessary protection.