Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Night Cream

Carnosine What it is: Carnosine, an amino acid naturally found in muscle tissue, acts as a powerful antioxidant. In the ’80s, researchers found that applying it to wounds sped up the healing process, says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu. Like many other antioxidants, “carnosine is water-soluble, whereas antioxidants like vitamin E are fat-soluble. It also reacts with damaged proteins, which can be a sign of aging cells,” she says. Why it looks promising: “Carnosine is the only agent that addresses all three processes leading to aging — oxidation, inflammation and glycation,” says Texas-based dermatologist Dr. Naila Malik. Scientists theorize that reducing glycation — in which sugar binds with proteins such as collagen and impairs their functioning — could slow the aging process, Dr. Howard Murad says. Status: Increasingly, companies are incorporating carnosine in their skin-care products. One place to find it: Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Night Cream Carnosine DP ($92; More in Image: • 20 ways to upgrade your style in 2009 | Photos • Photos: The ones to watch in 2009 • Hope or hype: Stila's Talking Palettes
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