29th June 2021

The Key to Anti-Ageing – Autophagy

The Key to Anti-Ageing- Autophagy

We all know what anti-ageing is and want to achieve its results. But, have you heard of autophagy? It is often described as the missing link in anti-ageing. Here at Tessa Stevens, we are on a mission to educate our clients about this amazing process and how our products and treatments support the body and autophagy.

There is so much to write about autophagy. Not least its many health benefits and its impact on diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Lots of additional research has been done on the subject since Yoshinori Ohsumi’s work on the subject won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2016. However, today we want to explain the foundations of autophagy. We will also run through how you can harness the many benefits of this process to gain results in your skin health and beauty.

Feed and fortify philosophy

If you are a client you have probably heard us talk about our feed and fortify philosophy in-clinic. We believe beautiful skin cannot simply be achieved by using creams and topical treatments only. You must feed and fortify your skin from the inside and out. There is no doubt that some topical products can help, especially when they help stimulate autophagy, but you must also nourish your body and cells from the inside too. This is why we advocate the use of Advanced Nutrition supplements – but more on that later.

Autophagy is the body’s cellular cleansing process that removes toxins, rejuvenates cells, and even activates an immune response to repair damaged cells, restore cells and fight infection.

As we age the rate at which our skin cells regenerate slows down dramatically. On average, when we are younger, the skin has a 28-day lifecycle. As we get older it can increase to 50-days! Autophagy speeds the process of cell renewal and increases the rate collagen is produced. It’s the ultimate anti-ageing therapy. Without this process, the skin looks dull and tired. This is because the cells are not regenerating quickly enough. Not only that but there can be weight gain, energy levels drop and the immune system is weakened.

Unfortunately, aging slows down autophagy. So, how can we re-activate and ramp up the process?

Intermittent fasting – like the 5:2 diet, a fast of 16-hours deprives cells of nutrients safely. This is in turn stimulates the autophagy response. Constantly snacking doesn’t give cells the chance to repair. We recommend feeding the body with autophagy-enhancing nutrients once the fasting period is over.

Polyphenols – these are powerful antioxidants that help to protect cells by combating free radicals in the body. They then repair the cells by triggering autophagy. Resveratrol, found in red wine, helps to reduce inflammation and supports autophagy, and protects heart health too. They are usually found in peanuts, soybeans, and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables.

Vitamin A– essential for speeding up skin cell renewal, a key aspect of autophagy.

Vitamin C – boosts collagen production and has many antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals and repair cell damage caused by UV radiation.


The good news is that autophagy-boosting nutrients like those above are found in many of the ranges we recommend to clients.

Advanced Nutrition activates autophagy.


  • Skin antioxidant – packed with polyphenols such as bilberry, green tea, curcumin, and grape seed extract.
  • Skin Omegas+ – these are full of autophagy-activating healthy fats which also boost ceramides.
  • Skincare Ultimate – contains pine bark extract, an antioxidant.
  • Skin Vitamin A+ – helps maintain the normal function of the skin
  • Pro-Vitality Formula, Skin Vitality 2, Skin Vitamin C, Skin Collagen Support, and Skin Vitality 1. All these contain nutrients that contain nutrients that support autophagy.



  • Polyphenols like resveratrol, green tea, honeybush tea, and lycopene can be found in many Environ products such as Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser.
  • Vitamin A is the cornerstone in many topical Environ products and treatments. It helps to increase cell renewal and normalizes the skin, reducing the signs of ageing.
  • Vita-Enriched colostrum gel also includes green tea.
  • Vitamin C and E are also key ingredients in Environ products.

Make sure to read our other blogs for more beauty information.