One of the most asked about concerns in beauty clinics is how to look after the skin so that it looks youthful, even toned and radiant. With so many people trying out cosmetic injections to minimize wrinkles, they are left scratching their head because even though the wrinkles are gone, their skin still looks dull, tired, blotchy which adds years.
are great temporary solutions for wrinkles, but they do nothing to make the skin itself look younger. Youthful skin is fresh, radiant, even toned and plump. Think about it, if you stand two people side by side, one has dry, dull, blotchy skin and no wrinkles, and the other has fresh, radiant, even toned, plump skin with some fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, which one appears older?
Wrinkles are only one sign of aging, but there are many other skin conditions that can make a person look older than they are. Let’s explore what happens in the skin as it ages.
NMF (natural moisturising factor)
As we get older, skin tends to feel dryer, particularly in women after they have gone through menopause. The hormonal changes cause a reduction in the amount of oil the skin produces, causing the skin to dry out. People with dry skin need to eat foods rich in omegas 3,6,9 which help to nourish the skin from the inside out. In the meantime, skin care rich in essential fatty acids (omegas 3,6,9) will ease dryness, soften the skin and give it more elasticity.
LACK OF RADIANCE
The mitochondria in the skin cells produces less and less energy as we get older causing the cells to age faster and die off sooner. This makes the skin appear dull and tired and it’s repair mechanisms are compromised. To boost energy and give the skin radiance, eat foods rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and copper to provide an energy boost to the skin cells. In skin care look for vitamins, minerals and powerful botanicals such as Siberian Ginseng to increase ATP production to re-energize a tired looking skin.
PIGMENTATION & BROWN SPOTS
Brown spots, stains (melasma/chloasma) and age spots are very common in aging skin especially in Australia. The long term effects of incidental sun exposure take it’s toll on the skin. The skin tries to protect itself by triggering melanin production, a dark pigment which helps to protect the skin from sun exposure. However the pigmentation is usually uneven in patches and stains and together with the skin thickening (to protect itself) it gives the skin a weathered appearance.
Sunscreen is absolutely essential every single day if you wish to see an improvement in pigmentation. Over time, if the skin is protected from the sun, the pigmentation will fade. You can speed things along by exfoliating the skin 2-3 times a week, using gentle peels and applying products rich in vitamin C, Niacinamide and Licorice which all help to even out skin tone.
ANTIOXIDANTS TO FIGHT FREE RADICAL DAMAGE
Free radicals cause extensive damage to the sell DNA which cause the cells to age faster. Free radical damage in the skin is particularly worse in people who smoke, drink excessive alcohol, expose their skin to the sun, suffer with stress, eat too much sugar and carbohydrates and are exposed to high levels of pollution and toxic chemicals. Prevention in this case is most important so avoid situations that cause free radical damage and protect your skin by eating foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, dark green, orange and red vegetables and essential fatty acids. Skin care rich in Retinol (vitamin A), vitamin C,. powerful botanicals and antioxidant rich oils such as rosehip oil are essential to protect the skin from free radical damage.
Skin inflammation is usually a sign that something is not right. Inflammation can be caused by toxins, chemicals in foods and water, coffee, too much sugar, excess weight, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, smoking, pollution, poor oral health and excessive alcohol consumption. Aggressive skin treatments and skin care products that leave your skin red, swollen, hot and irritated for days cause inflammation in the tissues which cause free radical damage and the skin to age faster. Be gentle with your skin, don’t go for the hard and fast treatments that can potentially cause long-term skin damage, opt for gentler options. Quick and easy treatments are not always the best for your skin, be patient and you will be rewarded for many years to come. As a rule, if your skin is left red, irritated and feeling hot after a treatment (or worse), it’s triggered inflammation which triggers free radicals and accelerates aging. Choose treatments and skin care rich in vitamins and calming anti-inflammatory botanicals that reduce inflammation and protect the skin.
COLLAGEN & ELASTIN
From the time we are in our mid 20s the amount of collagen and elastin our skin makes starts to reduce causing the skin to thin and lose elasticity and firmness over time. This leads to wrinkles and saggy skin. To boost collagen production eat foods rich in minerals and vitamins C which are essential for collagen and elastin production. Have regular facials with massage as the massage helps to remodel the skin by boosting collagen production. Choose skin care rich in peptides and vitamin C which help to boost collagen and elastin production and protect existing collagen from breaking down.
ANIT-GLYCATION SKIN MANAGEMENT
Glycation starts to be more pronounced from our mid 20s. Glycation is particularly more prevalent in people with high sugar diets, eating high amounts of carbohydrates, and people with diabetes. Glycation is when sugar sticks to the collagen and elastin fibers causing them to cross-link (stick together) stiffen up and break down. People who eat high sugar foods age faster because the sugar attacks the skin’s proteins. Prevent glycation by avoiding sugar and carbohydrates and select skin care with anti-glycation ingredients that help to protect the skin from accelerated aging due to glycation.
MMPs (Matrix metalloproteinases)
MMPs are skins enzymes that become more prevalent in our 30s and accelerate aging by attacking and degrading skins proteins such as collagen and elastin. This causes the skin to thin and sag. Choose skincare that contains MMP inhibitors to block the enzymes from their destructive activities to protect existing collagen and elastin.
FACIAL MUSCULAR SYSTEM
Besides all the changes that happen in the skin, the underlying muscles loosen and droop. Because the muscles act as a framework for the skin on the face, when the muscles start to weaken, the skin drops and causes folds and shadows on the face making the face appear older. Keeping up with exercise is a great way to keep muscle tone for longer as well as regular massages which help to tone the muscles. Facials with a good massage are not only relaxing but also pro-youth.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO REVERSE THE SIGNS OF AGING?
If your skin is looking older than your chronological age, it is absolutely possible today to reverse the damage and achieve a youthful looking skin. With the advances in technology we have seen over the past 20-50 years, people today are looking younger than ever. A healthy lifestyle, diet rich in fresh foods, regular exercise, quality professional cosmeceutical skin care and regular skin treatments will all contribute to a healthy and youthful looking skin.
Check out my article about the top 6 mistakes women make as their skin ages.
Do you have any tips you would like to add to this list? Post your comments below.
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