Guest writer Jeanne Brophy has over a decade’s experience in the skin health world. Jeanne has travelled near and far discovering innovative skincare solutions for healthy radiant skin. Today, she explains the science behind skin ageing and what you can do to age well.
Skin ageing. It’s not something any of us are exactly looking forward to, is it?
Ageing is part of life but the questions many of my clients ask when it comes to skin ageing are, "Am I ageing as well as I can?", and "Is there anything that I can do to help my skin age well?"
Let’s start with the first question. Ageing and its onset are primarily controlled by hormones within the body. A certain percentage of the way in which we age is mapped out for us genetically; this is called intrinsic ageing which is is not attributed to lifestyle. If your parents have aged well, they have hopefully passed this predisposition on to you.
Some of the normal parts of intrinsic ageing are poorer circulation to the skin, slower renewal, slower cell production and fewer quantities of collagen, elastin and our skin hydrator, hyaluronic acid.
In real skin terms, it means some possible loss of radiance, a change in skin volume and often a feeling of drier or tighter skin. These changes will happen to all of us; the question is how quickly.
Intrinsic ageing controls about 20% of the way in which age. About 80% of the way in which we age is called extrinsic or external ageing. Diet, exercise, skin care, sleep, stress levels and sun exposure are many of the factors that can either accelerate the ageing process or help slow them down. The good news is that this is where you are in control.
Like our body, our skin needs fuel to function effectively. It, unfortunately, doesn’t like to live completely on cake. Diet and water intake play a vital role in nourishing the skin from within and effect most skin functions. The better we feed it, the more our skin is armed to protect itself against daily skin irritants. Exercise also plays a role here; circulation brings nutrients to the skin.
Many studies have shown healthier skin layers in subjects that have exercised moderately a few times a week.
Then there is the skincare part.
In order to be “anti-age, ” it needs to impact some of the changes mentioned earlier. A moisturiser or skin type product will not necessarily be anti-age. Always make sure your programme contains products to help your skin type and feed the skin with age prevention effects. Here are some of the ingredients I would advise looking out for.
- Vitamin A
This helps many cell functions within the skin including cell regeneration, pigment prevention and production of collagen/elastin. Supports the skin to function optimally.
- Vitamin C
This is required for your skin to form collagen and elastin effectively. Brightens, reduces inflammation, helps strengthen sensitive skins and aids in the prevention of pigmentation.
These act as messengers within the skin helping with cell functions.
These are skin protectors. Always choose a daytime product with antioxidants to help protect your skin.
- Zinc oxide (sunscreen)
90% of premature ageing is caused by sun damage so a sunscreen is always a must. Zinc oxide is a natural UV protector so would be my personal favourite.
There are so many products on the market it is sometimes difficult to know what specifically suits you. A consultation with a skin specialist is always worth doing to get specific products for your needs. Age later.