As we age, the most visible tell-tale signs are on the skin. They vary from person to person and depend on two major factors, genetic heritage (intrinsic ageing) and exposure to the environment (extrinsic ageing).
Intrinsic ageing is programmed into our DNA at conception. Extrinsic ageing reflects how we have protected our skin against environmental exposure and lifestyle risks.
Collagen makes up 75% of our skin. Skin ageing begins in the mid 20s and continues thereafter as collagen production slows and degrades and elastin gradually loses its stretch. With age new cell turnover slows down and old skin cells are slower to shed. Through the decades the ageing process affects each person differently. Fine lines and wrinkles appear and skin becomes thinner and drier. With loss of underlying fat the skin begins to sag. Many things contribute to making this happen. Some are unavoidable such as gravity. Others are more under our own control, such as choosing to smoke, how well we hydrate ourselves and even the position in which we sleep.
Interestingly, up to 80% of skin ageing is caused by sun exposure, which is cumulative from childhood. Even on an overcast day the UVA rays which go deep into the skins’ lower layers cause damage. The UVB rays are the ones that burn. The sun’s rays contribute to wrinkles, pigmentation and skin cancer. Most of the damage is done through the way it effects the collagen and elastin in the dermis (the lower layers of the skin).
UV radiation is also a major cause of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen containing molecules that have no electron, they help cause wrinkles by breaking down collagen.
With ageing, as the outer skin layer (the epidermis) thins and becomes more fragile and the protective fat layer is lost, the sebaceous glands also produce less oil causing the dryness.
Ultimately, you cannot stop the ageing process, but you can definitely slow down the effects and encourage retention and restoration of a more youthful, healthier skin. Vitamins applied topically are a great start.
I personally am cautious of some of the more invasive treatments on the market today. If you choose to have laser or deep peels, I suggest you do plenty of research before you go ahead.
Cosmeceuticals are a wonderful more recent contribution to keeping a more youthful appearance. They are different to cosmetics as they don’t simply sit on the skin’s surface. They are specifically designed to be far more effective by being capable of permeating into the epidermis and the cell membrane. Once they reach their destination they are formulated to help repair damage and restore healthier function.
Serums are the superstars, they have smaller molecules than moisturisers, enabling them to penetrate the skin’s surface and reach the fibroblast cells where collagen and elastin are repaired. They obtain outstanding results by acting as a vehicle to deliver potent, highly active ingredients such as anti-oxidants, peptides and vitamins deep into the lower layers of the skin.
Vitamin A comes in many forms, applied topically, it is very important. High quality scientific data confirms its status as a true cell renewing anti-ageing serum.
Vitamin C and B3 even out skin tone and help with pigmentation. My new Mx cosmeceutical skin care range contains all of these and more. Look out for Rejuvenating Serum Vitamin B3+, Renewal Serum Vitamin A+ and, Firming Serum Vitamin C+.
These Mx cosmeceuticals are even more effective when used in conjunction with peptides and plant stem cells, then layered with a moisturiser delivering ceramides, resveratrol and full of anti-oxidants. Mx Illuminating Serum Peptides + is the most advanced on the market.
You can never have too many anti-oxidants on your skin before starting out for the day, they will help it deal with the unavoidable free radicals and protect it from the other environmental challenges your day will present.
But overall, with each passing decade, embrace the years with gratitude, look good and do your best to feel well. Inner peace really is the greatest gift and the most powerful anti-ageing beauty ingredient.