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The truth about anti-ageing products and when to use them

With the current market being flooded with products that promise to prevent or even reverse the signs of ageing, we look deeper into what causes the skin to age and if anti-ageing skin creams, oils and serums can actually help in holding back the hands of time. We also help with advice on what lifestyle changes you can implement to help your skin feel fresh and glow with radiance.

What causes our skin to age?

The biggest ageing culprit is intrinsic ageing this is the term used to describe the natural ageing process that happens to all humans, regardless of external influences. The ageing process is the one thing that we can not stop and although some of us seem to age better than others mostly due to genetics and or lifestyle choices it will eventually catch up with us all. Collagen and fat loss are the main causes of sagging of the skin. Collagen are spiral-shaped proteins manufactured by special cells called fibroblasts in the skin.

Visual representation of skin changes over a lifetime

Visual representation of skin changes over a lifetime

Over time, these cells slow down their production of collagen and once we reach the age of 20 at least one percent less of collagen is produced in our skins dermis layer each year. In our 30’s the rate in which our body transfers moisture from the dermis to the epidermis layer of the skin slows which in turn results in our fat cells starting to shrink. This can cause our skin to appear thinner and dull. Once we’re in our 40s collagen is no longer produced by our bodies. Along side the natural ageing process, our diet and lifestyle choices can also impact our skin and cause premature ageing. The medical term for this type of ageing is extrinsic ageing and by implementing lifestyle changes you could help your skin feel fresher for longer.

How can I help my skin to hold off the ageing process?

By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that extrinsic ageing has on our skin. Ideally we need to implement these factors before we turn 20, but starting at anytime can have an overall impact on your skins health, they include;

  • Sleep – The average person can sleep anywhere between 6-10 hours per night, with 7-8 being the optimum. By giving our bodies the rest it needs it also improves the bodies ability to heal itself.
  • Stress – Stress can impact our health in many negative ways and speeding up the ageing process is one of them. Avoiding repetitive facial expressions that can occur when we are stressed, such as frowning can impact the depth of lines that appear on our face.
  • Sun protection – It’s no secret that the biggest culprit when it comes to ageing is sun damage. Always wear an SPF to protect you skin even in the winter period and don’t forget to protect the backs of your hands too.
  • Quit smoking – According to various studies, heavy smokers are nearly five times more likely to be wrinkled than non-smokers and part of the reason is that smoking creates collagen-destroying enzymes, diminishing collagen production and making you look older.
  • Water – Dehydration can enhance the appearance of ageing. By ensuring you’re giving your body enough fluids on the inside you will reap the rewards on the outside.
  • Pollution – Environmental pollution can also impact the health of your skin, especially if you live in a city. Try to choose a skin cream or foundation that has an anti-pollution ingredient contained within the product.
  • Diet and exercise – It’s a no-brainer that what we put on the inside will influence how we look on the outside. White refined sugar has been proven as a culprit in causing premature ageing so limiting or at least minimising this from your diet may help. By implementing a plant based diet that is low in processed food and sugar will have an impact not only your health, but the overall appearance of your skin too.

What anti-ageing ingredients in skin care help to prevent the signs of ageing?

Some anti-ageing ingredients can help with the overall appearance of your skin by helping to lock in moisture and or by causing a ‘plumping’ reaction to the skin making fine lines less visible. Although they might be able to help with the appearance of the ageing process, ageing itself is inevitable for us all.

There are some ingredients that have been proven to have a greater benefit in helping slow the ageing process than others and they include;

  • Hyaluronic acid – Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, which is polysaccharide (essentially a very large sugar!). Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally within the connective tissue through out the entirety of our bodies, almost 50% of which is located in our skin. It’s most important role is to maintain moisture and one molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold up to one thousand times its own weight, so it’s no wonder the beauty industry has hailed hyaluronic acid as a go-to ingredient. Its unique ability to hold moisture ensures that when applied to skin it not only hydrates, but increases the appearance of firmer, plumper skin.
  • Retinol – Retinol is actually another name for Vitamin A which has been proven to be an extremely effective skin-transforming ingredient when it comes to fighting the signs of ageing. With 40 years of established research showing that regular use can help visibly improve the appearance of firmness to the skin and minimise fine lines and wrinkles. It can also aid in improving uneven skin tones and smooth the skins surface. Retinol is an incredibly powerful ingredient and needs to be used with care and consideration. When using Retinol products, it is advised to use them at night and always use a broad spectrum SPF of 30 and above as it can cause skin sensitivity to the sun.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is also considered to be a wonder ingredient when it comes to the fight against ageing. When added to your skin care routine it can aid in evening out your skin tone, improving your skins hydration and will also help form a protective barrier on your skin against environmental pollutants which are the main culprits of oxidative stress to the skin. Vitamin C can also act as a collagen booster, that much needed element in ensuring our skins scaffolding remains in place.

Skincare products are available at Bella Vou. Speak to our specialists to discuss your specific skincare needs.

What if I’m not getting the result I desire from my skin care? What are my surgical options?

Ultimately, no matter what we do we are inevitably just making our skin appear fresher for longer and although science has come a long way in developing advanced anti-ageing skin care they can not fully reverse or halt the signs of ageing. Genetics can play a big role in how quickly we age as well as lifestyle choices.

Once the face loses fat and collagen the skin will inevitably begin to sag, which can not be repaired without the aid of the surgeon’s expertise. Lines can be plumped out with the aid of Dermal Fillers and Anti-wrinkle Injections can help minimise and prevent further lines from appearing and deepening, but they can not stop skin from sagging once the face, neck and eyes loose their natural scaffolding. These can only be repaired when the excess skin is removed by a plastic surgeon.

Medically reviewed by

Amir Nakhdjevan Profile

Amir Nakhdjevani

Last Updated: September 29, 2017

Published On: September 29, 2017

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