Skin Rejuvenation. Who’s interested in anti-ageing?
I often see social media posts and advertising about skincare being ‘anti-ageing’. Guess what: it’s a myth. I find it crazy that these wild claims are allowed as, after all, it really doesn’t matter what we put on our skin, we are still going to age. We will all get older and we cannot physically stop the ageing process but we don’t necessarily all want to look 30 when we are 70, do we? So it’s time to start sharing some facts. It is absolutely possible to slow down the ageing process of the skin and to make sure it looks it’s best but there is not one solution, there are many. In my mind there is a real difference between rejuvenating skin that has perhaps been damaged and treated a little bit badly en-route versus offering treatments which slow down the process of ageing.
Our skincare aim should be to ensure that it is looking it’s absolute best irrespective of age.
I guess that’s part of the bizarreness of the skincare market as there is so little regulation. It is so hard to see through all the claims that are put out there and to really get what we want from the products that we buy. Therefore, I believe it’s really important to know the science behind what we are doing and buying, ensuring that any products used are properly tested and effective (These products are simply not available on the high street). Pair knowledge with some good advice and our skin stands a better chance of survival!
How we age is down to several factors; our genes, our lifestyle, whether we smoke, how much alcohol we drink, how much sugar we eat and our exposure to the sun. Sun damage is estimated to contribute about 80% to the ageing of our skin. Pigmentation changes can annoyingly just get worse and worse as we get older along with increased wrinkles.
So here is my very first tip: Apply Sunscreen. Nothing beats the application of good quality sunscreen every day. It needs to provide good cover against both UVA and UVB. Make sure it’s put on children’s faces every single day of their lives. Prevention is better than cure!
Drinking plenty of water, alongside a good diet and regular exercise helps you feel better and keeps that glow on your face. Keep sugar consumption down as much as possible! There is plenty of evidence that circulating sugar results in glycation of proteins which adds to ageing.
Our skin is made up of a complex mix of cells. Our skin cells contain a mix of elastin, hyaluronic acid and collagen (amongst loads of other stuff). However it is these 3 key constituents which give our skin the juicy, plump and fresh cells of youth!! It is reported that as we age the collagen production in our skin starts reducing each year from our mid twenties, sigh! So all we can do to keep the cells making collagen is good. Please note here that we need to make our cells make the collagen…you can paint as much collagen as you like on the surface and it won’t help your cells! Product that claim they can help you by supplying collagen through the skin would be better labelled as “Hope in a Jar”. These molecules are far too big to get across the skins membrane and sink to the dermis to be able to work. This is why serums containing retinol are a vital part of any skin care routine to rejuvenate and slow ageing. Well formulated serums reach the fibroblast cells in the dermis and support the cells to turn over and produce more collagen. Other treatments can also help here: chemical peels and microneedling (see the video below for more info) have both been shown to stimulate collagen producing cells and to increase the rate of cell production. For a more aggressive treatment, a fibroblast treatment using a plasma pen will also have these results. Please watch the micro needling video below if you want to see this amazing kit in action
There are other key skin care products that should be part of a skincare regime. These include:
a good face wash suitable for your skin type,
an antioxidant, like vitamin C, which mops up free radicals that the skin is exposed to and prevents damage.
A targeted serum to support the personal needs of your skin
A moisturiser to hydrate the surface of the skin
It may sound complicated but it doesn’t have to be. It is honestly not that complicated when you know what you need and can easily be simplified when needed. In reality, when I treat clients we add home-care products slowly into their regimen as their skin recovers and their condition improves. Serums are used to target cells in the dermis whilst moisturisers contain molecules which are larger and sit on the skins surface and hydrate the upper layers
What to do next? Professional treatments should make up 40 % of any skincare program. This keeps your skincare plan perfect and tailored when needed and ensures that your skin cells are working optimally. Its no different than looking after your hair. Getting a good facial should be approximately every 4-8 weeks which is just like getting a haircut. The rest of your skincare routine (60%) is what you treat your skin with at home, (like the shampoo and conditioner for your hair!) Using the right products feeds your cells and makes sure you get the best out of your professional treatments and your skin! Let’s face it, we know we don’t just get fit if we just go to the gym once a month and do nothing at home!