Growing old is inevitable and hard to hide. The first signs begin appearing on the skin before any other body part follows. However, you can live longer and combat the signs of time with expert advice from dermatologists and scientists. Aging can, unfortunately, start as early as 20 years due to various reasons some of which are beyond our control including hormonal changes, cellular damage, DNA, and external factors we can control including pollution, overexposure to UV lights, diets and smoking.
When the skin starts aging, the size and number of cells reduce. This leads to less effective functioning in protection, temperature regulation, and production of Vitamin D, sebum (oil) and sweat. The skin thins over time due to low production of elastin (proteins that make skin stretchy and bouncy), collagen, and hyaluronic acid (ensures skin remains moist and plump). It also means that your skin does not heal as effectively. Dry skin, wrinkles, deep furrow, and fine lines appear. The skin texture changes, and it begins sagging due to loss of support. It becomes easier to see the thread veins, broken blood vessels and uneven skin pigmentation.
To protect your skin, wear sunscreen. It protects skin from UV lights, skin cancer and keeps your skin looking healthier and younger. The Ultraviolet rays produced by the sun damage skin, cause brown and red spots, wrinkles and increases your skin cancer risk. It only takes 15 minutes a day of sun exposure every day to start the aging process and sun damage. Always apply sunscreen daily.
Skin protection also means being careful about what you apply to your skin. Beware of creams, gels, and serums that promise to perform miracles. They will not prevent laxity and sagging of the skin. No topical cream will replace the loss of fat volume and bone, which happens to everyone with time. You can, however, rely on Retinoids to minimize the wrinkly appearance. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and are the most effective when it comes to reducing anti-aging effects. They fade age spots and slow collagen breakdown. You can get prescriptions from a doctor including retinoid or isotretinoin. You can also buy over the counter (retinaldehyde and retinol) which have fewer side effects like stinging, redness, burning, and scaling. It’s important to check the ingredients and formulas used to make the products.
Do the basics before leaving the house. Cleanse, moisturize, apply antioxidant serum and sunscreen. A cleanser removes pollution, makeup, and dirt without damaging the skins outer layer. Serum is also crucial since it has active ingredients that penetrate the skin’s inner layer for maximum benefits. Shop for serums with amino acids and ceramides to boost the skin’s natural barrier and increase production of antioxidants that protect your skin from free radicals and sun damage. The free radicals are unstable compounds that cause oxidation. They happen due to sun exposure and other biological body processes that generate energy.
You can prevent oxidative damage by using antioxidants. These antioxidants are available in some skin care products and include:
⦁ Vitamin E which limits UVB radiation damage. It also reduces fine lines.
⦁ Vitamin C that brightens skin prevents inflammation and aids in collagen building to give the skin support structure.
⦁ Resveratrol that reduces damage by UVB radiation and improves the skin’s firmness and elasticity.
⦁ Green tea/ grape seed
Peptides are also essential in repairing the support structure of the skin thus reducing visible wrinkles. The peptides are proteins that act as messengers of information between tissues and cells. They help thicken skin in most cases, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and increase collagen and elastin levels.
Lastly, don’t forget to eat healthily. Your skin reflects your overall wellness and health. A healthy diet will change your appearance and skin health.