We all crave youthful, glowing skin. Skin ageing is a natural part of life, but fortunately, there are measures that we can take to maintain a youthful appearance for as long as possible, and slow the signs of ageing.
Why does skin age?
Some of the factors of skin ageing can be controlled through dietary and lifestyle choices – and of course a good skincare regime! Many of the characteristics are also a matter of genetics. This is known as ‘intrinsic ageing’.
The skin ageing is a natural process – as we get older, the production of collagen and elastin in our skin slows down. Collagen and elastin are special protein bonds that hold the skin taught.
Our bodies naturally start producing less collagen and elastin, the skin retains less moisture and takes on a less taught appearance. This results in the visible signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles being more pronounced.
The factors that can accelerate the ageing of the skin include natural factors, environmental factors and lifestyle factors. Here we break down these factors:
Smoking accelerates the ageing process by exposing your skin to oxidative stress, which causes wrinkles and dryness.
Sun exposure and UV rays from Australia’s harsh climate and tanning beds penetrate your skin, which damages the DNA of your skin cells, causing wrinkles (as well as increasing your risk for skin cancer significantly).
Lack of sleep
Sleep gives your body a chance to refresh and replenish, so an inadequate amount of sleep means that your skin cells miss out on invaluable time to heal.
Exercise and poor diet
Research indicates that a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates may accelerate skin ageing and additionally, a sedentary lifestyle may contribute to accelerated skin ageing by limiting the blood flowing to the skin through poor circulation.
Stress is known as the silent killer, and it’s just as bad for your skin. Stress triggers an inflammatory response in the body and reduces your ability to sleep properly, all contributing to an acceleration of the visible signs of ageing.
What are the first signs of ageing?
There are 7 general signs of skin ageing to be aware of.
1. Dull skin
The dewy glow of youth fades as we get older, caused naturally by depleting moisture levels in the top layer of the skin. Younger skin renews itself every 3-4 weeks, but older skin takes around 4-6 weeks to renew itself, so can be more prone to looking dull towards the end of a skin cell regeneration cycle.
2. Fine lines and wrinkles
One of the most common and visible signs of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles are most evident as crows feet, smile lines, frown lines, forehead wrinkles and nasolabial folds. Wrinkles occur when the production of collagen and elastin slows as we age, leading to the skin becoming looser.
3. Age spots
Thinning skin that occurs naturally as we age means that blood vessels under the skin are more visible, which can give the skin a blotchy appearance. Age spots are caused mostly by too much exposure to UV rays.
4. Uneven skin tone
Ageing causes the complexion to become uneven due to parts of the skin containing more melanin than others, or hormonal issues that become prevalent during menopause.
5. Dry skin
Young, healthy skin has a high moisture content, which leads to it looking dewy and glowing. As the natural ageing process occurs, the skin’s ability to retain moisture decreases.
6. Enlarged pores
As we age, pores become more visible and appear to be enlarged as we lose skin elasticity with the slowing of the production of collagen and elastin.
7. Rough skin
As the skin ages, textural changes become more noticeable and the skin can often begin to appear rough and uneven.
How do you stop ageing symptoms?
We can’t stop the skin from ageing completely, however, there is a multitude of steps that can be taken to maintain a youthful appearance.
5 ways to slow the signs of ageing
1. Wear sunscreen
Especially important in Australia, as the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause damage to the skin at a cellular level by altering your DNA. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30.
2. Moisturise your skin
And don’t stop at just the face, either! Use moisturising lotion on your body to prevent wrinkling and sagging of the skin, and on your face.
Up the ante by using moisturising creams, oils, lotions and serums with bonus anti-aging ingredients such as antioxidants, actives and acids to help stimulate cell turnover, encourage the renewal of skin cells and to maintain/repair collagen and elastin.
3. Add in some anti-ageing ingredients to your skincare routine
Research shows that using a moisturiser that contains Hyaluronic Acid or Vitamin C is especially effective at slowing the progression of ageing and keeping the skin hydrated by protecting the moisture barrier. This will help prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, meaning that it attracts water molecules – in fact, it holds up to 1000x its weight in water, so wherever you apply HA, hydration will flood that area of the skin.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is a free radical neutraliser, working to protect your skin from harmful elements in the atmosphere that can accelerate the visible signs of ageing.
Another superstar ingredient of anti-ageing, of course, is Retinol. Derived from Vitamin A, retinoids help to increase collagen production, which has a plumping effect on the skin. Retinoids also encourage skin regeneration.
4. Stay hydrated
We all know that for general health, we should be getting our 8 glasses of water each day – but did you know that this is also essential for skin health and anti-ageing? Your body needs water for almost every single function it performs, including keeping your skin hydrated and healthy from the inside.
When we are dehydrated, the skin is one of the first places that it will show, and it manifests as dry, itchy or flaky skin.
5. Boost your skin’s regeneration process with microneedling
As the skin matures, it can take up to 4-6 weeks for your skin cells to go through a full cycle of regeneration. We can’t change how long it takes a skin to cycle through, but we can help look after our skin and help the process along through microneedling.
Microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy (CIT) that works by creating hundreds of thousands of micro-injuries known as microchannels to the skin, using a mechanical microneedling pen.
These microchannels allow the product to deeply penetrate the skin – which is why we always recommend microneedling with Hyaluronic Acid to help deeply nourish the skin from within.
Microneedling stimulates your skin’s own natural production of collagen and elastin, supporting the skin to keep itself looking younger for longer, as well as gently exfoliating and helping to slough off dead skin cells, revealing fresh, new skin cells beneath.