Skincare Routine

Skin Care Routine

The best way to maintain youthful skin is to understand how it works and what causes it to age naturally/prematurely and have a skincare routine. The skin is made up of three materials that keep it both looking and feeling good:

  • Collagen, which gives our skin strength.
  • Elastic Connective tissue, which gives our skin its elasticity.
  • Hyaluronic Acid, which keeps our skin plump and hydrated.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the scaffold that gives the skin its strength and structure. Its a protein that’s present throughout the body, but mainly in the skin, bones, and connective tissues. Some types of collagen are stronger than steel! Collagen production reduces with age and when exposed to toxins like cigarette smoke and vehicle exhausts. Along with the harmful UV rays in sunlight which not only damages the existing collagen but slows down the production of new collagen.

What is connective tissue?

Connective tissues are bundles of elastic fibres made from a protein which is part of the muscles. Muscle fibres can stretch up to one and a half times their length, and go back to their original length when relaxed. These muscles give the skin its tight firm appearance.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in our skin that retains water keeping it hydrated and plump. It’s essential to maintain the healthy appearance of your skin, just like collagen and elastin. Therefore including it in your daily skin care routine is vital to replace whats lost as we age.

Hormones and Skin

The body’s hormones are responsible for the production of the three critical elements that form our skin, which are collagen, connective tissue and hyaluronic acid.  Hormones are produced by glands in the body that regulate temperature, hunger, moods, thirst, sleep and sex drive.  The Adrenal glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.   High levels of cortisol can cause inflammation of the skin resulting in skin problems such as acne.

Is stress bad for your skin?

When the body gets stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol, and even though this is designed to protect the body, it often disrupts other hormones resulting in inflammation.  Leading to outbreaks of acne related conditions as the inflammation disturbs the balance of the good and bad bacteria in the stomach, which then comes out in the skin.

How does cortisol affect the skin?

When the stress hormone cortisol is released, sugar levels in the blood increase, which, if persistent, can lead to diabetes. However, cortisol hardens the collagen in the skin, resulting in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Skin Ageing

With females, skin ageing usually starts in their late twenties. Most ladies are unaware that the hormone oestrogen begins to decline between twenty-five and forty.   This creeping drop in oestrogen causes skin changes that the skin care industry typically fails to focus. Instead, they concentrate on Chronologic ageing and Environmental ageing.

What is Chronological Ageing?

Chronological ageing is the number of years we have lived; younger people tend to have tighter, flawless skin, whereas older people tend to have more lines and wrinkles.

What is Environmental Ageing?

Environmental ageing is as a result of sun damage, tanning and pollution. The sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) and pollution damage the DNA of skin cells, which is a direct cause of premature ageing.

 

 

Do sunbeds cause premature ageing?

Sunbeds give off a tremendous amount of UVA light energy that has the same effect as the sun’s UV rays, damaging the skin cells DNA — resulting in an acceleration of the ageing process.

When do you see the effects of sun damage?

The short term effects of sun damage are visible on the surface of the skin like sunburn. However, the medium to longterm damage is often not noticed until possibly five and ten years later. When the collagen and elastin reduction in the deep skin layers causes signs of skin ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines. More concerning, is that sun damage in more severe cases can cause skin cancer.

How can you see hidden sun damaged skin?

The naked eye can’t see sun damaged skin, but you can take a photograph with a special Ultraviolet Camera. This image will clearly show you and the skin specialist the extent of the underlying damage to your skin. Also, the technology will be able to give you an indication of your premature skin age.  For example, your skin is ten years older than your chronological age.

Can you treat sun damaged skin?

It is possible to treat sun damaged skin, with treatments that include:

The above treatments work with the body’s natural healing abilities and a good skincare routine.  Allowing the skin to heal and naturally regenerate.

What is hormonal ageing?

Ageing affects the bodies natural production of hormones. Including, the quantity, some increase and decrease, others remain unchanged. Also, the hormones metabolise more slowly, resulting in the bodies organs not performing as usual. Females tend to be more affected by hormonal ageing than males in most cases.

A decrease in the hormone oestrogen as during the menopause can cause a reduction in the production of collagen, connective tissue and Hyaluronic acid; this only affects females.

What are the symptoms of hormonal skin ageing?

Research shows that Hormonal Skin Ageing causes 12 distinct skin symptoms such as thinning skin; dehydrated, dry, sensitive skin; acceleration of fine lines and wrinkles; decreased elasticity and firmness; flushing and uneven skin pigmentation; occasional itchiness or breakouts; photosensitivity; and unwanted facial hair growth.

Does HRT help hormonal ageing?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a prescribed medication used to relieve the symptoms of menopause. The purpose of HRT is to restore hormone levels, which can alleviate the symptoms.

The symptoms include hot flushes, dryness, mood swings and weight gain.

Addressing Hormonal ageing before the full menopause can significantly reduce these symptoms and the signs of ageing post menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can reduce the symptoms of hormonal ageing, but HRT is no longer routinely prescribed since it was found to have serious side effects.  Your doctor will be able to provide further information in respect of HRT.

What can you do to treat the symptoms of hormonal ageing?

Research shows that specific botanicals, such as phytoestrogens, can effectively reduce the signs of hormonal ageing. New treatments such as fx menopause include these phytoestrogens which are proving very useful.

Understanding the three types of ageing is the first line of defence, allowing make better choices and take preventative measures to keep your skin looking as young as you feel.  A suitable skincare routine, along with complementary treatments, will help to restore and maintain your skin’s health.

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