Skin Guide. Concern: Premature Signs of Aging

SKIN VILLAINS, THE ONES TO BLAME

  • Sun light

  • Smoking.

  • Air pollution.

  • Hormonal changes (e.g. menopause).

  • Genetic predisposition.

  • Active mimic (facial expressions like smiling, frowning).

  • Lack of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants from diet.

  • Diet rich in sugar, fried and processed foods.

  • Lack of movement (physical exercise).

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR SKIN

All people, if they are privileged to live long enough, experience a so called “intrinsic” skin aging. It shows in lines and wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, less firm facial contours. As of now, it cannot be stopped and is a natural consequence of living a long life.

At the same time, the skin villains described above can cause the signs of aging to show on your skin earlier than the “biological clock” would dictate. The most destructive and aging out of these skin villains, beyond a doubt, is sunlight. Not only does it make lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness happen earlier, it also can lead to uneven skin tone (aka age spots also known as liver spots or sun spots) and rough, leathery texture.

The skin villains accelerate the aging process in many different ways. The most impactful of them is through allowing free radicals damage the DNA of our skin cells (and sunlight does most of the harm here). As you can imagine, this causes all kinds of disruptions in skin functioning (for example, a decrease collagen production) and can lead to skin cancer.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR SKIN

  • Whenever possible, protect your skin from the villain, decrease the frequency of contact with it, or see if you can lessen the harm. Example: to protect your skin from the aging influence of the sun, use sunscreen daily, wear sun protective clothing when going outside in the sun, wear sunglasses and seek shade. At the same time, smile as much as you possibly can - it’s worth every single wrinkle ;). Anti-aging efforts should not prevent you from living a happy life:).

  • Create a minimalist skincare routine and stick with it with discipline for at least 8 weeks. A good minimalist skincare routine effective against premature skin aging includes:

  • A mild non foaming non fragranced cleanser. Use is once (in the evening) and no more than twice daily.

  • A broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. Wear sunscreen every time you are outside or close to a window in the daylight. It is an absolutely crucial step if you want to avoid or repair premature skin aging.

  • If your skin can tolerate it, consider using a product with a retinoid at night. Start applying it every other night for the first two weeks and gradually increase the frequency to every night. Select a retinoid product without fragrance and other no value irritants.

  • Try using a product with vitamin C daily (for example, in the morning).

  • Consider adding an AHA or PHA once to twice per week to your skincare routine. Good anti-aging ingredients in this category include glycolic acid, lactic acid, gluconolactone, lactobionic acid.

  • Use a good moisturizer. You can select a basic product that targets your skin barrier function and hydrating needs only (such a product would contain good humectants, emollients and barrier supporting ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide). If your budget allows and your skin is not particularly sensitive, you might want to try a moisturizer (or a separate product) with additional anti-aging benefits. The ingredients to look for are antioxidants (for example, resveratrol, ubiquinone, green tea extract, vitamin E) and peptides. Keep in mind that the most anti-aging benefit would come from sun protection, retinoids, vitamin C, and AHAs/BHAs, plus a good moisturizer to help your skin tolerate all these actives. The additional ingredients can be helpful but are not necessary for an effective routine.

AVOID PITFALLS

Do not introduce too many products and active ingredients at the same time. Effective anti-aging ingredients are “heavy weapons” in a sense that they can disrupt your barrier function and irritate your skin. This is why it is important to introduce one active ingredient at a time, let your skin adjust for a few weeks, and only then consider introducing another product.

Do not expect quick results. You need to wait for at least a month to see any lasting benefit from an anti-aging skincare routine. Any immediate improvements come from moisturization or simply exfoliating away the uppermost layer of the skin, and these benefits do not last.

** Please note this is not medical advice. This resource is provided for educational purposes only. If you suffer from or suspect eczema, melasma, psoriasis, acne, or other skin disease seek advice of a medical professional. The information provided in this guide is intended for adults. Seek advice from your paediatrician to select skincare for babies and children.