Each year we understand more about how our skin ages and the factors that affect this process. Although the actual passing of the years and hereditary factors affect the appearance of the skin, much of skin ageing can be attributed to the accumulation of damage from external factors; such as UV radiation, visible and infra-red light, air pollution, smoking and nutrition. Even environmental temperature and lack of sleep can contribute to skin ageing. Many cosmetic scientists believe that as much as 85% of the ageing process is due to these external factors.
It may seem that with so many factors affecting our skin daily that there is little we can do to slow the ageing process, but scientists know that even small changes in the way we treat our skin can quickly show benefits.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, limiting alcohol, avoiding smoking and getting plenty of sleep is a good place to start while choosing the right skincare can significantly help to repair existing damage and protect our skin from the daily stresses placed upon it.
One of the main external factors linked to skin ageing is the exposure to UV, so avoiding sunbeds and outdoor ‘tanning’ of the skin is a must. Using SPF daily, has been shown in some studies to decrease skin ageing by 24% over only using SPF on hot sunny days, so using a facial SPF is of significant benefit to slowing skin ageing.
Maintaining the natural skin barrier function that serves to protect our skin is also important so; avoid over cleansing and choose appropriate soap free cleansers. Cleansing in the evening with ‘rinse off’ cleansers will help clear pollution, reducing particle load from the skin surface. Products that contain topical antioxidants further reduce the harmful effects of environmental pollutants and UV. Choosing the right skincare will improve skin barrier function and help to repair the signs of ageing.
Stress can certainly make us look tired, etching our faces with worry lines and affecting our sleep but how does it affect the way skin ages? This relationship has not been clearly defined, but skin ageing is known to be affected by the immune dysfunction and DNA damage that long term stress can cause. Managing stress is important not just for our skin but also our health and wellbeing. As individuals, we all experience stress and relaxation in many varying ways. The key to reducing stress is finding ways to relax that work best for you and striving to achieve a good work life balance.
Nutrition and skin ageing is at times controversial but studies show that several skin conditions arise because of nutritional deficiencies showing that nutrition can indeed play a role in the function of the skin. Collectively, evidence from numerous studies implies that skin aging may be impacted by nutrition by as much as 30%. So, ensuring our diet is rich in vegetables and fruit, that we are well hydrated, whilst reducing alcohol, sugar, fat and processed foods; the cornerstones of healthy eating can significantly help maintain a youthful appearance to the skin.
Source: J.Krutman, et el.,The Skin aging exposme,JDermatolSci(2016),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdermsci.2016.09.015
Help your skin to defy ageing with Heath Skin, follow the links below to find more information about our age prevention and age reversal products and don’t forget your daily Sun Protection.