The concept of ageing is a highly subjective one. Some see ageing as a natural part of life and don’t feel the need to address skin ageing in any way, others are eternally searching for that elusive miracle cure that will turn back the hands of time and erase all signs of wrinkles, loss of volume, hyperpigmentation and laxity. Whether you are an anti-ageing junkie, or just someone that wants to subtly improve the skin so that the ageing process is delayed, we need to start with prevention to get the best results long term.
There are many different procedures available on the market today that makes it possible for us to alter our appearance. Surgery is by no means the only answer, and many non-surgical options can give you great results. It all depends on your age and the level of damage that needs to be addressed. Various injectables, chemical peels and Collagen induction therapies are needed to erase the signs of ageing. There are many doctors that can assist you in assessing which procedures are right for you. Unfortunately, the doctor can’t do everything alone, and they need you to assist them daily by using great skincare and taking care of your health.
Ageing starts from the inside and sadly, most of the damage gets done at a younger age. Taking care of your skin and your health should be a top priority and that starts with a consistent sunscreen routine, a skincare routine that includes powerful antioxidants and a healthy lifestyle. Most of the visible signs of ageing that we notice as we get older is caused by sun damage. Unprotected sun exposure speeds up the ageing process by damaging the DNA of our cells and this can manifest in different ways. Hyperpigmentation is usually a result of overexposure to the sun. our melanocyte, which is the cell responsible for the pigment in our skin, overproduces pigment which can cause sun spots, freckles and melasma. Wearing sunscreen will keep the melanocyte stable and prevent it from over producing pigment. The sun also damages the ability of our fibroblast, which is the cell responsible for creating collagen and other natural hydrating factors, to work effectively. This can cause pre-mature ageing which presents as a skin that has lost elasticity, wrinkles and lines and lacks moisture.
Free radical damage which is caused by unprotected sun exposure, poor eating habits, smoking, excessive alcohol use, pollution etc. will speed up the ageing process significantly. Using a topical antioxidant in skincare and taking a supplement from a young age, can prevent a large amount of damage which is caused by free radicals. With so many Antioxidants on the market, it can be tricky to find the right one. The most popular antioxidant used in skincare is Vitamin C. the problem with water soluble vitamin C, is that it is highly susceptible to damage when exposed to light, air and oxygen. Often the vitamin C in a topical product, loses its stability very quickly and cannot be effective once it has been exposed to these factors. An antioxidant gaining huge popularity is Green tea catechins. The active ingredient in Green tea, EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate has been shown to be extremely effective in protecting us from a few things when taken internally. It protects against all forms of free radical damage, has proven anti inflammatory benefits and will slow down the ageing process significantly. Using green tea extract topically, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of all ageing concerns, melasma and hyperpigmentation and may also be extremely beneficial in the treatment of acne.
Another important factor to consider, is the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in gut flora and taking probiotics daily will assist in the overall health of the skin. As we naturally lose moisture as we age, essential fatty acids are crucial in maintaining healthy skin barrier function. Omega 3 rich foods include all oily fish sources, flaxseeds, nuts, avocado’s and chia seeds. Make sure that you take a supplement if you do not get enough essential fatty acids from your diet as our bodies cannot produce its own.
Treating ageing in a holistic manner, will improve the outcomes of our anti-ageing protocols and perhaps provide us with longer lasting benefits!