Have you developed an anti-aging skin care strategy yet? It’s never too early or too late to adopt a regime to keep skin fit and younger looking. While diet and lifestyle choices plus regular facial treatments should be a part of your overall plan, a good place to get the ball rolling is by creating a daily regime that is consistently followed to minimize premature aging of the skin.
Lines and wrinkles may be the most talked about manifestation of skin aging but the loss of facial volume (sagging skin) can be even more telling when it comes to looking your age. The dermis is the layer of skin found just beneath the visible surface layer. The dermis gives structural support to the skin. It’s made up of collagen and elastin fibers, adhesive proteins and a group of super humectants called glycosaminoglycans. These substances give volume and fullness to your skin and help prevent sagging, wrinkles and poor surface texture.
The loss of this important supporting layer is partly due to internal factors like your health, stress, genetics and hormonal changes. There are also external factors which accelerate the loss of facial volume and firmness. By far, the major external skin ager is the sun. Oxidative stress (free radicals) caused by the sun increases an enzyme in the skin that breaks down collagen fibers and other components of the dermis that are essential for skin support. These damaging enzymes are stimulated by minimal sun exposure, far less than the amount needed to create a visible tan or burn.
Start with adequate sun protection.
Anything less than a broad spectrum SPF 30 means you are getting less than optimal protection from the sun. Get into the habit of applying sunscreen year round. Aging UVA rays are just as damaging in winter as in summer. It is not recommended to apply sunscreen separately, after a moisturizer. This only serves to dilute the sunscreen, giving you less protection.
Fight oxidative stress by supporting your skin with antioxidants.
Free radical formation triggers a domino effect of cell damage that ages skin rapidly. Antioxidants have been shown to slow down this effect by neutralizing free radicals. Getting antioxidants from your diet is very important but you also need additional support from a topically applied antioxidants serum. You may find some antioxidants included in your moisturizer, but typically the amount of these performance ingredients used in creams are minimal. Applying an antioxidant serum daily under sunscreen as an effective component of your anti-aging strategy. Try these two top choices:
- Stabilized Vitamin C helps support collagen synthesis, calms inflammation, brightens pigmentation, and retains moisture. It also enhances the UV protection from your sunscreen.
- Superfoods contain extremely high amounts of antioxidants. They are found in richly pigmented fruits and vegetables like pomegranates and acai berries. These anti-aging super heroes, when submerged in an effective delivery system, create a serum that easily penetrates the skin to neutralize free radicals and enhances sun protection. This type of serum works especially well for those who spend a fair amount of time outdoors.
Make sure you include collagen building ingredients.
- Peptides are amino acid chains that send a message to your skin to produce more collagen. They are very hydrating and generally well tolerated by sensitive skins. Because skin’s metabolic activity to repair itself occurs mostly at night, this is the best time to apply your peptide serum. Peptides work best when applied to clean, recently exfoliated skin.
- Retinols are vitamin A derivatives that exfoliate by stimulating cell production to push new cells up to the skin’s surface forcing shedding of older worn out cells. In the lower layers of the dermis retinol encourages fibroblasts to produce more collagen and other components that give skin its volume.
- Epidermal Growth Factors are an effective way to wake up sleepy stem cells in the skin to encourage fibroblasts to create more collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans to add volume and firmness to the matrix of the dermis. EGF’s are also great for healing irritated skin.
Commit to using sunscreen, antioxidants and collagen builders as a part of your anti-aging skin care strategy. You will be rewarded with wonderfully healthy, glowing, vibrant skin.