How Vitamins Boost Sun Protection

How Vitamins Boost Sun Protection


Sunscreens are vitally important to the health of your skin and should be applied daily, but they’re not the whole story.  There are two vitamins that have been scientifically shown to protect your skin against sun damage.  They work when applied directly on the skin, or taken internally in combination with a sunscreen.  These vitamins are Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

External Vitamin Protection
Did you know that to get the most out of your sunscreen, you should pair it with a powerful antioxidant serum that contains both Vitamins C & E Antioxidant Protection?

Sun damage is an oxidative process. UV rays and other environmental stressors like pollution, alcohol and cigarette smoke cause the release of skin damaging free radicals. Free radicals lead to premature skin aging. Vitamin C helps neutralizes free radicals to shield your skin from this kind of damage, in turn keeping your complexion healthy, vibrant and younger looking.

Vitamin C does not work as a barrier against UV rays the way sunscreen does, but once rays enter the skin, it is a potent antioxidant that slows the rate of free radical damage to collagen and aids in skin cell repair by reducing oxidative stress to the skin cells. It also reverses photo-aging, evens pigmentation and decreases fine lines by stimulating collagen production. Some studies show up to 60% of the Vitamin C in found in a stable Vitamin C serum can get absorbed right through the skin to the areas where it’s needed most.  Vitamin E reduces the inflammation cascade which is associated with skin aging. Together these vitamins have been shown to enhance the protective function of SPF sunscreen formulations.

Internal Vitamin Protection

Both vitamins are antioxidants which have been shown to have additive sun protection when combined with sunscreen.  Vitamin E is particularly effective by offering increased protection against UVB rays. Vitamin C offers most of it’s protection against aging UVA rays while it promotes firmness by increasing production of collagen and elastin fibers.


The foods you eat can seriously reduce your risk for sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer by supporting your skin’s ability to defend itself against too much sun. Here are 5 foods you should add to your summer diet for optimal protection:

1.     CITRUS FRUIT –  Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C which reduces the potential for sunburn. Besides being high in Vitamin C, citrus fruits also contain limonene, which has been associated with a whopping 34 percent lower risk of skin cancer. Citrus fruits also contain other antioxidants, which work to protect your cells from free-radical damage.

2.     GREEN TEA –  When you sip a cup of green tea, your body is getting catechins, which protects against sunburn inflammation and long-term UV radiation damage. Green tea also has tannic acid in it, which helps calm sunburn pain, and antioxidants called EGCGs. A University of Wisconsin study showed EGCGs stopped genetic damage in human skin cells exposed to UV light.

3.     POMEGRANATES – The seeds in this delicious exotic fruit are rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Pomegranates also contain ellagic acid, which can help protect your skin from cell damage induced by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. In one research study, when pomegranate extract was used in conjunction with sunscreen, it increased the SPF by 20 percent!

4.     RED GRAPES – Phytonutrients in grapes can slow down the formation of destructive reactive oxygen species (ROS) that form in skin cells, which has been linked to sun damage, skin cancer and cell death. Grapes also contain proanthocyanidins, shown to inhibits skin cancer induced by UV rays. Plus, grapes contain quercetin.  Studies found that quercetin was responsible for lessening oxidative DNA damage caused by UVB exposure, and was able to help protect the skin from related inflammation.

5.     WATERMELON – This staple summer fruit is high in lycopene (40% more than tomatoes).  Lycopene is a carotenoid and antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals produced from too much sun, and minimizes any inflammatory response to UV damage by your body.

For the most effective antioxidant and sun protection you should get your skin protecting vitamins and nutrient from a combination of topical and nutritional sources.  Try to combine Vitamins C & E together in the same formulation when applied topically because these two vitamins recycle each other for increased, long term effectiveness.



Stressed skin happens. Your skin is a reflection of everything that’s going on in your life. It never fails, something “really important” is about to happen; you get a blemish. You’re worried about your new job; dark circles suddenly appear.  Your anxious about a new relationship; your rosacea flares up.  Since you can’t avoid your job, bills, or life, the best thing to do is learn how to manage your stress.

This includes eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and taking care of yourself in general. By adopting stress reducing habits like taking up yoga, going for walks, practicing meditation or having facials regularly you can lessen the effects of stress on your body and on your skin. If you don’t, the signs of stress will eventually show themselves as aging, acne or reactivity.

When under stress, the brain orders our adrenal glands to secrete two hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Of the two, cortisol is the most concerning from a reactive and anti-aging perspective.

Cortisol is a natural hormone that helps the body deal with stress. In small amounts, cortisol is a normal and healthy short term reflex to give you the energy to push through stress. You’ve heard of the fight-or-flight response that saved early man from getting eaten by a saber-toothed tiger. Cortisol serves as a great short term coping mechanism. However, cortisol can turn into your enemy if it remains elevated for a long period of time. In today’s society, stress doesn’t always leave after a short encounter.  You can’t always fight or run away from the tiger, especially when the tiger is your boss. People who are prone to high levels of stress will sustain high levels of cortisol.  This negatively affects the body and specifically the skin by increasing reactivity responses which can cause flushing, inflammation and acne as well as premature wrinkling, dark circles and loss of skin firmness.


You may notice that during periods of high stress you experience more acne-breakouts. This is because elevated cortisol prompts skin’s sebaceous glands to produce more oil, increasing the likeliness of getting clogged pores.  If that’s not bad enough cortisol also increases your inflammation response. Normally, a clogged pore might just sit there forever.   But combined with elevated cortisol your skin becomes more reactive, often leading to a full-blown blemish.

What to do:

  • During times of stress act proactively. Switch to a light moisturizer that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients such as  Sea Whip or Chinese Licorice Root.
  • Exfoliate regularly to clear the pores. Instead of grabbing your Alpha Hydroxy Acid serum, Retin-A or a strong scrub to exfoliate, reactive skin should make the wiser choice of gently exfoliating, particulate free Proteolytic Enzymes.
  • Nix the typical acne masque which is often drying and irritating, robbing your skin of moisture and its natural protective barrier. When your skin is stressed you need to focus on calming inflammation first.  This way, angry red papules calm down and heal quicker. Choose a masque that contains Meadowsweet, which is a milder version of anti-bacterial and pore clearing salicylic acid. When used at the first signs of breakouts or a few days before your monthly cycle, a non-drying, anti-inflammatory gel masque for acne will effectively disrupt the visible blemish cycle to encourage smoother skin with fewer noticeable bumps.


Cortisol has the power to accelerate aging in stressful situations.   Elevated cortisol levels have a long list of negative effects that contribute to aging.  Here are just a few:

  1. Increased Glycation
    Stress causes sugar to be dumped into the bloodstream to provide energy for the fight or flight response.  Prolonged, elevated sugar levels cause cross linking of important collagen and elastin fibers which normally support and plump our skin (known as glycation). When sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin fibers it makes them rigid and malformed. This eventually leads to wrinkles, dullness and a loss of firmness. This process is called Advanced Glycation End Products (appropriately shortened to the acronym AGEs).
    What to do:
    While glycation cannot be completely stopped, dietary changes can make a big difference.  It’s not easy to eliminate sugar completely. Even whole grains, fruits, and vegetables turn to glucose—the type of sugar that fuels glycation. But limiting added sugar certainly helps.  When under stress, it’s also important to remember to boost your antioxidant levels. All fruits and veggies, as well as things like dark chocolate and green tea, have powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from glycation.  So, the important thing is to eat fresh, whole fruits and veggies (not the juice) which slows sugar absorption and provides you with valuable antioxidants.   Getting a regular supply of antioxidants helps to stave off the effects of AGEs.  Also, consider a Vitamin B supplement: Studies have found that Vitamins B1 and B6 help inhibit the formation of AGEs by lowering the effects of stress on your skin.
    Skin Care Tip:
    When dealing with glycated skin, it is essential to remember that the skin needs ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that antioxidants also fight inflammation. Vitamin C is the anti-oxidant most researched for fighting stress induced aging.  Using a high potency skin serum containing Vitamin C is very effective.  The problem with using Vitamin C in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid (the most common form found in serums) is that it can be very irritating and unstable, which adds to the inflammation component. We suggest trying Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate as a non-irritating and stable alternative.  If you’re particularly stressed, you should also consider adding additional antioxidants to your skin care routine. Superfruits like coffee berries, acai berries, gogi fruit, mangoes and pomegranates are among the most powerful sources of natural antioxidants and can be added to your Vitamin C serum.
  2. Thinning Skin
    Elevated cortisol (this includes extended use of cortisone creams) wears down skin supporting connective tissue resulting in thinner skin which is less durable, more reactive and more prone to wrinkles.
    What to do:
    Your skin is made of protein.  You need to eat protein to provide your body with the amino acids needed to rebuild heathy skin cells.  Making sure you are eating enough protein is essential.   You also need lipids to calm and reinforce your skin’s protective barrier.  Calming Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and in nuts and seeds are great sources for building healthy skin.
    Skin care tip:
    Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3,  is one of a powerful group of protein building peptides which act as messengers that tell skin cells called fibroblasts to produce more collagen. Popular, new stem cell stimulators like Hydrolyzed Algin and a rare Swiss Apple Extract offer great promise for waking up your skin’s own sleepy stem cells to start rejuvenation and repair.  While these stem cells don’t directly replace our own stem cells, research supports that they have the ability to give your own stem cells a little nudge to wake them up and start acting like younger, more vital skin repair cells.
    LED (light emitting diode) treatments help stimulate Mitochondria in skin cells. Mitochondria is the engine, or power house for skin cells.  Slowed skin repair is caused in part by a natural slow down of energy (called ATP) produced in cells as we age.  LED boosts energy to stimulate metabolism for healthier, stronger skin.
  3. Dull, Sluggish Skin
    In some cases stress causes decreased blood flow to the skin.  This happens when hormones draw blood away from extremities and the skin to protect internal organs. Prolonged stress means the skin gets less nutrients and oxygen and becomes depleted of antioxidants. The result is skin which appears dull and tired looking.
    What to do:
    Moderate exercise is great for energizing the skin (don’t forget your sunscreen).  It increases blood flow and improves circulation.  Of course you need to get plenty of sleep, eat properly and avoid sugar, alcohol and smoking.
    Skincare tip:
    If your skin looks dull and worn try exercising your face as well as your body.  Don’t do facial exercises as they pull on skin in a way that actually causes wrinkles. Instead, when you doing your morning and evening cleansing choose an invigorating cleanser containing rosemary.  Try doing simple massage techniques like gentle circles and tapping movements all over your face before you rinse off your cleanser.  A Ginseng toner is great followup that gently draws moisture and blood flow to the skin.
    Your skin will benefit from a series of Microdermabrasion or Bio-Brasion treatments.  Microdermabrasion and Bio-Brasion as well as many peels are exfoliating treatments that stimulate collagen by causing a very mild trauma to the skin.  This gets the skin to go into a healing mode, which results in increased collagen production.  Bio-Brasion is better for stressed skin because it is less likely to go overboard and cause irritation that can be counterproductive.
  4. Puffy Eyes
    Cortisol has a natural rhythm throughout your day.  Your body should produce more in the morning than in the evening, giving you the energy to begin your day. In the evening, as you leave your daily stresses behind, cortisol levels should drop by 90 percent. However, elevated cortisol levels at night can deprive you of sleep. Most skin repair occurs at night, during REM sleep, this is why your esthetician encourages you to apply those active rejuvenating serums in the evening.  Lack of sleep can cause lymphatic fluid to pool under eyes causing puffiness in the morning.
    What to do:
    To prevent and shrink puffiness get at least eight hours of sleep. Since the light from your smartphone, smart TV, computer and iPad screen simulate sunlight, shut off any electronic devices an hour before you go to sleep. Use your downtime to make yourself a cup of caffeine-free chamomile tea to help calm and relax you before bed.
    Skincare tip:
    Try adopting the stress reducing habit of  going to bed and getting up at the same times each day.  If you still wake up with puffy eyes try applying an anti-puff gel in the morning.  A good anti-puff gel contains Hesperidin to shrink capillaries and reduce dark circles.  It might also contain CoQ10 to energize lymph drainage from under the eye.  Make your anti-puff gel even more effective by placing your glass bottle of gel in the fridge at night.  In the morning, when you tap on the gel, roll the edge of the chilly glass bottle over the puffy areas to tighten and further drain the lymph from the area.

A great stress reducer is remembering to smile, laugh and be good to yourself. This is not only good for your skin but great for your overall health as well.



What’s Trending at Elizabeth Renee?

What’s Trending at Elizabeth Renee?

At Elizabeth Renee we only have two product sales a year. Clients wait patiently to take advantage of these great savings. Right now we are in the middle of our Valentine’s Day Sale. Before you make your purchases we thought you’d like to take a peek at what popular products are being swept off the shelves right now. So here is a snapshot of our top 10 best selling skincare products.

1. C & E Antioxidant Serum – This has been our most desired serum for years. That’s because it not only offers extra protection against sun damage and other environmental agers, but it builds skin firming collagen and even diminishes old blemish marks.

2. The Pink Cream – Loved by everyone with sensitive skin. Natural moisturizing factors reduce signs of aging and stop trans-epidermal water loss that results in dehydration. Skin becomes supple, smooth and more comfortable.

3. Getting Even – This state-of-the-art AHA blend incorporates Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic Acids to dissolve rough dead cells. The new skin revealed is fresher and more vibrant. Making it ready to absorb your anti-aging and skin correcting serums.

4. Environmental Protection – It’s winter! You need extra protection from the dry, arid winter air that robs your skin of moisture. Just a drop of this emollient serum acts as an overcoat for your skin.

5. Hydraessence – This oil free hydration serum is super effective for all skin types, to fight dehydration by grabbing onto moisture. It features hyaluronic acid: the super humectant that holds up to 1000x’s its weight in water.

6. Hawaiian Seaweed Moisture Cream – This wonderfully rich moisturizer is perfect for correcting and protecting sun damaged skin. It does so by strengthening skin’s resistance to environmental agers.

7. Calming Chamomile Cleanser – Choosing the right cleanser is paramount for preparing your skin to gain great results from the rest of your regime. This is our most popular of our twelve cleansers.  The azulene in this formula helps to soothe  and comfort sensitive skin.

8. Aloemist Toner – Think you can skip this step? This ever popular alcohol free toner is so important for removing impurities in tap water that dull your skin, clog your pores, adds to dehydration and prevents penetration of those precious treatment products of yours.

9. Crepe Escape – This neck treatment has become so popular! Why? Because, when used regutlarly, apple stem cells found in this formula help wake up your own sleepy stem cells to prompt skin to repair itself. This cream gives this difficult area a smoother, younger look.

10. Revitalize Cell Therapy – This superstar product activates skin to act like a younger version of itself. Because of its ability to stimulate sleepy stem cells, increase cells ability to take in more water, increase cellular energy, increase antioxidant protection and boost skins repair mechanism.  It’s not only our most powerful corrective anti-aging serum, but also our most popular.

Click on product names to find out more.

Antioxidant Superfruits for Your Skin

Antioxidant Superfruits for Your Skin

Sunrise Solution

By now you realize that antioxidants are essential nutrients that protect your skin and slow overall aging by capturing and neutralizing damaging free radicals.  That’s why you just ordered that freshly pressed green-drink, for its mega amounts of antioxidant vitamins.

But, if you’re already eating right, keeping your skin clean, well hydrated and exfoliated will adding a serum rich in antioxidants really make a difference for your skin?  Well that depends. Do you digress from your well intentioned diet?  Do you live a life free of sun damage and stress?  Do you refrain from smoking, sugar and alcoholic beverages?  Are you actively athletic?  All these factors create free radical damage that will eventually catch up with you and age your skin.

Enter Vitamin C & E Antioxidant Serum:  This is the tried and true gold standard antioxidant combination to help fight environmental agers.  There have been numerous studies that show the effectiveness of C & E to protect against sun induced free radical damage as well as brightening the skin and promoting skin firming collagen.  Specifically, C & E protects against oxidative stress (IE cross linking of collagen fibers) which eventually leads to sagging skin, unwanted pigmentation, lines and wrinkles.  So if you’re not using a Vitamin C & E Antioxidant Serum daily, now is the time to start.

Why a serum?  Eating vitamin rich fruits and veggies is important, but realize that your skin is the last organ to receive their benefits.  However, our skin is like a sponge.  We can absorb up to 60% of some antioxidants through the skin. A serum is more concentrated than a cream and incorporates a delivery system to penetrate those important antioxidant ingredients.

Realizing it’s impossible to get enough antioxidants to entirely eliminate all free radical damage, you may want to do a little more.  Consider adding a boost of concentrated superfruits to your antioxidant serum.  Here are six of our favorite superfruits which we recommend adding to your repertoire. These superfruits are top high functioning, vitamin packed health foods and can be found in Elizabeth Renee’s Sunrise Solution.

Here is our A-List:

  • Acai Berries
    acaiThe Acai fruit does, in fact, contain a truly amazing nutrient profile with a combination of essential fatty acids that supports cell structure. plus B & C vitamins. And just as importantly, the Acai fruit is rich in anthocyanins and phenols.  These powerful antioxidants help rejuvenate skin and calm inflammation.
  •  Goji Berries
    gogi berriesThe most exciting benefit from Goji Berries is its anti-aging potential. It includes minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and selenium. All which fight free radicals, and many that encourage the production of collagen and elastin. It’s also rich in amino acids, the building blocks for proteins which help fill fine lines, smooth skin, and improve tone and color. Goji berries have also been shown to increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, increasing the skin’s energy and the ability to regenerate itself.
  • Noni Fruit: 
    Noni2Noni Fruit is especially high in essential fatty acids which are the building blocks of fats and oils in the skin. These acids help to keep skin healthy by promoting the efficient functioning of cell membranes. This means cells can more readily absorb the nutrients they need while also flushing out the toxins that interfere with optimal cell function.
  • Mangosteen: 
    Mangosteen1Contain antioxidants which have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.  This  is very useful for treating problem skin. It also contains catechins, an antioxidant which exerts sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. Therefore, mangosteens work synergisticlly to enhance sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen.
  • Pomegranates: 
    Whole And Half Of Pomegranate Isolated On White BackgroundKnown to possess enormous antioxidant activity (amongst other things), with benefits that help control both UVA and UVB damage; boosting regeneration, lessening hyperpigmentation and increasing collagen production.  Pomegranates have also been shown to enhance the topical effectiveness of sunscreens.  If anything deserves to be dubbed a Superfruit, then it is a pomegranate.
  • Coffee Berries: 
    coffeeWhen applied to your skin, polyphenolic antioxidants in Coffee Berries soak up free radicals caused by ultraviolet light.  Plant polyphenols also act as a topical anti-inflammatory agents, when applied to your skin to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, rosacea or eczema.

A combination of these superfruits can be effective when adding just one pump to your current Vitamin C & E Serum daily.  Skin types that have found they are too sensitive to use Vitamin C Serums find that this as a great alternative (use 2-3 pumps) without irritation.  Also those who live an active lifestyle outdoors have benefited from adding a layer of a serum containing superfruits daily under their sunscreen for increased sun protection.

Glow on the Go

Glow on the Go

Pumpkin Peel‘Tis the season to be busy.   Those holiday parties are right around the corner and you notice that the summer glow you had just a few weeks ago is turning dull and lackluster.  Your lines appear a bit more pronounced…  or is that just your imagination?  You may even be experiencing typical fall breakouts.  The idea of having a facial sounds so appealing, but time is short.  How are you going to squeeze that into your already overbooked schedule?  Introducing…

Glow On The Go

For a limited time only Elizabeth Renee Esthetics is offering the perfect pre-holiday pumpkin peel treatment for only $49. This quick half hour treatment is designed to brighten the skin, soften lines, ease dryness, help even out skin tone and minimize redness and irritation.  With Glow on the Go you’re sure to look and feel radiant, healthy and glowing, just in time for the holidays.

Why a  Pumpkin Peel ?

The mighty pumpkin, when fermented, contains more than 100 nutrients, including collagen building amino acids, skin renewing beta carotene (think retinol)  and moisturizing fatty acids. It’s not surprising that the skin eagerly accepts these nutrients and responds by producing a very happy, healthy glow.

Suitable for all skin types, the fermented pumpkin enzyme offers benefits to both dry and oily skin, producing results in a natural way. This natural exfoliation process removes unwanted debris from pores, enhances cellular regeneration and enables the skin to better absorb active ingredients, such as concentrated serums and moisturizers.

The pumpkin enzymes in Glow on the Go are incredibly useful for the biological processes of skin cells. With a proprietary combination of super fruits, this is the treatment of the future.  Fruit enzymes are gentler and safer than other peels, with superior anti-aging antioxidants that provide healthy benefits for your skin. At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics, our expert estheticians have the knowledge to choose the perfect timing and strength of your pumpkin peel to achieve maximum results for your skin.

The Process

  1. Skin is cleansed and effectively analyzed to determine the correct pumpkin enzymes for your skin type.
  2. A thin coat of pumpkin enzyme peel is applied for 3-10 minutes and gently removed with warm towels.
  3. A hydrating serum is applied using cold ultrasound to deeply moisturize new cells and soothe the skin.
  4. We finish with a few drops of FijiGirl Facial Oil (with retinol & emollients) followed by a protective sunscreen.

Your skin will feel incredibly soft and look impeccably smooth.

Click here to book online.

Antioxidant Protection in Skincare Serums

Antioxidant Protection in Skincare Serums

Serums are the mainstay of any effective  skincare regime.  That’s because the high concentration of active components incorporated into your serum is much greater than you’ll find in a cream.  If you want your skin care program to make real, positive changes you should consider adding a serum to your daily routine.

Well actually, consider adding two.  Ask yourself, what is the goal when applying a serum?  There are different goals for using a daytime and nighttime serum. Most of your serums aim to either protect your skin from environmental aggressors or work on repairing damage that’s already done.

During the day your main focus should always be skin protection.  Once your skin is damaged, it’s so much harder to correct, so put a major effort into prevention. Daytime is when you’re most likely exposed to pollution, UV rays from the sun, and oxidative stress which contributes to inflammation that accelerates skin aging. Sunscreen is essential, but your best bet is to back up that sunscreen by first applying a highly concentrated antioxidant serum.

Vitamin C is a tried and true antioxidant vitamin that has been extensively tested and found to be a key component in the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels and gives skin its firmness. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that slows the rate of free-radical damage to collagen fibers.  These free radicals are unstable molecules that cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.  It’s important to get enough Vitamin C from your diet but studies show that by applying Vitamin C directly to your skin you’ll get more absorption, faster, giving skin the direct protection it needs.  To make sure you are getting a stabilized version of Vitamin C check out Elizabeth Renee’s C & E Antioxidant Serum which also helps reduce blackhead formation and brightens the skin. This no-sting formula has been our number one, most popular serum for antioxidant protection for several years. 

Recently we have introduced another choice for those seeking high powered antioxidant protection. The combined efforts of extracts from superfruits have immense antioxidant capabilities.  Fruits like mangos, goji berries, noni fruit and coffee berries contain a lot of rich, colorful pigment.  The pigment is where you will find skin saving antioxidants that are extremely effective against sun damage.  Matter of fact, choosing to use one of these antioxidant serums under your sunscreen daily can increase you protection from damaging free radicals by as much as 20% over wearing sunscreen alone.  Super fruits are easy on the skin, so even the most sensitive skins can tolerate them. While limiting free radicals that lead to inflammation, dryness, aging and age spots, super fruits will also soften, sooth, hydrate and reduce redness. Check out Elizabeth Renee’s Sunrise Solution for gentle, effective protection.

The important thing to remember is the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  It is so much harder to get rid of lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and other signs of aging once you have them.  Maybe that’s what Ben Franklin was really talking about.

Antioxidant Serums


Start Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Strategy


Aging SkinHave 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.