Achieving clear, healthy skin seems like an impossible feat if you have ever experienced blackheads, but it is...
Is that…that’s a wrinkle!
My nose 4” away from the mirror, I discover it, a wrinkle. Sitting so innocently just below my left eye, my focus locks onto it, and I realize my skin is no longer winning the battle against Father Time.
It seems that most of us take our youthful skin for granted, but eventually we all wake up to the cold truth, that we can not continually abuse our skin and expect it to be so forgiving. We enter crisis mode, once we start noticing these fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. Running to the drugstore to try and find some miracle in a bottle to reverse the clock, even if it’s just for a bit.
But, why does our skin start to age?
Of course, most people, especially woman know about collagen, but there is so much more.
Ultimately, aging can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is a result of your DNA and genetic makeup, and extrinsic aging is a result of your diet, environment and free radicals.
Intrinsic aging is a continual deterioration that occurs throughout the body as a whole. However, when we look specifically at the skin, aging is marked by the effects of gravity, the flattening of the Rete Pegs at the derma-epidermal junction and the over proliferation of Matric Metaloproteinase (MMP). MMPs (collagenase and elastase) are enzymes produced by the Fibroblast cell. They play a crucial role in degrading and rebuilding collagen and elastin. Partially degraded fibres inhibit the Fibroblast cell’s ability to create new collagens. Don’t worry this blog is not just for doctors and aestheticians, I’ll explain these terms and processes better, in a moment.
If you take your hands and pull back on your skin, you look younger and better. So you would think that gravity is the biggest contributor to your skin aging, but it plays a smaller role then you’d think. Actually, it’s the biochemical changes that occur in the body as it ages, that does more damage. Essentially, as you and your skin age there is a reduction in everything good.
- Slower cell turnover results in skin cells taking longer to shed and regenerate
- Impaired immune function
- Lipid production decreases, causing the skin to become dry and weaken the skin barrier function
- Collagen and elastin production reduces resulting in the skin losing it’s tensile strength
- Formation of senescent cells, “aging cells”
- Blood flow decreases, reducing the efficiency of nutrient delivery to cells
- Increase in transepidermal water loss; the skin becomes dehydrated from the skin’s reduced ability to bind water.
However, the biggest contributor to your skin loosing it’s youthful lustre is extrinsic aging. These are the external, influencing factors on your skin, including the pollution, smoking, diet, free radicals and the sun.
Polluted particles are so small they are a fraction of the size of your pore and therefore can penetrate the epidermis and dermal layers, causing dehydration, inflammation and react at a cellular level leading to a loss of firmness and elasticity. Pollution has also been linked to accelerated aging as it can break down collagen as well as the lipid layer of the skin, further inhibiting skin barrier functions.
We all know how terrible smoking is for our whole body. The chemicals within cigarettes are absorbed through the blood streaming, constricting blood vessels and preventing oxygen and nutrients reaching all cells, including skin cells. The skin’s repair and renewal process is slowed in smokers, as the supply of collagen is broken down, resulting in dryness, reduced elasticity and wrinkles.
When it comes to diet certain nutrients play a crucial role in the normal functioning of the skin. Deficiencies in Vitamin C can result in improper collagen synthesis. However, we don’t always notice the effects of improper diet on the skin, as much as we notice the benefits from a proper, wholesome diet on the skin. People that have diets high in vitamins, E and C, carotenoids and polyunsaturated fats have been noted to have improved skin protection against sun damage and the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are highly unstable and reactive molecules produced by complex chemical processes in the body, that can damage all living cells. They are one of the main offenders responsible for rapid aging of the skin. The skin is especially effected by external free radical damage, such as ultraviolet light from the sun and other pollutants around you. However, the most common source of free radicals is created during the body’s normal fuel burning, as a by-product. Left to their own devices, free radicals damage other healthy cells through a process called oxidation, similar to the way apples turn brown or rust destroys metal.
Photo-aging is a result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial UV radiation (tanning beds), and it is the number one culprit in premature aging. There are two types of UV radiation, UVB and UVA. UVB radiation penetrates the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and not only damages DNA in this layer, but also causes mutations in otherwise healthy skin cells. Overtime, pre-cancers and skin cancers can occur. UVA radiation not only penetrates the epidermis, but travels down deep into the dermal layers of the skin and can damage blood vessels, elastin and collagen. This is why over exposure to the sun causes deep wrinkling and reduces the overall resilience of your skin, which leads to sagging skin. In response to this assault, your skin begins to produce dark brown pigmentation, called melanin. Melanin makes your skin look darker, but over time increased melanin production becomes uneven, causing dark patches or age spots on the skin.
Fighting Back Against Father Time
When it comes to your skin, it is extrinsic or environmental aging that does more damage. But this a good thing, because it means there is something you can do about it. Trying to limit the pollutants in your environment, not smoking and eating a well-glanced diet, filled with fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy fats can go a long way in preventing premature aging. However, most important is to always protect your skin from the sun. Always wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 in the fall and winter months and SPF 30 during spring and summer. It is possible to get a tan even with sunscreen on. Also wear a wide-brimmed hat if your spending anytime outside, to protect your face and neck and declite (chest).
Unfortunately, most of us have already done damage to our skin and are looking for ways to turn back time, and reverse the effects of internal and external aging of our skin. Finding skincare products that are high in Vitamin C, which helps increase collagen production, improves your skins immune system, and lightens and brightens your overall skin tone. As well as, Beta-Glucan, which reduces fine lines, wrinkles, swelling, redness and inflammation, improves firmness, and is a powerful antioxidant with free radical scavenging capabilities.
Try these products to help ward of Father Time.
DMK Super Serum
DMK Limited Firmatrix
DMK Limited Transgenesis
DMK Limited Elevate
DMK Limited Line
DMK Eye Tone