Let’s talk about aging and skincare. Aging happens to all of us, literally all of the time. It’s kind of a bummer.
The signs of aging can be tough to deal with, because the kind of physical evidence of it that the customer is concerned about is often deep and permanent. The real solution to skin aging is preemptive – taking care of your skin before it starts showing signs is a much more rewarding experience than searching for solutions when the problem has already started.
Part of the reason why aging is not something that can be easily reversed is that it’s a continuous process, both internally and externally. As we age our cells don’t multiply as often as they used to, while external damage only makes things worse. Trying to solve it is like trying to run up a down-moving escalator. Because of that, the younger you are when you start using gentle anti-aging products, the better.
Main Signs of Aging.
There are two main signs of aging skin that women often find bothersome: fine lines/wrinkles (like around the eyes), and deeper muscular wrinkles/loss of tone. The fine lines and wrinkles happen closer to the epidermis, whereas lines like those we might get on our forehead and in between the eyebrows are happening on the muscular level.
What Causes Aging?
Aging happens as our skin cells stop reproducing so quickly- skin becomes thinner and dryer, and collagen and elastin stop forming as quickly. An ideal skin care routine will try and mitigate the external factors that cause these things to happen.
Dermatologists consider sun exposure the main external cause of aging – the sun’s rays trigger an oxidative response that, like a chain reaction, destroys skin cells one after the other. This kind of damage is also caused by environmental pollutants (smoking, and even being close to second hand smoke, are also factors here).
Sunscreen is key here, but it’s not necessarily enough to prevent aging. You may have heard the term “antioxidant” before. Antioxidants are molecules that stop or slow down the oxidation process. Some of them are naturally occurring in the skin, but overtime (as we age) our skin slows down on creating them. That is why using skin care that is antioxidant rich is extremely useful.
So where can we find antioxidants? Why, in nature of course! Vitamin E and vitamin C are two powerful antioxidants that our bodies do not produce on their own. We can obtain them through our diet, but they actually work really well topically. In addition to stopping oxidation damage, vitamin C also has a role in collagen synthesis. Our skin is better capable of producing collagen (the protein component of our skin, keeps things firm) when vitamin C levels in the skin are increased, thus keeping it smoother and firmer. Vitamin E has been shown to improve skin’s water-retaining abilities, which in itself also has great anti-aging benefits.
Some research shows that synthetic vitamins don’t have as great an antioxidant effect as natural ones. It means that taking a multivitamin won’t make up for a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables. I have a hunch that the same would be true for topical applications, and that using an oil rich in antioxidants might have a better effect than using a synthetic version of the vitamin.
There are a lot of different kinds of ingredients that have antioxidant properties, but the ones most often present in oil and essential oils are tocopherols, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Suffice it to say, when a product’s ingredient list is primarily comprised of natural oils and plant extracts and the packaging is capable of preserving them, the product will effectively prevent premature aging.
However, it is hard to preserve antioxidants in a product. For a cream to stay potent it can’t come into contact with the air. Especially when many antioxidants in a product come from oils, it is important that the container be made of opaque glass, and dispensed through a pump. Otherwise, those great antioxidant properties become degraded. That is why all our Moisturisers and the Firming Cream are packaged in containers that have a UV coating, and an airless dispenser.
Dry Skin and the Moisture Barrier.
Another thing that increases the appearance of fine lines is the condition of the moisture barrier. The moisture barrier is a layer of stuff that our skin naturally produces that prevent moisture loss, and also maintains antioxidants in the skin. In addition to keeping our skin more resistant to free radical damage, the moisture barrier also fills in the space between skin cells. When the skin cells are dry and lacking in emollient ingredients, wrinkles appear much deeper. Ingredients that will help repair the moisture barrier (oils, like those in the Night Serum, for example) will also have an instantaneous effect to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
So to summarize: prevention is key, and an aging-prevention minded attitude will also have short term benefits that will help reverse signs of aging. Look for antioxidant rich ingredients, and stay protected!