AGE LESS WITH
One of the most important things to understand when it comes to skincare is what it actually can and can't do for facial aging. All those commercials and skincare ads make it hard to believe that buying that moisturizer or an eye cream will really not make a huge difference on the way our face looks, but truth is that skincare can only do so much. Facial aging is much more than skin deep. Lack of awareness about skincare as well as not always truthful skincare commercials and ads, the packaging, the fragrance and the feel that distract us from the truth, cause 99% of women to make emotional decisions when it comes to buying skincare. We want you to be the elite 1%, and buy it based on knowledge. Understanding facial aging is the first step in making educated decisions, so let's get started.
When we look at a face, all we see is the superficial skin. It is thus hard to picture the changes that happen underneath it, but it is those changes that actually impact how our face looks as it ages the most. Understanding this and accepting the fact that no skincare product will help with bone loss, as well as changes in facial muscles or fat tissue as shown above, can save a lot of frustrations and money. There is no miracle in a jar. No face cream is going to make your jowls disappear as they are a result of muscle loss. No eye cream is going to lift your eyes or even remove bags from under your eyes as those are a result of often weakening muscles as well. No lotion or potion is going to be strong enough to make your wrinkles disappear. They are again a result of facial muscles tugging on and causing creases in the lines or as a result of decrease in the fat or its moving around. The nasolabial folds or marionette lines are often a result of a bone expansion and bone resorption that lead to volume loss. The above are just examples. You can speak to a plastic surgeon to help you address some of the changes or get injectibles, but you must know that no skincare product will address the above issues, and even the injectibles or a skilled plastic surgeon can only do so much as the changes you see below in the bone, muscle, fat and skin cannot be completely reversed.
Skin alone is a complex organ where lots of changes occur as well. With age, it looses elasticity, thins out revealing dark spots, gets drier and shows bigger pores and deeper wrinkles. The main component of your skin is collagen, which makes up about 75-80% of the skin. Collagen fibers are the pillars of a young, youthful and firm skin because they provide infrastructure to elastin fibers and hyaluronic acid. They also hold the top layer of the skin called epidermis. We discuss the structure of the skin in another chapter where we talk about the best actives for anti-aging. For now, it is important to know that with age we lose collagen and with that elasticity (from elastin) and moisture (from hyaluronic acid). When we are young, collagen making fibroblasts in our skin make new collagen and enzymes remove the old one. Our skin is plump, radiant and easily bounces back as it constantly renews itself. With age, skin's collagen mechanism becomes less and less effective due to wear and tear from the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that cause visible signs of aging.
The intrinsic factors include genes, hormones, and other metabolic processes that our body undergoes with age. The extrinsic factors include sun exposure, pollution, toxins and other chemicals we are exposed to, radiation, smoking, or sugar consumption. At around the age of 35, those changes become visible. This is when we start looking tired even if we are not. This is when we start noticing brown spots if our skin had been exposed to a lot of sun. This is also when a 1, an 11, or 111 shows between the eyes and lines begin to appear around the nose and lips. With age those lines will also get deeper and longer. We see more wrinkles on the forehead and in crow's feet area as well as deepening of the smile lines. Massive breakdown in collagen will at some point, and usually in our 50ies, cause our skin to loosen up and droop. Hormones and lack of hyaluronic acid will cause it to lose its moisture. Skin will also become more translucent revealing even more years of exposure to the sun. Those are again just examples of what happens to an aging face. Some of those changes can and others can't be prevented, delayed and or reversed. Being mindful of that will help you care about your skin as well as help you understand what lifestyle changes as well as products will help you embrace aging better.
When caring for your skin, adopt a holistic approach. If you know of a body and mind connection, know of a body and skin connection, and mindfully care for your skin as well. Healthy food, exercise and good night sleep have not only a great effect on our bodies, but also on our skin. By exercising, you increase blood supply and oxygen in your body, which makes your skin healthier. When you get enough sleep, your body not only makes more collagen, but also releases a human growth hormone, which slows down the aging process in many ways. Finally, melatonin, known for its antioxidant or anti-aging properties, is produced at night. When you sleep well, the stress hormone cortisol falls during sleep, which helps skin repair daytime damage. Finally, by eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, you are supplying antioxidants to your body that protect collagen damage from the inside. By going organic, you stop putting toxins in your body that are one of the biggest causes of aging, so be mindful of what you eat and also what you put on your body. Do not put chemicals and toxins on your body that will get absorbed into your blood stream and circulate throughout. Exposure to toxins are one of the reasons our skin ages, do not add fuel to the fire and put them on your face. Nourish your skin, just like your body with superfoods to protect it against those toxins and other environmental pollution instead. Look not only at the ingredients in your food, but also at the ingredients in our skincare products as well. Your body and your face will thank you for it.
Bottom line is that facial aging and a healthy and young skin is a combination of many factors. No skincare should be a substitute for not smoking, not exercising, not eating healthy and not getting good quality food, but you can make it a part of your overall personal wellness program. Investing in knowledge about skincare will be like investing in the benefits of exercise, diet and sleep. Know that in spite of the many changes and factors skincare can't influence, a high quality and well formulated skincare that addresses the skin cell can have a great affect on the health of your skin by stimulating the above collagen production, hydrating it, as well as protecting it from the environmental factors such as pollution, sun damage, radiation, chemicals and toxins. Healthy skincare that has potent anti-aging actives can even reverse some of the damage caused by aging. We will talk about it when discussing best anti-aging ingredients. If you are not using good quality skincare, even though you will not be able to tell, you might be accelerating the process of aging, and if you are not using quality ingredients, you might be just masking problems and also cause more. Next time you shop for skincare, remember that. Take ads and commercials with a grain of salt, look at the ingredients, and make educated and healthy decisions instead.