If you’re being strictly scientific, skin starts aging from age 20, when you produce about one per cent less collagen each year. Collagen is the protein mainly responsible for keeping skin tone tight and plump.

The degradation of collagen and its partner elastin (think elastic) and the reduction in the hormone oestrogen due to menopause, are the big villains that make skin thinner, drier, droopier and more fragile. This is known as ‘intrinsic ageing’ and, sadly, you can’t do much about it.

As skin becomes less elastic, it also becomes drier. Underlying fat padding begins to disappear. With loss of underlying support by fat padding and connective tissues, the skin begins to sag. It looks less supple, and wrinkles form.

Free radicals also contribute to wrinkling. Free radicals are formed during a normal aerobic process – a chemical reaction that uses oxygen and releases the energy that cells need to function — and are called unstable atoms (or molecules), because they have either lost or gained an electron during that chemical reaction. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) and other environmental factors like tobacco smoke trigger the body to produce free radicals.

While you can’t win against Mother Nature, you can put up a good fight!

Simultaneously with genetically programmed aging, the process of photo-aging may take place. Photo-aging is the effect of chronic and excessive sun exposure on the skin. Cigarette smoking also contributes to aging effects by the biochemical changes it brings about in skin tissues.

Photo-aging interacts with chronologic aging and may appear to hasten the process of chronologic aging. In fact, photo-aging may be responsible for the majority of age-associated changes in the skin’s appearance: mottled pigmentation, surface roughness, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, “age” or “liver” spots (lentigines) on the hands, and dilated blood vessels.

Here are some tips to help slow down the ageing process:

  • Always have a good basic skin care routine. Cleanse, tone and moisturise and be gentle around the eye area.
  • Frequently exfoliate your skin – this helps to remove dead skin cells and helps skin to stay firm and reduce wrinkles.
  • Antioxidants like Vitamin C, Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, and green/white tea prevent free radicals from damaging your skin. Free radicals are partially responsible for wrinkles, non-gravity defying eye bags, etc. Luckily, free radical fighting antioxidants come in many forms, both external and internal.
  • Sunscreen is the number one preventative topical against aging. It prevents more than fixes, but if you think about it, it’s much easier to prevent the signs of aging than it is to reverse wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or anything else that has already set in. Sunscreen protects you from the sun’s harmful UV rays and prevents even more damage (and possibly cancer) from happening to your skin.
  • Living a happy, healthy lifestyle is the absolute best thing you can do to slow down the ageing process.

Whatever cream you slap on your face or whatever lasers you zap your skin with, do not and will not add up to the powers of a living a healthy and happy life. Keep skin young and healthy with a well-balanced diet containing enough nutrients and fatty acids. Drink plenty of water, and not too much alcohol. Don’t smoke. Laugh a lot and exercise and get enough sleep. These are all good and healthy skin habits.

Here is a list of products that come highly recommended to delay the ageing process:

  • Elizabeth Arden Prevage and Ceramide range
  • Payot Perform Lift and Techni Liss range
  • Clarins Super Restorative & Extra firming range
  • Bioderma Photoderm spf 50 sunblock
  • Vichy Lift Active Serum 10 and Lift Active Dermsource Day and Night

For more information on Anti- Ageing Skin Care, please consult any of our skincare experts or contact Jeanette directly, at our Durbell Tygervalley branch on (021) 914-1777