Health | Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Ageing and Skin

The underlying factors leading to signs of premature ageing in our skin include: wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, dehydration, hyper-pigmentation, and loss of elasticity and tone to the skin.
Age related skin changes are the result of both intrinsic factors, or genetically programmed changes, and extrinsic influence which includes the environmental wear and tear on the skin. Both factors result in changes to the skin structure and function with extrinsic factors causing the more pronounced changes. Some estimates state that from 80-99 per cent of what we see on our skin as adults is the result of these environmental influences, in particular exposure to the sun.

The International Dermal Institute, Los Angeles, brought forward very simply the :

Age related Epidermal Changes :

20s - 30s
• Skin is smooth, bright and firm
• There maybe a few dehydration or expression lines around the eyes and mouth (the first signs of ageing)
• Skin is regenerating every 14-25 days, which helps the skin looking healthy

30s - 40s
• Cell turnover begins to slow which leads to dullness and a less skin tone
• Skin maybe slightly drier and dehydrated than it was in the 20’s as oil production slows and barrier lipids reduce
• Wrinkles are more evident and are prominent around the eyes and mouth (smile lines).
• Elasticity and skin turgor begin to diminish as collagen and elastin reduce by -1% per year.

40s - 50+
• A combination of UV exposure and a declining amount of estrogen cause erosion to the skin’s underlying support structure, and also inhibit its ability to retain moisture.
• Skin experiences a loss of elasticity and firmness, is thinner and often dehydrated.
• Wrinkles are deeper and more prominent on the entire facial landscape, and skin may be sagging.
• Hyperpigmentation is also prominent during these decades.
Selecting skin care products
A new generation of cosmeceutical skin care products containing ingredients that are specific for ageing skin include :
Retinol or vitamin A and its derivatives (retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate) have been most successful in addressing skin changes associated with aging. Retinoic acid is the only FDA approved drug for reversing aging effects on skin, including smoothing the skin, reducing wrinkles and treating uneven pigmentation; it also increases epidermal thickness and stimulates deposition of new collagen.

Pigment Brighteners
To treat skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation in particular, look for safe, botanical alternatives to hydroquinone. These include: Bearberry, Licorice, Yeast, Rice extract, Paper Mulberry, Yellow Dock, Vitamin C and Lactic acid; the latter has been shown to lighten pigmentation when used in concentrations greater than 5%.

Hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs)
AHAs and BHAs not only stimulate cell renewal, smooth the skin, reduce wrinkles, repair sun damage and treat uneven skin pigmentation. Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid affect intercellular bonds of the stratum corneum allowing for cells to slough off more readily. The result is a reduction in the outermost layer, bringing to the surface a smoother, softer skin.

For obvious reasons,there is no point in treating the signs of aging if we are remiss about preventing further photo damage to the skin. For this reason The International Dermal Institute always recommends the use of a sunscreen with minimum SPF 15 to protect the skin from further damage and insult.

Dermalogica recommends face mapping analyses at your Beauty Therapist before you use any products or undergo any treatments. For your closest Dermalogica Skin Therapist contact Biocare Company Ltd on 800 74 100; email :;


23 July 2008

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