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If there`s one inevitability in life, it`s that we`re getting older every minute and every second. It`s true that no one can invent a time machine, but we can shift decades by prepping our skin and taking good care of it.
Ageing of the skin is influenced by two main processes. The first is chronological ageing, which gradually progresses as time passes. Chronological ageing is predetermined in our genes, hence it is also called genetic or internal ageing. The second ageing mechanism is induced by the external environment – sun radiation, pollution, chemical exposure, also lifestyle, is called external ageing or also environmental, urban ageing.
The genetic ageing of the skin is characterised by reduced cell renewal and decreased functionality. The skin gradually becomes thinner, dryer, with reduced firmness (tissue ptosis) and lines. Clinical signs of genetic ageing may be relatively subtle and may become apparent relatively late in life. On the contrary, the signs of environmental ageing can be more prominent – deep wrinkles, pigmentation heterogeneity. Environment and lifestyle (smoking, stress) is responsible for early skin ageing.
OUR NATURALLY BUILT-IN TIME MACHINE
With advanced age, the second ageing mechanism – chronological ageing – starts to manifest itself more prominently. To understand how time damages appearance, it is important to stress that skin begins with skin cells. They synthesise all essential structural molecules of the skin (e.g. collagen). Skin cells get tired over time, decreasing the speed of regeneration with every year. As we age, cell growth rates start to drop. inducing unwelcomed changes of skin structure and function. The external factors, sun, pollution, free-radicals amplify the damage – the skin starts to sag and bag.
Fortunately, some factors contributing to chronological ageing can be minimised. Scientists agree that maintaining normal cellular proliferation or cell growth is one of the keys to preserving skin integrity and youthfulness.
In vitro studies show that multiple plant-origin active ingredients can significantly stimulate the growth rates of skin cells and reduce their age. In other words, tired cells can be motivated to regenerate by feeding them with nutrients that give them energy to divide. It results in a larger number of younger and healthier cells which are more capable of synthesising all essential components of the dermal matrix, including collagen and elastin.
We want the skin to look as healthy as possible for as long as possible – it`s a mindful form of skincare and the only approach for ageing gracefully. Skin is like a fabric – you can cut it and sew it in different ways, but you can`t change the quality of it by knife and needle powered treatments. This is why the daily regimen of antioxidant, SPF, vitamin and other skin-boosting ingredient packed products is the best way of how to control the amount and activity of functioning skin cells.
The environment is no paradise for the skin and we can observe it early enough. Starting from our late 20s and early 30s we might notice that the skin starts to change. We can observe the first signs of ageing as fine lines around the eye area, increased skin dryness reduced moisture, lack of plumpness and enlarged pores due to collagen breakdown. We might also see pigmentation spots that start to appear. These early signs, which become more prominent with time, are caused by free radicals, the No. 1 enemy of the skin’s youthfulness.
Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen molecules, generated mainly by environmental pollution, solar radiation and chemicals. Millions of free radicals attack our skin every day, causing premature ageing.
ANTIOXIDANTS, SKIN SUPERHEROES
Luckily, there’s a defence mechanism against free radical damage – antioxidants. Scientists also agree on the role of antioxidants to reduce the effects of environmental damage. Antioxidants interact with free radicals, preventing harm to healthy skin structures, and work in 3 different ways:
THEY SUPRESS THE FORMATION OF FREE RADICALS
THEY NEUTRALISE THOSE FREE RADICALS THAT HAVE BEEN FORMED
THEY MAY ALSO REPAIR THE DAMAGE CAUSED TO SKIN CELLS
Many essential antioxidants must be supplied through diet and topically – with skincare products. To protect skin from free radical damage, topical application is considered more effective than oral intake. Many plants contain extraordinarily high concentrations of precious antioxidants thus plant extract-based skincare provides efficient protection against environment and premature ageing, and also promotes the skin’s resilience and glow.
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