Skin ageing is a natural but inevitable process that, unfortunately, we can’t stop. With time, we all get more and more visible lines, that become even more prominent the thinner and drier our skin gets. Our facial contours start losing its youthful fullness. The skin appears dull and lifeless. Why is that? Variety of factors contribute to the speed at which we age, some of them are down to genetics and medical conditions, others we can and should try to keep under control to keep our skin looking as young as possible for as long as possible. Certain poor lifestyle choices cause the skin to prematurely age, and this is something we definitely have influence over.
So, if we can’t stop this train on its way to its final destination “Mature Skin”, should we just let it go express speed and complain about the pace at which new wrinkles come up? No. We should try and slow it down to freight train speed by loading it up with lots of little bundles of things that we CAN do to prevent premature ageing.
Types of bundles that we can throw into our “ageing” train to slow it down in its tracks:
1. UV Protection
Why? Collagen is crucial for the elasticity of the skin. UV light damages the collagen fibres in the skin causing them to break down at a faster pace at the same time ruining the foundation our skin is built on. Studies show that total collagen content of sun damaged skin is 20% less than skin that was protected over the years. Scary? ;) Protect, protect and protect. Whether spending a day by the pool or running errands, UV protection is the key. Summer or winter, hot or cold, you should never leave the house without a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 and reapply every 2 hours if you remain outdoors.
2. Instead of getting a real tan, get a spray tan.
Every time you get a real tan from the sun or tanning bed, you prematurely age your skin. Both sun and sunbed emit harmful UV rays that speed up the ageing of our skin. UVA (sunbeds) and UVB (rays that actually tan our skin) are responsible for 90 percent of the symptoms of premature skin aging, and that is wrinkles, dryness, blotchiness and easy bruising. How? UV light damages our elastin fibers in the skin and we need those guys to enable our skin to snap back into shape after stretching. If you experience sagging and early wrinkles, you know what to blame for it ;)
3. Stop smoking
I bet if we had a device showing people what they were going to look like in 10 years time if they keep smoking or if they quit smoking – we wouldn’t have half as many smokers. According to the studies, heavy smokers are nearly five times more likely to be wrinkled early than non-smokers. Again, damage to our collagen is the main culprit here. Our skins collagen naturally decreases at the rate of about 1 percent per year roughly from the age of 30, but if you smoke you are losing your collagen at much higher rate. Smoking creates collagen-destroying enzymes, diminishing collagen production hence early wrinkles. In addition, nicotine causes the blood vessels to contract, depriving your skin of the flow of oxygen by as much as 30 percent giving you the “lovely” pale and grey dull complexion. So unless you want to look like your husband’s mom, say good bye to cigarettes today.
4. Avoid repetitive facial expressions
This may sound weird but avoiding repetitive facial expressions does the trick too. To make a facial expression, you contract the underlying muscles. Same muscles repeatedly contracted for many years make these expression lines permanent.Easier said than done? I’m not saying stop smiling, but e.g. start wearing sun glasses to reduce the lines from squinting!
5. Don’t drink alcohol. Drink water.
According to New York nutritionist, Jairo Rodriguez, alcohol causes a huge amount of damage to the skin. As alcohol seeps into our body, it affects any mucous membrane from the pancreas and liver to the skin. First of all, it takes all the fluid out of the skin. If you compare the skin of a woman who has been drinking for 20 or 30 years, and the skin of a woman the same age who hasn’t at all, there is a massive difference – if we keep our skin dehydrated for years – those dehydration lines become permanent. Also, alcohol creates inflammation in the body (read: skin here), inflammation creates a histamine reaction - that creates the flushing of the skin. At first you think, oh I’m a little red, not a big deal, but over a period of time - six months, a year, two years - if you continue drinking, your facial redness is not going anywhere and stays for good. Another scary fact is that skin regeneration mechanisms weaken with age so, when you’re 20 years old and drink, that drink leaves your body in about 3 hours. When you’re 40 - it takes an average of 33 hours. And obviously the longer it stays, the bigger the damage. Ok ok.. back to the bundles.. Minimize your drink to once a week—the lower the intake, the lower the damage to your skin. And if you’re going to drink, drink water with it to increase that diuretic effect to try and get rid of it quicker. It’s an old mothers tale, but who listens to what mother is saying?
To learn more on the best products we have available at Millies to target ageing of the skin and the best of our Facial Treatments to target it also, keep an eye on our social media pages this month!