WHY DOES YOUR SKIN AGE?
There are two factors that affect the aging of the skin: extrinsic and intrinsic aging. Intrinsic or internal aging is biological aging that occurs with the passing of time. Extrinsic or external aging is the natural process of biological aging compiled with exterior causes such as sun exposure, air pollution, smoking, lifestyle, cosmetics and other allergens and lack of care. It is extrinsic aging that affects the appearance of the skin. The most damaging of all of these exterior causes is sunlight. In fact, it has been said that ninety percent of the aging of your skin is due to sun damage. If this is true, think of the control one has as to how much the skin actually ages.
Why is it that as we chronologically age, our ability to repair and recover from damage is much less? The primary reason is the damage caused to cells by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that take electrons from healthy molecules. This creates a cycle of more free radicals and more damaged cells.
WHAT CAUSES FREE-RADICAL DAMAGE?
Internal activity of free radicals is a natural process and the body will normally adjust to this. However, there are many outside factors that increase free-radical damage – number one is the sun and others include air pollution, smoking, foods, chemicals in everyday products and the air we breathe. So you can see that there is a constant barrage of intruders on our skin.
HOW DOES THIS AGE YOUR SKIN?
It is collagen that gives our skin its youthful appearance, but unfortunately it is also a primary target of free radicals. Collagen is a protein that forms a grid that holds other skin structures. Collagen fiber, when healthy, keeps the skin smooth and resilient, but becomes very stiff and brittle when damaged. This begins to give the skin a more aged appearance. Combined with free-radical damage are various other triggers, such as UVA rays from the sun, which create inflammation within cells and collagen-digesting enzymes. This process starts the formation of wrinkles.
Elastin is a protein and is a key molecule that affects the aging of the skin. It is more stretchable than collagen and adds to the resilience and elasticity of the skin.
Beyond the influence of free-radical damage, an area that must not be ignored pertaining to health and aging of the skin is nutrition.
Changing how you eat or adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet will not erase wrinkles and stop aging. Not surprising, a diet of junk food or no food will eventually affect your skin as well as many other organs of the body. Nutrition from within will encourage healthy cells but will not protect the skin from outside damage. This is why skin must have the correct topical skin nutrition. Deficiencies of certain nutrients - vitamin A, B-complex and essential fatty acids - are known to cause various forms of dermatitis and other skin conditions. Mild deficiencies may not directly affect the skin but may hinder the skin’s ability to heal and renew itself.
WHAT CAN YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENT TO REVERSE THE DAMAGE AND PREVENT FURTHER DETERIORATION?
Stress the importance of protecting the skin from the sun. The most effective anti-wrinkle cream you can offer is a sunblock. The best protection is a physical block that is natural, such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxides. Avoid the chemical sunscreen ingredient octyl methoxycinnamate (OCM).
Equally valuable is the use of nutrients that infuse into the tissue and support healthy cell development. Antioxidants are an answer to a healthier skin but a key consideration as to the effects of a topical antioxidant is its ability to penetrate. Important antioxidant ingredients are superoxide dismutase, plant-derived antioxidants, resveratrol (wine extracts), grape seed extracts, D-alpha tocopherol, L-ascorbic acid and beta-carotene.
SKIN PREPARATION IS ESSENTIAL
This is achieved with the appropriate treatment programs and a home care selection of effective daily skin care. The first step to rebuilding the skin is breaking it down. This is achieved through peeling. Once the skin has been peeled and healed, it is time to build it up with skin nutrition. Working with the skin in this manner is the key to success for most skins. Remember, an unhealthy body that is deficient in certain nutrients will not receive the benefits of skin rejuvenation in the same way a healthy body will.
For the novice I suggest adjusting your use of acids to lower strengths and substituting enzymes in place of high-strength acids.