What is ageing?
Unfortunately, the ageing process is inevitable. We all age and several things happen to our skin during this process. Let’s delve into what happens and then look into ways to help reduce the signs of ageing.
Cell turnover reduces
As we age, the cell turnover slows down. In people under 20, the cell turnover takes approximately 14days. In a healthy 20 - 40 year old, it increases to approximately 28days. As we age into 40-60 years, the cell turn over slows down to up to 56days.
The slowing down of cell turnover causes dead cells to accumulate on the surface giving the skin a dull and dehydrated appearance. They can also block the pores leading to breakouts of spots or acne flare up.
Degradation of fat pads
The fat pads in particular the cheek area start diminishing and pulling downwards creating the jowls. This can also lead to hollowness under the eyes and create dark circles and a tired look.
Sebaceous glands produce less oil
This leads to reduced oil production hence dryness in the skin.
Changes in the connective tissue
Connective tissue is where the collagen and other molecules like the glycoaminoglycans (or GAG proteins) live. A well-known GAG is hyaluronic acid. Together these provide the skin with strength and elasticity as well as hydration. A reduction of collagen and hyaluronic acid leads to fine lines and wrinkles as well as dehydration. Imagine a grape that is shrivelled into a raisin.
Things that speed up ageing
To make it worse there are several things that speed up ageing. These include the damaging effects of ultra violet radiation from the sun, pollution, stress, and diet.
Ways to help anti-ageing
The good news is there are things we can do to help reduce the signs of ageing. Two main things are having a good home skin care routine, and suitable in-clinic treatment options.
Skin care routine
There are many things to help with anti-ageing but I’ll mention three:
Broad spectrum sunscreen - If there was only one thing I could advise to reduce the signs of ageing it would be broad spectrum sunscreen. The sun’s ultra violet rays are one of biggest source of ageing and by protecting against them, you are helping your skin immensely.
Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant fighting the signs of ageing as well as helping brighten the skin.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative and helps increase cell turnover and promotes collagen production.
These will depend on your skin type, what you have currently been doing to help your skin and where in the ageing process you are. A full consultation will help you discuss the best options for you. A few examples are:
Chemical peel is like a deep exfoliation and helps stimulate new collagen production.
Micro-needling is a little more invasive and induces the wound healing process which generates new cells and collagen production.
Dermal fillers can help replace the volume loss
Anti-wrinkle treatment can reduce dynamic wrinkles