Ageing may be inevitable but much can be done to keep skin looking young. Skin care is a science and delaying the effects of age and gravity to our skin is possible.
Collagen and elastin are proteins found in the connective tissue in our skin and are responsible for keeping skin young looking. Collagen helps in keeping the skin firm, and elastin helps the skin stretch and go back to its original shape. As people age, the supply of these proteins is reduced , and the result is sagging, thinner looking skin. The supply of collagen and elastin keeps skin young, so replenishing these is essential to skin health.
Vitamins, anti-oxidants and peptides can assist with this process. Vitamin A and E are excellent skin care vitamins.
Having a good supply of vitamin A in the skin will help accelerate skin renewal and healing. Retinoic acid, the active form of vitamin A, helps improve the skin’s elasticity and is used to treat wrinkles and age spots.
Vitamin E or Tocopherol, has several uses in reversing the process of skin ageing. It is an excellent moisturizer as well as an effective anti-inflammatory vitamin which reduces UVB induced sun damage (although Vitamin E is not a sunscreen in itself). Research also shows that Vitamin E protects the cells in the skin that are responsible for producing collagen, elastin and glycoproteins that are found in the skin. Replenishing these important proteins in the skin helps in reversing the skin ageing process.
Perhaps the most helpful benefit of Vitamin E is that it is a great antioxidant, helping protect the skin from free radicals from environmental pollution that our skin is always exposed to.
Vitamin C is another vitamin that assists in stimulating the production of collagen. It is optimal for pure vitamin C facial tonics to contain 20% concentration so as to be fully absorbed into the skin and therefore, be at its most optimal level.
Vitamin C is difficult to stabilize. When it is exposed to outside elements it oxidizes, and in its oxidized state, loses its effectiveness. Vitamin C serums therefore need to be stored in an opaque bottle and packaged in such a way that the exposure to air and sunlight is kept to a minimum.
Another breakthrough ingredient in skin care is Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the cells of the body, and is found in significant concentration in the skin. The skin accounts for more than half of the hyaluronic acid in our body. This compound is found both in the deeper dermal areas of the skin, as well as the epidermal top layer, which is the part visible to the eye.
Hyaluronic acid supplies continuous moisture to the skin by binding large amounts of water to the cells. The result is soft and supple skin that looks and feels youthful. In skin care products, hyaluronic acid is a safe and effective moisturizer that keeps the skin deeply hydrated and free from fine lines.
A good skin care system is not complicated, and it is effective as long as it is maintained on a regular basis.
The first step is to cleanse. There are several different types of skin – oily, dry, combination (dry and oily in the “T section”), and sensitive skin. A cleanser should be specific to skin type. Twice or three times a week, a gentle scrub can be used to exfoliate the skin.
The second step is to apply a serum. Wait a few minutes after cleansing and before applying serum. A serum is generally more potent than a moisturizer. Most serums are water based and have a greater concentration of anti-ageing ingredients.
For people with oily skin, serums alone are recommended. For people with dry skin a serum followed by a moisturizer better hydrates the skin.
If using a moisturizer as a third step, wait a few minutes between applying the serum and the moisturizer. The potent, active age-defying ingredients in the serum should be fully absorbed into the skin before using a moisturizer.
In the morning a sunscreen should also be used. The sun’s UVA and UVB rays are one of the biggest causes of accelerated ageing of the skin. These rays actually break down the fibers of the skin’s elastin and collagen, thereby causing the skin to sag faster and wrinkle more quickly. Frequent sun exposure causes a myriad of skin conditions including sun spots, sun allergy, polymorphous light eruption, melanoma, and skin cancer.
The final step in the evening is to remove makeup with an effective makeup remover.