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As our skin starts to age, we see two main concerns developing – loss offirmness,and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Loss of firmness or what is commonly referred to as ‘sagging’ of the skin, occurs naturally as we age. This is caused over time by the degradation the of collagen and elastin fibres in the matrix, whichactas a support system for the skin’s structure. Fine lines or ‘expression lines’, form along the lines that are created when we smile or frown. As the skin thins and starts to age, fine lines become permanent. Wrinkles are deeper lines in the face that occur over time, caused by ageing of the skin.  

The cause

What causes premature skin ageing?

Premature skin ageing is influenced by both, intrinsic and extrinsic factors that accumulate over a period of time. This leads to changes in the skin’s structure, function and appearance. Intrinsic ageing, also known as biological ageing, is caused by factors that are mostly out of our control such as genetics, DNA and metabolism. Extrinsic ageing, also known as environmental ageing, is caused by external factors. Studies show that 80% of premature skin ageing is attributed to environmental aggressors that we can control such as UV radiation, smoking, air pollution, diet, stress and sleep deprivation. 

Major Extrinsic Ageing Factors That Can Cause Oxidative Stress

Extrinsic Factors that cause oxidative stress

The main factor contributing to premature skin ageing is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Photoageing damages the structure of collagen and elastin fibres due to oxidative stress, causing them to become thinner and more irregular.

Our skin consists of three layers – the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis (the complex middle layer) and the hypodermis (which lies beneath the dermis). Inside the dermis is the dermal matrix, which contains collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. The dermis is what gives the skin with its structural framework and elasticity. 

  • Collagen is what gives our skin strength and structure, and is constructed of strands of procollagen (fibrils) that twist around each other like a rope.
  • Elastin is the protein in the body’s connective tissue that provides our skin with elasticity. Elastin strands form a web-like structure within the dermal matrix, allowing tissues to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. 

As skin ages, the fibroblast cells responsible for the synthesis of collagen and elastin within the dermal matrix, start to decrease and can become dysfunctional. As these collagen and elastin fibres degrade, skin becomes thinner, drier (as less hyaluronic acid is produced in the skin) and less elastic, resulting in a loss of its youthful lustre. 

Young vs ageing skin

The Treatment

How to address premature skin ageing

  • Ensure you wear a minimum of SPF 30 daily. Use a SPF 50+ when outdoors for long periods of time.
  • Minimise your exposure to environmental aggressors such as smoke and air pollution. The Ultra Antioxidant Complex helps to protect the skin by reducing toxic free radicals and minimising their potential for causing damage.
  • Ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep and eating a balanced healthy diet.
  • Apply Vitamin C – Recent research suggests that topical Vitamin C can initiate the production of collagen and elastin, as well as assisting in maintaining the dermal matrix. Applying a topical Vitamin C results in much higher levels in the skin than by oral ingestion.
  • Apply topical Vitamin A products to support hyaluronic acid production in the skin.
  • Book in for regular professional skin treatments which can help to smooth, plump and retexturise the skin, and stimulate the skins’ own renewal of collagen and elastin levels

Key Ingredient Spotlight: Retinol

Retinol (Vitamin A) has been scientifically proven to be the most effective ingredient for improving the signs of skin ageing. The main benefits are:

  • Refines - increasing cell turnover.
  • Plumps - Increases collagen synthesis and epidermal thickness.
  • Perfects – Regulates oil secretion. 

By increasing cell turn over, Retinol can help the skin’s surface to appear more refined. This skin renewal action makes Retinol ideal to tackle other key skin concerns such as age spots, acne and photodamaged skin. 

Studies show that one of the main ways in which retinol works is by inducing the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid within the dermal layer of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is an essential component of the dermal matrix, along with collagen and elastin. As we age, our skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid starts to slow, which attributes to the thinning of the dermal matrix. 

Hyaluronic acid is a water-binding molecule that works within the dermal matrix to help plump out the dermis and repair the signs of photoageing such as thinning of the skin. As a result of skin plumping, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface are decreased. 

Young vs ageing skin

Key Ingredients spotlight: Pure Vitamin C

Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) works to combat skin ‘sagging’ by boosting resilience and firmness with Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid). Along with Pure Vitamin C, the range also includes complimentary ingredients that work together to support the production of the skin’s own renewal of collagen and elastin.

Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)

• Promotes collagen synthesis
• Helps to prevent premature skin ageing
• Provides environmental protection
• Firms & smooths

Pure Vitamin C

Shop products for fine lines & wrinkles

The Ultraceuticals range uses cosmeceutical-grade ingredients to tackle the key signs of ageing including fine lines and wrinkles and loss of firmness. 

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