As our skin starts to age, we see two main concerns developing – loss of firmness, 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 of collagen and elastin fibres in the matrix, which act as 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.
What causes premature skin ageing?
Premature skin ageing is influenced by both, intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) 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 stressors 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
The main factor contributing to premature skin ageing is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and is called photoageing. 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.
How to Maintain Healthy 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 stressors such as smoke and air pollution.
- Ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep and eating a balanced healthy diet.
- Apply Vitamin C – it has been demonstrated that applying topical vitamin C assists the appearance of firmer, denser, younger-looking skin.
- Apply topical Vitamin A products to help provide more youthful looking skin.
- Book in for regular professional skin treatments which can help to smooth, plump and retexturise the skin.
Key Ingredient Spotlight: Retinol
Retinol (Vitamin A) has been shown to help improve the visible signs of premature skin ageing. It can help the skin look rejuvenated and renewed, and diminish the appearance of age spots and pigmentation.
Key Ingredients spotlight: Pure Vitamin C
The Ultra C Range helps the skin look firmer and more resilient. A blend of pure Vitamin C and complementry ingredients work to give the appearance of rejuvenated and renewed skin.
Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)
• Helps to reduce the appearance of premature skin ageing
• Has antioxidant properties
• Firms & smooths
Did you know? Pure vitamin C is easily recognised and readily absorbed by the skin, compared to other derivatives and forms of vitamin C.
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The Ultraceuticals range uses cosmeceutical-grade ingredients to tackle the key signs of ageing including fine lines and wrinkles and loss of firmness.Shop Now