Let's talk about aging skin and anti-aging skincare products.
Admittingly, I'm writing this post because I've been curious about it myself. I've often had the thought, "I'm only 31, if I start using anti-aging products now, what the heck am I going to do later?!"
Then an esthetician on our Beautycounter team shared she started anti-aging products in her early 20s and I exhaled a sigh of relief.
So, first things first. Let's just put it out there... we are all aging. Right now! In fact, the last couple chats I've had with my college best friends (shout-out PSU besties!) we've talked about how we hit 30 and suddenly our eyes turned into raisins, everything seemed dry, and well, we just started looking (and feeling) older.... but we actually squeezed 5 more years out of that "age" (more on that later).
WHAT HAPPENS TO SKIN AS WE AGE?
Let's not make this super complicated. Your skin has 3 layers. The middle layer, called the dermis, allows you to sweat, grow hair, make oil, and it also has an extracellular matrix (ECM) of proteins, containing collagen and elastin. As the name implies, this matrix provides elasticity, however, there are also components responsible for cell turnover and remodeling.
Over time, the ECM loses its integrity as the protein structures break down and lose their connections. This causes a reduction in elasticity and a loss of skin tone.
At the age of 25, production of collagen and elastin slows down and pigmentation becomes more apparent. This is truly when we should start preventative measures.
By midlife, the quantity of hyaluronic acid decreases too, in addition to subcutaneous fat, blood vessels, and more. (Another reason why I love having HA in many of BC's products!)
As we enter menopause, our skin changes again with dermis and epidermis becoming even thinner, but don't fret totally because the skin also becomes a bit more stable at this stage.
It's a progression of slowing down the production of collagen, natural acids, etc and becoming "weaker" so to speak... let's chat about WHY, outside of our natural aging process.
CAUSES OF AGING
Sun worshipers, I'm about to demoralize you. Sun exposure and UV Light makes aging much worse because UV light damages that ECM, specifically elastin, causing the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to "bounce back."
Oxidative Stress/Free Radicals
We hear the term "free radicals," but what are they? Channel HS chemistry: free radicals are unstable molecules causing damage inside your body.
They are basically angry gang members, looking to steal an electron from another molecule in the body to balance themselves, which causes that other molecule to die, break, or become a free radical itself, causing the cycle to repeat. (Too much Peaky Blinders lately, I'm on the look-out to throw in a gang reference HA!).
What causes oxidative stress and free radicals?
UV rays (aka sun again!) + Blue light exposure
Bad diet/nutrition (especially vegetable oils)
Circadian rhythm dysregulation
5 TIPS YOU CAN START TO HELP YOUR AGING SKIN
1. Apply (Mineral) Sunscreen Religiously.
Protect your skin from the sun's damage every day, especially if you play on being in the sun for more than 15 minutes a day. I apply SPF to my face every day (using this tinted moisturizer or this sunscreen).
I allow my body 10-15 minutes "naked" in the sun for Vitamin D, and then apply a mineral sunscreen every 2 hours (which is a physical barrier and works immediately). My new favorite is the tinted sunscreen in medium/deep.
2. Eat Antioxidants + Collagen Peptides
Antioxidants help with cofactors to combat the stress of oxidative stress in the body. Think brightly colored produce, nuts, teas, fish.
Collagen Peptides are great for skin, nails, and hair. Add to a warm drink, smoothie, yogurt, etc every day for a natural boost of collagen!. You'll notice a difference in your nails especially.
3. Good Sleep Hygiene
Aim for a predictable sleep schedule, avoid blue light at night, and enjoy time in the sun during the day to help sync your rhythm.
4. Stress-Reduction Practices
Stress (in my opinion) is a KEY factor in all disease in the body. Including stress practices or removing stressors as much as possible in your daily life is critical. We are meant to live with acute stress, not chronic stress all day long.
My favorites: journaling, therapy, yoga, leaving my phone for hours at a time, reading, spending time with family, living with "less" (meaning we don't need as much $ or stress from jobs).
5. Start a Skincare Routine
Of course, I needed to include that using products designed to help with age prevention or reversal can help the aging process. Aging gracefully routines will restore, protect, and regenerate your skin... but starting ANY type of consistent, protective routine will help the aging process.
I'm super excited to share Beautycounter's newest "Better with Age" line called Countertime, available July 9th, 2019.
The technology in this line includes a blend called Retinatural Complex: a safe version of Retinol (which is not your best option for anti-aging skin, more here!). It's a blend of Bakuchiol, which repairs the skin without irritation, and Swiss Alpine Rose, which protects the skin against dehydration and boosts skin's antioxidant defense.
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