Anti ageing should be all about addressing the triggers that lead to ageing
Instead of trying to reverse them.
Can you really change your wrinkle destiny?
Is it possible to reverse fine line and the hands of time naturally?
Is there a miracle cure in the jar I have not heard about? A weapon that I should have in my anti-ageing arsenal, that will play a role in how my skin holds up over the years?
These are the types of questions I am often asked around ageing.
Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, even if that does get me BURNED at the STAKE and labelled a HERETIC.
But the real answer to these questions is no, once these visible signs are etched on your skin, no topical cream used in isolation is realistically going to reverse them.
Your skincare routine should be about using a synergy of ingredients through different formulas and be all about being preventative, and the sooner you get started the better for warding off premature ageing.
But with so much misinformation out there, I feel cit is important to sort through all the confusion and set the record straight for my readers.
Why you may ask, do I feel so qualified to make such a sweeping statement? In the 20 plus years, I have been treating clients’ skin, I have never come across a natural anti-ageing product or treatment that completely eradicates wrinkles.
Yes, that’s right, despite what clever marketing companies want you to believe, there is no holy grail that will instantly diminish your wrinkles.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is so tempting from a marketing perspective to join the masses and produce a product that says it will fight ageing, but when I started out on my Naked Chemist journey, I made a commitment to always be authentic and honest, and remain firmly rooted in education and fact.
As a skincare specialist, I refuse to sacrifice my credibility by making a promise that is clearly nonsensical. From an entirely personal perspective, I would love to know how to stop ageing in its tracks; but having performed thousands of facials I know the best approach is first and foremost preventative.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t some fascinating ingredients like vitamin A and peptides that I mention below, which will help to delay the ageing process – that coupled with the discoveries scientists are making in the biochemical triggers that lead to skin ageing, such as wrinkles, pigmentation, and loss of skin tone is certainly exciting – but at this stage, it is just “hope in a jar”.
Why do wrinkles occur?
To understand the physiology of the ageing face further, we need to go under our skin:
Wrinkles are a result of a reduction in muscle mass and skin thickness. Cross-linking of collagen and elastin in the dermis, and dehydration of the outer layer of your skin, create visible wrinkles on the surface and a loss of mechanical strength and elasticity.
There are three known triggers that lead to ageing
- free radicals, technically referred to as Reactive Oxygen Species or ROS
- the enzymes that create Matrix Metalloproteinases or MMPs
- advanced Glycation End Products (aptly named AGEs)
Understanding free radicals (ROS).
Scientists are able to measure their activity with special equipment, and what they found is that millions of free radicals are forming every single second of every day.
These free radicals attack and react with stable skin cell molecules, leading to the cross-linking of elastin and collagen the cause of all those pesky wrinkles, they also lessen you’re skin’s ability to repair itself, which not only leads to ageing, but disease and inflammation.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)
Did you know, by the time you reach your 30th birthday, every year after that you lose 1% of collagen which leads to sagging skin?
MMPs are activated by UV exposure or inflammation; they contribute to the breakdown of collagen while inhibiting new collagen formation, this article does a really good job of explaining how MMP’s behave on your skin.
Advanced glycation end products (Ages)
What do you get when you put sugar and milk on a stove? Sticky caramel.
That’s right folks, sugar in your bloodstream has the same effect on collagen. When sugar and collagen – the biggest protein in your body – combine, it leads to toughened, aged skin known as AGEs. When a protein like the type we find in our skin comes into close proximity with sugar in our diet, glycation begins.
To simplify this – if you pour milk in with sugar and put it into a pan and turn up the heat, it becomes thick and sticky, creating caramel; this is an Advanced Glycation End Product, which is what happens in our skin and around our heart when we eat too much sugar, leading to hardening of the arteries.
And when you consider caramel and the density it has, and that your skin could become hard and form like this, then we need to seriously think about reducing our dietary intake of sugar.
Sadly, there is not much we can do about damaging AGEs once they have formed in our skin.
They throw off dangerous free radicals, triggering inflammation and cross-linking collagen fibres, which is at the root of all premature ageing, so it is important to nip it in the bud and prevent it from happening in the first place.
Key areas in ageing
The treatment of skin ageing used to rely on addressing the structural manifestations of photo-aged skin, such as loss of elasticity and wrinkles; today, we can more effectively treat this skin condition by addressing the actual biochemical reactions that trigger these structural changes.
Understanding the structural changes that occur in our skin and the biochemical reactions that trigger them, makes us better equipped to effectively treat and control the signs of ageing.
Certainly, research into peptides like copper peptides and arginine has been the hottest area in ageing for some time and will no doubt continue to be – arginine is a peptide that acts as a sugar trap; its role is to bind sugar that would normally react with proteins that form Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), and so they work to prevent AGEs from forming in the first place.
There is also an amazing body of scientific data that supports the incredible use of Retinols and their role in fighting the signs of ageing, in fact, no other ingredient has been studied so extensively and has the data to support its ability to reverse some of the signs of ageing.
Many of the leading universities have been testing Retinol over a number of years, and their research is showing quite phenomenal results in skincare products. A+ Retinoid Complex is the perfect choice; it not only targets free radicals but also addresses signs of premature ageing.
There is also Vitamin C, too much to discuss in this article, but it has some truly remarkable benefits when it comes to preventing premature ageing.
The naked truth
Personally, my approach to anti-ageing is PREVENTATIVE rather than CURATIVE. We often work on this when it comes to our body, so why shouldn’t the same apply to our skin?
To me, this makes total sense, because there is so much more power in preventative than curative, where you are continually trying to play catch up.
So why not start today, by introducing preventative work into your daily skincare routine, using intelligent products like H2O Hydrating Complex which contains important skin-identical ingredients like hyaluronic acid and urea that deplete as we age.
It makes sense to replenish these ingredients topically, to ward off premature ageing, keeping your skin youthful, protected and hydrated, for now, and many years to come.