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 will play a role in how my skin holds up over the years?
These are the types of questions our clients often ask us.
Now, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, even if that does get us 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 erase them, despite what clever marketing companies want you to believe, there is no holy grail that will instantly diminish your wrinkles.
Skincare should be preventative rather than curative.
Your skincare routine should be about using a synergy of ingredients through different formulas and be all about being preventative. The sooner you get started, the better for warding off premature ageing.
Why, you may ask, do we feel so qualified to make such a sweeping statement? In the 20 plus years we have been treating clients’ skin, we have never come across a natural anti-ageing product or treatment that completely eradicates wrinkles.
Now, don’t get us wrong, it is so tempting from a marketing perspective to join the masses and produce a product that says it will cure ageing, but when we embarked on our Naked Chemist journey, we made a commitment to always to be authentic and honest, and remain firmly rooted in education and fact.
As for skincare specialists, we refuse to sacrifice our credibility by making clearly nonsensical promises. Of course, we would love to know how to stop ageing in its tracks, but having performed thousands of facials over the years, we know the best approach is first and foremost preventative.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t some fascinating ingredients available such as Vitamin A and Peptides, which we mention below. These, 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), are certainly exciting – but at this stage, it is still “hope in a jar”.
So, because of all the misinformation out there, we wanted to sort through all the confusion and set the record straight once and for all for our readers.
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 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.
Three known triggers 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)
These are dangerous little oxygen molecules. Any time you are exposed to UV radiation, pollution, smoking, drinking, or poor food choices, you are triggering these dangerous free radicals.
Scientists can measure their activity with special equipment, and what they found was that millions of free radicals are forming every second of every day.
These free radicals attack and react with stable skin cell molecules, leading to oxidation, which creates cross-linking of collagen and elastin – the cause of all those pesky wrinkles. They also lessen your 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?
MMPs are activated by UV exposure or inflammation; they contribute to collagen’s breakdown while inhibiting new collagen formation; this article does an excellent job of explaining how MMPs 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 a type we find in our skin comes into 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, we need to think about reducing our dietary intake of sugar seriously.
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 the first place.
When glycation occurs in the industry as sugar face, this article explains it in greater detail.
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; lately, we are finding we can more effectively treat ageing by addressing the actual biochemical reactions that trigger these structural changes. Understanding these structural changes and the biochemical reactions that trigger them makes us better equipped to effectively treat and control ageing signs.
Certainly, research into peptides – including arginine and copper peptides – has been the hottest area in ageing for some time and will no doubt continue to be. Copper peptides found in our DNA Age Delay Complex help to re-densify a thin, fragile skin. 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 several years, and their research shows quite phenomenal results in skincare products. On the back of this research, we created A+ Retinoid Complex; it is the perfect choice for targeting free radicals and addressing the many signs of premature ageing.
There is also Vitamin C, and there are too many benefits to discuss in one article – we have done a good job of breaking this down in the clinical advice section here, where you can read about many of the truly remarkable benefits of Vitamin C when it comes to preventing premature ageing.
Hydration is also essential when it comes to being preventative. It is super important to keep your skin consistently hydrated to keep the hydro-lipid film on your skin healthy.
As we age, humectants like urea and hyaluronic acid deplete quite significantly. This is why I emphasise replenishing them topically, which you can do with our well-thought-out formula H₂O Hydrating Complex, which will keep your skin hydrated, plump, and youthful.
As discussed above, our approach to anti-ageing is PREVENTATIVE rather than CURATIVE. We often have this approach to our body, so why don’t we apply the same principle to the skin on our face?
This makes complete sense to us because there is so much more power in preventative than curative, where you are continually trying to play catch up.
Using intelligent products with ingredients like peptides, vitamin A and vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and urea, which all deplete naturally as we age, is the key to ward off the hands of time.
So, no matter what your age, why not begin today with a well thought out skincare routine to ward off premature ageing, and keep your skin youthful, protected and hydrated, for now and many years to come?