Think about a baby’s skin; they’re born with a healthy, glowing complexion.
But as we age, the health of our skin is influenced by several factors.
The environment, our internal environment, our genetic disposition.
Transforming our skincare routine to suit the seasons, we regularly do.
But changing it to suit our age can be a challenge.
Anatomy of Ageing Skin
To understand how to treat our skin with effective anti-ageing ingredients, it is important to understand the physiological changes taking place, so join us as we get technical and journey under the skin.
Although skin has many layers, it can generally be divided into three main parts:
- the epidermis contains skin cells, pigment, and proteins.
- the dermis contains blood vessels, oil glands, nerves, follicles, and provides nutrients to the epidermis.
- the inner layer, the subcutaneous layer, contains sweat glands, follicles, and blood vessels
Each layer contains connective tissue with collagen and elastin fibres to give support, flexibility, and strength.
Unlike the skin on your body, which lies in sheets over the muscles, your facial skin is knitted to the musculature structure. These fingers of muscles protrude up into the dermis, which is interestingly what gives your face its extraordinary range of facial expressions.
Exactly how and when your face folds or creases to allow for such movement, is determined by your genes and facial habits, which develop over a lifetime.
With ageing skin, the outer layer – the epidermis – thins, and your skin can look pale and clear.
The number of pigment-containing cells – the melanocytes – begin to decrease, and the remaining melanocytes increase in size. Large pigmented spots, including age spots or lentigos, may appear in sun-exposed areas.
Cushioned beneath our protective outer layer of skin, lays the dermis. We liken the dermis to our internal scaffolding; it is deep and spongy and consists of a gel-like substance containing molecules known as Glycoproteins, Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and water.
- roughly 95% of the dermis is made up of collagen
- roughly 3% makes up the elastin
Elastin is made from springy, fibrous coils that provide support and give structure to your dermis, giving your skin that firm, elastic feel that helps it snap quickly back into place.
Within the dermis lies a complex, supportive, unseen network of connective tissue, collagen, elastin, nerves, and fibroblasts – all of which forms a firm, resilient base for our epidermis, helping to keep your skin, plump, and youthful.
The blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile, leading to bruising and bleeding under your skin, referred to as senile purpura, cherry angiomas, and other similar conditions.
Sebaceous glands produce less oil in ageing skin, especially in women who gradually begin to produce less oil after menopause. This can make it harder to keep the skin moisturised, resulting in dryness and irritation.
The Subcutaneous – Fat Layer
This layer begins to thin; it has less insulation and padding, increasing your risk of skin injury and reducing your ability to maintain body temperature.
Changes in the connective tissue visibly reduce your skin’s strength and elasticity, referred to as elastosis. It is more noticeable in sun-exposed areas, known as solar elastosis. Elastosis produces the leathery, weather-beaten appearance common to those who spend a large amount of time sunbathing or outdoors.
Collagen, GAGs, and water form your skin’s foundation. The formation and repair of collagen are among the most important factors in maintaining perfect skin; it retains water within the dermis structure and helps to maintain the strength and flexibility of your skin.
If our dermis is our internal scaffolding, collagen is the biological role which supports your skin. It comprises small collagen fibres called tropocollagen, which contain the amino acids glycine, proline, and lysine.
Young skin also contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid. The body requires these molecules to help bind water in the tissues of your skin, yet all of this starts to decline with age, in the following ways:
- skin becomes drier
- skin starts to thin
- skin is less able to restore itself
- skins integrity becomes impaired
- skin tone and texture is significantly reduced
- a lack of collagen formation and GAG concentration results in a loss of hydration
All of which starts to show in your skin from the age of forty to fifty.
All of the Naked Chemist products within our range have been created with skin-identical ingredients that deplete over time with ageing skin.
By topically applying these important ingredients – ceramides, urea, hyaluronic acid, lipids, and more – you can begin to reverse some of the damage done caused by free radicals ward off premature ageing.