Inflammation + ageing = inflammaging.
Chronic, persistent inflammation could be the cause of your premature ageing.
That’s right. Underlying inflammation weakens your skin structure, degrading collagen and elastin fibres.
So one of the most impactful things you can do to slow the effects of ageing is to find ways to get off that hamster wheel of inflammaging.
What is inflammation?
The words skin ‘inflammation’ and ‘irritation’ gets thrown around these days.
Suddenly it seems everyone is drinking turmeric lattes in a bid to diffuse inflammation, which is to say a lot, but with minimal context.
Maybe you’ve heard it from your dermatologist or your doctor? While you can accept that this is a thing now—but how, why, and what can you do about it?
Well, if your skin is irritated, there is usually low-grade inflammation going on under your skin, which is a defence mechanism.
Inflammation serves as your body’s way of protecting itself against injury. When foreign bodies enter your skin, the body issues an immune response that causes redness, swelling, warmth, and pain, which usually subsides after a few days.
However, chronic inflammation, on the other hand, doesn’t stop. When it occurs on a loop system, it can cause damage that puts stress on cellular processes, accelerating the ageing process.
A good example of this is when you are exposed to pollution daily, your skin doesn’t get a break and have an opportunity to repair itself fully and heal, so it is in a constant state of mild inflammation.
What causes our skin to become irritated?
Today we are often inundated by stressors – whether that’s environmental or in the form of UV or pollution, lack of sleep, alcohol, smoking, or poor diet.
Inflammation is our body’s natural defence mechanism to combat the effects of these stressors. As we age, our body becomes less efficient at turning off’ these inflammatory responses, and your body goes into a chronic low-grade inflammatory status that damages tissue.”
An increasing amount of research over the past decade has proven that inflammation is the common thread that ties together many of today’s common ailments and debilitating disorders.
We are talking everything from sensitive skin to psoriasis and acne inflammation, to allergies, depression, autoimmune problems, and even arthritis.
Even that vague brain fog you’ve been experiencing can be attributed to some level of inflammation. In fact, any of the following can cause your skin to become irritated?
- low mood
- hay fever
- spicy food
- harsh products
- environmental pollutants
- parfum/essential oils
How do you reduce skin irritations?
All of this can impair your skin’s immunity, making it susceptible to invading bacteria and causing once plump and healthy, moisture-loving cells to become dry and brittle.
With such a maddeningly diverse list of triggers, you could be forgiven for wondering how to treat underlying irritations and inflammation.
The crucial key to addressing these triggers is to support and maintain a healthy lipid barrier; if your skin’s protective layer is impaired, microbes, allergens, and other irritants can enter the skin, creating inflammation.
There are several key steps that you can take to help reduce your skin irritation:
- avoid astringent ingredients
- avoid using harsh exfoliants
- don’t use chemical peels on your skin
- use a muslin cloth to remove makeup
- always protect your skin from UV
- refrain from using soap on your skin
- steer clear of fragrances and essential oils
- cover-up, ultraviolet light it causes inflammation
- avoid all harsh beauty treatments, such as micro-dermabrasion
By maintaining your barrier function at its peak performance level, the damaging effects of environment and lifestyle on your skin can be controlled.
Avoid the following irritants.
Synthetic fragrance: This is the number one cause of allergic reactions to products. Try to avoid skincare products containing the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the ingredient listing.
SD Alcohol 40, Denatured Alcohol, Ethanol, and Isopropyl Alcohol: These are commonly found in toners and other formulas, especially for oily skin types, and should be avoided.
Sodium or Lauryl Sulfate: These are commonly found in cleansers and are extremely drying to the skin.
All of the Naked Chemist products are formulated without any of these irritating ingredients.
As you can see, there is a huge array of skin irritations that can occur, including eczema, psoriasis, UV, environmental pollutants, and more, that can lead to your skin becoming sensitive.
But not only will your skin be irritated, we now know if you are not careful, but your skin can also age prematurely due to this low-grade inflammation.
Many manufacturers are aware that certain ingredients can cause skin irritations, so why they continue to use such ingredients we are unsure; maybe it’s because such ingredients are cost-effective, or maybe it is simply because they really don’t know the difference.
As manufacturers of skincare, here at the Naked Chemist, we believe we have a responsibility to our customers to pay attention to these harmful ingredients’ irritant potential.
If we are to, truly make a difference through our skincare products and achieve long-term health for our customer’s skin.