Premature skin ageing, how to prevent it
Published: 5 October, 2022 | 4'
What is premature ageing?
When changes in the skin, such as the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes, appear that do not correspond to the biological age of the person (often after the age of 35), it is known as premature ageing.
The process of skin ageing happens as our biological age increases, and depends on genetics and our race (called internal factors).
But the appearance and health of the skin is not always directly related to the age of the individual, as it can be affected by external factors, such as poor diet.
Causes of premature ageing
As we have said, the process of skin ageing is affected by external and internal factors and their interactions, as well as the response of the body to these factors.
External or environmental factors that may affect the appearance and health of the skin can be divided into the following main groups:
- Solar radiation: ultraviolet radiation, visible light and infrared radiation.
- Atmospheric pollution.
- Tobacco smoke.
- Beauty routine.
These external factors can cause the appearance of spots, flaccidity, wrinkles or expression lines at an early age.
The exposome and its effect on the skin
The word exposome describes the interaction of the skin with the environment and the resulting development of the signs of ageing and unhealthy skin. That is, it is the cumulative environmental influences (external factors) and the associated skin response, including environmental exposure, diet, behaviour and internal factors.
The exposome in skin ageing is mainly caused by UV radiation, air pollution, tobacco smoke, nutrition and cosmetic products.
Blue light and its effect on the skin
Today, as well as the impact of all solar radiation and air pollution, our skin is exposed to so-called blue light.
Blue light has been shown to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induce oxidative damage to the skin, similar to UV radiation. However, unlike UV radiation, blue light can go deeper into the skin layers, induce cell dysfunction and damage DNA.
Blue light therefore increases photo-ageing and affects the integrity of the skin, decreasing the amount of carotenoids and increasing melanin precursors, leading to pigmentation changes, such as immediate and persistent darkening.
Blue light also has a negative effect on collagen and elastin, inhibiting their formation and increasing their degradation. This happens during direct exposure to blue light and UV radiation, or through downstream effects, including the ROS and free radicals that are generated.
How to prevent premature ageing?
The integrity and appearance of the skin can be maintained by taking into account four basic aspects:
- Cleansing, which ensures the removal of impurities and the maintenance of the good condition of the skin pores.
- Exfoliation, which provides skin rejuvenation by removing the outer skin layers of the stratum corneum, therefore reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Sun protection, which is essential to protect against photo-ageing and improve natural repair.
- Cosmetics, which not only protect against ageing, but can slow it down if the right products and quantities are applied.
Tips to prevent premature skin ageing
Some factors that you should take into account to take care of your skin and prevent the signs of premature ageing are:
- Protect your skin from the sun.
- Balanced diet. It is recommended to eat fruit and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking, as they affect skin ageing.
- Exercise and an active lifestyle.
- Take care of facial expressions and wear sunglasses.
- Follow a cleansing and moisturising routine appropriate to your skin type.
- Take care of stress and spend time on your wellbeing.
- Pay attention to the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Anti-ageing cosmetics, what are they and what active ingredients should I look for?
The health and beauty of the skin is seen as indicative of overall wellbeing, which has led to a growing demand for increasingly advanced skin care products.
Cosmeceuticals are products that provide physiological benefit to the skin through pure chemicals or natural active ingredients. They are used in anti-ageing, barrier function improvement, anti-inflammatory, UV protection, pollution and moisturising.
Natural ingredients are the most recommended and the current trend. These ingredients should be focused broadly in four main areas:
- Firmness: reinforcing the supporting structures in the skin, helping to reduce wrinkles and expression lines. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and algae such as pelvetia are good examples of this activity.
- Pigmentation: improving the appearance of photo-aged and pigmented skin and reducing the appearance of new spots. White mulberry, niacinamide and vitamin C help to improve skin tone.
- Repair: activates facial skin, providing an anti-ageing effect on fatigued and ageing skin, reducing signs of stress and regulating cell growth. Witch hazel, proteoglycans and northern truffle are great choices for this purpose.
- Protection: protect the skin from oxidative damage and photo-ageing caused by environmental pollution, blue light or radiation produced by electronic devices. White horehound, phytoplankton and cornflower water are natural antioxidants.
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