With age comes experience, wisdom and beauty. We’ve entered a new age of skin care that celebrates the aging process and embraces the changes it brings. Instead of concentrating on anti-aging, it’s time to focus on keeping your skin healthy and radiant, no matter your age. Read on for our guide to aging gracefully.
Just like the rest of the body, our skin gets older with time. For some, the aging process is slow and steady, while for others it can accelerate at a quick pace. The rate of skin aging differs from person to person and depends on a variety of factors including genetics, lifestyle and exposure to environmental stressors.
Two Aging Processes
As we get older, our bodies naturally start to age. This process, also referred to as intrinsic aging, is a continual process by which our cellular and biological functions slow. With time, the skin’s strong and flexible matrix begins to weaken and hyaluronic acid, elastin and collagen naturally deplete.
Our bodies are also subject to extrinsic aging caused by exposure to environmental stressors. These include lifestyle choices like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise as well as external factors like pollution, blue light radiation and UV rays from the sun. Intrinsic aging accounts for only 10 percent of skin changes; the remaining 90 percent is caused by these external influences which accelerate the aging process.
How does environmental aging happen? Pollution, blue light and UV rays expose skin to free radicals. Heidi Waldorf MD likens these highly reactive molecules to “anti-oxygen bombs that trigger inflammation and cascades of damage”. Unchecked, free radicals cause oxidative stress that damages the skin, degrades its structural proteins and leads to premature aging.
When the skin is repeatedly exposed to free radicals, a process called inflammaging can kick in. According to our Product Support Representatives: “Inflammaging is a term used to describe aging induced by chronic, persistent, underlying inflammation that ultimately exhausts the skin’s defense system. This weakens skin structure, results in the degradation of collagen and elastin and impairs the skin’s barrier function.”
As we age, it’s normal for our years to begin to show on our faces. Here are a few signs of aging that develop due to the loss of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin over time.
Fine Lines And Wrinkles
Hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin are what keeps the skin plump, firm and elastic. They give skin the density and bounce typical of a youthful complexion. As they degrade, the skin loses moisture, structural support and elasticity. It can’t bounce back from repetitive motions (like frowning and smiling) and begins to fold in on itself, causing creasing in the form of fine lines and wrinkles (hello, forehead lines).
As it loses strength, the skin also has greater difficulty defying the pull of gravity. Our skin starts to slacken and hang more loosely, especially around the lower face and neck. Eminence Organics International Trainer Brian Goodwin explains: “When the foundation slips, we see jowls form, loosening of the tissue around the eyes and an overall drooped appearance for the entire face.”
When the foundation slips, we see jowls form, loosening of the tissue around the eyes and an overall drooped appearance for the entire face.
Another sign of aging skin is hyperpigmentation in the form of sun and age spots. In aging skin, these dark spots are typically brought on by years of sun exposure. When faced with UV rays, the skin protects itself by triggering the production of a pigment called melanin. As time passes and the skin’s melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) are stimulated over and over, they start to overproduce and cause deposits of pigment on the skin’s surface.
While you can’t turn back the hands of time, you can make simple changes that ease the aging process. There are several ways to keep aging skin in good shape, including adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet and using results-oriented skin care.
One of the best ways to minimize the visible signs of inflammaging is to cut down on stress. According to the Huffington Post, studies show that people with high levels of stress have shorter telomeres, which are located at the tips of DNA chromosomes causing cells to die or become damaged more quickly. Adopting healthy habits like regular exercise, meditation and a sleep schedule can help ease stress and by extension, slow premature aging.
Another way to help your skin age gracefully is to adjust your diet. Sugar, salt and alcohol are key culprits of premature aging and can easily be cut down. Swap in antioxidant-rich foods such as berries and leafy greens to assist your body in fighting free radicals. And, (surprise!) drink plenty of H2O to keep your skin (and body) hydrated and healthy.
Use A Nighttime Skin Care Routine
Did you know that your skin undergoes its most intensive repair process at night? Surprisingly, one way to wake up to smooth-looking skin is by establishing a nighttime routine. That's because during sleep, skin has the chance to counteract the environmental influences from the day. Our bodies are in repair mode while we sleep so getting a good night’s rest is imperative to achieving skin that looks and feels healthy.
In addition, our skin experiences transepidermal water loss (TWL) overnight that can weaken its protective hydrolipid barrier. Night treatments provide the opportunity to deliver moisturizing ingredients topically on the skin to prevent water loss from happening and effectively deliver the product benefits. Treating your skin to nourishing, hydrating products at night is ideal as it has been shown that oil production is two times lower than during the day.
Some of our Monoi Age Corrective products feature an exclusive Argan Stem Cell Complex that unites with antioxidant-rich monoi. The ingredients in this collection work to visibly firm, hydrate and nourish all skin types.
Brian suggests using the Monoi Age Corrective Collection in your nighttime regimen for any skin type: “The skin is more receptive to absorbing ingredients at night, when the epidermis becomes more penetrable. This factor makes it even more paramount to incorporate hydrating ingredients and protective oils into nighttime routines.”
Use Specific Skin Care ingredients
You can also minimize the visible signs of aging with topical skin care. Applying skin care products that restore moisture, deliver antioxidant-rich ingredients and promote health are key to keeping skin youthful. Here are a few ingredients to look for when you’re selecting products for your skin care routine:
- Vitamin C
- Natural retinol alternative
- Botanical peptides
- AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids)
Use Face Sculpting Tools
Does face contouring really work? Absolutely, and we have an in depth tutorial on how to use face sculpting tools that leave the skin looking dazzling and depuffed. Watch our Lead Skin Care Trainer, Natalie Pergar, as she shows you how to contour your face using ice globes, and find out which products you need for the most effective routine. Let us know if you notice a difference!
Ready to age gracefully? For a skin care routine tailored to your unique skin type and concerns, book a consultation with a licensed esthetician at an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you.
This article was originally written in October 2019.