This post is not to cause offence, instead it is to educate, it is important to understand how the skin ages and how we can enhance the health of our skin with topical treatments, lifestyle choices and if wanted, injectables! Ageing is something we just cannot escape, but the impact of ageing upon our skin is something we can certainly take control of. “You are never too old to look younger” – Mae West.
Did you know that chronological ageing starts at the age of 25?! Production of collagen and elastin fibre start to decline. Then you turn 30….Your body becomes a little bit more spiteful and decides you are on your way out of your “prime”, collagen and elastin fibre start to weaken even more! What does that mean? One word. Wrinkles. Smiles all of a sudden become sacrificial for those incriminating fine lines. Early 40’s is often when we experience muscle tone loss and the lymphatic system starts to slow down, resulting in puffiness around eyes and cheeks. Once in to our 50’s we are likely to find patches of pigmentation start to appear on our skin. Sun worshippers may also experience facial thread veins, this is the result of sun damage upon blood vessels. There is evidence to suggest that once in our 60’s, women can have lost as much as 90% of their natural hyaluronic. Hyaluronic acid is our moisture magnet, you are likely to see this come up in various skin care products, the filler collection used at Noble Aesthetics contains Hyaluronic Acid, helping restore some of that lost moisture and hydrate the skin!
Why do we age?
Of course the chronological clock takes no prisoners and we cannot cheat the natural causes of ageing! If you want a quick insight into the ageing cycle your face is likely to go through then look no further than your parents. Genetics plays a role in the ageing characteristics that you may develop. If you parents maintained youthful skin well in to old age then it is likely that you will follow suit! Providing you take care of your skin as extrinsic factors account for 90% of skin ageing (SKYN, 2018). Just expect to be routinely ‘bad mouthed’ by the ladies that lunch as this doesn’t go down to well amongst others and in fact you’ll likely be accused of getting all sorts of “work” done!
DNA aside, there are many extrinsic factors that contribute to ageing. Sun exposure and damage, bad diets, unhealthy lifestyle choices including recreational use of drugs and lack of exercise to name a few. As we age we experience a slower cell turnover, the skin becomes duller. The dermis, the second layer of the skin, actually thins by 20%, its blood supply and collagen production decreases over time, leading to the development of wrinkles (Health.com, 2018). It is important to note that the thinning of the skin does not only contribute to ageing but also implicates the skin’s ability to initiate the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D production is “calcium’s partner” in assisting bone strength.
69 year old lorry driver from US
I am forever showing clients this first picture (above on the left)! This picture is very famous and widely used in the aesthetics world. This is a picture of a Lorry driver. We all predominantly age on the right side of our face (UK drivers), highlighting the strength of the UV rays penetrating through the windows of our cars. This picture illustrates just how profoundly the sun can impact upon the ageing of skin (‘photo-ageing’), with a clear difference in ageing from one side of her face to the other!
The second picture (above on the right- originally from the Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Centre) is of two identical twins who have had different lifestyles and varying exposure to UV light. The twin on the left regularly protected her skin from sun exposure, staying out of the sun and applying sun protection creams. The twin on the right however, endured a lot of sun exposure without protection and also spent a long period of her life as a smoker. It is clear to see the implications these different lifestyle choices had on their ageing skins.
Help?! What Can I do to help my ageing skin?
Start applying sun protection cream as of yesterday! For Acne sufferers who fear sun protection ensure your chosen cream contains zinc oxide/ titanium dioxide over a chemical sunscreen.
Skin exfoliation can rid the skin of dead cells, cleanse pores, brighten the skin and protect against acne (S. Manjula Jegaothy M.D, of the Miami Skin Institute). It is recommended to start regularly exfoliating from your teens, but better to start late than never!
Hydration is key! Thick or thin serums containing hyaluronic acid attracts moisture into dehydrated skin.
Great nutritious diet and stopping bad habits such as smoking (see my blog post “you really have great skin” for more information on this).
Skin needling and peels can unclog/brighten and rejuvenate skin (as above, see previous blog post).
Injectable options: Botulinum toxin type A also known as anti-wrinkle injections or even more commonly “botox” (which is in fact just a brand name) is often a great cosmetic option for preventing/treating wrinkles and signs of ageing. Dermal filler can be injected in certain areas to fill lines and/or create structure back in to an ageing face replacing the fat pads and bone structure depletion that has occurred.
This treatment is most commonly known as “Botox”, Botox is in fact just a trade name for Botulinum Toxin type A. So what does it do? Botulinum Toxin acts as a muscle relaxant, when injected it interferes with the nerve ending to the muscle, essentially paralysing the muscle movement stopping the formation of dynamic wrinkles/lines and over time assists with some static lines. Within cosmetic medicine we use extremely minute doses meaning the treatment option is considered to have a high margin of safety when performed by a medical professional.
Dermal Fillers As mentioned above, many dermal fillers are a gel now made of Hyaluronic acid. Dermal fillers are great at filling areas of volume loss, creating structure and contour. Ageing causes redistribution and atrophy of fat leading to volume loss. This becomes particularly noticeable in the cheeks. There is also a significant loss of facial bone. Without the support of strong facial bone structure and voluminous fat pads, much like a compromised foundation of a house “cracks appear in the walls” (Gail Humble, M.D. 2013). See illustrations below. Kris Jenner is 62 years old, she would have experienced much of the above ageing affects, however she has maintained a younger appearance due to the help of anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and skin care!
If you have made it to the end of this terrifying tale (deep breath), ageing is inevitable and many will choose to “grow old gracefully” whilst others may wish to intervene with the ageing process and maintain their aesthetic youth as best they can. Both options are completely down to an individuals preference and the experience is subjective, however it is critical to protect your skin from extrinsic factors (listed above) to prioritise your health first and foremost!
Tracy Butler (no date) The Ageing Process Powerpoint Presentation.
Oxford and Leamington Facial Aethetics (2016) “Why you should be wearing sunscreen every day” available at: https://www.oxfordleamingtonclinic.com/blog/why-you-really-should-wear-sunscreen-every-day.
Humble, G. (2013) “The Aging Face- How and Why Our Faces Age” available at: http://www.drgailhumble.com/882/
Health.com(2018) available at: https://www.health.com/beauty/best-anti-aging-tips