Here we discuss a few of the ways you can act on ageing skin in non-invasive ways.
Skin care: the barrier function
This includes protection against dehydration, infection, allergens, irritants, radiation and pollution, and would include daily face-care like sunscreen and moisturiser. There are some very high-potency creams available. The point of some cream applications may be to temporarily change the outer layers of skin.
Topical pharmacological agents
There is currently no way to deliver actual cell-boosting collagen- and elastin-boosters via the skin in cream form to prevent wrinkle development, however some products may enhance the synthesis of collagen and support the skin, particularly the outer layers.
There are two types of topical agent that can act in anti-ageing creams: antioxidants and cell regulators. Antioxidants can help reduce the breakdown of collagen, and cell regulators with growth factors directly impact collagen production. Some vitamins are able to penetrate the skin, particularly vitamins C, B3, and E.
- Vitamin C promotes production of collagen, and works best in concert with vitamin E.
- B3 regulates cell regeneration and metabolism.
- Vitamin E acts as an anti-inflammatory, smoothes and boosts hydration.
- Vitamin A derivatives act as cell regulators by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fibres, while also acting as an antioxidant – retinol is the most common anti-ageing compound found in products.
Anti-ageing creams work from the outside in, but still can’t reach deeper layers. That’s where what you eat and what you do with your body comes into play. (Radiofrequency and laser treatments can reach these deep layers, however, and effect change.)
Nutritional antioxidants (like vitamins A, C and E) have been well-studied, and are thought to help delay skin ageing and improve skin condition. Antioxidants pick up and immobilise free radicals, which are damaging to skin and other cells. Antioxidants are found in plentiful supply in fresh fruit and vegetables.
Australians tend to have high protein intake, since we are a country of meat-eaters. Vegetarians, vegans, and picky eaters are most at risk of having low protein intake. Low protein can impact the structure of hair, skin and nails, causing it to be weaker and more susceptible to injury and a dull appearance, and skin may heal slowly.
The sun causes skin damage far beyond any other external factor that we might encounter day-to-day. This means sun protection is the first port of call for anti-ageing.
There are many ways to care for skin with over-the-counter products and your food choices, however nobody ever regretted a visit to a dermatologist for a check-up and individualised advice and treatments.
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