Updated: Mar 4
Maintaining your skin is a lifelong commitment, and while you will see some results with facials, you must implement a daily home care routine.
Taking care of your skin is just like taking care of your body - it is part of a lifestyle. The best results will come with time. Or best yet, start at a young age for preventative measures.
How do we define anti-aging and skin rejuvenation?
It is taking the skin to a level where the skin looks refined in texture and luminous without hyperpigmentation and without acne and without redness, and without sagging, wouldn't you agree?
First, there is HEREDITARY. That includes bone structure, high cheekbones will determine how aging skin looks. As we age the skin starts to elongate. Men start to look more masculine, unfortunately, women do too. Heredity has to do with DNA and the way it repairs and rebuilds based on the code or the blueprint.
Then there is EXTRINSIC aging influenced by sun exposure. More than 80% of what we perceive as inevitable aging is exposure to the elements, such as Sun. This starts to get programmed into your skin from a very early age. The good news is that this is actually something we can work with.
Let’s get a little nerdy and understand the process so that we can comprehend the ‘why’ behind the solution.
First of all, when we touch our skin, that is the stratum corneum, which is a dead layer. These are microscopic cells that are constantly shedding, we are not aware that it is doing it, it is nearly invisible.
With perfectly normal skin those cells lay like shingles on a roof in a very organized pattern. And in between those cells, we have a lot of moisturizing substances. And that is what gives the skin the barrier function–it seals the deal, it makes skin nice and plump. It provides the skin with that nice dewy moist look.
Hence, what we want is a very thin, very compact stratum corneum. When it's thin like that it’s a better barrier and it looks luminous and reflective. If it's not thin, that means it has a lot of build-up of dead skin cells–I’ll explain further.
What starts to happen as we age is that the stratum corneum–this outer surface–gets thicker and these cells begin to pile up in a very disorganized manner. And when they pile up, pores can look more noticeable, the skin has more dullness to it, it doesn’t look as radiant. Also, the moisturizing substances (such as Glycominoglycans, Hyaluronic, Phospholipids, etc.) between the cells decrease and cells can shrink and the skin can feel drier than it is (or appear thinner). Not to get too nerdy here, but there is an actual medical term for this process called increased corneocyte cohesion when cells pile up like this.
On the flip side, deeper in the skin is the dermis. And this dermal layer is made up of at least 80% collagen. Hyaluronic Acid is also naturally found in the body and skin. It is the scaffolding to support collagen and elastin production and proper cell function. Around 50% of Hyaluronic Acid in the body is found in the skin. Age-related Hyaluronic Acid losses are greatest in the epidermis.
Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid start to decrease at a young age. So the dermis gets thinner. This concludes us to know that we want a very thin compact stratum corneum, this very outer layer you can touch, and we want a nice thick robust dermis.
These are just some characteristics of the aging process.
Now that we understand what can contribute to aging skin, how do we get to prevent or reverse these signs?
Stay tuned for the next blogs where we will start to dive into solutions.