Skin aging is a fact of life; everyone will face it sooner or later. In order to understand how this process works, it is important to know the basics of skin.
There are the three layers that compose the human skin.
The Epidermis is the skin’s surface, a layer rich in keratin that provides toughness and water-resistance. This layer of skin is where dead cells are shed and where melanin (a dark pigment) is found.
The Dermis is the second and thicker layer, which is composed of nerves, fats, blood vessels, elastin, and collagen fibres, which provide elasticity.
The Subcutaneous tissue layer is composed of fat, keeps us warm and holds our internal organs in place.
This is the aging process that takes place over the years regardless of external influences.
*After the age of 20, one percent less of collagen is produced in the dermis each year. The collagen and elastin fibres become thicker, more clumped, and looser, resulting in inelastic and brittle skin and eventually in wrinkling and sagging.
In our twenties, the skin’s exfoliation process decreases by 28% as well, causing dead skin cells to accumulate and stick together for longer periods of time.
In our thirties, the transfer of moisture from the dermis to the epidermis is slowed and fat cells start to shrink. These effects make the skin look dull and thin.
In our forties, collagen is no longer produced. The collagen and elastin fibres break, thicken, stiffen, clump together, and lose their elasticity. This results in wrinkles and aging lines.
Finally, in our fifties, the skin becomes dry and is easily bruised, damaged, or broken because the sebaceous (oil) glands have decreased in size. In women, menopause causes a decrease in oestrogen levels, leaving the skin drier, thinner, more sensitive, and less toned.
A SECOND TYPE OF AGING IS EXTRINSIC AGING
Unlike the previous cause of skin aging, it can be controlled because it is a result of environmental damage. Extrinsic aging appears as a thickening of the cornified layer (outermost layer of epidermis), skin cancer, formation of freckles and sunspots, and huge losses of collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). As a result of these processes, the skin becomes rough, uneven in tone, and wrinkled.
Free radicals (electron-hungry molecules or atoms) are the cause of these chemical changes. When electrons are pulled from other molecules, chemical structures and biological functions are altered.
Environmental influences, such as pollution, smoking, and ultraviolet radiation, generate free radicals.
Antioxidant enzymes and molecules, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoid pigments, can protect us from free radicals.
Glucose, a fuel necessary for our bodies, presents another threat. It forms plastic-like molecules known as age-related glycation end-products (AGES) by crosslinking with proteins. These complexes hurt skin proteins by causing them to be more brittle and less elastic.
Also, because the skin is the barrier between body and environment, ultraviolet radiation causes damage to DNA and molecules and results in the generation of free radicals, making it the crucial factor in the acceleration of wrinkling skin.
The skin protects the skin's surface from sun damage by producing more melanin, hence brown spots and pigmentation as well as a tan.
Our body is able to repair damaged proteins, but they will not work as well.
Prevention is the key to minimizing wrinkles. An SPF cream is necessary for sun protection against UVA and UVB. After the age of 25 many dermatologists recommended the use Retin-A as an anti-aging cream.
Vitamin A applied topically can overtime it improve fine lines, pores, brown spots, and precancerous changes. I even saw a study once where a 50 year old woman, who looked 70, used it for a period of one year and the results were astounding, it literally knocked 20+ years off her appearance.
Personally I prefer to use a natural solution to Retin A as it can cause irritation, redness and excessively flaky skin, although I admit it does provide amazing results and some Plastic Surgeons I know try to keep it under wraps for obvious reasons! I find it too harsh for regular use and it’s not convenient to have flaky skin every day. Also because I live in the Desert with year round sunshine it would do more harm than good to my skins surface.
ROSE HIP SEED OIL is one such alternative and is touted to have a lot of beneficial properties for aging skin. It is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of a wild rose bush which is native to Chile. It’s an amber coloured liquid with a mild odour.
It’s extremely rich in Vitamin A (retinoids), Vitamin C & E (antioxidants), essential fatty acids (affects cell structure), linolenic and linolenic acids (diminishes scars and age spots). The popularity is for a good reason because it is believed to be one of the best widely available oils for anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation. Numerous scientific studies have also taken place, which have yielded astounding evidence supporting the use of Rose hip Seed oil.
In 1983 the University of Santiago conducted research on 180 individuals using rose hip seed oil. People with extensive facial scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, UV damage, radiation damage, burn scars, surgical scars, premature aging and dermatitis.
In these tests, Rose Hip Seed Oil regenerated the skin, reduced scars and wrinkles, prevented the advancement of wrinkles and aging, and helped skin to regain its natural tone and radiance.
In my youth there wasn’t much awareness about the damage caused by excessive sunbathing and sunbeds were all the rage, hence in my mid 20’s I started to develop dark spots on my face and my skin was quite dull and congested because I was a smoker too.
But then of course I started studying Beauty and Holistic Therapies and this changed the way I looked after my skin when I realized there were natural and effective ways I could prevent my skin form aging prematurely.
I make my own face oil using natural ingredients. The texture is lightweight and easily absorbed with a fresh pleasant fragrance the ingredients contain highly effective oils to protect and heal the skins surface and restore a radiant glow.
Aside from the Rosehip Oil I use:
Red Raspberry Oil which is high in SPF with 83% Omegas 3 & 6 (natural antioxidants which protect from free radicals)
Frankincense - is a powerful cell regenerator
Patchouli, helps to control oil production
Rose Otto has been used for centuries for its powerful rejuvenating and antiaging properties
Queen Anne’s lace or Wild Carrot is a powerful regenerator and also high in SPF and Vitamin A
I use this wonderful Elixir day and night to repair my skin from the unavoidable damaging environmental elements.
In conclusion, aging is under the control of genetic repair mechanics and is affected by lifestyle influences and taking measures to protect our skin will keep it from aging more than it needs to.