It is amazing that for many people the passing of the years brings positives such as wisdom, self-confidence, awareness and total liberation of spirit. Yet on a physiological level we often negatively view the accompanying changes in the body - and in particular our skin. This can lead us to take drastic actions to look younger. But is it necessary?
Scientists talk about a mature skin from…. ready for this… the age of 35. Shocking! What happened to middle age? In reality the aging process starts as soon as we are born but, typically, noticeable signs of a change in our skin's appearance starts from the age of 35 onwards.
So, what are these changes? Keep in mind these changes happen at different rates depending on our internal and external factors which we highlight.
What are the characteristics of typical "aged" skin?
- Drier and finer (and in certain areas thicker) skin
- Gradual loss of tone and firmness
- The appearance of deep wrinkles
- Increased hyperpigmentation (age spots)
- Loss of glow and the appearance of a 'yellow-ish' tone
Some can also experience vascular tissue, larger pores, and dehydration.
Let’s look at the internal factors that cause these changes in our skin. They include:
- The slowing down of our metabolism on a cellular level. This leads to the slowing down of the creation of cells & proteins that produce our skin's scaffolding materials such as elastin (the thing that gives elasticity and tone) and collagen (firmness).
- Cell turnover slows down with age, reduce the shedding of skin cells which leads to the loss of glow and firmness
- Sweat and sebum secretions slow down (leading to drier skin)
- Excess pigment production
- Hormonal changes lead to reduced estrogen levels which can lead to low levels of elastin.
Now let’s look at the external factors that can cause the appearance of aging:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise and physical fitness
- Sun exposure
- Fatigue and lack of sleep
- Bad habits like smoking and excessive substance abuse (this primarily means alcohol consumption, which in excess, is bad for you)
- Exposure to pollutants and other environmental factors
As mentioned, skin aging is an interplay of all of these different factors.
So, what factors can we control so we can age gracefully?
If you look at the external factors, you have a lot of control over what you can do to slow them down - but it has to be a holistic approach. Drink more water, wear sunscreen, get enough sleep, relax by mediation, exercise and have an effective skincare routine.
An effective skincare routine can even influence some of the internal factors. For example, you could stimulate collagen production by helping out the cell turn-over process by exfoliating! By exfoliating on a regular basis, you can get rid of the old cells that give the skin that dull tone. The new younger cells produce more collagen which gives you the structure that you need to keep your skin firmer.
Don’t fall for the claims of collagen-containing creams. The collagen in those creams cannot penetrate your skin. They are simply too big. Although, they are good humectants (meaning they keep the moisture on your skin).
This is where an exfoliant like BOA can make a difference. By incorporating BOA in your skincare ritual, you could gradually increase the collagen production and bring that glow back to your skin. By exfoliating on a regular basis, you boost up your cell renewal process. As it is a very gentle exfoliant that only removes dead cells, you don’t damage the thinning skin or over-exfoliate. It is also natural, with no chemical ingredients to irritate your more fragile skin.
There are other technologies such as peptides, retinoids, hyaluronic acids, AHAs and BHAs and antioxidants that can all contribute to effective skincare regimes. The hard part is that you must customize your use of them, understanding where you are in your aging process and what your skins’ tolerance threshold is for use of each of the technologies mentioned.
Good skincare products can impact your skin, but remember the next phase of your life brings opportunity, with the universe having so much to offer. Experience it all. And embrace aging gracefully.
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