Skin Ageing

You can significantly delay the onset of ageing in your skin by making sensible lifestyle decisions and by using products that optimise the long-term health of your skin. Clients generally think of two primary sub-divisions of ageing – wrinkle reduction and skin firming. Both of these are linked to the structure of collagen and elastin in skin and these structures are in turn are influenced by a range of factors.

A rule of thumb – if your barrier function is impaired and your skin is in an inflammatory state the rate of ageing is doubled. So pay attention to optimising skin health before trying to treat symptoms.

These are some common ageing concerns

  • Horizontal lines around eyes
  • Deepened nasolabial fold
  • Reduction in skin elasticity and firmness
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Lack of bounce and turgor
  • Uneven pigmentation and solar keratosis

Here are some of the factors that may be contributing to early ageing in your skin

  • Premature elastin and collagen breakdown through low copper intake or Vitamin C deficiency
  • Over-cleansing and sterilisation
  • Sub-clinical inflammation from sub-optimal barrier function
  • Lifestyle factors – alcohol, cigarettes, pollutants and sun for example
  • Diet high in simple sugars and processed carbohydrates
  • “Fat-free” diet resulting in deficiency of essential fatty acids
  • Excessive UV exposure causes ageing and damages collagen and elastin – we recommend 15 minutes of sunshine per day on a large surface area of skin
  • Poor fluid intake or high caffeine load
  • High free radical exposure

Here are some suggestions on lifestyle changes that should have a noticeable effect on your skin

  • Try to maintain microbial diversity – this applies to both gut and skin health. Eat unheated fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi and spend time in nature. Gardening also helps. Take a good quality ingestible probiotic and apply a probiotic skincare treatment that contains live strains of beneficial microbes to outcompete pro-ageing species
  • Essential fatty acid intake – either 15g of flax seed oil per day or 600 mg of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA)
  • Reduce free radical exposure – covering up in the sun is always a first option but if you can’t (or won’t) then use a mineral sun block. Chemical sun blocks generate free radicals in the skin and don’t help to slow ageing
  • Maintain consistent blood sugar levels by eating “whole foods”
  • Supplement with trace minerals – make sure that copper and zinc are balanced. Many supplements avoid copper because it induces nausea but they mostly supplement zinc at high doses. These two minerals compete for a common absorption site so this often results in copper deficiency and you need copper for collagen and elastin synthesis
  • Have a blood test to check relevant hormone levels – check oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone but also DHEA and cortisol. The thyroid hormones will also give direction to the treatment as well as an assessment of Human Growth Hormone levels
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