Skin Aging: Prevention and Treatment Options
We can’t avoid growing older, but there are products and treatments that minimize the effects on our skin. Skin aging involves the progressive loss of collagen and elastin, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, and dullness. For this reason, my skincare philosophy focuses on a long-term, holistic approach to supporting collagen production and overall skin health.
Instead of breaking down the skin with harsh peels and procedures, I recommend treatments that nourish the skin at a cellular level, naturally boosting collagen production and allowing its healthiest, youngest version to shine through.
With maturing skin myself and decades of experience treating aging skin, here are my thoughts on skin aging prevention and treatment options.
Understanding Skin Aging
Skin aging is a natural and complex biological process that occurs due to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The factors contributing to aging start with the breakdown of collagen (the protein that makes skin firm, plump and smooth) and reduced elastin (the protein that gives skin its ability to stretch and bounce back). Decreased moisture retention and slower cell turnover also contribute to skin maturing.
Factors contributing to skin aging:
Sun exposure and UV damage: UV radiation causes photoaging, including the formation of wrinkles, age spots on skin, and a crepey texture.
Lifestyle choice: Smoking, stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise cause inflammation in the body, which impairs cellular renewal and causes tissue damage. Smoking accelerates skin aging by constricting blood vessels and depleting oxygen and nutrients.
- Genetic predisposition and intrinsic aging: Genetics play a role in determining the rate and extent of skin aging. Intrinsic aging is influenced by factors such as hormonal changes and a natural decline in collagen production.
How To Prevent Aging Skin
Sun Protection Is Key:
UV rays, particularly UVA and UVB, create oxidative stress in the skin, triggering the production of harmful free radicals that damage DNA, proteins, and lipids. This disrupts the skin's natural repair processes, accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, and impairs the skin's ability to maintain its youthful appearance, resulting in wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of premature aging.
Any SPF over 30 does not provide any additional sun protection, so keep that in mind when choosing sunscreen. A broad-spectrum sunscreen offers protection from UVA, UVB, and infrared rays. After SPF, my next line of defense is a stable vitamin C serum and physical coverings like long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats.
Focus On a Healthy Lifestyle:
How we live and what we put into our bodies directly impact the health of our skin, including how rapidly it ages. Diet and lifestyle factors account for about 70% of the condition of our skin, while a proper skincare routine influences the other 30%. The core principle of holistic skincare is that the health of our skin is intimately linked to our overall well-being.
Start by focusing on these four aspects of your lifestyle:
Balanced nutrition: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats for optimal skin health. Nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, are known for their anti-aging benefits. Limit processed foods, sugar, and alcohol that can contribute to inflammation and premature aging.
Regular exercise: Not only does exercise benefit your mental and physical health, it also has skin rejuvenation benefits as well. Exercise improves blood circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin while removing toxins.
Adequate hydration:Staying hydrated supports the skin's moisture levels and overall health. As you age, it's harder for your skin to retain moisture, so using a richer balm and drinking plenty of water is especially beneficial for mature skin.
- Get quality sleep: Adequate sleep allows our bodies to work optimally, lowering inflammation and stress levels. The skin also enters a regenerative phase during sleep, boosting cell turnover and product effectiveness.
Establish a Consistent Skincare Routine:
Anti aging skin treatments and products must be applied consistently and in the correct order for them to be effective. This is my basic anti aging skin care routine to try at home.
Cleansing and exfoliation: Help to remove impurities and promote cell turnover. Properly cleansed and pH-balanced skin allows anti aging skin care products to reach deep into your pores and work more efficiently. Whereas exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells, stimulating cell renewal. Glycolic acid, a chemical exfoliator, is beneficial in skin aging prevention and even diminishes the appearance of age spots on skin.
Hydration: Moisturizing alone won’t eliminate wrinkles. However, your skin needs to be hydrated in order for it to be healthy and strong. Chronic dehydration compromises the function of your skin’s barrier, leading to irritation and inflammation. Look for moisturizers with added anti aging boosting ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants to help stimulate collagen production and fight off damaging free radicals.
Antioxidant serums: Perfect for the daytime, antioxidant serums help neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress. Antioxidants, such as niacinamide, are excellent at fighting off the free radicals from our environment that induce signs of aging. Another powerhouse antioxidant is Vitamin C, which also helps combat oxidative stress, improve age spots, brighten, and increase collagen production.
Retinoids: Retinoids (e.g., retinol, retinoid acid) are a crucial ingredient in maintaining a youthful complexion, promoting collagen production, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Retinoids attach themselves to skin cells, reaching both the dermis and the epidermis, normalizing their function and encouraging the cell to behave like its younger self.
- Facial massage: Boosts lymphatic drainage, improves circulation, reduces puffiness, and promotes a healthy glow. By consistently following this routine, you can achieve great results in as little as seven minutes per day.
Anti-Aging Skin Treatments
Aging is a privilege, but there’s no harm in wanting to lessen the effects with products and treatments that smooth and lift.
Innovative Skincare Products:
Here are the anti aging skincare products I repeatedly recommend to my clients.
Environ’s step-up range of formulas offer a high concentration of Vitamin A, helping to refine skin texture, giving a firmer, smoother appearance, and assisting in reducing the appearance of premature aging and fine lines.
Research has found that hyaluronic acid decreases the appearance of wrinkles, enhances skin hydration, and improves firmness & elasticity. Our Cream has low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and ceramides.
Environ’s Avance Moisturizer is a luxurious cream containing a trilogy of peptide complexes that help stimulate collagen synthesis, leading to firmer and more youthful-looking skin.
Non-Invasive Treatments and Devices:
In-studio facial treatments, especially those with manual facial massage, will help lift and sculpt the brows, jawline, and cheekbones. Getting facials and utilizing the skincare tools below can make a significant difference in skin aging prevention.
- Microcurrent: Microcurrent therapies utilize low-level electrical currents on targeted muscles to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, lift and tone the muscles, and repair damaged tissue. They have also been proven to stimulate the body’s production of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy, which accelerates cell repair and promotes healthier cell production, lessening the signs of aging.
Light Therapy: I have been using LED (Light Emitting Diode) Therapy in my treatments and on myself at home for over 20 years. The non-invasive tool boosts collagen production, addresses fine lines and wrinkles, combats acne and redness, and increases product efficacy. As a Class II medical device featuring professional-grade LEDs, The Celluma Pro LED Panel is my top choice.
- LYMA Laser therapy: The LYMA Laser is a tool I use in my treatments, but I love that clients can use it at home daily to improve their skin. Traditional laser treatments require multiple sessions that damage the skin to trigger it to make collagen. The LYMA Laser delivers an instant glow, and firmer, tighter skin, without any downtime. In the long term, you’ll see the transformation of hyperpigmentation, skin elasticity, and even skin tone and texture.
Start Treating and Preventing Skin Aging Today
A holistic approach that includes preventative measures, a consistent skincare routine, appropriate treatments, and positive lifestyle adjustments can yield effective anti-aging results. Be sure to consult with a skincare professional for personalized guidance and recommendations. And remember, embracing the aging process and feeling confident in your own skin is the most important thing of all.