Anti aging skin care steps range from simple protecting of skin from the sun, to better nutrition, to exploring the benefits of skin rejuvenation techniques, skin creams, and even nutritional products.
Preventing wrinkles is a major key to maintaining that youthful appearance. Skin wrinkles when it is damaged, and can be damaged by a number of factors.
Causes of Skin Damage
- Excessive sun exposure.
- Exposure to pollution and toxins.
- Hormonal deficiencies.
Excessive sun exposure and exposure to toxins and pollutants cause inflammation and generation of free radicals that damage the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin. This leads to damage of proteins called collagen and elastin. These are structural proteins. The body tries to repair this damage but the repair is haphazard and sometimes incomplete leading to cross-linking of these proteins contributing to wrinkling of the skin. This also makes skin less elastic.
A classic example of inflammation is sunburn. Inflammation can also occur by eating foods that are high glycemic. These foods lead to rapid elevations of blood sugar and insulin. Insulin, in high levels, is inflammatory.
Smoking also decreases blood flow to skin impairing the transport of oxygen and vital nutrients. Some soaps, moisturizers, and cosmetic products contain harsh chemical some of which are carcinogens like phthalates, acrylamide, and formaldehyde.
Healthy skin requires optimal hormone levels. Hormones naturally decline with age usually beginning around age 30. The importance of maintaining optimal hormone levels for skin health is not fully appreciated. Hormone deficiencies cause the skin to become thinner and dryer. Estrogen maintains skin’s thickness and elasticity. Progesterone improves skin circulation. Testosterone (which women also need) maintains skin hydration. Bioidentical hormones can be used to optimize hormone levels.
Treating Aging Skin
Basic treatment of aging skin includes use of sunscreens, which will reduce the damaging effects of the sun. Getting plenty of antioxidants either from food directly or from nutritional supplements will combat free radicals. Moisturizers will improve skin hydrations. If hormones are deficient strong consideration should be given to restoring them to optimal levels using bioidentical hormones.
Finally, there are skin rejuvenation techniques that are used to treat fine and deep wrinkles, crow’s feet, frown lines, and smokers’ lines that include dermal fillers, botox injections, and laser and radiofrequency procedures. (See “Anti Aging Collagen”). Each of these techniques has its advantages. Dermal fillers and botox injections provide benefits ranging from 3 to 9 months depending on the product. Thus, they have to be repeated to provide ongoing benefits.