The effects of ageing on the skin
After the teenage years our skin starts losing moisture as levels of sebum drop, then after the age of about 50, elastin fibres begin to decline and skin loses its suppleness, while collagen fibres are damaged over time, causing wrinkles.
To counter both these things, we can boost levels of moisture in our skin by using good skincare products and making sure our bodies are well oiled, hydrated and nourished from within. This means drinking plenty of water and getting enough healthy oils in our diets, as well as eating a good range of fruit and vegetables.
Bad for the skin
Smoking massively increases the production of free radicals in our bodies, while alcohol contributes to the drying out of the skin, as well as causing redness by producing expansion in small blood vessels in the skin.
Useful anti-ageing ingredients for skincare products
Many clinical trials have demonstrated visible differences in skin elasticity and the appearance of fine lines following regular use of products containing frankincense essential oil. It is anti-inflammatory and astringent, so helps to tone the skin and reduce redness.
The Egyptians used myrrh to help preserve dead bodies, but it works on live ones too! It is very anti-inflammatory, reduces redness in the skin via its astringent action and has traditionally been used to delay the appearance of wrinkles.
This is a natural component of skin that helps to trap moisture in the skin, as well as protecting cells from bacteria. It is a common ingredient of anti-ageing face creams. Often it is sourced from the coxcombs of roosters, however, vegetarian versions are available. Field Remedies face creams contain sodium hyaluronate that has been produced using a biofermentation process and is suitable for vegans.
Rosehip seed oil and argan oil are both used for mature skin due to their properties. Rosehip seed oil is great for reducing stretch marks and scars/blemishes, while argan oil is a good skin softener and is high in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
Helpful dietary advice for youthful looking skin
Free radicals form in our bodies due to the effects of oxygen and can cause damage to cells and DNA. A free radical is essentially just a molecule that is missing an electron and as it is ‘charged’ it has more potential to cause damage. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals by donating electrons to them and stopping them from being damaging. Vitamins A, E and C are all antioxidants, as are selenium and plant phenols (some of which are found in high levels in green tea, rosemary and oregano). If you eat a diet very high in vegetables and fruit, and nuts and seeds, you will be ensuring a good supply of antioxidants. The bonus is that as well as countering free radicals, antioxidants also counter the ageing and damaging effects of UV light.
These are a class of plant chemical that are found mainly in dark skinned fruit like blueberries and cherries. They aid in maintaining skin elasticity by helping to cross-link collagen, therefore boosting the structure of the skin. Vitamin C also helps to boost collagen formation. We stock Lambert’s Colladeen and Colladeen DermaPlus, which are specialist formulations bursting with anthocyanidins to boost collagen.
Zinc is crucial to the formation of new skin and a lack of zinc is implicated in some skin conditions, such as eczema and stretch marks.