“Like mother, like daughter- If you want to know what you will look like when you are older, look at your mum,” so the saying goes.
Ageing is the one thing we are all programmed to do, with genetics definitely playing a part. However, factors such as diet, stress, pollution and UV radiation, also accelerate skin ageing.
Read on to understand what is happening underneath your skin.
Root Causes of Ageing Skin
As our skin ages, its ability to renew cells slows down. As a result, collagen and elastin which are key to a firm and smooth skin deteriorate, leading to wrinkling, sagging, dryness, and age spots.
Three mechanisms are at play here:
#1: Skin cells are damaged by free radicals (a.k.a. Oxidative Damage). As a result, the skin wrinkles and becomes thinner
Free radicals are unstable molecules with one free electron. They are everywhere, in the air as well as in our bodies. They break up neighboring cells to steal their electrons, pairing them with their free electron.
In the skin, free radicals break up collagen and elastin to pick up their electron. In doing so, they damage these proteins which are responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin. As a result, wrinkles appear, and the skin becomes thinner.
Exposure to pollution and UV radiation, as well as stress, increase the number of free radicals present in skin cells leading to premature ageing and skin dullness.
#2: As it ages, the skin looses the ability to regenerate and protect itself
Skin ageing leads to the slower replacement of cells as well as to the deterioration of the skin barrier.
With age, errors in cells reproduction increase. As a result, the total number of new cells reduces. External factors also play a role: UV, in particular, is known to accelerate the damage. Age related pigmentation are a good example of this mechanism, as the skin’s response to UV exposure becomes more erratic and produces larger, darker spots.
#3: Glycation leads to thinner, dry, brittle skin
Glycation is the process in which skin proteins combine with excess glucose in the body. The resulting skin proteins are damaged more easily by free radicals. They are also rigid, changing the appearance of the skin, making it thinner and prone to cracking.
One step further on glycation:
The next stage is then for these rigid proteins to combine together, forming a harmful molecule known as Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs). These AGEs damage collagen and elastin as well as cause hyperpigmentation of the skin, commonly known as age spots.
To sum it up: our skin’s ability to self-protect and regenerate is reduced with time. Environmental factors such as exposure to UV radiation and pollution accelerate this process.
Anti-ageing ingredients intervene in different stages of the ageing cycle, from capturing free radicals for antioxidants to boosting production of new skin proteins and rejuvenating the skin structure.
Alcheme offers a free online consultation to help determine which ageing factors are relevant to you as well as provide you with a personalized skin care solution that is a perfect match for your skin needs.
Any questions? Reach out to us at [email protected] to get started today.
Updated May 15, 2019