- “Anti-aging” is a term that refers to treatments, products and methods that can slow down the aging process and reduce the signs of aging.
- Cosmetological care, topical agents, surgical procedures and systemic agents are the core treatments that have been proven effective in decelerating skin aging.
- There are home remedies, products and anti-aging supplements available that can give your skin a more youthful appearance.
- Preventative lifestyle measures can be put in place in addition to the above for best results.
Aging is what happens when the cells in your body adapt over time. It is a biological process that changes your skin’s structure and physical appearance as you get older due to several intrinsic and extrinsic influences.
The effects of aging can be delayed through one or a combination of “anti-aging” treatments, products, procedures and preventative lifestyle measures. Reducing and slowing down signs of aging can improve your skin’s complexion in terms of smoothness, elasticity, brightness and firmness. This can then give you a more youthful appearance overall.
Understanding the Aging Process
All cells adapt with aging. They become larger and struggle to divide and multiply as they used to. There is also an increase in pigments and fatty substances within each cell, which causes them to lose their ability to function normally or at all.
As these substances increase, the amount of collagen in your cells decreases, which has a direct effect on your skin. Collagen is a protein that is produced naturally in the body and derives from the Greek word “kolla” meaning glue. It is a substance that essentially holds the body together and causes your skin to change substantially once it starts declining from the age of 25.
In addition to being influenced by many internal factors, such as hormone and metabolic operations, genetics and cellular metabolism, skin aging is also affected by extrinsic factors like pollution, chronic light exposure, chemicals and toxins. It is possible to delay the aging process just by making simple lifestyle changes.
- Deep wrinkles
- Loss of elasticity and sagging
- Loss of firmness
- A blotchy complexion
- Leathery-looking skin
These signs of aging are primarily due to the gravitational impact, muscle action, loss of volume and redistribution of fat that occurs due to cell changes. It is the lack of collagen that causes wrinkles and sagging, in particular.
Because the production of collagen keeps decreasing with age, your facial skin can change in shape and contour and continue to alter as time goes on.
Can aging be stopped?
Aging cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed down by targeting certain mechanisms of the aging process. When it comes to your skin specifically, there are many measures that you can put in place to both prevent and reduce the signs of aging.
Can aging be reversed?
Even though aging cannot be reversed, one way that it can be physically hidden is through cosmetological care. You can use a combination of daily skin care, appropriate sun protection and aesthetic procedures.
There are also invasive procedures that can be undertaken such as chemical peels, visible light devices and injectable skin biostimulation and rejuvenation, i.e. fillers.
Other ways you can reduce the signs of skin aging is through topical agents, such as antioxidants and cell regulators, and systemic agents like hormone replacement therapy.
Topical Anti-Aging Ingredients
Topical anti-aging products usually come in the form of anti-aging creams, masks or eye serums. These are mostly moisturizer-based and can be placed into two main categories: antioxidants and cell regulators.
Vitamin B3 is as equally effective when used in 5% concentration. This ingredient, in particular, regulates cell metabolism and regeneration.
Vitamin E is anti-inflammatory and also encourages new cell growth in concentrations between 2 and 20%. Even though it has been proven to have skin smoothing effects, it is not as strong as with vitamins C and B3. It is recommended that you use a product with a combination of vitamins C and E than with vitamin C or E alone for best results.
Vitamin A derivatives and polypeptides are types of cell regulators that may feature in anti-aging products. They work by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fibers.
Vitamin A (retinol) is currently the most used substance as an anti-aging agent due to its positive impact on collagen metabolism. It can also cause less skin irritation and significantly reduce signs of early aging, such as loss of elasticity, pigmentation and fine lines.
Polypeptides (or oligopeptides) have similar effects. This type of ingredient is composed of amino acids and can imitate a sequence of modules like collagen or elastin to help your skin look significantly younger.
Other ingredients to look for
|Epidermal growth factor||Stimulates cell renewal and collagen||Strengthens skin elasticity and structure|
Reduces wrinkles and sagging
|Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Beta hydroxy acids||Dissolves the substance that holds dead cells together||Exposes newer skin cells|
Improves skin’s appearance
|Equol||Has a positive effect on both molecular and structural cells|
|Reduces the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles|
Anti-Aging Treatments and Procedures
There are many noninvasive treatments available that can reduce the signs and effects of aging, from microdermabrasion and lasers, to anti-aging supplements and home remedies, to injectables and chemical peels.
Using a micro peel or fractionated laser to resurface the skin can make it smoother and tighter with more of an even tone. The light energy penetrates the skin’s collagen layer to restore collagen and elastin, thus eliminating hyper-pigmentation and broken blood vessels.
As pain can vary with the depth of treatment, topical anaesthesia is usually recommended.
Even though lasering is expensive, you usually see results within a week and these improvements may continue for 1-2 months post-treatment. Several treatments might be needed depending on your skin’s issues and your requirements.
Microdermabrasion removes dry skin, congestion from trapped oil and minimal sun damage to result in a smooth, refined complexion. Using a textured metal wand, your skin is exfoliated by scraping up cells and vacuuming them away. The pain factor is minimal and each session is not too costly.
Microdermabrasion is also a great way to prepare your skin for a chemical peel as it removes dead cells and prepares your skin for absorbing a peel. The effects last around two to three weeks.
Other Non-Invasive procedures
There are other non invasive procedures available that can instantly give your skin a more youthful appearance:
- Lasting for six months to a year, cosmetic fillers refresh your face and restore the lost volume of collagen in your skin by using an injection to fill in the sallow areas and lines
- Typically used to eliminate wrinkles between the eyes, across the forehead and around the eyes, Botox injections feature purified toxins that prevent your muscles from contracting under the skin and last up to four months
- With results visible after one week, a chemical peel is when acid (alpha and beta hydroxy, lactic and glycolic) is applied to the face and left for a period of time to boost your skin’s hydration levels, stimulate collagen and even the tone
Anti-Aging Home Remedies
To produce collagen, your body needs a good amount of protein that you can get from a healthy, balanced diet. You should also consume foods that are rich in antioxidants (vitamins C, E and beta-carotene) and minerals, such as magnesium and zinc. For example, blueberries, leafy greens, mango and eggs are great at stimulating collagen.
“Superfoods” that are rich in nutrients are known for preventing wrinkles and boosting overall health. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of the following into your diet to reap the benefits:
- Chia seeds
- Sweet potatoes
If you are unable to eat a collagen-producing diet, you could always consider anti-aging supplements. Organic and suitable for both vegans and vegetarians, the following supplements are plant-based and help the body in production by containing the vitamins and minerals that you need to build collagen:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Collagen peptides
- Vitamin C
Tips to Reduce and Prevent Signs of Aging
There are some other ways that you can dramatically reduce the signs of aging that do not involve specific treatment.
Spending time in the sun without proper protection can prematurely age your skin. It is important to protect your skin from the sun every day in the following ways:
- Seek shade frequently
- Cover up with clothing
- Use a water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 (or higher) on the skin that is not covered
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours and specifically after swimming or sweating
Also, avoid tanning through a tanning bed or other indoor equipment as these methods emit harmful UV rays that can speed up the skin aging process. Use self-tanner as a safer, healthier option.
Particularly unhealthy lifestyles can cause your skin to age faster.
For instance, smoking frequently over time can encourage the formation of wrinkles and a dull complexion. Drinking alcohol in excess has a similar effect, making the skin look dehydrated, damaged and older.
In terms of food, make sure that you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is full of fresh fruit and vegetables. Meals that contain a lot of sugar or refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging.
You should also exercise most days of the week and get enough sleep to boost your immune system and circulation. Moderate exercise can make your skin look brighter and more youthful; whereas, beauty rest revitalizes your body and allows you to wake up feeling refreshed.
Consistent skin care
Taking some time to care for your skin every day in the following ways can help prevent and reduce the signs of aging:
- Wash your face twice a day using a gentle cleanser to slough away grime, pollution and makeup build-up
- Follow up cleansing with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, trap water and give it a more youthful experience
- Avoid using products that sting or burn the skin as irritation can make your skin look older
Consistency is imperative if you want to achieve younger-looking skin, therefore, try to get into a regular skin care routine for optimal success.
Aging is an unstoppable biological process that occurs due to various internal and external factors. The amount of collagen in your cells naturally decreases with time which causes your skin to change in appearance and structure.
Even though there are many different treatments and procedures available to reduce signs of aging, what works for one individual may not work as well for another. The best way to understand how you can improve your skin specifically is to consult your doctor.
In the meantime, you are never too young to start implementing preventative lifestyle measures as the primary way to combat anti-aging.
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