Collagen Reduces Visible Signs of Aging
There are four main fundamental building blocks to sustain the skin and reduce the observable signs of aging. These are Collagen, hyaluronic acid, calcium and calcium. The most common and plentiful of our bodies’ proteins is Collagen.
Collagen is manufactured in our bodies by combining different amino acids or building blocks from the protein found in our food. One of the primary purposes of Collagen is to deliver structural scaffolding for our various tissues to allow them to stretch while still preserving the integrity of the tissue. While a diet rich in Collagen can help balance the signs of aging in the skin, it is also important it for bone health, nails and hair.
The loss of Collagen is one of the most significant contributors to our observable signs of aging, such as sagging, dull and wrinkled skin. When our collagen levels are heightened, our skin will be firm, smooth and soft because collagen permits skin cells to revitalise and repair themselves continually. By the time we reach our 80s, we have approximately four times less Collagen than when we were in our youth.
Regardless of your age, making healthy, youthful skin is harder to attain when certain lifestyle and environmental factors also harm your collagen production. Factors that can slow the body’s ability to manufacture Collagen may include:- hormone imbalances, impaired thyroid function, overwork, processed foods, fluoridated water, pollution and dust, hydrogenated cooking oils, nutritional deficiencies, radiation, excessive sun exposure, stress, sugar, poor liver or kidney function, lack of both sleep and exercise.
Health advantages provided by collagen supplementation include: deeper sleep and serotonin release due to its glycine content, better blood clotting and wound healing, decreased joint pain and stiffness, improved gut health and digestion, improved blood pressure and reduced cardiovascular harm, better glucose tolerance, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress and therefore having a positive impact on the health of your skin.
While 28 different types of Collagen are known scientifically, most supplements will contain 1 or more of the 5 most commonly known collagen types:
- Type 1 – makes up about 90% of the Collagen in our body. Nearly all tissue contains Type 1 collagen, including bones, tendons, connective tissue, and cartilage, and it is most abundant in the skin. However, it degrades over time, becoming apparent with the appearance of loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles.
- Type 2 – is found primarily in cartilage and provides the cushion for your bones and joints
- Type 3 – is often found alongside type1 Collagen. It assists with the hydration of our skin, creating cushion or plumpness within the second layer of skin, the dermis.
- Type 4– makes up the thin layer outside the cells, giving them their structure and is found in the skin, kidneys, liver and other vital organs.
- Type 5– helps form keratin cell surfaces in our hair and nails. It is also required to form the cells that create a pregnant woman’s placenta, which is the baby’s life support system inside the womb.
The best way to have beautiful, healthy skin is to work from the inside out. A balanced diet and lifestyle are imperative. Unhydrolised or less denatured collagen supplementation made from grass-fed beef bones can be added to your diet with bone broth daily. Powdered collagen supplements are also popular and may be added to smoothies each day. A powder that combines both animal and marine Collagen is best. Other nutrients the body requires to synthesise Collagen are biotin (B7), zinc, vitamin C, copper and other trace minerals.
The next component to having healthy, Collagen supported skin is to stimulate your skin regeneration topically with in-clinic professional treatments, a twice-daily home-care regime and good quality skincare products.
The best way to approach aging and good health is to work on the inside and outside. The outcome is going to provide the best version of ourselves. Collagen anyone.
Skin Peels – Revive & Renew Your Skin
We are moving into the cooler time of the year, which means skin rejuvenation and the reduction of hyperpigmentation should be at the forefront of your mind. Skin peeling is one such technique for skin renewal, offering many different intensity levels depending on the skin condition. A peel is a technique that involves the application of a variety of chemical or herbal solutions to remove the damaged outer layers of dead, discoloured and coarse skin cells from the skin’s surface.
You will notice a profound improvement by stimulating the cell renewal process and removing a build-up of dead skin cells, particularly in skin conditions such as wrinkles, fine lines, texture, tone, brightening, and lightening. In addition, a peel dramatically increases blood circulation, softens scar tissue and addresses concerns such as blemishes and pore size. It also stimulates fibroblasts to assist with new cell formation, and will ultimately result in healthier skin and a more even and balanced production of natural oils. Classifications of the skin should always be professionally considered before an experienced aesthetician undertakes a peel. The first is the Fitzpatrick skin type.
This guideline determines how one might respond to chemical peels and the risk of hyperpigmentation by noting the skin’s response to sun exposure. The second classification is the Glogau classification – also known as the wrinkle scale – of photoaging designed to aid the professional aesthetician in determining the severity of sun damage to the skin, primarily visible in the form of discolouration and wrinkles. There are four main types of peel intensity when carried out in a treatment room.
- Progressive – this peel does not usually cause immediate or visible exfoliation. However, the skin will look refreshed and glowing and can be carried out as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other facial treatments i.e. microdermabrasion. The progressive peel can be carried out every 1-2 weeks for 3-6 treatments.
- Progressive Plus – exfoliation typically occurs within 2-3 days post-treatment. This level of peel provides good rejuvenation with more sunburn-type flaking and dryness.
- Mid-Depth – exfoliation occurs within 2-3 days post-procedure. The mid-depth peel provides full-face exfoliation and sometimes turns dark brown before flaking. Typically peeling occurs for 2-4 days. These peels can occur monthly.
- Deep – the skin undergoes considerable peeling. The entire process takes about 7-10 days for the peeling and can occur every 3-4 months.
Other factors that are taken into consideration by the experienced aesthetician are:
- Climate and time of the year when selecting a peel regimen
- Homecare and the use of corrective products to make the skin more receptive to acids, thus creating a less intensive treatment more aggressive
- The number of times the skin has been peeled and the types of peels used
- The type of skin, whether thick, thin, oily, acne, sensitive or hyperpigmented. In general thin skins respond well to progressive treatment, while thick skins may need a mid-depth treatment to achieve exfoliation.
- The strength of the solution used and the pH. The higher the percentage and the lower the pH, the more intense the treatment.
- Treatment prepping method. An aggressive prep increases the depth of the peel.
- Length of time the solution is left on the skin.
- Amount of solution and the even distribution of the peeling solution left on the skin
- Method of application, amount, and the pressure used when applying the solution.
Peeling with acids or herbs is an art and a science. Many factors need to be taken into account by your aesthetician when deciding the correct peel to be applied. Peels stimulate new healthier cells providing renewal and revival to the complexion.
Beauty Buzz, Healthy Habits and Wellness
Having forced time off and working from home over the last two years has made more people think about their health and beauty issues. It is time to look at the body, mind, and spirit. The act of taking time to care for oneself is healing within itself.
Anti-aging injectables still provide one of the best anti-wrinkle solutions for crows feet and the furrows between the brows. But, did you know they may also assist with reducing a gummy smile, provide a “lip flip” instead of having filler, and lessen the pursing action of the top lip, which creates the lipstick bleed.
Faces were front and centre with working situations on Zoom. The lips were another focal point where solutions are possible. As we age, there is a decrease in the volume of the lip, while lip borders become blurred, outer corners of the lips droop and vertical lines occur. Younger clients typically desire the over-exaggerated, extra plump look they see on social media. The older client normally wants soft, subtle volume with minimal projection. Often combining modalities with Botox, filler and resurfacing treatments will provide the optimum result.
Poor Lymphatic drainage is the cause of a lot of beauty and health issues in the body. Either manual lymphatic drainage or the use of a relaxing compression suit will assist with bringing fresh blood to the stagnant areas and will assist with removing toxins. Lymphatic drainage has a positive effect on collagen production and can be magnified when you are multitasking under either an LED or Bioptron light for extra collagen stimulation.
It’s that time of the year again when we are thinking about correcting the sun damage – hyperpigmentation and glycation wrinkles- we acquired during the warmer months. When you combine a cocktail of treatments that are designed specifically for your requirements your goals can be obtained. Even now in 2022, the message is still to combine correct skincare, laser treatments and chemical peels along with a healthy internal programme. A cookie-cutter approach is not suitable as we are all individuals with specific concerns.
There is always a debate about what diet provides the greatest health benefits. Is it a low carbohydrate, low fat, increased protein or intermittent fasting? Researchers at Yale University have identified a protein that may be harnessed to elevate human health when moderate calorie restrictions are adhered to. It has long been shown by a simple reduction of calories, and no specific diet, will have remarkable effects in terms of biology and shifting the immune-metabolic balance to a state that is protective of human health. As always, a strict diet change should be supervised by a nutrition practitioner.
Cryotherapy is a healthy addition to recover muscle strain and reduce inflammation within the body. This can be achieved in a number of ways including ice baths, cryotherapy chambers and cold showers using the Wimhof breathing techniques to receive optimum benefits.
Sugar intake increases the speed and degree to which the skin looks and feels older. This process is known as glycation. Sugar molecules in food attach themselves to proteins in the body, such as elastin and collagen. This will result in making the protein stiff and inflexible. Eventually, these end products make collagen rigid, and it will lose its ability to keep the skin firm and ultimately contributes to the aging process. This process intensifies as we age. Again, nothing new, but after a challenging few years, it is a timely reminder that our diet helps our body function in a state of wellness or illness.
There is a greater focus in 2022 on wellbeing, feeling good, looking good and being the best version of ourselves we can be internally and externally. This road we are travelling is about adding small sustainable changes to one’s life and addressing the person as a whole.
Topical Sunscreens and a Healthy Summer
Many doctors and scientists agree that as much as 90% of all visible signs of aging of the skin are caused by sun damage. Statistically, it is said that 50% of sun damage occurs before the age of eighteen. Antioxidants assist with battling the free radical damage, which is a by-product of normal skin function. This damage causes the skin to age and thinning of the fat pad under the skin.
First of all, we all need sun, but in moderation. Sun is important for our overall wellbeing and for our skin. Twenty minutes of sun exposure in the early hours of the day or later in the afternoon have an energizing effect, it is good for the soul and is a source of vitamin D,- D3 being critical for liver functionality. Tanning is the skin’s defence mechanism against injury and trauma. Unfortunately, when you burn your skin in the sun, even a little bit, the DNA records that insult forever and plays it back like a videotape for years to come. In other words, you age much faster than if you have never burned at all.
Topical sunscreens are broadly classified into 2 groups – chemical absorbers and physical blockers. Chemical absorbers absorb UV rays while physical blockers reflect UV rays. Physical Blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not absorbed by the skin. Instead, they sit on the skin’s surface, blocking UVA and UVB rays and act as a natural reflective shield. Sunscreen formulations labelled “SPF” only refer to UVB protection, while labels stating “Broad Spectrum SPF” protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
It is recommended to choose an SPF 30 if you plan to be outside for a longer period of time, as it will provide 97% protection from UV damage. You are still able to acquire a tan when using sunscreen as no sunscreen will block all UV rays. It is often thought that there is a massive protection difference between SPF 15 and SPF 50 when in reality there is only a 5% difference in coverage.
Conventionally formulated sunblock is often too greasy or heavy to wear daily. Hence most people will only wear it to the beach and skip it on a daily basis. Wrong! The sun mercilessly comes through car windows and windscreens and any reflective surface with the end result being potential skin damage.
After evaluating the type of sunscreen to use, it is important to look at the complete ingredient deck. A vast majority of formulations contain
chemicals that are dangerous to the skin and then when they are absorbed by the body, have been linked to a host of health issues and allergies within the skin and beyond. Formulas comprising more natural, antioxidant and mineral-rich ingredients will not only support the skin in maintaining optimal health but will also further enhance the UV protection benefits.
With antioxidants, you can’t have too much of a good thing. Not only are antioxidants vital in protection and prevention, but they are also important in fighting the signs of aging, internally and externally. Getting these nutrients naturally from natures’ superfoods is always the best option, but topicals applied to the skin and internal supplements also help the skin. These include glutathione, vitamins A, C, E, bioflavonoids, polyphenols, resveratrol, and superoxide dismutase.
Whichever side of the chemical vs physical fence you sit on, when selecting the right protection for your skin, you need to think seriously about what will provide the best health benefit for the skin. I always like to say the best sunscreen is the one you will actually use. Keep in mind zinc oxide is an inorganic compound and an essential mineral for our bodies. This powerful mineral provides both broad-spectrum protection and plays an important role in cell production, promotes healthy skin and hair and boosts the immune system. Who doesn’t like a skincare ingredient that pulls double duty?
Mask Wearing Complications
There is a thought that we have more microbes on our body skin than we have human cells. The human skin provides the largest surface area for microbial growth and is host to millions of microbial organisms. The skin microbiome is dominated by members of 4 phyla: firmicutes, actinobacteria, bacteroidetes and proteobacteria.
There is a thought we should start perceiving the skin as an ecosystem composed of physical and living biological components occupying diverse habitats. When the skin’s microbiome is out of kilter, disruptions may occur resulting in an aged appearance, infections, skin disorders, reactive skin, redness and acne.
When it comes to the microbiome of the skin and mask-wearing there are 3 main factors disrupting the balance. These are friction, changes to the microbiome and an alkaline environment. These 3 factors are also seen in another common skin condition, nappy rash.
Friction from mask-wearing results in loss of the barrier function – which we discussed in last month’s article. Each day our skin endures the rubbing of our masks from talking and general moving throughout the day which results in the gradual sloughing of the outer layers of the skin. This is accelerated by the moisture on the skin from our breath. As the barrier of the skin is eroded, a greater amount of water is lost through the skin and it dries out and creates sensitivity, redness or an aged appearance. Remember to change your mask daily sometimes a few times a day if necessary. Also, review the quality of your mask. Friction may also be reduced by using a topical like Rhonda Allison’s Drop of Essence in your daily skincare routine. This emollient is plant-based which is also a good food source for a healthy microbiome.
Our skin is naturally slightly acidic on the pH scale, around 4.5-5.5. At this level, the skins barrier system functions optimally and the immune system is operating at an optimal level for healthy skin. The condensate of the breath has consistently been measured around a pH 8 – alkaline. When the skin is exposed to long periods of an alkaline environment with mask-wearing, it’s natural buffering, becomes overwhelmed and the skin starts to become unhealthy, and the microbiome and skin barrier is less effective. Ensure your skincare products at home are all pH balanced and suitable for your skin condition. These should be reviewed each season and perhaps more often in these challenging times we are living in, as stress also creates imbalances in the skin.
When we keep our skin cells healthy, we rely on external microbiotic life forms to work in harmony with and support our own healthy cells. These healthy cells form the human microbiome. The human microbiome is kept at the same slightly acidic level as the skin. As the skin becomes more alkaline the prevalence of overgrowths of various harmful kinds of bacteria and bacteria on the skin increases. Skincare products for home use and a healthy lifestyle both contribute to assisting a healthy skin microbiome which will in-turn assist with less irritation from mask-wearing.
Some of the benefits of a healthy and balanced skin microbiome are:
- Enhancing the skin’s ability to become and stay properly hydrated
- Visibly improving signs of pigmentation, aging, dryness and reducing a dry, taught sensation
- Strengthening the skin’s surface against environmental threats and enhancing the skin’s natural defence
- Diminishing factors that trigger reactive skin
- Restoring a healthy pH balance to the skin’s surface
Looking after the microbiome of our skin is an extremely important consideration when it comes to caring for the health of our skin. As a result of preventative measures for Covid-19, our mask-wearing has benefits but it also comes with side effects for our normally healthy skin. Come into, or call the Clinic and ask us how we may be able to assist you with your skin concerns, we are happy to help.