“Nothing is constant but change…”. These are the words spoken by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. The vital proof of it is the ageing process taking place in all the life forms around us. However, ageing is a matter of a great concern for humans. There are visible signs of ageing of our cells, which are proclaimed through biological, physiological, psychological as well as cognitive aspects affecting us.
Here we will keep our discussion within the periphery of the process of skin ageing.
As we age chronologically, the ageing of skin is inevitable. Our genes largely try to delay it, but then again, the process, medically termed as “intrinsic ageing” takes over and our genes have to give in.
Let us first understand the Structure of SKIN:
Skin is the our largest and the heaviest body organ approximately covering 20 square feet.
Skin is made of three layers:
- Hypodermis or Subcutaneous layer
Epidermis is the outer most layer of the skin. The middle layer is dermis and the third layer hypodermis is the deepest skin layer which keeps the skin attached to the bones and muscles underneath.(1)
FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR AGEING OF SKIN:
Intrinsic ageing: (due to internal factors)
Our skin has got its own repair mechanisms; however, it becomes less effective due to ageing. There are many reasons for it. The sun, pollution, chronic stress, smoking and free radicals are the oxidative stressors. When they penetrate skin cells, where in breaking down collagen (collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals and constitutes the skin tissues) which in turn impacts the DNA structure of the cells. This damage prevails and expands over the time causing wrinkles, fine lines, drooping and loosing of skin.
Extrinsic ageing: (due to external factors)
The most common and prominent factors to blame are prolonged and regular exposure to harsh sun (UV exposure), smoking, pollution, chronic stress, poor sleeping and dietary habits, alcoholism and negligence towards exercise.
Skin drops its elasticity as we age and gravity causes drooping of skin –more conspicuously in the eye brows, eye lids, ear lobes, under the cheeks and jaw.
People who are habitual using specific facial expressions repeatedly like frowning, squinting are more prone to develop wrinkles around eyes and on the forehead.
Visible signs of ageing of skin:
- Skin loses its natural luster and becomes dry.
- Due to the decrease in the elasticity of the skin, it becomes saggy, rough and prone to damage and bruises.
- Firmness of the skin lessens, every so often becomes transparent due to the thinning of the epidermis and dermis.
- Slaking due to loss of elastic tissue (elastin and collagen).
COLLAGEN and its role
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in human body which constitutes almost 25 % to 35% of total protein content of the body. Collagen is found in the dermis and epidermis layers of our skin. As we age, the level of collagen declines. Moreover, due to various external factors discussed above are also accountable to accelerate the rate of collagen reduction in our skin. Collagen is found in the extracellular spaces of the connective tissues forming the dermis layer of the skin, which provides elasticity and firmness to the skin.
ANTI AGEING PRODUCTS AND THE TRILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY:
This segment is possibly the most marketed and revenue generating segment in the industry. With products such as SERUMS, CREAMS, LOTIONS, oils Etc , ranging from as low as rs 100 upto a few thousands for a meagre 100 gms, there is a product for each tier of the society, and depending on the spending capacity, and potential target clientele, the brands spend on the marketing and advertisement.
Anti-ageing products in the market:
Highly marketed skin moisturizers and serum can not restrict the skin ageing, nevertheless some good skin care products enriched with retinol and hyaluronic acid may slow down the process thereby improving the skin appearance.
Right age to start using ANTI AGEING PRODUCTS:
According to AAD every adult should follow good skin care routine, especially those who are already in their 40s and 50s. They are advised to use good moisturizers and sunscreen in order to keep their skin supple and prevent it from drying.
Do remember, though they are not going to stop the ageing, they will help in slowing down the process up to some extent.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ANTI AGEING FOR SKIN:
There are some simple measures that would help to slowdown the skin ageing.
Developing healthy life style that includes:
- Good Nutrition.
- Healthy eating habits, and including raw vegetable and fruits rich in antioxidants like mangoes, apples, blueberries.
- Good quality sleep.
- Avoiding smoking and alcohol.
- Regular Exercise
- Try to be stress free
- Include rejuvenating activities in your routine.
- Including some herbs and natural health supplements like alovera, amla (rich source of vitamin C), tulsi etc on a regular basis.
COSMETICS TREATMENTS AND COSMETOLOGY
o Cosmetic treatments:
o There are popular skin care treatments available in the market, for instance– mironeedling, ultrasound energy device treatment, dermabrasion, chemical peels and some surgeries like Botox.
Anti – ageing creams:
Currently cosmetic markets are flooded with plethora of anti- ageing creams and serums. Consumers are perplexed about the brands they should choose and at times they aren’t sure about using any of them.
What are they?
Anti- ageing creams are the cosmeceutical moisturizing products. They help to conceal and reduce the physical signs of skin ageing, like wrinkles, fine lines.
How do they work?
In the commercial world of beauty and cosmetics, one for the most alluring products for the people, especially for females, is the Anti -ageing creams.
We see staggering number of brands of anti-ageing creams and serums out there in the market and claiming their products to be the best option available to the consumers. You will be watching various films stars endorsing such anti-ageing creams of different brands which make the product more striking to us.
No matter what the advertisement of a company claims and vows about the effectiveness of its product, neither anti-ageing creams reverse the process of ageing nor it restricts it Completely. Utmost what these creams can do is to slow down or mask the ageing process that is achieved by adding a few common ingredients in these creams. Most of the anti-ageing creams would be using them as these ingredients renew the skin and increase the cell turnover.
Common ingredients found in anti-ageing creams:
It is one of the finest ingredients found in anti-ageing creams. Retinol is Vitamin A and an anti -oxidant which supports to neutralize the effect of free radicals leading to wrinkles and damages to skin.
Hydroxy acids :
Hydroxy acids help in exfoliating the skin and removes dead cells piled on the skin.
Vitamin C :
Another well appreciated anti-oxidant helps to fight the sun damage and premature ageing of skin.
Peptides are added to anti-ageing creams due to their heling properties, besides they are found effective on wrinkles.
They are the anti-oxidants helping to restrict water loss from our skin. Moisture is very crucial to the skin as it supports to maintain the structure of skin proteins and in turn skin cell integrity.
Tea tree extracts, Aloe Vera or Grape seed extracts etc.
All of these are added to anti -ageing creams due to their anti -inflammatory properties and healing influence.
To conclude, don’t expect any miraculous changes the appearance of your skin, or complete removal of wrinkles and fine lines. No anti- ageing creams can do it. You can slow down the skin ageing by masking the wrinkles, pigmentations or dryness and fine lines with these creams.
Furthermore, follow nutritious diet, well planned physical workouts and avoid stress of any form as much as possible.
Last but not the least, accept ageing of your skin as a natural phenomenon and embrace it with grace. Wear your wrinkles as a mark of your maturity and sign of fruitful life experiences.