How to Slow Down Skin Aging?
We all know that the skin is a delicate organ in our body, and we need to take care of it. In fact, the skin is composed of different molecules that protect it from skin aging until a certain age.
Unfortunately, sooner or later, these molecules are absent, and our skin begins to show signs of maturity, sagging a bit, revealing fine lines and wrinkles, and losing elasticity.
But how can we delay the visible effects of skin aging as much as possible?
The skin is the first protective barrier of our body against external aggressions, so it is essential to take good care of it. It is the most important organ in the human body and is very complex.
Indeed, our skin is composed of different layers of overlapping cells: the hypodermis (or subcutaneous tissue), the dermis, and the epidermis.
• The epidermis is the top layer of the skin and is composed of several layers of cells called keratinocytes.
• The dermis is located below the epidermis and contains hair follicles and glands responsible for the secretion of sweat, sebum, and, for some, hormones or pheromones.
• The hypodermis mainly contains adipose cells.
The skin is also composed of molecules essential to its proper functioning, such as elastin, collagen, and keratin. We will explain in this article the functions of these different molecules.
Essential Constituents of the Skin:
1. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is known to everyone for slowing down the signs of aging. It is a molecule naturally present in the human body, especially in the middle layer of the skin, the dermis. Water binds to hyaluronic acid molecules, giving a plump and stretched appearance to the skin of the face. A single hyaluronic acid molecule can attract and fix up to 1000 times its weight in water! When hyaluronic acid disappears, water can no longer recover, giving a relaxed appearance to the skin and causing small wrinkles and fine lines to appear on our faces.
Collagen is a protein that, like hyaluronic acid, is naturally present in the body and mainly in the skin. This molecule ensures the proper behavior of the skin and gives it a plump appearance. It is mainly present in the dermis and serves as "intercellular adhesive." Like hyaluronic acid, this molecule degrades with age, and its quantity in the body gradually decreases. This decrease leads to a loss of hydration and thinning of the dermis. The skin is weakened, revealing the first wrinkles.
Elastin is the protein responsible for the elasticity of vertebrate tissue. It is what gives elasticity and resilience to the fibers of the dermis and allows the skin to return to its original position when pinched or stretched. Young skin before the age of 30 has up to 5 times more elastin than old skin after the age of 45. In fact, the total production of elastin stops around puberty. After that, the amount of available elastin gradually decreases over time.
Skin Aging: What Is Really Happening
From the age of 25, the amount of collagen and elastin fibers begins to decrease.
Free radicals, produced by the body from oxygen, accelerate these degradations. Free radicals are produced in cases of unprotected sun exposure, pollution, poor lifestyle habits (smoking, alcohol, etc.).
Elastin is found in the dermis of the skin, which acts as a support. During aging, for example, the loss of elasticity and tone of the dermis, which can no longer oppose the contraction effects of the underlying muscles, gives rise to the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, exposure to ultraviolet light increases the degradation of elastin.
The ability to produce collagen decreases with age. Our skin loses an average of 1% every year from the age of 30, and sometimes even earlier for some people. As a result, it weakens, sags, and loses firmness.
How to Slow Down Skin Aging
The molecules present in the different layers of the skin can be supplied to the body in different ways. The most common are by ingestion (diet, dietary supplements) or by application to the skin (day or night creams, masks, etc.). However, some tips, in addition to what you already know, can help keep your skin looking young.
A good diet
One of the most well-known tips for maintaining beautiful skin: pay attention to your diet. Don't forget: having good skin is a lot about what's on your plate!
To combat the appearance of wrinkles, it is important to carefully observe your diet. Choose foods rich in antioxidants (nuts, cocoa, fruits), omega-3 (fish, seeds, and vegetable oils), and vitamins (fruits and vegetables) and avoid anything that is "bad fat," such as fried and processed foods.
Dietary supplements can also help keep the skin young: there are many dietary supplements that contain hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. These dietary supplements will provide the intake of these molecules that your skin no longer has.
A study conducted in 2014 on women aged 35 to 55 proved that the intake of a dietary supplement containing hyaluronic acid hydrolysate increased skin elasticity in 4 weeks!
Hyaluronic acid and collagen are naturally present in our bodies: in our eyes, in our joints. It is in our skin, and more particularly in the dermis, the superficial layer of the skin, that they are found in greater quantity. With age, their concentration in the skin decreases naturally. It sags a bit, revealing fine lines and wrinkles. The skin loses elasticity.
Therefore, it is essential to bring these molecules to your body through food.
Vitamin C is also very beneficial in the fight against the breakdown of collagen molecules. In fact, vitamin C induces the formation of collagen, which contributes to good skin function. Our body does not synthesize vitamin C, so it is crucial to provide it to our body. Vitamin C increases elastin and collagen in the dermis, reduces the intensity of spots on the skin, and gives our skin a radiant boost by improving blood circulation.
We all know that yeast is used to treat acne and make the skin more radiant. But be aware that revivifiable brewer's yeast also acts on keratin and contributes to the longevity of skin cells. Brewer's yeast treatment results in healthier and more flexible skin, more resistant to external and internal aggressions. Therefore, active brewer's yeast slows down skin aging.
To repel skin aging, nothing is more effective than significant and regular hydration. Water is present in large quantities in the different layers of the skin, being mainly responsible for the cutaneous appearance. Hydration is also the key to increasing collagen production. For hydrated skin, drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods (tomato, watermelon, cucumber, melon, etc.).
Anti-aging creams are extremely numerous in the market. We really don't know where to turn. Anti-wrinkle creams are usually composed of antioxidants in the form of vitamins or trace elements, which help the skin fight free radicals and damage caused by pollution. Retinol is also present in many creams; it stimulates skin renewal and smoothes fine lines. Anti-aging active ingredients, naturally found in citrus fruits or grapes, also help moisturize the skin and eliminate dead cells. As for sunscreens, their role is to protect the skin. Favoring a natural cream is usually a good idea, as many creams use products that are not well-tolerated by the skin and are harmful to the environment (titanium dioxide, alkylphenols, etc.). In general, try as much as possible to learn about the ingredients that make up your creams. Remember that the choice of your cream should be made according to your skin type!
Tips to Keep Your Skin Young
• Facial massage: massage can stimulate collagen production and strengthen muscle memory, delaying the appearance of wrinkles.
• Quit smoking: smoking reduces collagen production and destroys elastic fibers. The skin becomes less smooth, less toned. Cigarette smoke causes a reduction in blood flow to the skin cells. Consequence: the tissues of the epidermis are less well supplied with oxygen and essential nutrients, leading to wrinkles, dry skin, gray skin, and skin aging.
• Reduce sugar intake: sugar is almost as bad for the skin as cigarettes. It permanently binds to collagen present in the skin. When collagen is overloaded with glucose, it becomes less flexible, giving dry and dull skin and accelerating aging. To avoid these effects on the skin, reduce refined white sugar intake.