Educational Series: Age Management

by | 29 December 2022

Fine lines, wrinkles, loss of structural integrity, dryness and pigmentation; what is going on?! Ladies and gentleman; this is called the ageing process due to a decline in the skin’s barrier defence systems.

Did you know that with each decade that goes by, the cells and systems of our skin undergo biological levels of cellular damage; each unique in their own way? Well, yes, they do! This can be accelerated by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors that advance the ageing process; from genetics, poor nutrition, certain medications, solar radiation, pollution, and stress (whether being physical and/or psychological), all create the perfect environment for inflammation within the body and skin, thus leading to the signs and symptoms of premature ageing.

Our skin is equipped with a very elaborate defence system that regulates trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) while providing protection against pathogens and allergens. It also contains a highly sophisticated antioxidant system that neutralises free radicals; keeping the skin protected against harmful reactive oxygen molecules that damage our lipids, proteins and DNA. As we age our immune system declines and the skin looses its antioxidant ability to neutralise free radicals. This, in turn, wreaks havoc on our skin cell membranes; causing fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and other age-related skin problems to occur.

Before we dive into talking about skin treatment modalities and products that can help to support an ageing skin, we first need to explore what the terms “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” ageing mean, followed by an understanding of biological cellular damage that occurs each decade, and what we can do to slow down this process…

Intrinsic ageing

Intrinsic, or “chronological ageing” (how old you are), is the inevitable genetically determined process that naturally occurs. Intrinsic ageing is determined by each person’s individual genetic clock and is affected by the degenerative effects of free radicals (harmful, unstable molecules), and the body’s inability to perfectly repair their damage. As we age, the body’s innate defence systems decline, cells, tissues and vital organs deteriorate, and we observe changes in muscles, fat and bones which amplify the visible signs of ageing.

Intrinsic ageing is a continuous process that usually begins in the mid-20s but may not become evident for decades. As the skin is the largest organ of the body, it is also the site of response to some other event taking place within the body. The appearance of pigmentation, wrinkles, loss of adhesion, structural integrity and resiliency, all showcase this exactly.

Extrinsic ageing

Extrinsic ageing is also known as photo-ageing and is superimposed on intrinsic ageing. UV-radiation accounts mainly for the changes that are characteristic of this type of ageing, although cigarette smoking, pollution, alcohol, poor nutrition, and high amounts of free radicals are contributing factors. Did you know that we have more control over extrinsic ageing than we do with intrinsic ageing? Yes, it’s true! If we neglect our bodies and skin, then we will accelerate the ageing process leading to all signs of visual disturbances.

Not only do we have the chronological aspect of ageing, but we also have the biological effects of ageing that can cause significant tissue damage to our cells DNA; thus resulting in reduced energy production and cellular memory. Biological ageing refers to the study or understanding of cellular or molecular ageing in the body of the person. For example, you may be 55 years old in your chronological age, but your biological age maybe 65 or 40. It all depends on how you’ve taken care of your body and overall health.

If your biological age is higher than your chronological age, then you may be more prone to age-related disease and frailty.

 

 

With that being said, let’s now explore the biological levels of cellular damage…

Oxidative stress

Up to the age of 25, our skin gradually experiences more and more oxidative stress that accelerates free radical production. This leads to the loss of water-soluble antioxidants such as Vitamin C, and other water-soluble nutrients within the cell membranes of our skin.

Lipid-peroxidation

From the age of 25 to 35, lipid-peroxidation begins to take hold. This is a compounded form of oxidative stress. It is the oxidation of Omega 3 & 6, Vitamin A & E, as well as all other lipid molecules found within the cell membrane and intra/extracellular environment. It is the loss of oil soluble antioxidants.

Mitochondrial DNA damage/ageing

From the age of 35 to 50, the mitochondria of your cells become affected. The mitochondria is the battery operator of a cell, and when its juice runs out, you’re in serious trouble! If lipid-peroxidation is allowed to compound, it will affect the mitochondria’s structure and function. Mitochondrial ageing is when the built in defence systems decline with age, or loss is accelerated by lifestyle and compounded by neglect.

Cellular senescence

From the age of 50 onwards, cells experience cellular senescence (Alzheimer’s disease) which is the end of the regenerative cycle. Cells are alive but distorted in their form and function with reduced and abnormal cell function. This, in turn, causes all sorts of problems to occur within the body which can reflect in the visual appearance of the skin.

 

 

To topically combat and inhibit biological levels of cellular damage, we must be utilising water and oil-soluble antioxidants twice daily to neutralise free radicals. The use of vitamins A, C, E and vitamin B5 is an excellent start, combined with essential fatty acids high in antioxidants such as Kiwi Seed, Boswellia and Rose Hip Oil. Internally, we need to be looking at Omega 3 to reduce inflammation and to enhance cellular function, whilst following a Mediterranean diet that explores the colours of the rainbow within every meal.

Let’s now talk about a very important cell within your skin, the fibroblast, and the relevance of this cell with the ageing process in conjunction with UV-radiation…

Fibroblast & UV-radiation

It has been established that the fibroblast (your collagen making cell), declines with age and is a major player in the creation of all dermal layers, and in the structural integrity and density of the skin. Your dermis comprises of many layers with each layer playing a special role in maintaining the shape and form of the body and face. The slow deterioration of which will reflect in the outward appearance of skin; compounding over a period of time and leading to serious dermal alterations that showcase visible signs of ageing.

Research has determined that UVR activates enzymes (MMPs) that breakdown your collagen and elastin proteins. In fact, even small amounts of UV-radiation every other day is enough to sustain heightened MMP activity levels! Topically applying antioxidants twice daily and wearing sunscreen will be your best friend when protecting your collagen and elastin proteins from degradation.

So, when it comes to skin treatment modalities and dermaviduals actives to improve the ageing skin, what can we use?

Skin treatments to support the ageing skin:

Medical Microneedling

Is a skin treatment modality that invokes a controlled wound healing response within the skin’s tissue using medical grade, stainless steel needles. These needles, in turn, generate a controlled inflammatory response within the tissue and result in the production of biological protein molecules (cytokines and growth factors). Cytokines and growth factors encourage the production of collagen from fibroblasts in order to be synthesised for the repair of the dermal layer.

Medical microneedling is a safe and effective modality when it comes to improving fine lines, wrinkles, scarring and pigmentation concerns.

Cosmetic Rolling

Cosmetic rolling or at-home skin needling can be used for collagen induction for the channelling of our own collagen. Researchers found that at 0.2mm there was a significant increase in the expression of collagen proteins necessary for the repair of fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Cosmetic rolling is an inexpensive tool that can truly change your skin, and it is highly encouraged to invest in one if you’re concerned with premature ageing.

Click here to read more about cosmetic rolling

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

Is a non-invasive treatment that stimulates cellular regeneration and encourages tissue homeostasis (balance). LED uses different coloured wavelengths which can penetrate below the skin’s surface in order to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. LED encourages the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy that increases cell-turnover, supports wound healing and helps to undo signs of ageing within the epidermis and the dermis.

 

 

Contact your nearest dermaviduals clinic to learn more about these skin-changing treatment modalities!

Let’s now explore our top 5 actives to support with undoing visible signs of ageing within the dermis and the epidermis…

Top 5 actives to support the ageing skin:

Green Tea Extract

Is rich in polyphenols and has anti-inflammatory properties. Caffeine is also found in Green Tea Extract which stimulates microcirculation via vasoconstriction. It is the perfect active for fighting against environmentally induced damage and metabolic free radicals.

Vitamin C Liposome Concentrate

Is an essential antioxidant for the manufacture and synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C has complimentary role to Vitamin E and is an essential companion. Vitamin C Liposome Concentrate metabolises excess histamine, provides anti-inflammatory properties and plays a vital role in immune protection.

Zinc Liposomal Serum

Increases cellular regeneration, supports collagen and elastin production while providing anti-inflammatory benefits. Zinc Liposome Serum also improves wound healing and is a free radical scavenger.

Vitamin A Nanoparticles

Is the number on skin regenerator and normaliser. Vitamin A can regulate the skin’s structure and function, improve the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as up-regulate the expression of collagen while sustaining DNA and cellular structures.

Co-enzyme Q10 Nanoparticles

Increases cellular turnover, lipid metabolism and also boosts collagen production. Co-enzyme Q10 Nanoparticles is essential for the production of ATP (the energy our cells require to function) and is a potent antioxidant for scavenging harmful free radicals.

 

 

Contact your nearest dermaviduals clinic today if you’re concerned with how your skin looks, feels and functions, as our highly qualified Skin Treatment Therapists specialise in the management of premature ageing, so that you can look and feel your best!

 

Written by Kai Atkinson