Learn why our skin loses firmness, and what to include in your routine to prevent this
Nothing says youth more than radiant, firm and supple skin. But as we age, changes happen within the skin and various youth-boosting processes slow down and the skin can lose its firmness. So how can we age gracefully and keep our skin looking in top condition for as long as possible?
The skin contains collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes up 75% of the volume of our skin. This protein supports our skin and gives it a youthful appearance. Over time, factors such as sun exposure, lifestyle and ageing deplete our collagen and our skin starts to resemble that deflated balloon left over from a birthday party your kids won’t let you throw away.
Your skin’s collagen is similar to a mattress, overtime the daily use of facial and body movements degrade collagen just as you lying and moving in your bed degrades your mattress’s shape. Your skin needs to be instructed or encouraged to rebuild collagen to rejuvenate the skin and plump it back up to reduce the signs of ageing.
Peptides are building blocks of proteins and collagen is a protein. Peptides can be made into a specific shape, which can fit into a receptor within the skin to encourage various mechanisms in the body, e.g. increasing the rate of collagen production. This action will plump and firm your skin.
For best results, it is recommended to use peptides in both your AM and PM routine. Peptides do not play nice with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), as they can degrade the effectiveness of the peptide and cancel out all the benefits. The degradation is caused by the pH of the AHA being too low (acidic) for the peptides to function properly. You can still use an AHA in the morning and the peptide at night, any exfoliation from the AHA should be done prior to the application of peptides. Peptides are safe for all skin types and improve the function of Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid.
Vitamin C is involved in the collagen production process, and including a high dose of this in your routine will help to promote collagen production as well as natural hyaluronic acid production. You should look for a formula that contains 15%-20% Vitamin C. This percentage is ideal to maximise results. Vitamin C also fights the free radical damage that causes the breakdown of collagen as well as encouraging new collagen.
For best results, use your Vitamin C in the AM with your SPF to boost the efficacy of the SPF. Vitamin C is well tolerated by most skin types but can be drying so it’s important to choose a formula that works for your skin type. Consult an expert before use if your skin is sensitised.
Hyaluronic acid rehydrates and retexturizes dry ageing skin by absorbing into the skin and attracting water molecules towards it. These molecules work well on the surface of the skin to draw moisture to the surface, creating a plump, smooth appearance to the skin. When injected into the skin (via cosmetic fillers), Hyaluronic acid encourages the production of collagen, promoting its anti-aging effects internally. Hyaluronic acid is suitable for all skin types and should be applied after your Vitamin C has been applied and absorbed for best results.
Sunscreen protects the skin, we all know that, but did you know it protects your skin’s collagen fibres too? Sunscreen works to protect collagen by preventing the fibres from being degraded due to UV exposure. If these collagen fibres are not protected from UV rays they will become damaged and not be able to support the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature ageing so wearing an SPF factor 30 ( at least ) will protect your collagen fibres from photodamage.
Replenishing collagen stores takes time. When collagen is encouraged to rebuild it may take up to 6-12 weeks to see actual results. Now, this sounds like a long time but in reality, we blink an eye and another year has passed. You might see marginal improvement within the first few days of use, although to savour the benefits of new collagen repletion, you need to use the products long-term.
Vitamin C needs hydration to move around the body and collagen needs vitamin C to be stimulated. Keeping hydrated will scale down the effects of ageing on the skin.
When we sleep our bodies repair themselves. During this reparative state, our bodies produce a human growth hormone that is essential to collagen formation. When we don’t sleep well this process is interrupted and we don’t receive the nightly repairs we need. So it’s official. You can dream your way to a youthful complexion.
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