Here’s a disturbing fact – at this very moment, a destructive process called glycation (actually Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs) is aging our skin from the inside out. What this actually means is that glycation occurs when sugar molecules bind to collagen in living tissues and form these deadly complexes called Advanced Glycation End Products. These AGEs significantly disrupts collage metabolism, leading to wrinkles, creeping and loose skin.
What are the different types of skin aging?
There are 2 distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging. Aging caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to the sun, pollution, how we cook and cigarette smoke is called extrinsic (actinic) aging.
Intrinsic aging is known as the natural aging process. It is a continuous process that normally begins in our mid-20s. Intrinsic aging accounts for about 10% of our aging. I will talk about intrinsic aging in a future blog.
Extrinsic Skin Aging
A number of extrinsic (actinic), or external, factors often act together with normal aging process to prematurely age our skin. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure. Other external factors that prematurely age our skin are repetitive facial expressions, gravity, sleeping positions & smoking. Genes control how quickly the normal process unfolds. Some notice those first gray hairs in their 20s Some notice those first gray hairs in their 20. Others do not see graying until their 40s.
Causes of External Skin Aging
- The Sun – Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin), and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure. “Photoaging” is the term that dermatologists use to describe this type of aging caused by exposure to the sun. The amount of “photoaging” that develops depends on: (1) a person’s skin color & (2) their history of long-term or intense sun exposure. People with fair skin who have a history of sun exposure develop more signs of photoaging than those with dark skin. In the darkest skin, the signs of photoaging are usually limited to fine wrinkles and a mottled complexion. Photoaging occurs over a period of years. With repeated exposure to the sun, the skin loses its ability to repair itself, & damage accumulates. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down the collagen and impairs the making of new collagen. The sun also attacks our elastin. Sun-weakened skin ceases to spring back much earlier than skin protected from UV rays. Skin also becomes loose, wrinkled and leathery much earlier with unprotected exposure to sunlight. Premature aging from years of unprotected exposure to the sun causes deep wrinkles, age spots and leathery skin. People who live in sun-intense areas can show signs of photoaging in their 20s. While it may seem that the signs of photoaging appear overnight, they actually lie invisible beneath the surface of the skin for years.
- Facial Expressions – If you perform facial expressions to maintain a youthful appearance, it is time to stop! Repetitive facial movements lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time we use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin, which is why we see lines form with each facial expression. As skin ages & loses its elasticity, the skin stops springing back to its line-free state. These grooves become permanently etched on the face as fine lines & wrinkles.
- Gravity – Gravity constantly pulls at our bodies. Changes related to gravity become more pronounced as we age. In our 50s, when the skin’s elasticity declines dramatically, the effects of gravity become evident. Gravity causes the tip of the nose to droop, the ears to elongate, the eyelids to fall, jowls to form, and the upper lip to disappear while the lower lip becomes more pronounced.
- Sleeping Positions – Resting your face on the pillow in the same way every night for years on end also leads to wrinkles. Called sleep lines, these wrinkles eventually become etched on the surface of the skin & no longer disappear when the head is not resting on the pillow. Women tend to sleep on their sides & these lines appear on their chins & cheeks. Men notice these lines on their foreheads since they usually sleep with the face pressed face down on the pillow. People who sleep on their backs do not develop these wrinkles since their skin does not lie crumpled against the pillow.
- Smoking – Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging. Research shows that a person who smokes 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of 10 years is statistically more likely to develop deeply wrinkled, leathery skin than a nonsmoker. A study in 2002 showed that facial wrinkling, while not yet visible to the naked eye, can be seen under the microscope in smokers as young as 20. These signs can be greatly diminished, and in some cases avoided, by stopping smoking. People who have smoked for many years, or smoked heavily at a younger age, show less facial wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.
Want a Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin? – Meet Jouvé
Most aging occurs from things we do to our skin. While you cannot stop or even slow down the intrinsic aging process, you can prevent signs of premature aging (extrinsic or actinic) by protecting your skin from the sun, quitting smoking, eliminating facial expressions and using the right skin care products. Dermatologists recommend comprehensive sun protection to prevent premature aging by the sun. This includes:
- Avoiding deliberate tanning, including use of indoor tanning devices.
- Staying out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Wear protective clothing & wear sunscreen (SPF of 15 or higher) all year round. Only use sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. Avoid the ones that contain dioxybenzone or oxybenzone which are potent free-radical producers.
While there are a number of treatments available including injectable fillers and botulinum toxin (Botox) as well as face lifts, laser resurfacing and chemical peels, the best way to treat this is to avoid the extrinsic causes of skin wrinkling. Less stress, exercise and a good diet are also helpful. To maintain good collagen and elastin in your skin, it is important to help the body restore itself with the proper nutrients. This includes proper vitamin and mineral support as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients to help restore the collagen and elastin. In addition, there is scientific evidence that topical application of certain nutrients can increase hydration, slow down the glycation of collagen and reduce wrinkles and sagging skin.
The exciting news in skin care is that in Novemeber, 205, ARIIX launches a new, toxic-free skin care line that reverses the signs of premature extrinsic skin aging. Jouvé significantly reduces wrinkles and other signs of aging starting with the first application. Below is a video featuring Dr. Ginger, a holistic physician, who is on the ARIIX Wellness Council with me. She explains the rationale in the development of Jouvé. The results of the clinical study that shows significant reduction in wrinkles in 30 days will be released soon.
When Jouvé launches in mid-November, supplies will be limited. It will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Preregister now to be notified about the release. Simply fill out the form below and you will be contacted about ordering Jouvé. If you prefer, you can call Dr. Organ at 913.488.1657 to preregister or have your questions answered.