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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Aging – Face the Facts

Apr 11, 2011 12:49AM

Skin, all by itself, ages in many identifiable ways. It isn't just oxygen depletion, free-radical damage, collagen destruction, reduced cell turnover, abnormal cell formation, decreased fat content, intercellular deficiency, genetically predetermined cell shutdown, and hormone loss that affect the way skin ages--it is a combination of all these things and more taking place.

While we know that collagen and elastin, the support structures of the skin, break down and flatten as a result of repeated sun exposure, they also become less pliant and more hardened with age, so the skin becomes less elastic. Collagen and elastin are in many skin-care products however they can't bond to the collagen and elastin in your skin, although they can work as moisturizing ingredients.

Certain components of the skin also become depleted with age. The water-retaining and texture-enhancing elements in the intercellular structure are exhausted and not replenished. Older skin is also more subject to allergic reactions, sensitivities, and irritation than younger skin due to a weakening immune system. Ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acids do work to help support the intercellular structure of the skin, but there is no research demonstrating that they prevent its continuing depletion.

On a deeper molecular level, the DNA and RNA genetic messages to the skin cell for reproduction slows down and the cells stop reproducing in the same way as they did when we were younger. This preprogrammed change makes cells become abnormally shaped, which further changes the texture of the skin and prevents the cells from retaining water. This is why older skin tends to be drier than younger skin.

While growing old cannot truly be reversed with a wrinkle cream, we can look for products that contain ingredients capable of helping skin to defend itself against environmental stress (with sunlight being the biggest culprit), reduce inflammation, encourage cell turnover to renew skin texture, and temporarily replenish what skin naturally loses as we grow older.

Jackielyn Turner is the owner of Beautiful Expression Skincare Studio in Downtown Melbourne. For information and appointments call 321-728-3223.

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