Skincare products specially formulated for ageing skin are increasingly popular. Why is this? As your skin ages the skin’s structure changes and this can cause changes to how your skin looks. So how can you best take care of your ageing skin? We asked two beauty therapists and a skin care scientist to tell us more.
The first thing we want to say is that we love our ageing skin! Change is a good thing! As we age, our skin changes naturally. We embrace those natural skin changes. But we also want to keep our skin healthy at every age. Fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of the ageing process, as we enter our 40s and 50s. But deepening lines and wrinkles, dullness, dryness, age spots and signs of premature ageing don’t have to be! They are actually often signs that your skin’s structure is becoming less compact and needs some extra help. So we asked skin therapists Victoria and Jodi along with scientist and product formulator Chris Smith, to explain how we can keep our skin healthy as we age. Here are their 10 top tips for ageing skincare.
1. Be wise with SPF
According to scientist and product formulator, Chris Smith, “90% of all ageing is because of UV damage”. Does that mean without sun exposure your skin wouldn’t age? Well, no. But when it comes to prematurely ageing skin, sun protection is key to stopping sun damage.
Chris Smith explains that there are 2 types of UV rays - “UVA - you could almost use the A to stand for ageing…UVA causes wrinkles at the cellular level. UVB, you could almost use the B to stand for Burning… UVB makes your skin turn red as it burns.”
How do UVA rays increase the signs of ageing?
UVA rays attack the collagen and elastin in your skin, damaging the DNA of those cells. Collagen keeps your skin plump and elastin keeps your skin taut. Sun exposure without protection against UVA rays can leave your skin looking hollow and saggy. This makes wrinkles appear deeper and the skin lose its natural shape. Changes to the DNA of the cells can also increase your risk of skin cancer.
How do UVB rays damage your skin?
This is a bit more obvious to the eye. Your skin will be red after being in the sun - this is a sign your skin is burnt. This can leave your skin feeling rough and can cause hyperpigmentation, which can lead to age spots (sometimes known as liver spots).
How do you protect your skin?
Staying out the sun is one option but not necessarily a solution for UVA rays - which, Chris Smith explains, can penetrate through glass.
What should you look for in an sun protection cream to guard against sun damage?
Chris Smith says it’s important to choose a product with both UVA and UVB protection. SPF (Sun Protection Factors) relate how long the product will increase your skin’s protection against UVB rays. You should choose skin care products that also include a UVA protection.
Why shouldn’t you stay out of the sun altogether?
Your body needs Vitamin D. This is made in a unique process when your skin is exposed to the sun. In the UK, we don’t get enough natural sunlight, which is why Public Health England suggests most of us take a Vitamin D supplement. Getting ten minutes of sunshine a day can actually have a really positive impact on your skin and your overall health.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep
They call it beauty sleep for a reason! Skin therapist Victoria explains, “your skin does its hardest work at night, as you sleep. This is when your cells renew and repair themselves - your cortisol levels naturally decrease and your body shifts from defensive mode to regeneration mode”. As you age, your cell turnover rate decreases, which makes renewal slower. Sleep becomes even more important for the skin as you get older.
If you struggle getting to sleep, try to avoid using screens (such as mobiles) just before bed and also consider using natural relaxing oils, such as lavender, to help your body to prepare for sleep.
Sound Sleep Cocoontransformative night gel-creamSkincare50ml: £71.50
This is a specially formulated night gel for ageing skin with seven active ingredients to lock in moisture, help with cell regeneration and also relax you as you sleep. Tamarind seed is a powerful hydrating ingredient that helps to restore and lock in moisture as you sleep, whilst Wu Zhu Yu extract helps to brighten dull and dehydrated skin. Antioxidants such as kakadu plum and persian silk tree extract fight free radical damage and promote collagen production, at the same time as patchouli leaf oil helps to stimulate regeneration of tissue. Finally sandalwood and lavendin are soothing and help you to sleep well.
3. Eat well and supplement when you need to
You may have the best skincare regime for your skin, but that is only a part of the solution. What you put into your body will have an effect on the outside. So if your diet isn’t balanced or you aren’t getting enough nutrients, this can lead to skin issues.
Here are five foods that are really great for helping ageing skin:
(so long as you don’t have allergies!) - they are great as an anti-inflammatory and have antioxidant properties.
(in moderation!) - dark chocolate contains flavanols which help to increase blood flow to the skin, which is great to encourage cell turnover in ageing skin.
are a great natural source of Vitamin C which is an antioxidant for the skin.
full of Vitamin A which is great for rebuilding collagen levels in ageing skin.
a source of Omega 3s - the healthy fats that are great for rebuilding lipids.
4. Stress less!
Life can get busy - with work, family and social life and this can lead to stress! Temporary bouts of being stressed and busy are totally normal in everyday life but this can have a huge impact on your skin. That’s because when your body goes into stress mode, it causes chemical reactions. This can lead to an overproduction of oil (sebum) which can lead to breakouts and can also upset your natural anti-inflammatory responses.
Here are three ways you can take time out and look after your ageing skin:
Go for a long walk
make sure you have your SPF on(!) and then find somewhere quiet and picturesque to get some fresh air. This can have a positive effect on your skin and your emotional well being.
Do some cardio
stress and anxiety can produces extra hormones. Cardio can be a great way to burn off stress and regulate your heart rate and stress levels.
using a face masque can be a real treat. Take fifteen minutes out of your busy day to apply and relax whilst the masque gets to work.
If you feel like you are struggling to cope with your stress levels or that stress is having a negative impact on your physical or emotional well-being, it’s a good idea to visit your GP to get the right support for your needs.
Exfoliation is key as your skin ages
Exfoliation is a key part of skincare as you age. When you are younger, your skin cells naturally regenerate. This means that dead skin cells are replaced and your skin stays brighter and more radiant. As you age, your cell turnover naturally slows down. That is why exfoliation is key. Exfoliating encourages cell renewal by getting rid of dead cells, either by chemical or physical exfoliation.
What is physical exfoliation?
Most of us think of exfoliation as using scrubs and brushes to physically exfoliate the skin. This process removes dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.
What is chemical exfoliation?
Rather than using abrasive ingredients to remove dead skin cells, chemical exfoliants work by dissolving the ‘glue’ that hold those cells together. This means that chemical exfoliants can work deeper into the skin’s layers. Although chemical exfoliants may sound harsh for the skin, they are actually often more gentle - working at dissolving the bonds so the cells naturally shed.
The Dermal Institute describes chemical exfoliation being able to “jump-start cell turnover for improved skin texture and appearance”.
Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel
Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel is the strongest at-home chemical exfoliator from Dermalogica. It is often called a chemical ‘peel’ but you can rest assured your skin won’t literally peel away! It is a way of describing the action the main ingredient in chemical exfoliation - Alpha Hydroxy Acids - has, which is described by the Dermal Institute here:
“They exfoliate from the inside out, as AHAs work primarily by dissolving the desmosome connections between the corneocytes in the lower area of the stratum corneum.”
If you’re new to exfoliation, Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant is a lesser strength chemical exfoliant, which is very effective. This can be used as mask weekly - left on for ten to fifteen minutes to work to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells and renew the skin.
6. Use Active ingredients - retinol, vitamin C, AHAs, peptides
You can get your hands on some really hard working active ingredients nowadays. We’ve already touched on one when we just talked about exfoliation - AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) but there are a number of highly effective ingredients in your skincare products.
How do they help ageing skin? Well, as your skin ages, its structure naturally becomes less taut, which can give the appearance of sagging and wrinkling skin. This is because your cell turnover and production naturally slows, as hormones decrease as you age. The collagen and elastin keeping your skin looking plump and taut needs some help to renew and restore your skin.
Let’s have a look at some of the active ingredients that can work for your ageing skin:
Skin therapist Victoria explains how great Vitamin C can be for your skin, but that until now we haven’t been able to fully get the benefits of this amazing natural ingredient. We all know that Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant and can soften, brighten and help to repair the skin. However as Victoria explains, “Pure Vitamin C is very unstable - it oxidises quickly, which means that when you add it to skincare products it can lose a lot of its potency and goodness before really getting to work.” Dermalogica’s Biolumin C Serum has two forms of ultra stable Vitamin C and has been formulated with a specially designed peptide to keep the potency and get the best for your skin from the Vitamin C. This amazing product can help to rebuild and repair the skin, encouraging collagen production and brightening the skin.
A form of Vitamin A, retinol can be misunderstood by some of us as being harsh for your skin. But retinol is actually a brilliant active ingredient to deal with the effects of pollutants and free radical damage and ageing. That said, Retinol is a powerful ingredient which is why you will only find a small amount in products (that will go a long way!) Retinol works by promoting collagen production, which naturally slows as you age, and encouraging cell turnover. Retinol is best used at night as it can make your skin photosensitive (prone to sun damage). Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repairis a great way to use retinol - you will get a buffer cream to mix with the retinol to slowly introduce your skin to the effects of this amazing product. You can choose to continue to dilute the retinol or work towards using it directly on the skin.
As we have already seen AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are a great chemical exfoliant. Rather than using abrasive exfoliation ingredients, which can cause excess oil production in ageing skin, AHAs exfoliate by working from the inside out. Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peelis the strongest at home exfoliator, specially formulated by skincare experts at Dermalogica. This can be combined with professional peels to get the best skin renewal effects.
Described by skin therapist Victoria, peptides “mimic the signals in your skin, so they effectively switch on your cells to produce collagen.” As you age, your cell production naturally slows down. This is a problem for collagen production, as this is what makes your skin plump and looking full. Peptides send signals ahead of other active ingredients to get cells ready to renew.
at Jersey Beauty we love hyaluronic acid! It may sound like a harsh ingredient but this acid holds up to 1000 times its weight in water and is fantastic for hydration. It locks in moisture which is brilliant for ageing skin that can often end up dehydrated. When your skin is dehydrated, wrinkles can look deeper and your skin can lose some of its structure. Healthy hydrated skin is radiant. Evolve Hyaluronic Acid Serumcan be used under your usual moisturiser to give a huge moisture boost and lock in goodness in the deeper layers of your skin.
This is a BHA (Beta hydroxy acid) which makes it oil soluble. The science is really important when it comes to understanding the benefits of this active ingredient. It can get deep into the pores and dissolve oil and de-clog your pores. We all know that breakouts and blackheads are not just an issue for teenage skin. In fact, hormone changes during menopause can make your skin more breakout prone than ever!Dermalogica Daily Microfoliantis a gentle but effective daily physical exfoliant that can be a great addition to your skin care routine.
When we talk about skincare, it can be easy to neglect the majority of your skin - all over your body! As you age, your body changes. That is totally natural! But equally we can notice changes to our skin that are signs of the skin not being as healthy as it could be. As you age, exfoliation and moisturising is key for your body.