Is great skin determined by your genes (thanks Mum) or is it something you can influence by the way you care for it? Well it’s a yes and no!
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, conducted a study into what makes some women, who’d not had cosmetic surgery or injectable intervention, seem ageless in comparison to others. The study found that younger looking women did in fact have a specific genetic fingerprint comprised of some 2000 genes that influenced skin cell functions like energy production, moisture retention, barrier protection, repair, regeneration, and antioxidant production. BUT the good news is that we all have those genes in our skin. The study found how well the genes are expressed, can be determined by how the skin is treated, what it is exposed to and various choices made about lifestyle such as smoking and alcohol consumption we make, plus how stressed the body (and mind) is.
While your mum might tell you all she needed to maintain her skin was a good old supermarket facial soap and moisturiser, things have changed dramatically with the environment, lifestyle and life balance compared to when she was growing up.
Here’s 3 ways to take things into your own hands, now that we know the good genes your mum passed down can actually only take you so far. The quality of your complexion and the way your skin ages, is mostly up to you and how you treat your skin at various stages in your life.
- Avoid unprotected sun exposure. UV exposure is a major contributor to an aged appearance of the skin.
Protecting the skin from the sun prevents the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pigmentation disorders associated with premature skin ageing. Sunscreen should be the first line of defence against skin ageing.
The structure and composition of collagen and elastin in the dermal extracellular matrix are altered by sun exposure. UVA penetrates the dermis where it damages collagen fibres and causes the production of collagen- degrading enzymes called metalloproteinases. Depleted collagen causes lines and wrinkles and the leathery look of sun damaged skin.
The overall appearance of an aged skin is also influenced by the size and number of solar lentigines (spots of pigment caused by accumulation of localised melanin). Melanin production can be inhibited by avoiding UV.
- Reduce inflammation with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients found in some skincare and types of foods.
Certain substances trigger the immune system which can cause inflammatory responses in the skin like acne, ageing, pigmentation, eczema, redness, and a whole raft of annoying problems. The best thing is to avoid these substances, like – sugar, allergens, heat, sun exposure and unwanted pathogens in the first place. But sometimes that’s just not possible. This is when great skin products make or break the great skin genetic code!
Products high in vitamins C, Ferulic acid and Vitamin E; botanicals like Canadian Willowherb, Licorice, Marshmallow, Kakadu plum; and fruits like pineapple and kiwifruit are amongst the highest source of inflammation fighting antioxidants. These are all ingredients that can be found in SILK Laser Clinics two skincare brands of choice- SILK cosmeceutical skincare products and Aesthetics Rx cosmeceutical skincare.
Both our brands also have Vitamin B serums in the range, and this is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory type serums available. Niacinamide is the key ingredient in these Vitamin B serums. It’s literally a superpower against issues like inflammatory acne, redness, hyperpigmentation, skin DNA damage from the sun’s rays, dehydration, and excessive oiliness.
- Getting your beauty sleep
That’s not just something your mum made up when you were young, there’s a whole lot of data to back-up her good advice. It’s to do with what can become an ugly hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones secreted by the adrenals. Now, while this hormone can be useful, along with its best friend adrenaline, it’s not needed all of the time. The body will secrete these hormones when it is stressed, that’s useful when the flight or fight response might be needed, to sprint you out of a dark alley at speed for example, but it always rears its head when the body is especially tired and if we are stressed by things like work or toxic relationships. So, make sure you really are getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to keep cortisol under control.
Another way to amp your #wokeuplikethiskin, is to use the right products at night. The skin gets the chance to repair and regenerate at night while you are resting, and it’s not needed for its other protective functions. So, make sure you cleanse well every single night, never leave makeup or pollution on the skins surface at night, both suffocate a clear complexion. Rather, use ingredients like Vitamin A (retinol) and Swiss apple stem cells, Hyaluronic acid in a suitable night cream like Aesthetics Rx Anti-Ageing regeneration Formula
Thanks for your genetic contribution mum, but we’ll take it from here!