Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Nikitha Terence (Beauty Expert)  on 19th Nov 2020

Here's how you can beat premature aging!

What is aging skin?

Always more than words, it is the actions that speak volumes about anyone. Aging too must never be considered a bad phase in your life.

It is assumed that women manage to hide their "actual" age most of the time, and they blithely say they're younger. But this is a bitter myth. To prove this point, a study conducted on a larger batch of 2,000 women claimed that only 17℅ out of the total were reluctant to admit their age.

So why is the common public so hesitant about the tremendous changes in this beautiful aging process?   

What is aging skin?  

Our skin is the protector of our entire body. Aging is something that happens naturally and is a universal fact. But did you know that there are two sides of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. Simultaneously, a person's outward appearance is impacted primarily by common environmental aspects like pollution, stress, the pH level of the water content used, smoking, etc. The most fundamental reason for this elevated increase in the aging process is the prolonged exposure to the UVA and UVB rays, especially during peak day hours. This is also known as photoaging.

Intrinsic aging is typical for all men and women alike, as it is a normal aging process. This is seen as wrinkles, fine lines, dry and thin skin texture, etc.

Another essential trait that is always affected is the disturbance or decrease in collagen and elastin production.  

Did you know:

Diabetes patients have a similar skin barrier to those who have aged skin, and the characteristics of both their skin surfaces are compatible too!  

Though aging is typical, what factors add fuel to the fire? 

Not everyone from the same ethnicity or age group has a similar skin tone. Everyone has their skin conditions, which also vary in each season.

1. Exposure to the UVB rays  

The extrinsic skin aging by solar radiation accounts for almost 80 percent of a person's aging on the face and skin.

The change in the skin's appearance after exposure to the sun for long hours was found in the earlier 19th century by dermatologists Unna and Dubreuil. They both compared the skin tone of indoor artisans to farmers and mariners, and the results showed how harmful the after-effects of the UVB rays could be.

In a very intense study done by a well-known professor of anatomy, Dr. Leonard Hayflick, UV radiation often damages the DNA structure's protective layer, also known as telomeres. This leads to premature aging and is also the primary cause of wrinkle formation.  

2. Smoking  

Like how smoking causes severe hazards to our body and its functions, it does not have a good impact on our skin and face too.

Our skin is exposed to various things every day, which some of them are avoidable to a greater extent, like smoking cigars. The destructive toxins coming out of these harmful products cause crow's feet, sagging skin, and dryness, as they are readily revealed to oxidative stress.

Dr. Hardy Daniell, a California-based Internal medicine specialist, found that the outward appearance of non-smokers is far better than the chain-smokers after performing extensive research.

3. Air pollution 

Skin is the largest organ of our body, and there is no doubt that it is also one of the most exposed body parts. The toxic chemicals and pollutants present in the atmosphere mess up collagen production and decrease the skin's hydration level.  

The much-needed skin routine for a more youthful look.

You need not eliminate the candles from your birthday cake to hide your actual age, but you can always trick the cameras and mirrors by following an effective skincare routine to showcase your younger self often.  

Cleansing  

The golden rule of skincare is always to remove every drop of your makeup before hitting the bed. Cleansing helps you to achieve it more effectively. The water/oil cleanser builds up a better and clean surface for the remaining products to get well absorbed on the skin. Make sure you avoid harsh cleansers like soap and instead turn to products with a low pH.  

Toners  

Only if you are using a harsh cleanser, using toners is necessary, as it helps your skin attain the skin's balanced pH. But if you are using a suitable cleaner already (with a lower pH), this step can be skipped.   

Exfoliants  

These products are used to remove the dead cells that give your skin a dull and uneven texture. Usually, these cells get restored on their own regularly, but as you age, it becomes more of a tedious process. So usage of physical/chemical exfoliants can help to detach the dead cells efficiently. The one natural exfoliant that helps the aged skin is lactic acid and glycolic acid, which come under alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). 

Serums for matured skin  

Serums are used to provide more hydration than any other moisturizer. The best ones are the derivatives of Vitamin A, like retinol. They help boost the collagen production and elasticity in the skin as it slows down with an increase in your age.

Moisturizers  

The sebum production, which was the primary cause of your acne in your teenage age, tends to slow down gradually when we reach our 30s. Even though it is a good thing not to have these oily filaments around, this sudden reduction can quickly dry out your skin. To keep it balanced, use active hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide, which triples the water content in your skin.

Sunscreen  

A sunscreen with SPF 30 or more should always be a part of your day and night skincare routine. Even when the sun is hiding in the clouds, it is essential to apply sunscreen. When you purchase a sunscreen, be sure to check if the label says "broad spectrum" as only those protect your skin from UVB as well as UVA sun rays. Always use sunscreen as the last step of your routine, and to get the best results, you must know how to apply it correctly.  

What are the authentic ingredients to prevent premature skin?  

There is no "one" element for rebuilding aging skin. Some specific ingredients are always repeatedly approved by all those wiser people, as they are more effective on most matured skin. It also increases the ability to look younger.  

Retinoids  

Almost all forms of Vitamin A come under this retinoids section. They can be consumed in two ways: topically or in the form of food. Researchers have claimed that topical application of retinoids like retinol, retinoic acid, etc., has worked well for the mission of anti-aging skin.

Researchers did a mere observation, and it was found that tretinoin (an agent of Vitamin A that works best for wrinkles) was applied to premature skin. About 0.05℅ of efficiency was seen in the regrowth of the new collagen structure.  

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Hyaluronic acid

A charming ingredient that has been a favorite hydrating material in many dermatologist skincare routines, hyaluronic acid has the most vital capacity to retain the moisture in your skin layers. When applied typically either as a solo product or in combination with others, it can increase your skin hydration by almost 1000 times.  

Note from Minimalist: 

A combination of Hyaluronic acid and a vast collection of actives(glycolic acid, lactic acid, nichamide) has proved to make your skin more flexible and plump. Use it on damp skin or else; these acids can always cause irritation or redness. In case of severe side effects, you can use it on undamped skin.  

Vitamin C  

The primary function of Vitamin C is to get rid of the free radicals that threaten to weaken the texture of our skin, as stated by New York-based dermatologist Shari Lipner. It also helps in diminishing the age spots, but there is a catch to this ingredient. Since it is sensitive to light, one has to be careful in what variation (concentrations are between 5℅ to 20℅) the products are purchased, as each has a varied reaction. So always a combination of it with another replenishing ingredient like ceramides is advised.  

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Peptides 

Clinically known as polypeptides, these protein builders are naturally formed in our skin. Collagen is also inherited in our skin, but its productivity shrinks by many factors as we grow older. So peptides give the additional boost to restore its lost effect.

Put together, peptides help in keeping the collagen level in a balanced form. Collagen, in turn, reduces aging signs, increases elasticity, clears acne and breakouts, etc. So they can be used in combination with Vitamin C in the form of serums or moisturizers. 

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Stem cells for aging skin: Fact or myth?

There have been many skin-renewing ingredients that are proven to be beneficial in the anti-aging skin process. Modern research has found that plant stem cells are used to stimulate the fibroblasts that promote skin regeneration. The crucial agent that encourages these stem cells to remove the unwanted free radicals is kinetin (6-furfuryladenine).

The interesting reason behind using plant stem cells instead of humans or animals is that lately, European law has deterred the usage of products that involve human or animal roots.

A survey made on about 22 women by one of the leading cosmetic companies confirmed that products that contain stem cells extracted from the Zingiber officinale plant extract reduced bigger skin pores to almost 50℅ , and there was an increase in elastin and fiber production.  

Some more well-known effects of the plant stem cells are: 

  • Expansion in the flexibility of the epidermal layer. 
  • Ample protection from the UV rays.  
  • Activation of the DNA repair of the cells and protection from oxidative stress.  

Most of the plant extracts are environmentally friendly, and they are much safer to use on the human body in the form of cosmetics.  

Wrapping it up 

Aging starts as early as 25 years. By the time you are 50, collagen levels decrease gradually to a point where it stops completely. The ones that remain begin to break down, too, resulting in vulnerable skin texture, according to Shari Marchbein, Professor of Clinical Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine.

To begin with, start taking care of your skin as early as possible so you wouldn't be sorry later.