Do you want to look old and wrinkly as soon as possible? No? Ok, then let’s start talking anti-aging skincare. It’s no secret that the skincare industry is overrun with products claiming to make you ageless but what’s the deal? Is any of it actually effective? When should you start using the products? And the questions go on and on. If you’re feeling frazzled and clueless, we’re here to help.
The Science of Aging
So, first off, let’s begin by breaking down what’s going on anatomically throughout the aging process. There are two main factors at play with aging in the skin and body: intrinsic and extrinsic. In other words, internal factors and external factors. Intrinsic factors of aging are dictated primarily by genetics. Extrinsic factors can include climate, pollution, diet, lifestyle, stress and more. These factors are largely controllable, unlike intrinsic aging.
While we can age gracefully, we can’t stop aging itself. The process varies person to person but it generally boils down to four major happenings:
- Dermal collagen decreases: As collagen hits the road, skin experiences moisture loss and dermal thinning.
- Melanin production decreases: There’s a loss of overall healthy colour and the formation of uneven pigmented spots.
- Decrease of hair follicles and sebaceous glands: This hinders proper skin barrier function.
- Cell turnover rate slows: The slowdown means it takes longer for the skin to shed its dead and dulling cells.
Over time, these factors lead to signs of aging that appear on the skin, both in the short term and long term. Short term effects include dead skin cell buildup, resulting in lines, surface wrinkles and clogged pores; dull and sluggish skin with diminished vibrancy; and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) as the skin’s ability to absorb and retain moisture takes a nosedive, which causes the skin to weaken further. Long term effects rear their heads next. These can include wrinkles forming and deepening; capillary function weakening as the circulatory system’s ability to transfer oxygen, nutrients and waste slows down; excess metabolic waste and toxins building up because of lymph moving at a snail’s pace; and sagging skin that shows signs of sun damage and age spots.
Knowing what’s going on internally with the aging process will make your expensive cosmetic creams seem less and less appealing. Cosmetic lines are only capable of treating the outermost layer of the skin that is composed of dead skin cells. Medical-grade or pharmaceutical-grade skin care has the bioavailability and delivery systems required to reach the deepest layer of the skin where new cells are being created. In other words, cosmetic lines will mask your signs of aging, whereas a medical grade line will create change within the cells themselves to reverse and prevent the signs of aging. Which of those two options would you prefer?
But, before we spill our secrets on our fave products for turning back time, we have one more lesson for you and it involves understanding the importance of sun protection for staving off aging. In our blog post Keeping UV Rays at Bay, you can read more about the importance of sun protection on a daily basis and how our skin actually gets the most damage on rainy or cloudy days. We all know that the sun is responsible for premature aging but most of us don’t know that:
- UVA is what requires our attention because it’s the culprit behind lines and spots.
- UVA rays are out 365 days a year, rain or shine!
- UVA penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB.
- UVA also generates free radicals in living skin, which contributes to skin damage, wrinkles and skin cancer.
- UVB rays are at their peak on sunny days but are still around on rainy days.
None of that’s to say you should hole up in the house, avoiding windows but you do need to protect your complexion. Our absolute favourite product for doing just that is ZO’s Photoshop in a bottle, Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30. It’s a beautiful addition to every skincare routine and will blur any imperfections in sight! This multiple defense sun protection system provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB defense with a universal tint and a silky, matte finish. It also calms irritation and inflammation and creates the perfect base for makeup application. If you’re tired of sunscreen leaving a thick, greasy layer on your skin, this is for you.
On to the Anti-Aging Gems
Now, let’s move on to our bestsellers and two absolute anti-aging showstoppers from ZO. The first steps in looking forever young are hydration and environmental protection. Since the skin isn’t creating enough of it’s own hydrators naturally, we need to give it a bit of a boost. Our bread and butter staple is the Ossential Daily Power Defense. Believe us when we say that this little bottle is more that just a moisturizer. The lightweight lotion is designed to protect and repair all skin types. It’s your skin’s armour and is a must for everyone!
DNA repair enzymes (ultrasomes and roxisomes) scan your skin to fix damage and neutralize free radicals in just two hours — a process that usually takes our body about 24 hours to do. Although there’s no vitamin C in the Power Defense, the ultrasomes and roxisomes work faster than any vitamin C could ever do alone. You can think of this product as vitamin C on steroids. Vitamin E provides antioxidant properties to protect your skin, while a whisper of retinol helps to firm and even skin tone by encouraging collagen production and waking up our cells to rebuild rapidly. Ceramide 6 aids in restoring barrier function and reversing sensitized skin. Last, but not least, Matrixyl 3000 peptide works to stimulate collagen to increase firmness and re-densify the skin for a more youthful, plump appearance.
Next up is Ossential Growth Factor Serum Plus, also known as “Liquid Gold” or “Botox in a Bottle” – yeah, we’re on a nickname basis at this point. This skincare powerhouse is a must-have nighttime serum if you truly want to kick aging to the curb. It contains clinically-proven, gold-standard, anti-aging ingredients, including a peptide that has a ‘Botox-like’ effect and softens expression lines. It’s extracted from viper snake venom and then converted into the peptide, which may prolong the life of your actual Botox.
As always, we have a hint of retinol to kickstart our cells and ramp up collagen creation. Vitamins B1 through B6 are the plant-based growth factors that regenerate cells and increase hyaluronic acid and collagen production. If you want to firm, plump, tone and tighten (your skin at least)…this is the product for you. It’s a bestseller and celebrity go-to for a reason.
At NuAGE, we have all of your bases covered. Consider us your fountain of youth. For both intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors (remember those?), turn to our Vancouver naturopathic dermatology services with Dr. Jones who can treat the body from within. For everything else, we have our beloved ZO line, as well as a full range of laser and skin care procedures. If you’re ready for us to create your customized, comprehensive anti-aging treatment plan, book your complimentary skin health consultation with a NuAGE expert today!