Skin Inflammation and Premature Skin Ageing
When it comes to ageing and wrinkles, we usually talk about a natural ageing process of the body and the skin. However, there are factors that can speed up ageing, if they are not kept under control:
• Skin inflammation
• UV rays
• Free radical damage
The skin appears older faster, loses its firmness and feels rougher on the surface. These are common visible signs of a skin that has aged prematurely. Let’s take a look at these common causes of premature ageing of the skin.
Chronic skin inflammation damages our collagen fibre and our skin’s natural hyaluronic acid. The skin that becomes ‘empty’ and is no longer very elastic as a result.
As far as the UV rays, either from the sun or the tanning lamps are concerned, collagen is destroyed prematurely.
Furthermore, UV rays damage the skin’s elastin and micro blood vessels, thereby increasing inflammation within the skin. Skin loses its elasticity faster than it should. Another consequence is the skin feeling rougher than usual, this is due to the increased thickness of the outermost layer of the skin.
Free radical damage
Finally, there are free radicals that attack the skin’s cells and fibres and cause a "destructive" chain reaction. Free radical damage is a direct consequence of skin inflammation.
It is obvious that skin inflammation is the common denominator of premature ageing and early wrinkles.
How to reduce chronic inflammation of the skin?
1. Stop using ‘plastics’ on the skin.
We often advocate avoiding the use of skincare products that contain paraffin, acrylics, silicones, polymers and petroleum-derived ingredients in their ingredients list.
Because these ingredients are not natural, our skin is unable to absorb them physiologically. Most, if not all of them, cover our skin like a cling wrap, depriving the skin of proper nourishment by providing artificial nutrition. Long-term use of non-natural ingredients in your daily skincare leads to chronic inflammation of the skin, and eventually, premature ageing.
2. Work on your lifestyle
Break the bad habits that cause free radicals. Smoking, improper nutrition, excessive stress, excessive alcohol, etc. These habits cause us to look older than we are.
3. Be smart and informed about the use of sunscreens
For years we have been told to use sunscreens every day to prevent skin ageing, pigmentation and skin cancers. While using the right sunscreens to reduce the risk of skin cancer caused by overexposure to UV rays, many unbiased scientific studies show that sunscreens provide little or no benefits in reducing pigmentation!
Well, our skin is naturally equipped with a well-built defensive system against UV rays.
By using sunscreens every day, you deprive the skin of the opportunity to fully deploy its defensive system against UV rays. Over time, like all organs of our body, the skin's defensive system atrophies and loses its efficiency.
Let’s face it. There are thousands of people who suffer from skin pigmentation even though they use high-protection sunscreens every day. There is definitely a better way than sunscreens in your quest to avoid pigmentation and premature ageing.
That being said, we are fully supportive of using sunscreens in the right way. When you go to the beach, hike in the mountains and spend hours in the sun, it makes sense to protect the skin and apply a photo-stable, non-phototoxic sunscreen!
4. Eat happily, eat well
Cut down on simple sugars, refine flours and artificial sweeteners. They silently cause chronic inflammation of the skin and body. You have no idea how many skin blemishes and imbalances are caused by excessive sugar.
We suggest an Asian inspired plate that works in reducing inflammation. The ‘perfect’ plate should consist of one quarter (1/4) of rice or noodles made with wholemeal grains or cereals, one quarter (1/4) of vegetable (tofu) or animal protein (meat) of your choice. Cut down on pork and red meat if you can. The remaining half of the plate should be made up of seasonal vegetables of 5 colours, that is, green, red, orange, yellow, white and purple.
Eat a variety of food to ensure that you get a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Last but not least, add some spices to the dishes, they are a good source of nutrients.
Although Inflammation is invisible and does not cause pain, its damaging influence can be seen on our skin.
If you would like help in creating your personalised anti-inflammatory strategy, you can write to us here. Our skin and nutrition experts will be here to lend a hand!