You can smooth as many moisturizers, creams and serums over your skin as you want, but you won’t really be able to combat aging unless you understand how your skin works on the cellular level.
That’s right — it’s important to understand that there is currently no product, treatment or procedure in existence that can totally stop the aging process in its tracks (wouldn’t that be nice though!). However, by focusing on how aging occurs naturally in the first place, there are certain ways to slow down the appearance of it.
Physiological Aging vs. Extrinsic Aging
Did you know that there are actually different types of aging? Though they occur simultaneously, they affect us differently, and we actually have more control over one than the other. There’s physiological aging (also known as “intrinsic aging”) is pre-determined by our genetics and cannot be controlled. Meanwhile, extrinsic changes is determined by our life choices and external factors. Because of this, we do have some control over it.
Physiological Aging – Though scientists have been focusing on combating the effects of genetic aging for decades, this is the kind of aging that occurs chronologically over time. Trying to stop it is therefore akin to trying to stop time itself. And when it comes to the aging that we see at surface level (most noticeably, with our skin), it really all comes down to changes in our skin cell DNA. This DNA degrades over time and gradually changes in function. Studies have shown that skin aging can be traced to the molecular changes found in Skin cell DNA, more specifically the individual molecules or “telomeres” that surround DNA and protect it. As skin cells reproduce over time, these telomeres become shorter. They become less protective of skin cell DNA as we age, leading to an actual aged appearance.
Extrinsic Aging – It’s long been known that how we live our lives can have a big effect on our appearance. For example, people who smoke, drink, use other drugs, don’t exercise or are even stressed out regularly have been shown to “age faster” than their healthier counterparts. Regular exposure to the sun and / or harsh environments can also age the skin faster. But why? The truth is that extrinsic aging also goes cell deep. But unlike physiological aging that occurs naturally, the external factors here (a.k.a. our life decisions) eventually cause enhance telomeres to shorten and become less protective. This shortening can also rapidly cause oxidation, inflammation, and glycation, all of which can lead to cell death. This in turn leads to thinner, more aged-looking skin.
Aging Through the Decades
As we go throughout our lives, it’s important to understand that the aging process changes as we go throughout life. Again, while we cannot control physiological aging, there are different measures we can take at different decades of our lives to combat the extrinsic aging that occurs.
The 20s – In our 20s, our skin is at its prime. The epidermis is the fullest it will ever be for the rest of our lives, collagen and elastin are being regularly produced, and the rate of cellular turnover is high. It’s also important to understand that the lifestyle choices we adapt in our 20s can determine our extrinsic aging later on. While regular tanning may not seem to cause aging now, for example, the exposure will eventually cause wrinkles, a “leathery look”, freckles or other signs of aging later on. To help combat extrinsic aging during this time, it’s crucial to make healthy life decisions. Using a daily moisturizer with peptides and an oil-free sunscreen will help, as will getting regular vitamins.
The 30s – In our 30s, things have already begun to slow down a bit. Fine lines and subtle facial wrinkles may appear, and the epidermis may start to show signs of thinning. On the bright side, however, estrogen levels peak during this decade of our lives, resulting in periods of excellent, almost glowing skin. Nevertheless, it’s more important than ever now to live a healthy lifestyle and get plenty of sleep. Using a daily moisturizer will help, as will starting to use products with retinoids to take an even firmer stance against the extrinsic aging process.
The 40s and Beyond – Once we hit middle age, skin changes and even pigment changes can be very noticeable. This is also the time when the skin may first appear to sag, which will only get worse as the decades go on. Our skin cells do not retain moisture as well as they once did, and collagen and elastin levels are gradually decreasing. Collagen levels plummet at the onset of menopause, resulting in even more damage. Sleep is absolutely vital during this time, as is using daily moisturizing and retinol products. Avoiding sun exposure is also crucial, and it is of course still important to make healthy life choices in general.
Using Advanced Skincare Products
To combat extrinsic aging, it’s crucial to not just live a healthy lifestyle but also to use the most advanced skincare products out there on the market. The James Anthony Skincare line was developed by professional skincare experts and is free of the harsh and harmful chemicals that plague other skincare lines. Most importantly, these products penetrate the skin to help create a balance within the cellular walls themselves. With regular use, the result is healthy, glowing skin that defies extrinsic aging.