In this context, anti-wrinkle or anti-aging therapy refers to advanced treatments with active ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids. Regardless of what age you start your active anti-aging treatments, you should start prevention early on, even in childhood. Aging of the skin is hastened the more damage it is subjected to and the more inflammation it undergoes (inflammation is linked to several skin and overall health concerns, including aging).What does anti-aging prevention entail?
- Regular sun and light protection early on, even in childhood. This effectively prevents photoaging: wrinkles, loss of elasticity, sagging, and dullness, as well as dark spots and blotches, immune suppression disorders and inflammation.
- Inflammation has been identified as a primary reason for aging—the less your skin is aggravated by rashes, infections, irritations, acne, the better it can delay the signs of aging. To prevent inflammation:
- Avoid allergens in as many products used on or near the skin as possible. Allergens (dyes, fragrances, parabens, preservatives, metals are the most common).
- Avoid comedogens which can clog pores and lead to infection and acne (types of inflammation).
- Avoid processed foods—refined sugars and carbohydrates, junk or fast foods, most snacks, foods and drinks that come pre-packaged.
- Eat healthily—more fish rich in omega 3 oils (sardines, herring), wild rice, brown sugar, etc.
- Exercise regularly. But don’t over-exercise—studies have shown excessive exertion can be pro-inflammatory and weaken one’s immunity.
- Get enough sleep: 7-8 hours each night.
- Manage stress.
Healthy oils, like virgin coconut oil—non-pore-clogging and proven to be anti-inflammatory to help prevent cellular oxidation and strengthen cellular walls—is an excellent option on skin and in food. For more information on VMV’s USDA-certified organic, clinically-proven Know-It-Oil click here
.When to start active anti-aging therapy depends somewhat on your skin type:
- If you have dry skin, for example, you might want to consider starting early, from about 15 years old or even younger (SuperSkin Care regimens can be started as age 9, with your dermatologist’s and pediatrician’s guidance). As we age, we experience lost lipids and dehydration in the skin’s barrier. As dry skin can tend to lose water and moisture faster or more regularly, early anti-aging therapy can have a prophylactic effect that can better prevent the skin from showing signs of aging earlier.
- If you have combination skin, you might want to start in your early 20s.
- If you have oily skin, lipid and water loss may be less of an issue early on. However, acne is a type of inflammation and inflammation has been shown to be one of the most important causes of aging. Depending on how a problem the acne has been, you may want to consider starting at around age 20 to 25 for anti-aging therapy, but earlier (even as early as age 9, with your doctor’s guidance) for prophylactic anti-acne therapy.
Why start so early? More and more research is showing that aging is not just a matter of skin “getting worse” as time passes by. Inflammation and weakening due to cumulative damage can hasten the aging process.
- Sun exposure, for example, was a big discovery showing that it was not just the passage of time but our cumulative unprotected exposure to sun and light over our lifetimes that caused several signs of aging.
- As we understand more about how aging occurs, we are learning that inflammation plays a key role in senescence, as well as in acne, infections, even irritations from rashes, psoriasis and other skin diseases.
- Cellular oxidation from the sun as well as other environmental factors is also important (hence the need for antioxidants).
- Lipid loss and the degradation of cell membrane health also cause aging and can be prevented with a good moisturizer like virgin coconut oil whose fatty acids are native to skin.
In addition to showing how starting earlier might be beneficial, what else does all this tell us? That prevention is (as is true in all medical or health concerns) as important as therapy.Using skin-safe products for most of your life (validated hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic) is not just for the allergy- and acne-prone. Such safer practices may help your skin stay younger longer by preventing damage and inflammation.
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Click here to learn how hypoallergenicity can help with aging concerns.
Click here to read about stress, inflammation, aging and other skin concerns.
Click here to learn about setting skin goals.
Click here for simple checklists to help you stick to your new skin resolutions.
Click here for more on clinically-sound Vx Facials + Skin Services to boost your anti-aging regimen.