AGING: What can I do about it? Surprisingly more than you might think.
Aging may be a “skinevitability” but how we age is more in our control than ever. That said, the truth is that while we can keep the signs of aging at bay longer than ever in our history, we can’t outrun them completely. We can’t change the fact that all living organisms age, but we can change how we age: how quickly, how severely, how visibly.
Some of the most popular methods available at your dermatologist’s are injectables (Botox® and fillers like Restylane®), chemical peels, and lasers. Wondrous as they can be, these procedures cannot replace your daily home-work.
- Botox® (from the botulism toxin) paralyzes facial muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Fillers like Restylane® build up volume by plumping up crevices from wrinkles and folds. Talented physicians can wield these tools so expertly so as to contour the face almost like cosmetic surgery but far less invasively.
- Chemical peels are powerful microscopic exfoliants that remove dead skin cells to force new cells to the surface to impart a younger glow (or that expose the skin to high concentrations of specific actives for other benefits). For more on chemical peels, click here.
- Laser procedures can do several things from lifting and tightening, to resurfacing, contouring and other impressive functions.
These clinical procedures can deliver dramatic results. But injectables do not fundamentally improve the structure of the skin: they’re longer-lasting cosmetic fixes (like a great makeup that lasts for months instead of a few hours). Chemical peels and certain lasers can provide deeper therapy but must be done by a specially-trained dermatologist or nurse with a doctor on site to supervise. None of these procedures can be done daily and there are risks involved. Done properly, results can be impressive. But done incorrectly, serious problems can result including allergic reactions, burns, and post-inflammatory pigmentation (skin darkening after a trauma) that can be very difficult or impossible to fully reverse.
Daily At-Home Regimen
While dermatological procedures are excellent options, they cannot replace the benefits that a daily, at-home regimen can provide. In fact, while the ideal would be a regimen plus procedures, if you had to choose, the regimen would win out. Why? Because besides basic hygiene and care (which are important), regimens like Re-Everything with unbuffered (undiluted, not neutralized) concentrations of proven active ingredients such as glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid), kinetin (a growth factor), powerful antioxidants and lipid therapy with organic virgin coconut oil can work like clinical procedures on your aging concerns but on a daily, more fundamental basis.
The Re-Everything regimen mimics the effects of your clinical procedures between doctor visits and influences the structure of the skin at a more fundamental level.
- Re-Everything features USDA-certified organic virgin coconut oil for intensive hydration at the cell membrane level (because its fatty acids are native to skin, it moisturizes not just by preventing water loss but by replacing lost lipids). It also improves the balance of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids which more effectively heals and repairs skin cell walls. And, it encourages the formation of anti-inflammatory cell hormones (inflammation is one of the major causes of aging).
- The kinetin in Re-Everything, a growth hormone long used by botanists to extend plant life, stimulates cells to act younger. Published studies show that kinetin applied to fibroblast cells causes them to behave younger and produce more elastin and collagen which your skin needs to stay firm and strong.
- Glycolic acid is one of the best studied alpha-hydroxy acids and in its unbuffered form at proper concentrations can provide results comparable to a clinical peel but on a daily basis. Re-Everything’s unbuffered glycolic acid works at the base of the skin’s stratum corneum, destroying the cement that holds dead skin cells together. This increases the epidermal turnover rate, causing the skin to regenerate faster, and pushing newer, healthier cells to the skin’s surface. Because this microscopic exfoliation is done daily, it can influence the structure of the new stratum corneum being made (this is also why regular use of active cosmeceuticals over time improves your skin’s internal structure).
- Re-Everything also has a triad of potent antioxidants: kinetin, green tea and rice phytic acid to protect against (and help reverse some) damage from the sun and other environmental, oxidizing agents that produce degenerated collagen and a duller epidermis and dermis.
Other Anti-Aging HOME-work
What other things can help keep age in its cage? Nothing you shouldn’t be doing already: exercise daily, eat well, avoid the sun, and get regular check-ups. 1) EXERCISE
- Your skin’s elasticity is not the only thing responsible for keeping it looking young. Subcutaneous architecture like cartilage, fat, and bone and muscle mass hold up the skin. As we age, we lose bone mass. Exercise, particularly weight-bearing exercise, can help increase bone mass naturally.
- Commit to regular cardiovascular exercise (45 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week) to manage stress, get endorphins flowing and to bolster your heart’s health—all this great stuff shows on your skin.
- Add bone-building, muscle-strengthening exercises another 2 times a week (weights, yoga, pilates) and you can buttress your subcutaneous architecture.
- The main goal: do SOMETHING every day of the week. Studies show that even light exercise daily is better than ultra-high intensity exercise 3 times a week.
2) UP THE ANTIOXIDANTS, LESSEN THE STRESSORS
- Get regular check-ups can help you make sure that you’re getting the right amount of calcium, nutrients, and vitamins to keep you (and your skin) sprightly.
- Avoid stressing your skin. The more acne, irritations, and allergies to recover from, the less robust your skin becomes (even the strongest warrior looks long in the tooth after one too many battles), and the more imperfections to correct later.
3) REDUCE INFLAMMATION Inflammation (irritations, stress, acne, infections, etc.) has been shown, study after study, to be one of the major sources of aging. The more inflammations you avoid, the better the chances of your skin looking younger for longer. Inflammation is linked to several diseases of the skin and body. To help manage inflammation:
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly
- Manage your stress (meditation, prayer, time for yourself with a good book)
- Eat right:
- Cut out the junk and highly-processed foods.
- Up your intake the omega-3 fish, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Substitute highly-processed foods such as white bread, pasta, sugar and pre-packaged foods for their “rawer” alternatives such as organic, pure maple syrup, brown coconut sugar, 4-ingredient whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and freshly-made fruit-nut mixes, smoothies or juices.
- Make sure you get a good dose of antioxidants every day in fresh fruits and veggies, not in pills, which studies consistently show may not retain much, if any, antioxidant benefits.
- Prevention, in the form of hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic products, ample sleep, and stress management, can go a long way towards keeping you looking young.
- Sun avoidance: the prevention of wrinkles and other signs of aging from years of limiting sun and light exposure and using an indoor-outdoor sunscreen like Armada can be just short of miraculous.
An entourage of doctors can only do so much. As with all health concerns, we still need to do our own homework to get the results we want. The research is indisputable: live well, live longer, look better! Chi-De Guzman G, Evangelista-Millora, MP, Verallo-Rowell VM. Facial skin rejuvenation comparing VMV 10% Glykeros cream vs. 10% Glykeros with 0.1% Kinetin cream: an open clinical controlled trial. 2005 Verallo-Rowell VM. Overall Chairman. The Art of Aging Gracefully, Cosmetic and Dermatologic, Two Masters Explain. Guest Lecturer: Hayes Gladstone, MD, Head Dermatologic Surgery, Stanford University Nov 2003 Barciszweski J, Siboska G, Rattan SIS, Clark BFC. 3. Occurrence, biosynthesis and properties of kinetin (N6-furfuryladenine). Plant Growth Regulation 2000; 32: 257-65 Sharma SP, Kaur P, Rattan SIS. Plant growth hormone kinetin delays ageing, prolongs the lifespan and slows down development of the fruitfly Zaprionus paravittiger. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1995; 216: 1067-71 Sharma SP, Kaur J, Rattan SIS. Increased longevity of kinetin-fed Zaprionus fruitflies is accompanied by their reduced fecundity and enhanced catalase activity. Biochem Mol Biol Int 1997; 41: 869-75 Rattan SIS, Clark BFC. Kinetin delays the onset of aging characteristics in human fibroblasts. Biochem Res Commun 1994; 201: 665-7 Weinstein GD, McCullough JL, Ali NN, Shull TF, Moudy D: A double-blind vehicle-controlled study of kinetin lotions for improving the appearance of aging photodamaged facial skin with 24 weeks of twice daily topical application. .Click here for more on Re-Everything, VMV’s anti-aging system. Click here for more information on AHAs, BHAs and other active ingredients. 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 to get started on a comprehensive Skinvestment Plan customized for you. Click here for more on clinically-sound Vx Facials + Skin Services to boost your anti-aging regimen.