Microcurrent Tips

Tips to Improve Your Microcurrent

Regardless of whether you have a professional machine or an at-home device these tips will help you to achieving superior lasting results with Microcurrent.

  1. Cleanse and De-grease the skin. This is vital as oil will block the current, so if you leave any oily residue on the skin it will inhibit the current from actually travelling into the skin and muscles. I tend to double cleanse and follow with a toner. If you are a professional you can even perform desincrustation for a few minutes first, this will saponify sebum in the pores leading to better microcurrent penetration.
  2. Exfoliate. You can use a gentle Lactic Acid with enzymes or a lighter peel, my preference is Lactic Acid as its also hydrating. Do not perform strong peels as it can be irritating when currents are applied afterwards. Always bring the skin back to PH before you apply the current. Remember your skin is a resistor so removing some extra Stratum Corneum cells will reduce the resistance to the current and improve the electrical circuit.
  3. Cotton Tips. If you use probes with cotton tips then I highly recommend using a Saline solution instead of a gel. If you use a thick gel the current simply moves across the gel and not into the skin, it will always follow the path of least resistance (Ohms Law). You will get superior results with Saline and the minerals are wonderful for the skin, just keep a fresh bowl close to you so you can keep dipping your cotton tips into it and apply to the skin. If you use metal probes then you have to use a gel to get conductivity. Look for gels with Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Minerals and possibly Gold or Silver to enhance the electrolyte activity.
  4. Buy a quality machine. You can’t get a good true Microcurrent for £200. You just can’t. Expect to pay between £3000 – £6000 for a good professional machine. Always ask for the specifications as not all Microcurrent devices are created equal. It takes a lot of engineering expertise to create a pure electrical signal that is close to what our body generates to injury and healing. Please ask me for the Parameters of a good Microcurrent machine.
  5. Hydrate your skin cells and Fascia. The Hydration level of your skin cells and interstitial spaces will have an effect on the way the current can effect the cells and how far it can travel into the skin and muscles. Try to drink more pure water and take an omega supplement to help with internal hydration, I choose the Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Omegas. Encourage your clients receiving microcurrent to implement this at least 3 months before they start a course of treatments. This ensures the best results possible. Fascia is highly conductive and can be sculpted but it needs to be hydrated in order to be effected by the currents.
  6. Training. Don’t always rely on the manufacturer of the machine you purchased. Do your own research, look at the facial muscles and learn the origin and insertion, where the Golgi Tendon Organ is and learn from some people who really know. Joseph Ventura, Darren Starwynn, Dr Thomas Wing. Read the The Body Electric by Robert Becker to really understand how electromagnetism is the foundation of life.

Oxygen Facials

An Intraceuticals Oxygen facial is a unique experience providing instant results you can see and feel. Known as “Hollywood’s best kept secret”, these unique Oxygen Facials are used by many celebrities, including Madonna who gives a rare endorsement saying “I love the Intraceuticals treatments and so does my face”.

Read more

Gold Skincare

Are there benefits to GOLD Skincare?

Is Gold infused skincare just a fad or does it deserve any merit? Gold skincare isn’t that new, Geishas used 24k gold on there skin to give a luminous, radiant glow and Cleopatra is said to have slept in a Golden mask. Gold is said to be an Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory,  Anti-bacterial for skin and of course give you a luminous glow.

Professionals may dispute whether there are any benefits for your skin as not a great deal of research has been done, but maybe the real benefits are emotional rather than scientific? We just love seeing a Golden glow on our faces! but my thoughts on this are if something brings you joy, then why not?

24k Gold DustI’m seeing either 24k gold powders, Gold Leaf and Colloidal Gold being increasingly used in many brands including Peter Thomas Roth, Bioessence, Prai, Tatcha, Carita, Mimiluzon, Nuface and Ziip to mention a few, but there are many more. What is the Science behind Gold topically applied on the skin?

The Science on Gold

There’s not a lot of science to support Gold’s skincare claims, but here is what I could find….

A study appearing in the “The Journal of the American Medical Association” reported the effect of gold leaf on low blood-flow skin ulcers. Findings showed a significant improvement in mouth lesions and skin ulcers suggesting an increase of blood flow to the area.

Gold is thought to have antibacterial properties and to help transport oxygen molecules into the skin for cell renewal to treat ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the skin. Some skin-healing benefits of gold were demonstrated in a study by the University of Miami School of Medicine, which found that concentrations of gold administered in skin inhibited prostaglandin synthesis, an inflammatory trigger.

An online publication in 2014 shared some new insights into how gold nanoparticles (< 100nm in size) could possibly penetrate the outer skin barrier (epidermis) and migrate into the deep layers (dermis and hyperdermis).

Colloidal gold which consists of micronised gold particles suspended in distilled water or other liquids has been used in alternative medicine since the 19th century. Also known as Nano Gold and appearing as a red or yellow coloured liquid, it has been used both internally as well as externally. Externally, the tiny gold particles from the colloid penetrate through the cell membranes easily and work effectively towards providing relief from the symptoms of several health disorders. Colloidal gold is believed to repair and strengthen the skin. Gold refracts and reflects light making the skin look younger and more radiant.

Although there is not a lot of research that shows how much gold penetrates the skin, it does look like some gold particles do penetrate if prepared in a specific way. The 24 karat gold is said to be soft enough for better skin penetration.

Using Metals for Conductivity

I am an electrical facialist, so anything that can improve conductivity to the skin interests me. Metals conduct electricity very well, In order. Silver 100%, Copper 95% then Gold 70%. Ziip and Nuface make a conducting gel with 24k Gold and micronised Colloidal Gold. The Gold will give glow and improve conductivity of the currents to the skin’s tissues.

Recommended conductive gels to use with a home Micro-current or Nano- current.

  1. Nuface Gel Primer 24K gold complex Brighten – also has pigment reducing ingredients.
  2. ZIIP Golden Conductive gel  – a luxury price tag but a little goes a long way and the glow lasts even after you have removed it, but it can be left on overnight.

Gold Skincare, Masks, Serums and Powders

  1. Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Mask
  2. Mimiluzon Glow collection
  3. Bioessence – do a whole range based on 24k Gold, the Gold infused water is a lovely tonic.
  4. Tatcha Gold and Camelia Collection – I love the Gold leaf blotting papers.
  5. Prai 24K Gold Collection

Environ also do a Gold needling device for home use, which is great as the Gold provides a more anti-bacterial environment.

I think for me, the benefits of using real Gold in a formula is the conductivity for your at-home micro-current devices, and the illuminating radiance it could give your complexion, especially pre-event skin prepping.

Environ Gold Dermaroller

Gold is by no mean the Gold-standard in anti-ageing but it is a nice ingredient to calm redness and illuminate the skin. For me, as I age I really long for that youthful incandescent glow at age 40, and Gold is a cheats way of achieving this. But don’t forget the rest of your healthy ageing arsenal of ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Peptides, Growth Factors, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid and Botanicals.

 

 

Your Skin is an Amazing Organ

Our skin is an extremely remarkable, complex and resilient organ. Our skin is intelligent, Let’s pay Homage to our skin and all that it does for us:

  • Our skin is a waterproof barrier that protects us and keeps out harmful bacteria, chemicals, water, insects, heat and cold, dirt and gases.
  • It retains fluids like blood and water and holds safe, minerals, vitamins, Hormones, proteins and heat.
  • Our skin has an incredible self-renewing system that provides a replacement of the outer cells lost to the environment.
  • It provides protection from UV damage and deflects harmful rays (providing we don’t exfoliate it away!)
  • It protects our inner organs and keeps us alive, without skin we would perish.
  • Allows sensory feelings of pleasure and pain
  • Keeps our body at a comfortable temperature by controlling sweat evaporation
  • Our skin is a waste disposal system, ridding the body of many toxic substances, which often manifests as unsightly things that we blame our skin for not behaving, but in-fact it is just doing it’s job!
  • Our skin synthesises  Vitamin D
  • Our skin is part of our immune system and the first line of defence against damage and germs

When your skin reacts to something with irritation, your skin is simply adjusting to a chemical or physical imbalance and is trying to compensate. Your skin does not create an eczema flare up or huge acne cyst because it is out of control. It is exactly the opposite, your skin knows exactly what it is doing: It is simply trying to control a localised problem that occurs as a result of an internal condition.  Your skin makes every effort to restore itself to a full dermal density as it gets older, but we need to give it the right tools for the job.

When we see skin issues on the surface, we must first look at treating the problem inside and the root cause

We must respect our skin and realise that our skin is a reflection of what is going on inside of us.  Our skin takes the brunt of our bad habits, sugar, smoking, bad food, toxic overload. This clearly affects the skin’s ability to heal and control inflammation. Some of this can be fixed with nutrition, lifestyle and supplements, some skin conditions are genetic but can be controlled.

Let’s stop abusing our skin and build a Healthy Skin that lasts a lifetime.

The Best Habits For Healthy Skin

1) Protection, Protection, Protection! – The best anti-ageing product you can ever buy is an effective broad spectrum sunscreen with antioxidants. It’s not very glamorous I know, but if you start at a young age, you can prevent skin damage from the sun – which will eventually show itself as wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, premature ageing and skin cancers.

Read more

The Lowdown on Mineral Makeup

Mineral Make-up has become the latest Beauty Buzz! and most cosmetic companies seem to have jumped on the Mineral Make-up bandwagon! Promising to improve your complexion, protect you from the sun and reduce the amount of chemicals you put on your skin, mineral make-up claims to have it all. Some even say you can wear it to bed! But is it really that great or is this just hype?

Is Mineral Make-up Better For our Skin?

Well, as with everything, there are pros and cons to mineral make-up, and some people  really cannot get on with it at all. I have tried nearly all the main brands of mineral make-up, and have decided on “Mineralogie” mineral cosmetics for me and my clients, it really is excellent quality, and I love recommending it!, one of the things I love most is the SPF 26 Protection! – The highest rating for a mineral foundation in the industry.

It took me a period of adjustment to get used to mineral make-up application, and the pressed and loose formulations. Once you have found which formula to use for your skin type, the application becomes easy and less time consuming than the normal liquid foundation, concealer and powder ritual.

Mineral Make-up Benefits

Let’s start with the things that are so great about mineral make-up – (The Pure mineral brands, not some of the mainstream brands that have very little mineral content)

  • There is NO fragrance or preservatives
  • You can build the coverage up in layers, to cover Acne and Rosacea
  • Most have a SPF of around 20-26 (Mineralogie has the highest rating from the FDA), this broad spectrum sunscreen is in the form of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide and protects against UVA and UVB rays – don’t rely on this in the hot sun if you are sunbathing, use a separate sunscreen and use your make-up as insurance!! As you would have to apply a very liberal amount to achieve that SPF.
  • Pure minerals allow the skin to breath and function normally
  • Some brands have added antioxidants to protect against air pollution
  • There are fewer incidents of cosmetic acne and skin problems
  • Mineral make-up doesn’t melt in the heat like traditional foundations
  • Some are very water resistant and last longer than regular make-up
  • when applied properly it doesn’t feel or look heavy, in fact you feel like your wearing no make-up
  • Mineral make-up can act as a 3 in 1 product – foundation, concealer and powder

Mineral make-up is a great choice for Rosacea sufferers and sensitive skins, the reason for this is that it contains fewer ingredients and is fragrance and preservative free. The less ingredients in a product, the less there is to react to.

I personally like the way it looks on my skin, it has that light reflectiveness that gives you a more youthful look! But it isn’t perfect for everyone and has its downsides too.

I don’t deny that there are people who have reacted to mineral make-up negatively and have either had a sensitivity or a skin break-out.There are two reasons:

  • Bismuth Oxychloride – this ingredient is in most mineral make-ups and gives the product a sheen or slight shimmer, a small minority have experienced skin reactions. Do a patch test or request a sample.
  • Mica – this also gives the product shimmer, and small minorities are allergic. This is not just in mineral make-up; it is in most mainstream cosmetic formulations. ( it is an earth mineral)

Some brands contain Talc, which is in fact a natural earth mineral. Talc has had a bad press and some people say that it clogs their skin. There has been evidence of pure talc used frequently over the female genital area may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, but this is questionable and the evidence did not provide a direct link. You will find talc in most mainstream cosmetics.

Some people report that mineral make-up clogs their pores and makes their acne worse, everybody can react differently and can find any ingredient irritating, regardless of its origin. To be sure, it is better to patch test it first, or get a sample. (My skin gets clogged very easily, but I have not had a problem with mineral make-up)

Other doubters of mineral make-up say that their skin feels dry, but this is also a minority. There are a few key steps to application, if you have dry skin – less is more, as powder products can settle into fine lines and wrinkles. Most good brands offer a pressed mineral make-up, which is normally blended with something to make it pressed – like Grape seed or Almond Oil. Some brands also do a liquid mineral foundation which can suit a drier skin; they can have added ingredients like vitamins and hydrators. If you have dry skin it is also wise to use a skin spritz over the top of your mineral make-up, this sets the minerals and stops the powdered look, it also stops the minerals from rubbing off onto your clothes etc.

If your skin is on the oily side, then you may prefer the loose mineral formulations, these are oil free and very absorbent of oil without looking too powdered. Also though strictly not a true mineral make-up – Dermalogica Treatment Foundation  is based on minerals and tinted with iron oxides, it is oil free and great on an oily skin.

Here are some of the brands that are considered the most Pure Mineral make-up brands.

  • Mineralogie
  • Jane Iredale
  • Bare Escentuals
  • Youngblood
  • Glo Minerals
  • Susan Posnick
  • Lily Lolo
  • Sheer cover

What the cosmetics industry and customers appreciate is that mineral make-up respects the skin, perfecting it instantly, and gives a flawless finish. So it really is a matter of choice, and it’s a good option for most people, but remember there are good and bad versions of everything, and any one of us can react to any ingredient even with so-called Hypo-allergenic products – and there is no such thing as chemical free skincare or make-up, as every ingredient in a cosmetic is a chemical!! – But I still wouldn’t recommend going to bed with your make-up on, even if it is mineral make-up!!!

For more information and brand reviews visit the Mineral Make-up Blog.

Botox Lips

Can You Face Botox?

Botox has become something of a celebrity itself in the skincare industry. Promising to instantly smooth-away wrinkles and give a more youthful appearance. Before going under the needle, you should know more about this popular treatment.

Botox is actually a bacterially borne substance called Botulinum Toxin that was identified in the 1970’s to cause food poisoning. Since then, it has been used widely in medical practises to help, among other things, correct facial asymmetry related to paralysis and control muscle spasms, its use in cosmetic applications is relatively recent.

Read more

The Science of Ageing

Ageing is one of life’s harshest realities, and is something that we do have to accept! Ageing gracefully is possible, but that doesn’t mean sitting back and letting it happen without putting up a fight! I think we would all like to look a little younger, but much as we would love to believe there’s a quick fix wonder cream out there, I think we all know that is a myth! Dermatologists agree that limiting damage and preventing trauma before it occurs is the strategy that pays off long term. This article is going to help you understand the cause and effect of skin ageing, and hopefully help you make the right lifestyle and product choices, so settle in and make yourself a pot of green tea and read on ……..

The main ageing process is not taking place in the top layers of skin (epidermis) but several millimetres below the surface in the “Dermis”. The slow loss of dermal mass with age, and the resulting or concurrent loss of resiliency, structural integrity as well as skin density, is the most obvious indicators of skin ageing. In addition, muscle atrophy and laxness will follow, in other words saggy skin! great.

In attempts to understand and ultimately affect the ravages of ageing upon skin, we must also deal with the acute and chronic hormonal changes that occur in the lifetime of human skin. Ageing skin is categorised into two parts – Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Intrinsic Ageing

We begin by understanding Intrinsic ageing, this is mainly composed of an individuals genetic heritage, and this will dictate the colour of the skin, eyes, hair, in fact everything that makes up the individual. Every cell in the body has the genetic blue print stored in the DNA of the nucleus. This blue print will dictate the exact replication of the cell every time it divides, based on genes that are inherited from the family gene pool. Although genes govern a lot about your skin type, when it comes to ageing, genetic tendencies interact with lifestyle choices to determine how your skin will age. If your mother and grandmother had great skin, you would probably inherited some of their good genes, but if you smoke and bake in the sun then you lower the impact of your good genes and will prematurely age.

Telomeres

Telomeres are small segments of DNA, which coat the tips of chromosomes, and are an important part of that inherited aspect of ageing. Telomeres have been compared with the plastic tips on shoe laces because they prevent chromosomes ends from fraying and sticking to each other, which would scramble an organism’s genetic information to cause cancer, other diseases and death.

These telomeres are critical in cell positioning, accuracy of replication and structural integrity. After some 80 cell divisions the telomere becomes so short that the cells stop dividing and the cell enters a state of senescence (alive but distorted). This process is associated with ageing, cancer and a higher risk of death. So telomeres also have been compared with a bomb fuse. The shortening of our telomeres appears to be the cellular clock that determines the number of times our cells divide , which in turn, appears to control the ageing of our cells. Despite our best efforts that clock keeps on ticking!

Telomerase is an enzyme that repairs damaged telomeres, and has been referred to as the secret to cell immortality. Telomerase can reset telomeres back to their youthful lengths. It is known that most human cells stop making telomerase early in life, (apart from sperm and eggs) therefore creating the biological time bomb that leads to out limited lifespan. This whole process is genetic/intrinsic, the type and life of your telomeres is inherited and out of your control. It is ironic that the only immortal cell is a cancer cell and that brings an end to our life, the reason cancer cells divide forever and do not become senescent is that they contain telomerase.

Extrinsic Ageing

Wrinkles are one of the end results of an aged skin. It would be fair to say these wrinkles and other skin conditions found in an “aged skin” could easily be reduced in severity by prevention of exposure to Ultra Violet Light and Free Radicals. This is the type of ageing you have control over! and the term “premature ageing” basically means you’ve aged before your time, because of environmental factors, when added to the inherited aspect of ageing will result in how old we look for our age.

The main environmental factor that accelerates human skin ageing is UV radiation from the sun. Sun induced ageing is called “Photo-ageing” and it is a cumulative process that depends on the degree of sun exposure and skin type. Photo-ageing can be influenced further by other extrinsic factors such as smoking, excess alcohol and poor nutrition.

The effects of Smoking

I am sure you are well aware that smoking is bad! and oxidation is one of the main reasons why, the process of the tobacco burning involved in smokers is a major source of Free Radicals (oxidants) in smokers and even passive smokers. Smoking is particularly bad for the skin for two other main reasons. The first is that it interferes with the blood flow to the capillaries – the tiny blood vessels that take oxygen and nutrients to the skin and carry away carbon dioxide and waste products. This inevitably diminishes the health and function of the skin. Smoking also enhances an enzyme in the skin called Matrix Metalloproteinase which results in collagen breakdown and diminished collagen production. The effect causes wrinkles and loss of elasticity, smokers often have quite “loose stretchy skin”. No amount of anti-ageing ingredients will undo skin damage caused by cigarettes. Smoker’s skin is also much more dehydrated that non-smokers and if you continue to smoke you will double the rate at which you age! If you still insist on smoking, then try a little damage control – Improving diet and exercise is essential and replenish the body with antioxidants that are lost by the constant bombardment of Free Radicals. Collagen is damaged by smoking and vitamin C is essential for collagen production, so replenish every day! Seriously though, it’s not just about your skin, think about your internal organs! – give up

Skin Damage: Understanding Oxidation

Free Radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidants are familiar terms in the world of health and beauty, ultimately these terms have more underlying health concerns –  ageing, functional decline, illness and fatigue, which I am sure we are all anxious to prevent, to understand more please read –  Antioxidants to the Rescue

Changes you will see in your Skin

Both Intrinsic and Extrinsic factors will result in changes to our skin’s structure and funcion, but extrinsic factors cause the more pronounced changes. Some estimates that 80 – 99 % of the ageing we see on our skin as adults is a result of these environmental influences, the exposure to UV light is the major factor.

Intrinsically aged skin is smooth and generally unblemished, there will be exaggerated expression lines on the skin but generally the skin is well preserved. If you looked under the microscope then you will see more signs of ageing, which includes some surface skin degeneration as well as a break down of dermal tissue. In direct contrast, extrinsically aged skin (such as the skin on your face, hands, neck and chest) is wrinkled, sallow in colour and has some hyper and hypo pigmentation. Skin may also show a loss of tone and elasticity, more fragile and with more broken capillaries. Under the microscope extrinsic ageing is evident in the collagen and elastin, which would be thick and damaged – this is associated with cross linking and wrinkle formation.

Wrinkles

Wrinkles are basically depressions in the skin’s surface that may be coarse of fine, depending on the depth. Wrinkle depth can vary, coarse, deep set wrinkles are described as expression lines and often appear on the forehead, outer corners of the eyes (crows feet) and as vertical lines on the side of your mouth. Fine lines are much shallower and also appear in areas of facial movement – eyes, mouth and upper lip etc.

Wrinkles occur as a result of a reduction in muscle mass and skin thickness, cross-linking of collagen and elastin and dehydration of the top layer of skin (Stratum Corneum). This results in visible wrinkles on the surface and a loss of strength and elasticity.

Skin Discoloration

Changes in skin colour are often associated with an ageing skin. Skin colour is a mixture of red, yellow and brown coloration. This is a result of red oxygenated haemoglobin, blue deoxygenated haemoglogin, yellow carotenoids, flavins and the brown melanin pigment of our skin. Hyper-pigmentation spots are due to erratic melanocyte activity that is the result of cumulative UV exposure. Also Hypo-pigmentation (white patches) can occur and the result is a mottled appearance made up of darker and lighter areas. The white areas appear due to a reduction in the number of melanocytes, there is a decline of 6-8 % per decade after the age of 30, which accounts for a more translucent skin colour as we get older. As this happens it also reduces the skin’s protective capacity against U.V exposure and along with the decline in melanin, there is also a decline in Langerhans cells, which results in a decreased immune function in the skin, and can account for the increased malignant lesions in an aged skin. When we see an increase in yellow coloration in aged skin, it is a result of a decrease in brown melanin pigment along with a decline in red and blue coloured capillaries. In the case of cigarette smokers, the toxins cause a breakdown of elastin that also contributes to the yellow colour of the skin. This overall skin discoloration if often accompanied by broken veins.

The Breakdown of Collagen and Elastin

The majority of changes that occur in our skin will happen in the Dermis, which can lose 20 – 80 % of it’s thickness as we age. This is the result of changes in Fibroblasts, the cells responsible for Collagen, Elastin adn Glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis. Not only is Collagen and Elastin produced at a slower rate which impacts the skin’s ability to repair itself, but the organization of the proteins also change and affects the structure. The breakdown of Collagen and Elastin is controlled by the activity of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP) enzymes, known as Collagenase and Elastase. Studies have shown that U.V radiation activates these enzymes within hours of UVB exposure, and the long term elevation of MMPs results in disorganized clumped Collagen and Elastin that is described as Photo-damaged skin – people who have spent lots of time in the sun! Changes in Elastin fibres are so characteristic in photo-aged skin that the condition is know as elastosis and is a hallmark of sun damaged skin, this is seen as loose skin that takes longer to assume it’s original position when pulled.

Dehydration

Other changes in the Dermis include the ground substance that holds the Collagen and Elastin together, this intercellular glue also undergoes age-related changes. As we age the Glycosaminoglycans such as Hyaluronic Acid diminishes at around the age of 40! The loss of Hyalruonic Acid along with a reduced barrier layer on the surface of the skin is the likely cause of dehydration and the loss of turgidity and fullness, which will add to an aged appearance.

Cell Turnover Slows

Many of the noticeable signs of ageing can be atttributed to a slow down in cell renewal rates and cell turnover time. Studies show that epidermal turnover rate slows from 30 – 50 % between our thirties and eighties! This slow down can account for a dull, rough skin surface in a maturing skin.

The Loss of Fat

Your Hypodermis is a subcutaneous layer, composed of mostly fat (adipose tissue). There is a loss of fat in the facial structure as we get older which contributes to hollows under the eyes and a lack of cushioning over the skull. In this fatty layer the total number of fat cells declines, but they annoyingly accumulate in certain areas resulting in bags under the eyes, double chins and bigger ear lobes!

The Biochemical Reactions that cause Skin Ageing

Scientists attribute the majority of the structural changes in an ageing skin to UV exposure, it has only been in recent years that they have come to understand the actual Biochemical triggers that instigate these changes. These are chemical reactions that occur within the skin and include:

  • Generation of Free Radicals, also known as Reactive Oxygen Species, UV light, Oxygen, pollutants etc will generate free radicals from stable molecules. As we have learnt earlier Free Radicals cause a cascade of damage to cells leading to inflamation, cross linking of Collagen and disease.
  • Glycation leading to Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs). When sugar comes in contact with a protein (such as Collagen), it immediately reacts. This generates Free Radicals, which leads to a crosss-linking of Collagen and inflammation. Advanced Glycation End products are formed, and bond with a receptor on the cell to form Receptor-Age (R-AGEs) This causes inflammation, inhibits skin cell growth and contributes to cross linking of Collagen.
  • Activation of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) with a subsequent decline in Collagen biosynthesis. MMPs play a role in maintaining a healthy dermis by removing damaged Collagen and Elastin (allowing space for new healthy fibres) this is also a critical part in wound healing. UV radiation activates large amounts of MMP’s, when this happens these MMPs (Collagenase and Elastase) begin to break down the very fibres they were designed to care for, and will contributes to a breakdown of the dermal matrix and cross linking of collagen, wrinkles and stiffening of the skin.

Now we have covered the basics of how we age, you’re probably feeling a little depressed? Well it’s not all doom and goom! There is much we can do to prevent and treat an ageing skin in a realistic way, I am working on the Prevention and Treatment of Ageing Skin post at the moment, so be patient!