In November 2014, we posted this topic on Dr Ian Webster’s blog and it elicited much interest. We would therefore like to share it with you on our Dermastore blog.
The word anti-ageing is often associated with the lucrative cosmetic and anti-ageing industry. While it is very descriptive: anti-ageing treatments and anti-ageing products, anti-anything may be construed as negative and perhaps it is more positive to rather talk about skin health and wellness.
Very few of us can avoid the ageing process – time marches on and we are all going to age whether we like it or not! It is difficult to not use the word anti-ageing in our industry but perhaps we should rather concentrate on the health of our skin, as this will go a long way to softening the ageing process on the face and other parts of the body exposed to the sun.
We cannot take away our chronological ageing process, in other words our genetic make-up but we can help to reverse some of the past damage and we can help to prevent further damage by using products that will help us attain our best skin health.
This got us thinking and we asked Dr Webster how he defines skin health and this is what he had to say …
What is Skin Health?
We are all born with perfect skins but a number of factors can change this as we grow older: skin type (the fairer the skin the more susceptible you are to skin ageing), sun exposure, free radical damage, infrared radiation, pollution, smoking, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol and stress which can affect the immune system.
Without a doubt indiscriminate sun exposure is the number one cause of ageing skin and is what we call photo-ageing. This is the cumulative effect of sun exposure, especially ultraviolet light on the skin, over a long period of time which causes collagen and elastin to diminish and wrinkles and brown spots to occur.
Other external factors which cause ageing of the skin only compound the problems of a sun-damaged skin, so moderation is definitely the key if you want to keep the integrity and health of your skin intact as you age.
There are two types of ageing: Intrinsic which is chronological ageing and Extrinsic which is ageing caused by external factors. If you examine the parts of your body that are not exposed to the sun (like your bottom) you will see intrinsic ageing of the skin, in other words the natural ageing process. If you look at parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, you will see extrinsic ageing which means ageing that is not natural ageing of the skin but rather ageing caused by external factors like the sun.
To attain the best skin health we would advise you to minimise your sun exposure and to always wear a good quality, high factor broad spectrum sunscreen with good UVA, UVB filters. Take advice from your Dermatologist about what products to use that will make a difference to your skin and make lifestyle changes if they are impacting negatively on your skin especially when it comes to smoking. Also make sure you get enough sleep and reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet. All these factors will help to reduce or prevent further damage of the skin as you age and increase your overall skin health.
You can also complete our free online Skin Assessment to find out what products are suitable for your skin type and skin condition.