How does she look so young?

by | Apr 16, 2013 | Health & News | 2 comments

 

Ever wonder how some women just seem to never age?  They seem to keep that same youthful appearance year after year while others seem to show the fine lines and wrinkles more rapidly.

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret – they’re probably using specific products that contain ingredients essential to keep the skin healthy, vibrant and young looking.

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As baby boomers, we are spending more than ever before on skin care products.   According to the market research firm, Global Industry Analysis, baby boomers are fueling a consumer base for anti-aging products of $ 80 billion at present  to more than $114 billion in 2015 (1).    Some critics claim that many anti-aging interventions are ineffective or harmful.  The National Institute on Aging has advised consumers to be skeptical and be on guard for possible scams involving purported anti-aging products.

Another challenge for consumers is that many of these cosmetics and dietary supplements are not required to undergo government testing or review before they are marketed.

How is the consumer supposed to know which of these wrinkle creams, potent serums or promising products are legitimate?  Knowledge is power in this regard!  Knowing what ingredients are in the products and whether clinical testing has been performed help to make the best decisions. Before we tackle this challenge, we need to have a basic understanding of our skin.

Anatomy of the Skin 101: What You Need to Know

The skin is the largest organ of the body.  It acts as a natural defense against invasion by foreign substances, helps regulates our body temperature and plays an active role in the immune system.  It consists of three specific layers, each providing a unique function to maintain our health and appearance. These layers are:

1)      Epidermis

2)      Dermis

3)      Subcutaneous Fat

1)    Epidermis:

This is the top layer of our skin and is constantly undergoing renewal.  The epidermis is the layer most affected by sun damage – where the brown spots, fine lines and other effects of aging appear.  The cells within this layer shed approximately every 21-28 days, depending on our age. Younger people shed skin cells approximately every 21 days and older people approximately every 28 days.

skin anatomy diagram

At the bottom of the epidermis lie certain cells called melanocytes.  These cells contain the pigment, also known as melanin, which causes darkening/tanning with sun exposure.

2) Dermis:

The second layer from the top is known as the “dermis”. This layer contains sweat glands, hair follicles and oil glands, as well as nerve endings and blood vessels.  Within this layer are specific types of tissue called collagen and elastin.

When we are born, our skin contains all of the hair follicles, approximately 5 million that we will ever have. None are added after birth.  Interestingly, at different times of life, certain hair follicles are activated, such as during puberty when hair growth increased at specific areas of our bodies, such as in the underarm and pubic regions.  Within the hair follicle is also a gland which produces oil, known as a sebaceous gland.   Many of these glands are located on our face and scalp producing sebum which acts as a lubricant, keeping our skin moist and youthful in appearance.

Why do we gray? 

The hair shaft itself contains the cells responsible for hair color. These are known as melanosomes.  As we age, these cells decrease, and we lose our hair color causing it to become gray.

3)Subcutaneous Fat

This is the bottom-most layer of the skin which contains fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves.  This layer is very important in the regulation of temperature of the skin itself and the body.

Now that we have some basic knowledge about our skin, let’s use this knowledge to find the best products for our skin.

What ingredients should we look for?

Anti-oxidants!  Remember how we discussed oxidative stress and the critical role of anti-oxidants in fighting off free radicals?  Well, this process of oxidative stress also occurs in our skin!   Free radicals produced accelerate aging, accumulate toxins and pigments and cause harmful changes in our DNA.

Important Anti-oxidant Ingredients for the Skin:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Alpha-hyroxy acids ( AHA)
  • Green tea extract
  • Alpha-lipoic acid ( APA).

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I am using an anti-aging cream called True Science.  It contains many of the ingredients listed above and has undergone clinical testing to prove its effectiveness.  I am very pleased with the results that I have seen decreased fine lines in my face and increased skin tightening on my neck.

 

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5 Tips to Keep Your Skin Looking its Best

  1. Protect yourself from the sun.  – Use sunscreen, seek shade and wear protective clothing.
  2. Don’t smoke.  Smoking decreases blood flow to tiny blood vessels in skin contributing to wrinkles and fine lines.
  3. Treat your skin gently.  Avoid strong soaps, shave carefully , and moisturize dry skin.
  4. Eat a healthy diet and hydrate.  Eat plenty of fruits vegetable which contain anti-oxidants.  I take a daily Protandim to increase my anti-oxidant production.
  5. Manage stress: Stress causes our skin to become more sensitive, triggering outbreaks and other skin problems.
Dr. Diana

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