Wrinkling, loss of elasticity, laxity, and a rough-textured look are all symptoms of skin aging. This aging process is accompanied by cutaneous cell phenotypic alterations as well as structural and functional changes in extracellular matrix components including collagen and elastin. Skin aging is influenced by so many factors. Such factors include sun exposure, pollution, and tobacco smoke.
Sun exposure damage
Sun exposure damage such as sunburn or tanning is the body’s reaction to UV radiation. Exposure to UV radiation can make skin less elastic, causing wrinkles. Some studies have shown that consistent SPF 15 use showed changes in skin aging and even improved skin texture.
Exposure to fossil fuel, small particles caused by traffic, and ground levels of ozone have been shown to increase skin aging. Ozone reduces antioxidants in the skin and produces free radicals, which speeds up the process of aging.
Smokers typically have characteristic wrinkling around the skin of the mouth and eyes, but smoking has also been shown to affect the appearance of the skin color and “glow”. It also decreases tissue elasticity, which increases the risk of developing wrinkles.
Things that may influence skin aging:
Linked to increased risk of various diseases. People with less sleep have been viewed as less attractive and more tired. This leads to changes in skin color, dropping of the mouth and eyelids, red/swollen eyes, and dark circles.
There is no direct link between stress and aging. Some evidence shows that stress affects various mechanisms that contribute to skin aging.
Exposure to high temperatures can cause inflammation of the skin, DNA damage, and decreased skin elasticity.
Lifestyle Changes for Healthier Skin:
- Sunscreen – Sun exposure increases the risk of early skin aging. Products with an SPF of <15 only prevent sunburn, not skin aging or cancer.
- Water – Adequate hydration has been shown to benefit skin health, and in contrast, dehydration may contribute to faster aging of the skin. Dehydration also causes wrinkles and fine lines to appear more pronounced. Skin hydration slows the aging process, improves the appearance of the skin, gets rid of skin toxins, and fights acne, and oil build-up.
- Food – Food that are linked to skin problems are those high in sugar, containing unhealthy fats and dairy products. Healthy food which can help your skin healthy are foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acid and healthy greens.
- Exercise – Stress increases the chances of having acne breakouts and other skin conditions. Some of the ways to reduce stress are exercises like yoga and meditation. Exercise can also help increase blood flow to your skin.
Over-the-Counter Anti-Aging Products
- Nicotinamide: An active form of Vitamin B3. It reduces wrinkles and fine lines, hyperpigmentation, redness, and yellowing of the skin. It increases collagen production and other cell processes, resulting in improved skin appearance.
- Vitamin C: Protects the skin from UV damage and may reduce wrinkles/repair skin damage caused by aging.
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol): Prevents UV skin damage, improves moisture content in the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It has also been reported to improve the texture of the skin, making it smoother.
- Effective in preventing wrinkles and improving skin roughness
- Retinaldehyde: This is the most promising retinol so far, and currently it is being tested in clinical trials.
- Tretinoin: Effective in improving skin complexion and decreasing visible wrinkles, however it is not available as an over-the-counter product.
Side Effects of Retinols:
- Skin irritation and dry skin
- Burning, stinging, erythema, and pruritus
- Increased photosensitivity; so try to avoid being in the sun for a prolonged time
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
- It reduces visible skin aging by exfoliation. It causes dead and dry skin to flake off, leaving healthy, moisturized skin underneath. It increases cell growth which decreases visible wrinkles and increases collagen and hyaluronic acid production in the skin, which makes the skin look more hydrated. It is more tolerable than retinoids.
- Prescription Glycolic Acid: At a level of 8%, noticeable improvements in skin and appearance and smoothness were shown.
- Prescription Lactic acid: 12% lactic acid used over 3 months has been shown to increase smoothness, firmness, and thickness of the skin, as well as lessen the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Disclaimer: Many over-the-counter and prescription products are available to be compounded and/or combined to create a single product with multiple medications that could treat skin aging. These individualized compounded medications may also be cheaper than buying over-the-counter or individual products.
Available Compounded Medications in Homestead Community Pharmacy:
- Estriol 0.2% / Vitamins A Palmitate 0.3% / Vitamin E Acetate 0.6% Chrysaderm Night Topical Cream
- Glycosaminoglycans / Glycine Soya Protein / Yeast Extract Facial Cream