While most of us accept that we need to grow older gracefully, it does not stop us from wanting to keep our youthful looks!

Understanding how we age and what factors can accelerate the ageing process, enables us to make changes to our lifestyles to help slow down the inevitable signs of ageing.  

Lisa Leibov of the Imbalie Beauty Academy tells us more…

There are 2 types of ageing – Chronological and photo-ageing

Chronological ageing is inevitable and unavoidable and will happen naturally over time. Your genetics can play a strong role in how you will age. If your parents aged gracefully, there is a good chance you will too. However, this predisposition for gradual ageing can be far surpassed by bad habits and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Photo ageing involves the sudden acceleration of the ageing process due to over exposure to ultra violet rays from the sun. UVA, in particular, penetrates the dermis and destroys the collagen and elastin fibres, which makes up the structural matrix of the skin.

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Other factors can accelerate ageing too. Smoking and alcohol, lack of sleep and long periods of stress or sudden shock, can all bring on sudden onset ageing of the skin.


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What happens to our skin when we age?

To truly understand what happens to our skin when we age, we need to look at the anatomy and physiology of the skin. Our skin is primarily made up of 3 layers, and unlike with other skin conditions, the process of ageing happens in all three layers.

As we age, the natural lipid layer on the surface of the first layer of our skin begins to dissipate, which means that our skins can no longer hold onto water and trans-epidermal water loss becomes inevitable. Our skins become dehydrated and lose that plump, youthful appearance. 

Our cell turnover rate also begins to slow down, so fewer new cells are developed, resulting in thinner, less robust skin. In addition, the natural exfoliation process that normally happens every 28 days slows down, leading to a build-up of dead skin cells and a dull complexion. Any dark pigment markings, due to overexposure to sunlight throughout our lives, also becomes evident.

In the middle layer of the skin, as we age, the collagen and elastin fibres begin to break down and we begin to see lines and wrinkles forming, as well as a lack of firmness and elasticity.

Finally, in the deepest layer of our skin, our blood circulation and lymphatic circulation also slowdown, which means our skin has less vitality, due to a decrease in nutrients and oxygen.

And let’s not forget, these layers of skin cover our muscles and these too become lazier and less taut as we age.

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A multi-faceted approach is needed to address all the signs and symptoms of ageing

Where do we start? Well firstly, we need to understand that skin health comes from both within and out. Essential nutrients for skin health include a myriad of vitamins and minerals derived from plant-based foods and natural oils/fats, so it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced and anti-oxidant rich diet, to keep your skin health at its optimum.  Regular exercise will keep the oxygen flowing and increase your overall circulation, to ensure that all the nutrients reach the skin layers as required.  

Next, protecting our skin from the sun is absolutely essential and the earlier we begin protecting our skin, the better. Damage starts from childhood and continues throughout our lives. Unfortunately, the damage only shows itself later in life, often around the ages of 38 to 45. Daily application of a good quality sunblock is not negotiable, and should be programmed into our children’s’ minds, from a very young age. 

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Finally, no matter what age you are, apart from your overall lifestyle, your skin naturally continues to change during your life’s journey

Connecting to a professional skincare clinic, whether by doing an online consultation or in person, is the final step to getting a customised solution from skin experts, that will really target your specific skin needs. 

Instead of experimenting and trying to figure it out on your own, there’s nothing better than saving time and money, and feeling confident in knowing that you have the right skincare products, to help keep that youthful glow!