"Two primary culprits cause skin aging: intrinsic and extrinsic ages. Intrinsic, or internal, refers to the biological aging that occurs with the passing of time. It is the less controllable of the two factors, as it is namely genetic programming and physiological decline. Extrinsic, or external, are more controllable factors, such as sun exposure, smoking, sleep, diet and stress—lifestyle factors and personal choices.

Although the skin can repair itself, this ability to recover slows as a person ages. This is compounded by oxidation stresses, such as free radicals, which penetrate skin cells, breaking down collagen and impacting its DNA structure. Over time, the cell is more likely to replicate the damaged cell and they multiply.  Collagen, which is responsible for limiting the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy, slack and crepe-like skin, also decreases production with age. Signs of aging occur when the fibroblast cells that restore damaged collagen fibers can no longer complete the repair.

Two of the most valuable age-reversal components to help clients prevent further damage and deterioration are retinol and an SPF 30 physical sunscreen. Treatment programs and home-care regimens that include retinol focus on breaking down the skin, and rebuilding, repairing and protecting it.  In addition, antioxidants, such as L-ascorbic acid, also help reverse the effects of aging. Topicals rich in antioxidants will help firm, tone, tighten and refine lines, and give skin an overall glow. Clients also should look for ingredients, such as ascorbic acid, tocopherols, retinoids and L-lactic acid, to name a few. The trick with topical antioxidants, however, is that they must have an adequate delivery system and be absorbed into the epidermis to impact the cell.

Of course, sun protection is important for preventing further deterioration. An SPF 30 worn daily will help prevent much of the aging effect. Remember, most of the skin’s aging—dehydration, cell decline and damage, and discoloration—is a result of sun overexposure. Be sure to educate clients at every age about the significance of proper protection and always integrate a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 into their treatment plans."   SKIN INC, Nov, 2012.

Skin Dynamics by Age