Facial Appearance & Ageing. Understanding the facts & figures of facial ageing is an incentive for us, the professionals, to change our clinical practice and become more integrative.
Complex Process Linked to Life Stages. The process of skin ageing is multifactorial, as structural, functional and aesthetic changes happen at a variable rate. It is misleading to consider skin ageing as a uniform biological event; several distinct biological processes may occur concurrently. There are five types of skin aging, including: intrinsic, extrinsic, lifestyle, hormonal or catabolic. Olay have identified distinct gene expression “tipping points” that occur in each decade as we age:
- Decline in antioxidant response (20s)
- Decline in skin bioenergy (30s)
- Increase in cellular senescence (40s)
- Decline in skin barrier function (50s)
- Acceleration of all the above (60s)
Mirror, Mirror. The focus of attention in the face is on the eyes, lips and facial symmetry [jawline and cheek sagging]. The “quantified-self trend” is growing in an “on-display” digital world. The most significant period of change is in the 40s! Wrinkles on the left side of the face have a deeper profile and higher volume in comparison with those on the right side and sleeping can further impact on the wrinkle patterns.
Health & Lifestyle. Lifestyle changes are essential; a healthy lifestyle is necessary for youthful appearance. Smoking, sunbathing, sunbed use, a low body mass index (BMI), inadequate skin care are associated with a higher perceived facial age. Diet has been suggested to play a role too; overall skin coloration seems to determine the perception of a healthy appearance, and therefore provides a motivation for a healthy carotenoid-rich diet. Internal health seems to impact facial ageing; hormonal abnormalities including oestrogen and thyroid hormone levels and lower vitamin D levels seem to play a role in pigmentation disorders. Higher glucose level and higher cortisol level are associated with higher perceived age.
Emotional Wellbeing. The feel good factor in skincare stems from the integrity of the skin barrier. The deterioration of skin barrier can cause a depressed mental state and vice versa, creating a vicious cycle.
- Stress delays the skin barrier recovery and stress-reducing interventions show improved rates of healing in skin conditions.
- The quality of intimate relationships can also influence the skin barrier. Greater attachment anxiety can predict faster skin barrier recovery in women and slower skin barrier recovery in men.
Outside-In/Inside-Out Skincare. If hydration is the holy grail of anti-ageing [enhanced with seasonal use of high-end anti-ageing ingredients], it is the nurturing of inner health and a holistic approach to a human being that facilitates youthful look.