how can I avoid premature aging?

the five major causes of premature aging • sun protection as your first line of defense proper treatment for results

what is prematurely-aging skin?

Premature aging refers to the unnatural acceleration of the natural aging process and is induced by daylight exposure (90% of premature aging is caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun) and lifestyle choices (smoking, stress, or diet). These factors trigger a slowing of collagen production and a breakdown in elastin, reducing “turgor” (or the “snap back into place” reaction when skin has been pulled). The skin cell turnover process slows, and dead skin cells shed off of our skin’s surface at a slower rate. Other contributors to the quickening of the natural aging process are sleeping positions, repetitive facial expressions and gravity.

Premature aging isn’t natural. So what is natural? Healthy aging – also known as intrinsic aging, or the normal process of physical change over time that is more about your genetics than your lifestyle. This process begins in our mid-20s, but, unlike premature aging induced by external factors, does not begin to show on our faces until decades later.

While intrinsic aging is out of your control, you play a powerful role in controlling extrinsic aging. And the right lifestyle choices and a proper product prescription are your first steps towards maintaining healthy skin.


the five major causes of premature aging
A number of factors contribute to the process of premature aging (extrinsic aging). These causes are among the most common, and fortunately, the most treatable and preventable when lifestyle changes are adapted and when under the care of a skin care professional.

The Sun
Responsible for a litany of skin issues, and more importantly skin cancer, the sun really is our skin’s worst enemy. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen, impairs skin’s ability to repair itself and attacks our elastin.

The damage is seen through deep wrinkles, age spots (hyperpigmentation), spider veins, a rough, blotchy complexion and a “leathery” look.

Cumulative exposure to daylight will also cause extensive damage. Fifteen minute walks outside and occasional lunches outdoors can add up to weakened collagen and elastin, and of course, skin cancer. And even if you don’t see pink or red skin after being in the sun, that doesn’t mean that the damage hasn’t been done.

Exposure to the Elements
Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out skin, depriving it of balanced levels of sebum (oil) that keep skin lubricated. Without these oils, skin becomes dry, and is more prone to premature aging because of the lack of protective oils.

This goes for forced air heating as well. Warm, dry air acts like a giant sponge, soaking up moisture from everything it touches.

Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop wrinkled, leathery skin, as well as a yellowish hue in their complexions. And even if you aren’t a smoker, being around a smoker can still cause damage to your skin.

Lack of Sleep / Stress
Skin is the first place to be affected by lack of sleep – the immediate effects of exhaustion are represented through dark circles under the eyes and sagging skin.

Stress is inevitable – just like aging! But it also contributes to premature aging. Often when we’re stressed, we furrow our brow, place our hands on our face and pull it in every which way direction, frown (where do you think the term “frown lines” comes from?) and twist our faces around, performing repetitive movements that impart permanent damage. Stress also results in heightened adrenal activity, which over time can lead to impaired health.

Lack of Exercise /Poor Diet
Lack of exercise can contribute to prematurely aging skin, as exercise keeps muscles tone and stimulates
blood flow.

A poor diet leads to a lack of nutrition for the cells and possible exposure to chemicals and preservatives. Fried and burnt food can also cause oxidation (free radicals from vitamins help counteract oxidation), leading to weaker cell structure.

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sun protection as your first line of defense

If the sun is your skin’s worst enemy, then sun protection is your first line of defense. And with new sunscreen technology that won’t clog pores, won’t cause irritation (redness and burning) and won’t feel chalky or greasy, it’s much easier to comfortably make sunscreens a part of your daily skin care regimen.

When selecting sun protection, look for Sun Protection Factors (SPFs) that are combined with stabilized antioxidant vitamins. Research shows sunscreens formulated with antioxidant vitamins provide enhanced protection against damaging UV light and free radicals. With this increased protection from antioxidant vitamins, there is no need to add more potentially-irritating sunscreen chemicals to create a higher SPF level.

Dermalogica’s Solar Defense System delivers this antioxidant technology through UV Smart Booster Technology, a microcapsule containing antioxidant vitamins that bursts upon contact with UV light, releasing the antioxidants onto skin, providing protection when it’s needed most.

Make sunscreen as much a part of your skin care regimen as cleansing and moisturizing. Apply at least a walnut-sized amount of sunscreen to skin and neck before going out into the daylight, and after swimming or exercising, to impede the damage caused by UV light.

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proper treatment for results

When skin is healthy, premature aging is minimized. Professional skin treatments coupled with the right lifestyle choices are great ways to begin treating the signs of premature aging.

An effective prematurely-aging skin treatment regimen will include exfoliation, hydration, and vitamins to help smooth skin, stimulate collagen production and increase skin’s natural protective barrier.

  • Exfoliation helps remove dulling skin cells while improving penetration of beneficial ingredients. The use of electric brushes will also greatly enhance the penetration of the exfoliation ingredients.
  • Galvanic current can also be used to increase product penetration. This professional tool creates gentle electrical currents that work to push hydrating and replenishing ingredients deep into the layers of the epidermis.
  • Emollients (such as Shea Butter and Organic Silicones) will help maintain soft, smooth, pliable skin and will act as a lubricant, helping to reduce flaking and moisture loss while improving appearance.
  • It has been scientifically proven that topically-applied vitamins do improve the health of skin. Vitamin A helps inhibit collagen breakdown while stimulating collagen production, Vitamin B5 aids in wound healing, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that inhibits melanin, and Vitamin E is an antioxidant that provides barrier protection while smoothing skin
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It is also imperative to recognize that the success of your skin treatments will be heavily influenced by your professionally prescribed at-home regimen and the wearing of sunscreen anytime skin is exposed to daylight. Also important is proper home skin care products and techniques. Do not use hot water when cleansing, don’t use excessive or abrasive movements (instead, go for gentle, upward circles), keep your surrounding temperature as moderate as possible (a humidifier can help add moisture to the air), and stay away from products that contain artificial fragrances or colors.

In addition, ask your skin therapist about products containing peptides. Peptides act as cellular messengers that regulate cell repair while stimulating collagen production. Peptides also help improve skin elasticity and tone while fighting the appearance of fine lines.

get mapped. get results.
Speak with your skin therapist about Face MappingSM, the skin analysis that breaks your skin down into 14 individual zones so that your condition can be effectively treated. Regardless of your needs, your skin therapist can accurately prescribe a regimen with Face Mapping that will effectively treat all areas of your skin.

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