Skin ageing: how to fight the (first) signs of ageing

Fighting the signs of ageing is possible if we limit the factors that accelerate normal skin ageing.

Skin ageing: when and how it presents itself

As the years go by, our skin also undergoes normal ageing, thus it happens with time and is “encoded” in our genes.

However, the signs of ageing do not appear for everyone at the same age nor with the same severity - so why is that? It is because, in addition to chronological ageing, there are a series of factors and behaviours that greatly depend on our individual choices, which accentuate and accelerate skin ageing. We’re not merely talking about UV rays, i.e. photo-ageing, but rather of a set of elements that include pollution, tobacco smoke, stress, lack of sleep and bad diet, in addition to solar radiation. In other words, “skin exposome”.

This innovative concept is the result of studies on identical twins. As they share the same genetic material, they should age at the same rate. However, it was found that it was not only the use of sunscreen that makes a difference, but also environment, and thus the climate and pollution, smoking, job and diet, which lead to two similar faces displaying very different signs of ageing.

The skin exposome is thus a set of exogenous and endogenous factors to which the skin is exposed to and stressed by every day, which can significantly affect the ageing process.

Thus by following a targeted strategy we can act early on skin ageing, starting around 25-30 years, when we start to see the first signs of ageing gracing our faces.

This is the age when the first few lines appear. They are faint, but they are there, especially in the areas where the skin is thinner, such as around the eyes and lips.

These mainly include expression lines, caused by the repeated movement of the face muscles.

At 40, the skin of a woman is also less toned and less supple, which is when deeper wrinkles start to multiply.

The causes of skin ageing

Thus skin ageing is caused by the skin exposome, in addition to genetics, which mainly acts via two processes:

- the formation of free radicals;

- glycation.

Free radicals and skin ageing

The skin is the body’s biggest organ, both in terms of weight and size, and it acts as a barrier, protecting the body from external stressors. Yet it is not  merely an inert shell, but rather a vital organ, which is also equipped with a sophisticated antioxidant system that is required to keep the free radicals that normally form in all the cells of the body under control and in balance. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that can degrade proteins, fats and the DNA of our cells, however if our skin has enough antioxidants, such as glutathione and vitamin C, we are able to neutralise them before they do any damage.

However, even our environment, which includes UV radiation, infra-red rays and smog, as well as an unhealthy, stressful lifestyle, creates free radicals so our skin can find itself having to battle an excess of free radicals that outnumber its antioxidant systems, thereby giving rise to an unbalanced situation that is called oxidative stress, one of the main causes of ageing.

To support the skin in protecting us, we can definitely act on the outside, by reducing our exposure to UV rays and using suitable cosmetics, but we can also act internally by eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables which provides us with precious antioxidants, in addition to vitamins and minerals.

Glycation and skin ageing

Glycation occurs when a sugar molecule spontaneously binds to a protein.

This bond leads to the formation of substances called AGEs, advanced glycation end products, which can cause considerable damage to the body.

Indeed, an excess of AGEs causes the denaturation of numerous proteins, including collagen and elastin, which are crucial for having supple, toned skin.

Although the glycation process is normally slow, it can become considerable in the ageing process and diet can play an extremely important role in keeping glycation under control.

In particular, we recommend reducing your intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates in order to maintain low blood sugar levels and thus succeed in fighting the endogenous formation of AGEs.

Nutraceutical supplements to fight skin ageing

Our diet can influence the health and well-being of the body considerably. In particular, it is the active components of food that have positive effects on the skin, even helping to fight ageing.

Often, however, the amount of micro-nutrients we are consuming can be too low, thus a modern approach to fight the effects of skin ageing includes the use of dietary supplements, to support and work with cosmetic treatments.

BioNike research has developed NUTRACEUTICAL, a line of dietary supplements that includes WELL AGE, a product aimed at compensating for micro-deficiencies in substances that are important for fighting glycation and oxidative stress, in order to take care of our skin from the inside out too, through regular, daily intake.

For women aged 30-40 who want to prevent and slow down the appearance of wrinkles, BioNike recommends the DEFENCE XAGE line together with Nutraceutical WELL AGE, which is rich in active ingredients that are proven to be effective and are supported by efficacy tests.

The complete WELL AGE formulation combines, in a single product, phytoceramides to increase skin elasticity, borage oil that is rich in gamma-linolenic acid to improve the skin’s defences and hydration, vitamin C to support the synthesis of collagen, and Riboflavin and carnosine to effectively combat oxidative stress and glycation.

Taking this supplement together with the DEFENCE XAGE products offers a comprehensive anti-ageing treatment.