Anti-aging skin care, point of view from a dermatologist

When we think of anti-aging cream, we often associate it with beautiful, hydrated, supple and smooth skin after applying the cream. Sometimes expectations are so high that they become unattainable. Doubts often arise about the daily care ritual when the high expectations are not met. This makes us lose the motivation to keep the skin in shape.

Anti-aging from a dermatological point of view

As a dermatologist, I have a different view and definition of anti-aging. Aging or the aging process, for example, the face takes place at different levels. Not only the skin epidermis (superficial part of the skin) and the dermis (deeper skin layer) age, but also our deeper supporting layers the aging process takes place. You can see a reduction in the cheek fats and temporal areas, but also osteoporosis. Especially bone reduction around the cheeks and eyes. This results in sagging of the skin. The sagging of the skin, especially the deep wrinkles are difficult to smooth out completely, even with injectables such as botulinum toxin, fillers, laser and plastic surgery. And that without making the face look ‘unnatural’.

The Aging-process

The aging process is determined by two mechanisms. The biological clock, or the intrinsic aging process, determines the severity and speed of skin aging. One study suggested that the rate of the aging process is only partially determined by our DNA. This means that the aging process is largely caused by environmental factors and lifestyle. This external, extrinsic aging process is accelerated by, for example, exposure to ultraviolet light (sun, solarium), air pollution, smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of sleep and continuous stress.

One of the key processes for both intrinsic and especially extrinsic aging is Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) or free radicals that originate in the skin. These invisible free radicals have a damaging effect on our elastic and collagen fibers in the dermis (deep skin layer) resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Overproduction of ROS due to smoking, ultraviolet light can cause normal skin cells to degenerate and form skin cancer cells.

And in addition, we can’t avoid lentigo solaris, or age spots. These are spread over the skin areas that are most exposed to the sun, like the face, back of your hands and chest. Lentigo solaris is also called skin aging in the same breath and is a sign of sun damage. These aging processes are slow and not immediately visible. Over time, you will see more fine lines, dark spots and the skin will feel drier.

What should I apply to my skin?

There is evidence that the Egyptians already used oils and creams 10,000 years ago to protect the skin against the sun and drying of the skin. The secret of eternal youth has also been diligently sought, but a perfect elixir has not yet been developed. However, technology has led to significant advances in skin-enhancing products.

On the one hand, there is a group of antioxidants consisting of vitamins such as C, E, Niacinamide, polyphenols and flavonoids. This group reduces collagen degradation by neutralizing ROS (free radicals). The other group are cell regulators, examples of which are vitamin A, peptides and growth factors. They have a direct effect on collagen stimulation in the deep layer of the skin. The stimulation of the collagen is a slow and gradual process.

Prevention is of course better than cure. Dermatologically, anti-aging cream is a long-term investment for your skin. And you can influence that.

More about slowing down the aging process part I and part II

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