Ageing Skin - What you REALLY need to know!
Confused about all the advice on skin ageing? I’m not surprised! It’s almost impossible to figure out which treatments work, which products are effective and who to trust. As a super geek of skin, I’m forever researching skin ageing and some of the shockingly inaccurate claims and bold statements blow my mind. Also, I might add – I am not immune to the clever advertising that promises me I can look 10 years younger. I have to catch myself, before I’ve added the latest ‘miracle’ product to my online basket – heading straight for the checkout!! And that’s with my extensive skin background!
In this blog we will look at the different ways in which skin ageing occurs, and what you can do about it. It’s not just about your skin, it’s fat pads, muscles, bone AND skin!
Why does our face change as we age?
Skin ageing is actually much more complex than JUST skin. Skin changes through the ageing process is just one aspect of what we see when we look in the mirror. It’s important to understand this, as it will make a HUGE difference to the products and treatments you choose, your lifestyle choices, and also your expectations!
The changes that we see are down to the following;
- Changes in the skin, due to declining collagen & elastin, sun damage and lifestyle factors.
- Changes in the fat pad volume in our face, which gives our face it’s fullness.
- Changes to the bone structure, as bones move during the ageing process.
- Changes to muscles in the face.
We’ll look at each one in turn.
Skin ageing is reasonably well know, and talked about. I’ve written many blogs about skin changes, and why/how our skin ages. I’ll link to a blog you might find interesting below. There’s a lot you can do to support your skin, but the ageing process involves much more than these skin changes you may experience;
Skin ageing beyond skin
The changes that you see ON your skin, and when you look in the mirror, are as a result of multiple changes that are going on as part of your natural ageing process.
In our youth, we have an abundance of fat pads in our face, which gives our face that lovely volume. As we mature, you can see on the right hand picture how these fat pads diminish and change shape. This is part of the reason that faces can appear sunken and hollow as we mature.
This is REALLY important to know when you’re considering treatments, and the primary reason that I see HIFU treatments going wrong. HIFU, if used incorrectly can actually treat these fat pads and break down the fat cells – which can cause more volume to be lost, making the face look more aged than it did before. Your HIFU practitioner needs to have a good understanding of their treatments AND the impact on fat pads.
Loss of volume due to fat pads diminishing cannot be treated with skin only treatments, and this is where treatments such as temporary filler can help some clients. This isn’t something I offer, but happy to make recommendations for a Doctor that does.
Bone changes as you age
Alongside diminishing fat pads, you’ll also experience changes in your bone structure. This is often more evident around the eye socket and jawline.
Our bone density changes as we age, and when you put this alongside loss of muscle tone, loss of volume from fat pads AND skin ageing with loss of collagen and elastin, you start to see a bigger picture building, of what you see when you look in the mirror.
There isn’t anything we can do about bone changes, directly, but it’s important to understand that these changes do impact the visual appearance of how you age. Treatments that boost your collagen and elastin levels, and work on your facial muscles, will help your skin and muscles, and hyaluronic acid volume enhancers will help with the volume loss from diminishing fat pads.
Skin Ageing & Facial Muscles
Skin ageing is affected by the muscles in your face, which change as a result of gravity and usage over the years. And, as the skin loses it’s elasticity and fullness, the muscles are less supported.
There are some great treatments, and home devices that can help to support your facial muscles. Or, you could do some of the popular ‘face gym’ exercises, that many swear by.
If you’re looking for clinical treatments, then CACI is a good option, and home devices such as the Foreo Bear and NuFace are very popular, and I’ve seen some great results with them. Think of these treatments as Slendertone for your face and neck!
A word on treatments and devices that target muscles. Firstly, you need to be consistent with them, and either have regular treatments, or use your home device as recommended. If you stop using it, the results will disappear very quickly. It’s the equivalent of going to the gym.
Secondly, working on the muscles alone will NOT change your skin, as it is doing nothing to boost your collagen and elastin levels. So, targeting muscles are not an alternative to collagen boosting treatments, but they are good to have/use alongside. skin ageing treatments
Top Tips for looking after your skin as you age
- Balancing your hormones, in whichever way is right for you, WILL help improve your skin. HRT s a personal choice for everyone, there are so many options available. There are also some amazing supplements, if you choose not to have HRT. I take supplements that have really helped me, and if you’d like some info then please email me and I’m happy to share! If you haven’t read it already, then I highly recommend Davina McCall & Dr Naomi’s book – Menopausing, I found this really helpful for debunking the menopause myths!
- Look after your skin from the inside out, by eating a well balanced diet that is rich in food that can nourish your skin. ‘Eat the rainbow’ and eat as many different coloured fruit and vegetables as possible, and include oily fish, and/or nuts and seeds in your diet, to boost your natural lipid levels. Increase your intake of foods that are rich in beta-carotene, such as butternut squash and pumpkin, as these support collagen production AND protect your skin from UV damage. You’ll find more nutrition advice in my Ultimate Skin Guide (click on the button at the top of the post). Cut down on sugar, as this contributes to lines & wrinkles, it causes a hardening of the collagen fibers, which causes something called ‘glycation’. If you have criss cross lines & wrinkles, then this is likely to be the cause of them.
- Take steps to reduce your stress levels, as high levels of cortisol, our natural stress hormone, wreaks havoc with our skin, and aside from UV exposure, is THE most common cause of premature ageing.
- Try and get 7-9 hours sleep a night. Your skin goes through important repair and regeneration at night. If you’re not getting sufficient sleep, your skin doesn’t have the chance to repair, regenerate or remove toxins and fluids, and you’ll see signs of premature ageing progressing rapidly, and you may be left with tired, dull and puffy skin.
- Invest in a targeted and high grade skincare range, with powerful anti ageing ingredients, such as retinol, vitamin C, AHA’s, BHA’s, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and of course, sunscreen! The active ingredients help to speed up cell turnover and boost collagen levels. Targeted serums can also address sun damage, pigmentation and rosacea/acne.
- Consider treatments that will help not just your skin, but also the muscle and loss of volume too. Whilst we can’t entirely stop the natural ageing process, we can slow it down! Skin ageing is typically what we notice more when we look in the mirror, and collagen boosting treatments are superhero’s here. But, targeting your facial muscles will also compliment the results from collagen induction treatments. With significant volume loss, then semi-permanent volume boosters would be an option to, for those that wish to consider them.
Boosting your collagen with treatments
As our skin ages, our natural collagen & elastin levels drop dramatically. Having treatments that naturally boost our skins ability to produce these important proteins, will give you plumper, firmer and more lifted skin. I like to think that these treatments trick our skin to acting like it’s in our 20’s again! (when our collagen and elastin levels are much higher).
When it comes to treating skin ageing concerns, In my opinion, radiofrequency microneedling really is the superhero. RF microneedling naturally stimulates your collagen and elastin levels, and not only reduces lines & wrinkles, but also has a tightening & lifting effect. It’s one of my non surgical face lift treatments, and is perfect for menopause skin. I often combine this with HIFU for my clients, to boost your skin at all layers, maximising your long term results.
This is my most popular aesthetics treatment in my clinic, in Alton, Hampshire. And it’s because it offers so many amazing benefits. When it’s combine with the lifestyle factors, nutrition, and AlumierMD skincare, the results truly are WOW. This is EXACTLY what I do to look after my own ageing skin! You can find out more by clicking on the button below.
Supporting skin ageing with products
Think of your products as the icing on the cake. On their own, they won’t miraculously make you look 10 years younger, but they really do matter! If you are naturally boosting your collagen levels through lifestyle and targeted treatments, then your skin care products will be able to super charge your collagen & elastin levels, strengthen your skin AND protect it.
Your skin care needs to include ingredients such as retinol, to speed up cell turnover and stimulate more collagen, of a better quality. Vitamin C to protect your skin, and support healthy collagen production. AHA’s, BHA’s to exfoliate, and improve skin tone & texture, hyaluronic acid for moisture, as it can hold 1000 x it’s own weight in water, and SUNSCREEN! There’s no point using any other products if you’re not using sunscreen – UVA rays are responsible for up to 90% of premature ageing.
The skincare products that are right for you, will depend on your specific skin type and concerns, but if you click on the button below, you’ll be able to read about my top 5 anti ageing skincare ingredients. But, a word on retinol below – as it deserves a special mention.
My top 5 tips for skin ageing
You’ll get the best results with a combined approach, as no one treatment or product will cure all – sadly! I’ll be sure to let you know if I find something! But, you can make a significant difference to skin ageing changes, by understanding all of the factors we’ve talked about, and having a multi-pronged approach.
- Balance your hormones (affects collagen and elastin levels/production in your skin).
- Make lifestyle changes to support healthy skin.
- Eating skin boosting foods.
- Considering treatments and home devices that can target collagen & elastin levels, tighten & lift your skin AND support your facial muscles.
- Using targeted skin care, with active anti ageing ingredients.
The magic of this ‘inside out and outside in’ approach is that, not only will you love what you see in the mirror, you’ll feel amazing too. The Nutritional Therapist in me knows only to well, that the secret to beautiful skin starts as an inside job!
I always work with my clients to find some quick and easy changes that they can make, that make a huge difference to their skin. It’s never just about skin care, or treatments. The best results come when we work together, from the outside in and inside out. You can download my Ultimate Guides, which are packed with lots of helpful information.
I'd love to help you
If you’ve been struggling with skin ageing concerns, and would like to learn how to improve your skin, AND achieve long term results, then please get in touch.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my blog about skin ageing. I’d love to welcome you to my aesthetics clinic is based in Alton, Hampshire. I am right on the Hampshire / Surrey border, and just 15 minutes from both Basingstoke and Farnham.
If you would like to book a no obligation Skin Consultation You can book your appointment via the button below. If there are no slots available, then please add yourself to the waiting list, or use the contact form, and we will be in touch when an appointment becomes available.
I offer online services for skin care prescription and advice, so if you’d like some help, but you’re not local to me – that’s absolutely fine, I can still help you.
I look forward to hearing from you. Best, Nikki