Every month we will cover a different subject about skincare or giving beauty tips – tackling the different skin-types, demystifying the latest fads, delving into the hottest new research and tips for a healthy skin.
This month we are kicking off with part 1 of a 2-part series about skin-ageing.
As approved and qualified stockists of the International Institute for Anti-ageing (iiaa – developers of the The Advanced Nutrition Programme, Environ and Jane Iredale) we know a thing of two about this topic.
Our page about ‘Ageing skin’ covers what causes our skin to age – and it is no surprise that it is mainly due to the natural ageing process of our body. But our lifestyle, diet and environmental factors also play a major role in how quickly you might start seeing the first signs of ageing.
A lot of research has been done to find effective treatments to delay this ageing process. Vitamin A has come out on top as a nutrient that is crucial in fighting the signs of ageing. It is what the founder of Environ (Dr. Des Fernandes) based the whole of the Environ product range on.
Vitamin A is like oxygen to skin, it is the most essential skin nutrient. It keeps skin healthy and resilient. It helps in reversing the signs of ageing.
A ‘new’ anti-ageing friend
In Japan there is a small settlement called Yuzuri Hara that has become known as the ‘Village of Long Life’ because over 10% of it inhabitants are 85 or over (10 times the Western norm). Most of these 85+s are fit and healthy and have amazing skin. Scientists discovered that they eat root vegetables specific to that area. These root vegetables are full of hyaluronic acid (HA, or hyaluron).
What is the role of hyaluronic acid?
So what is hyaluron, or HA? It is part of a group of substances in the skin called glycosaminolglycans (GAGs) which have the main purpose of maintaining collagen and elastin by helping them retain water.
Hyaluron has the unique capacity to hold 1,000 times its own weight in water! And so it helps in plumping out the skin and reducing wrinkles.
“Hyaluronic acid has a major structural function to keep the dermis [the second layer of skin below the epidermis] at optimum volume because of its amazing ability to hold water and cushion cells like a protective gel.” says Dr Des Fernandes.
Basically, it is like mortar between bricks– with the added benefit of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that calm and protect the skin.
The ageing process
From the age of 40, HA levels (which are naturally produced by our body), drop. By 60 you may not have any HA in your skin anymore. Exposure to sun is a big cause of depleting hyaluron, as are smoking and alcohol.
Hyaluronic acid is not new. A lot of research has been done that provide undeniable evidence of its benefits. In fact, so much research has been done that a recent study by scientists undertook a review of the most recent studies to understand its credentials.
“A thorough analysis revealed that HA-based formulations exhibit remarkable anti-wrinkle, anti-nasolabial fold, anti-ageing, space-filling, and face rejuvenating properties.” found these scientists.
Topical application and taking hyaluronic acid orally has huge benefits. It is official – HA is amazing!
Hyaluron is available in a variety of beauty products, with brands proudly promoting this ingredient. But be aware, crucially the researchers found that the lower the weight of the molecules, the better the result. Application will only show the desired benefits if the molecules are small enough to reach the lower layers of the skin. It works particularly well with needling at home or in the salon.
A marriage made in heaven
Coming back to our first hero – vitamin A. This is one of the most powerful stimulants for hyaluronic acid production. A skincare regime with products containing vitamin A and HA is the closest we might get to eternal youth.
Our products containing hyaluronic acid
Try it for yourself with a selection of our products, containing hyaluronic acid.