INTRINSIC Ageing EXTRINSIC Ageing
The Science of Skin
Our skin consists of three primary layers:
- the epidermis,
- the dermis, and
- the hypodermis (a layer of subcutaneous tissue which includes the reticular dermis)
The upper-most layer, known as the EPIDERMIS, controls the loss of water from cells and tissue. Without this protective barrier, the body would quickly dehydrate. The epidermis is a layer rich in keratin that provides toughness and water-resistance. This layer of skin is where dead cells are shed and where melanin (a dark pigment) is found.
Just below the epidermis lies the second layer, the DERMIS. The dermis, although it contains blood vessels, nerves and hair follicles, is primarily made up of a protein called “collagen.” This protein forms a network of fibres that provides the framework for the growth of cells and blood vessels. Because it is the primary component of the dermis, collagen acts as the support structure for the skin.
The HYPODERMIS is a layer of fat and connective tissue that contains larger blood vessels and nerves. It also hosts sweat glands, fat, and collagen cells. The hypodermis is responsible for conserving your body’s heat and protecting your vital inner organs.
Normal healthy skin has a nice epidermis with a smooth cornified or outer layer, that acts as a good barrier to water and environmental injury. Skin colour and tone is even and unblemished. Components such as collagen (which provides skin firmness), elastin (which supplies skin elasticity and rebound) and glycosaminoglycans or GAGs (which keep the skin hydrated) are all abundant.
The ageing process that takes place from our 20’s and onward is related to both Intrinsic and Extrinsic Ageing Factors.
Intrinsic Ageing is effectively AGEING from within. It is the natural ageing process that takes place over the years regardless of outside influences.
After the age of 20, a person produces about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age. There is also diminished functioning of the sweat and oil glands, less elastin production, and less Glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s – a family of carbohydrates that help with the maintenance and support of collagen and elastin formation). Wrinkle formation as a result of intrinsic ageing is inevitable, but it will always be slight.(1)
In our twenties
The skin’s exfoliation process decreases by 28% as well, causing dead skin cells to accumulate and stick together for longer periods of time.(2)
In our thirties
The transfer of moisture from the dermis to the epidermis is slowed and fat cells start to shrink. These effects make the skin look dull and thin.
In our forties
Collagen is no longer produced. The collagen and elastin fibres break, thicken, stiffen, clump together, and lose their elasticity. This results in wrinkles and ageing lines.
Finally, in our fifties +
The skin becomes dry and is easily bruised, damaged, or broken because the sebaceous (oil) glands have decreased in size. In women, menopause causes a decrease in estrogen levels, leaving the skin drier, thinner, more sensitive and less toned.
What has been tried to reverse Intrinsic Ageing
Surgical intervention was the first reparative strategy to combat ageing skin. Surgical approaches seek to repair the appearance of the ageing face by reconstructing tissues to simulate the look of youth, and the skilled surgeon can certainly achieve that. However, this approach does nothing for the skin ageing clock which keeps ticking in the simulated youthful face. The skin may look tight, but it’s still “old.”
It is argued that true rejuvenation of the ageing skin can only be achieved by stimulating the body’s natural wound repair process, and early interventions other than plastic surgery did just that in an invasive way by creating damage.
DERMABRASION & HARSH CHEMICAL PEELS
Dermabrasion and harsh chemical peels were the next avenue of anti-ageing and were effective, but again these treatments, whilst perhaps not as invasive as the surgeon’s knife, also failed to stop the internal ageing clock, tick, tock, tick, tock.
CHEMICAL SKIN PEELS
Today’s clinical chemical skin peels are indeed more gentle than when they first surfaced in the 80’s and give very good results.
Modern peels are categorised by how deeply the chemical solution penetrates the skin, and are typically referred to as superficial, medium or deep.
Superficial peels only address the top layers of skin, or the epidermis. Medium peels reach down further to remove the epidermis as well as the top layer of the dermis. Deep peels affect all of those, plus a few additional layers of the dermis. You can expect perhaps several days of down-time with the medium peels where the skin will be red and begins to shed, and up to 2 weeks down-time with Deep Peels as skin healing is required at these depths.
After a peel, the affected tissue regenerates, providing you with a fresh, younger look.
For Ageing Skins
As we pursue the answer to intrinsic anti-ageing, next enters the ablative laser. Whilst the skin contains around 85% water, ablative lasers (CO2 and NdYag) use the water in the skin as their target. The laser energy is rapidly absorbed in the water in the skin tissue resulting in an explosive ablative effect as the tissue water is vaporised, hence the technique is described as “ablative laser resurfacing”. In the hands of an expert, the epidermis can be vaporised cleanly off the dermis, leaving some residual thermal damage to kick-start the body’s wound healing process, to produce new collagen and elastin to renew and tighten the skin.
Whilst ablative laser is regarded as the gold standard in skin resurfacing, it does come with some side effects, those being severe crusting and possible oozing making social interaction difficult over the week following an ablative laser treatment, possible prolonged erythema (redness) over the following weeks or even months, and pigmentation (particularly in patients with darker skin colouring) and textural changes can also present as a problem with these types of laser treatments. And by the way, the treatment is generally painful.
INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL) – IPL Photorejuvenation
Still in search of the elusive saviour treatment, IPL Photorejuvenation (Intense Pulsed Light) and several non ablative (fractional) lasers were the next to come along in the battle against ageing skin. Both use systems to cool the skin during treatment to reduce pain. They use pulses and filters to be more targeted at the dermis, leaving the epidermis (skin surface) relatively intact (non ablative) whilst the rejuvenation processes occur below the epidermis level. The process certainly works however the results take longer and because the epidermis is left intact, patients won’t see any immediate result which can be disheartening, however this has to be measured by the much reduced downtime and pain allowing patients to almost immediately return to their regular routine.
For Ageing Skins
The latest in modern dermatology, stimulates new collagen production, firms the skin, reduces skin pore size, resulting in a more youthful looking skin.
With the innovative IPL Photorejuvenation treatment, you can gently reverse the signs of sun damage without surgery or needles.
A clear complexion is something many people want, but even with the most meticulous skin care regimen, blemish-free skin can be difficult to achieve – IPL Photorejuvenation goes where skin care can’t – deep into the dermis.
♦ from $200 | Full Face
LED PHOTOTHERAPY – (Low Level Light Therapy)
What was observed during the development of lasers was the reparative impact LIGHT had on targeted cells and skin tissue and that the light even in very low photon intensities could accelerate wound healing and alleviate pain. Low level laser light therapy (LLLT) saw the birth of Photorejuvenation for the skin using LED (light emitting diodes) that can effect repair and rejuvenation without using heat or causing cell damage trauma.
The LED’s we are all most familiar with are those found in many electrical appliances such as alarm clocks, televisions, power tools etc. These LED’s are bright but have unstable outputs, are divergent and have varying wavelengths and are therefore unsuitable for medical treatments. Fortunately the Space Medicine Laboratory at the USA National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) developed a new generation LED, the NASA LED which has much more power than a standard LED, has controlled intensity output, narrow divergence and what is referred to as “quasimonochromaticity”. These NASA LED’s emit exact wavelengths that have been clinically shown to promote wound healing and skin rejuvenation without heat or trauma, therefore without any pain.
For Ageing Skins
The benefits of LED Phototherapy administered from a Medical Grade LED system are extremely attractive as a way to make skin not only look younger and tighter, but to actually be younger from the inside out as a result of the non invasive, non thermal and non traumatic manner in which they rejuvenate skin cells and tissue.
The application of Blue light (415 nm), Red light (633 nm) and/or Near Infrared (830 nm) using a Medical Grade LED system, either as a stand-alone treatment or as an add-on treatment to IPL Photorejuvenation; Chemical Skin Peels, Non Surgical Face Lifts or to DermaFrac Serum Infusion is highly recommended as the healing, skin rejuvenation and treatment outcomes are exceptional.
Looking to Slow the Ageing Process?
Book an appointment or FREE Skin Analysis & Consultation
Extrinsic Ageing is the opposite to Intrinsic Ageing – this is where the skin ages from the outside.
The most noteworthy external factors that contribute to extrinsic ageing include smoking, air pollution, stress, diet and the sun’s damaging UV rays. In fact, UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing signs.
The good news is that because you have control over almost all these external factors, you have everything you need to protect your skin and prevent unnecessary extrinsic premature ageing. If you aren’t sure where to start then keep on reading!
Extrinsic ageing shows up as thickening of the cornified layer, precancerous changes such as lesions called actinic keratosis, skin cancer (including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, lentigo maligna melanoma), freckle and sun spot formation, and exaggerated loss of collagen, elastin, and GAGs.
Alone or in concert, these processes give the skin the appearance of roughness, uneven tone, brown patches, thin skin and deep wrinkles.
Prevention is key to minimising wrinkles and slowing both the INTRINSIC and EXTRINSIC Ageing processes.
The most important thing is to take care of your skin before all these ageing changes start to take place. Reducing your direct sun exposure and ensuring the regular application of sun protection against both UVA and UVB rays is critical 365 days a year using an SPF of at least 30+.
Professional skin care products suited to your skin type and condition and used in a daily regime, will also go a long way to retarding the ageing processes
Fix your Diet
One of the best things you can do to see real transformation in your skin, is to eat a clean diet. Every single thing you put into your mouth has an impact on the state of your skin so it only makes sense that if you’re filling your body with the wrong foods, you’re not going to like what you see when you look in the mirror. Processed, fatty and sugary foods all increase inflammation in the body, throwing off your sebum levels and increasing your risk of acne, as well as breaking down collagen and accelerating the ageing process.
A clean diet, on the other hand, filled with whole, plant-based foods, antioxidants, healthy fats and an array of vitamins and minerals, will help to cleanse your system from the inside out so you can enjoy firmer, more youthful skin with an unrivalled glow. (3)
Protect Your Skin with SPF
We know how important it is to slather on the sunblock when laying out by the pool or on the beach, but what about when you’re out on a picnic, going for a walk or even just running errands? Even a few minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun can cause skin damage, although it may take a few years to manifest.
Apart from reducing your skin cancer risk, proper SPF will ensure you give your skin its best chance to fight the damaging and ageing effects of UV rays.
Choosing an SPF can be a little confusing, but just keep in mind that there are two main kinds. Chemical sunscreens are formulated with synthetic chemicals and work like a sponge by absorbing UV rays and neutralising them, whilst physical sunblocks are formulated with all natural minerals and work like a barrier, bouncing rays off the skin and back into the environment.
To put into context just how harmful popular chemical sunscreens are, Hawaii passed a bill which banned sunscreen products containing two common chemicals: oxybenzone and octinoxate. (3)
We recommend mineral sunblocks, those containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, as they won’t affect your health or the environment! Always be sure to use an SPF of at least 30 or higher and remember to re-apply every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
NOTE: Even though you should protect your skin from too much sun exposure (to prevent damage), don’t take this as a warning to stay out of the sun completely! In fact, it’s important to participate in the daily ritual of sunbathing for your body to produce enough vitamin D. Typically the 1-2 hours after sunrise and before sunset are the safest when exposing your skin to the sun as this is when UV levels are typically at their lowest while still providing you with the benefits. Fifteen (15) minutes should be ample exposure time for your vitamin D production.
Apply Topical Nutrients
While filling your body with antioxidants through diet and supplements will help to protect your health and your skin, when it comes to preventing premature ageing through extrinsic factors, it’s vital to apply antioxidants topically to your skin as well.
Many extrinsic factors exist, some which we can control (food we eat, choosing not to smoke and drink, and avoiding over-exposure to the sun) and other factors which are harder to control (gravity, facial expressions, and sleeping position). All contribute to accelerated ageing by way of free radical generation which attacks the skin cells and their ability to function properly. (3)
Vitamin C is our favourite antioxidant vitamin for not only fighting off free radicals, but also for reducing inflammation, brightening the skin and helping to promote the formation of collagen. We highly recommend ASPECT Extreme C.
In the hands of a qualified and experienced Skin Specialist there is much that can be done to repair the wear and tear of both Intrinsic and Extrinsic Ageing.
Treatments such as;-
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL Photorejuvenation) to address sun damage, pigmentation, discolouration, wrinkles, fine lines, dull tones, congested and oily skin, acne, rosacea, spider and thread veins, dehydrated skin,
- DermaFrac Fractional Infusion Therapy or Skin Needling to stimulate collagen and elastin production,
- LED Phototherapy,
- Clinical Chemical Skin Peels and
- Advanced Cosmeceutical Products that can provide professional skin care at home.
Extrinsic Ageing Treatments at Nascent
For Dehydrated & Ageing Skins
For Skin Renewal & Health
Formulated to Promote Healthy Looking Skin
(1) Dr S. Obagi. Why Does Skin Wrinkle with Age? What Is the Best Way to Slow or Prevent This Process?
(2) M. Witmer, Unrepaired skin molecules cause wrinkles as we age (2006).
(3) Tamryn Burgess – Apoterra Skincare