Wednesday, 01 July 2015 11:21

Aging Skin: Prevent, Maintain, Reverse

Written by   Dieter Kuster, Ph.D.

All too often, we use the term ‘aging skin’ to describe the visible process of getting older on the body’s largest organ. We as humans start to age from the moment we are born until we pass, so when we refer to aging skin, we are actually talking about aging itself.

In most cases, our skin is a reflection of how we feel. There are ways to slow the process and to preserve the glow of youth – prevention, maintenance, and reversal. Self-education and modern aesthetic advances are the key steps to having a life of healthy, youthful skin.

PREVENTING AGING SKIN
When clients are up against both time and an aggressive environment, prevention is key. Prevention is based on common-sense, responsibility, discipline, and knowledge. We all know we should drink plenty of water and eat right; it is just common-sense. Drinking a significant, and appropriate, amount of water for your weight and lifestyle is one of the best preventative measures against aging. Hydrated skin stays suppler, brighter, and reflects the effects of a hydrated body. A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein goes hand in hand with hydration to slow aging from the inside out. Sunscreens and protective clothing are other common-sense steps in the direction of prevention – shielding the skin from damaging, wrinkle-inducing ultraviolet rays.

Certain areas of the body require more care than others simply because they are more often exposed to harsh environment. The most commonly affected areas are the face and hands, drenched in sun either by choice or necessity, and battered by the elements. Next come the neck, shoulders, and feet. Sitting by a sunny window during work is a time when clients may be getting the most sun in some of these areas, and not even realizing it. Sun protection should be used daily, not just for an afternoon at the beach. Even in colder climates, the skin does not catch a break from being covered. The perfumes, dyes, and chemicals found in detergents wreak havoc on bundled-up skin. The lasting effect of these chemicals leads to wear and tear on rougher areas like elbows and knees, causing noticeable aging. Using detergents free from dyes and perfumes can help, along with keeping up with general hygiene and moisturizing the skin.

We all have a responsibility to ourselves to care for our health and well-being. When we live a stressful life, or engage in unhealthy habits, it shows in our skin. 1Habits like heavy drinking, smoking cigarettes, and drug use can significantly impact the appearance and texture of the skin. Advise clients to take responsibility for their health. They will be better able to take control over the rate that their skin ages and overall appearance. Removing certain stressors and negativity from your day-to-day life can have an invaluable impact on the way you look to the world. Getting plenty of sleep and entering each day with a positive outlook will begin to show on clients’ face and get them on their way to lifelong skin health.

Discipline is the next step in defying the hands of time, since preventative measures only work when they are employed consistently. Help clients create a routine and have them stick to it. Find products that work well with their skin type. Their skin care regimen should include the basic hygiene of regular face washing with a cleanser that is suited for their skin type, whether it be dry, oily, or combination. There are many cleansers on the market that have the added bonus of age defying ingredients. Using a proper makeup remover and cleanser in the evening to remove cosmetics, dirt, oil, and environmental stressors from the face, is crucial for a clear, healthy complexion. Regular morning cleansing removes any debris collected by the skin during sleep, refreshes the skin, and prepares the face for the application of serums and moisturizers. All products, including those meant to prevent and slow the process of aging, work best on cleansed skin, making regular hygiene a simple, yet extremely effective step in preventing the signs of aging.

The next steps in a prevention regimen should include a toner, serum, controlling cream (if necessary), and moisturizer. It is best to use products backed by well-known manufacturers who make a sound commitment to quality and results. Clients may choose serums or creams that help clear blemishes, even tone, calm under eye puffiness, or any number of needs specific to their skin. Always look for age defying ingredients when choosing products, as this can be an easy way to sneak in aging prevention while treating the client’s skin issues. You, as their skin care professional, can recommend products in their price range that will benefit their skin most and provide the best results for their skin type. Keep in mind that the most expensive product is not always the best, and one that is easy on the wallet may not provide the effects the client desires.

Part of being responsible for the health of the skin is product knowledge. Clients should understand what they are buying, and investing in quality products with proven results will not only help prevent signs of aging, but also ease stress on the skin that can be caused by inferior ingredients. Do your research and find out for yourself which ingredients are heroes and which are zeros. Have clients start an effective regimen as early as possible to reap the most benefit.

MAINTAINING AGE-DEFYING EFFORTS
Research has shown that the earlier a skin care regimen is begun, the better off one will be when trying to maintain it later. Starting young, between 12 and 15 years of age, will yield the best outcome. This also starts a healthy lifelong habit that may be easier to break when started later in life. Since products used to enhance the face can be as harmful as neglecting the face all together, care should be taken when shopping for makeup as well. Moisture­-holding and moisture­-stimulating cosmetics are essential measures in aging prevention. Inexpensive or inferior cosmetics may contain harmful, pore-clogging chemicals and compounds that can hinder age­defying efforts. 

2If the client is one of the few and fortunate who have beautiful skin by their mid­-20s to age 30, it is time to focus on maintenance. To keep their skin beautiful as long as possible, have these clients go for facials and facial massages regularly, to rejuvenate and stimulate new cell formation, and be their advocate by keeping updated on the latest and most rewarding technology. Clients should learn and study the conditions of the skin and practice the best measures they can to retain their skin’s natural elasticity and healthy glow. If they neglect their skin now, the mirror will tell them later.

REVERSING AGING SKIN
Not long ago, there was a time that once skin was neglected, it could not be repaired. Fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots were just something with which people had to live if they had not taken the proper steps earlier in life to prevent skin damage. In recent years, there have been considerable advancements in technology that allow skin care professionals to better help their clients reverse and slow signs of aging after damage has already been done. The science and technology of today, paired with nature’s bounty of roots, plants, and fruits, have given the chemist and developer unlimited resources for creating the fountain of youth. While these advancements will not keep skin young forever, they have made some degree of reversal a possibility and give hope to those who have gone too long without caring for their complexion.

In the 1980s, physicians, dermatologists, and health practitioners claimed that nothing could penetrate the skin, because the molecular structure of products was too large. It was believed that a product stayed on the top layer of skin based on smell, feel, and shine. By the introduction of iontophoresis, scientists made the aesthetic breakthrough of penetrating the skin by means of positive and negative currents. This made it possible for serums to permeate through the layers of skin and extract impurities to improve skin condition deep down, the first step in dealing with the aging process. After iontophoresis came nanotechnology, from which we were able to create effective ingredients in a range of 100 nanometers. This was a giant leap toward penetration to the basal layer of the skin and helped the cells on their way to the stratum corneum to keep their youthful efficiency. This, too, opened doors to correcting and improving skin conditions and slowing down the effects of aging.3

The growing interest in the cosmetic and drug industry for transdermal delivery systems has been made possible by the ever increasing knowledge of nanotechnology and the near perfection of molecular sizing. This is shown in transdermal patches for wrinkles around the eyes, vertical lines above the lips, and wrinkles around the throat and neck. Transdermal delivery allows the developer and chemist to introduce sodium hyaluronate, collagen, elastin, and natural moisture factor. This opens the door for direct delivery to the target area and helps eliminate unpleasant signs of aging. Science looks to overcome the natural barrier properties of the skin. The product must pass through two sub-layers of the epidermis, where the primary barrier lies in the outermost layer. The stratum corneum and dense hydrophilic structure is surrounded by an intercellular lipid matrix. In order to achieve ultimate delivery, the chemist must find ingredients to improve the solubility of the products.

The use of controlled peeling and abrasive processes to remove dead cells and stimulate new growth of healthy cells is the next step on the path to age reversal in skin. Natural and synthetic acids aid in these processes to produce younger, vibrant-looking skin. More recently, we look to light therapy, which introduced LED technology, to deeply penetrate the skin without the damaging heat. Light therapy increases moisture and the natural production of collagen and elastin, all of which help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Light therapy also helps treat blemished skin, sun spots, and age spots. It is a preferred method because it is non­invasive, non habit­forming, drug and chemical free, all natural, and affordable. With new technology at our disposal, there is no reason for someone to lose hope in their quest to turn back the clock. Aging can and should be controlled in order to achieve a healthy, youthful complexion.

4While the industry is dominated by various chemical compounds and technology used to prevent, maintain, and reverse signs of aging, never be afraid to experiment with nature. The benefits of natural remedies for various ailments and conditions have been known for centuries and the garden of the earth will continue to be utilized to find new, innovative, and natural ways to pamper and heal the skin. Using science and nature in tandem, by utilizing the resources given by the earth and the knowledge gained from experimentation, to make great strides is a purer approach to skin care.

Fifty is the old age of youth; 60 is the youth of old age. The sky is the limit in regard to preventing, maintaining, and reversing damage to the skin that causes aging. By employing a disciplined, common-sense approach to prevention, we have the power to stop aging before it begins. The use of sun protection, proper hydration, and a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising go a long way in preventing the most common skin woes. By starting at an early age and sticking to a regimen, one can expect glowing, younger-looking skin for many years to come.

When skin is properly cared for and maintained by using well known products with scientifically proven results, we are able to keep the skin fresh and fabulous. Clients will be able to experience the gift of beautiful, healthy skin for a long time by regularly consulting with and receiving treatment from a trusted aesthetician. Proper maintenance now, will make a world of difference in the future.

For clients who waited until damage had already been done, the leaps and bounds made by scientific research in recent years have revealed a variety of methods to reverse signs of aging. Abrasion therapy removes dull, dead skin cells to reveal an invigorated glow and allow the skin to regenerate fresh new cells. Light therapy and transdermal delivery systems allow skin care professionals to target specific areas, and skin issues, to reverse the effects of environmental stressors and years of neglect.

We must and should look at our world positively, experience life to the fullest, live well, eat well, and drink well. A bowl full of laughter, a twinkle in the eye, and an inviting smile give many more years of good life. All this gives you good looks, because when you feel good, you look good. Happiness, effort, and a healthy attitude are the key for you to prevent, maintain, and reverse skin conditions.


Dr. Dieter Kuster is the founder of CA BOTANA International. He has developed over 3,000 products for the cosmetics industry including the in-house brands Doctor D. Schwab, Sea Enzyme, and Ambrosia Aromatherapy. One of his breakthrough achievements is the development of the highly acclaimed molecular penetrator Alphasomes®, an advanced delivery system to increase product effectiveness. His other specialties include target-specific enzymes and superior peptide technology. During his 50-plus years of experience, he has authored many articles and is a sought-after speaker for the beauty industry on an international level.

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