Pro-Age Approach To Skin Care
Aging. It is the number one concern of my clients’ skin consultations. As time passes, experiences and lifestyle practices leave a few souvenirs. Sun damage, expression lines, decreased density. These signs of aging can lead many to a feeling a loss as though they are some how less-than the younger version of themselves. The beauty industry has created quite a racket and an unholy profit devaluing woman for this INCREDIBLY beautiful and natural process that isn’t granted to everyone.
I love to change the narrative when I educate about aging to empower my clients to approach aging skin as part of a wellness and vitality practice. The first step is to begin looking at our skin as part of whole-body health and reconnect to it as one of our high functioning organs. Aging simply means skin functions happen slower and that some of our lifestyle choices of our past may influence basic skin health or even skin conditions. That’s ok! Life is all about learning and living!
Here’s a few actions you can choose to support your skin so it can take care of you. Its never too late to start.
Defend Your Skin Barrier Function
Repairing and maintaining skin barrier function is the most important aspect of external skin care. Unfortunately, aging slows skin function, impacting the barrier.
Skin barrier is the outermost layer of skin cells (stratum corneum) and their lipid bonds. These cells, called corneocytes contain keratin and natural moisturizers. The lipid layer contains cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramide and is critical for maintaining skin moisture. If this function is compromised, our skin becomes very vulnerable to dehydration, inflammation, dermatitis.
Be attentive of:
- humidity, both too high and too dry
- too much sun
- over washing and over exfoliating
- pH compromised with alkaline soaps or exposure to harsh chemicals
- some prescription drugs
- irritants and allergens
- emotional and psychological distress
Your skin barrier is indicating it needs support if you are experiencing
- dry, scaly, rough or itchy
- sensitivity or inflammation
- skin infections
Creating a supportive skin care plan to select your products and practices can’t be achieved through trial and error. Ensuring your products contain the ingredients that will supplement what your skin needs to maintain barrier function while managing concerns, like sun damage and density, requires strategy. Book a professional consultation with a corneotherapy practitioner or skin expert who can guide you.
Invest in Sun Protection
As much as the sun feels great and a sun kissed skin can look wonderful, those rays are impacting multiple aspects of skin health. Some immediate, like burn or dryness (indication of skin barrier function being compromised). Some are DNA damage that show themselves overtime, like elastin breakdown (loss of firmness) or sun damage spots. For many people these exposures over time can lead to skin cancer. Prevention is the best approach.
Best sun practices include:
- wearing SPF daily, reapply often in full exposure
- wearing sunglasses when outside
- UPF (textile rating for SPF) hat and clothing
- Eat the rainbow (brightly colored fruits and veggies)
The key to success with UV defense is consistency and being prepared. Pack protection in case plans or weather change to prevent being overexposed when life brings the unexpected.
Ditch the Sugar
Skin renewal slows as we age. This is why our skin barrier and it’s natural moisture factor can be harder to maintain. Glycation inhibits this process further through sugar (glucose and fructose mainly) attaching themselves to protein or lipid molecules. This forms AGEs (advanced glycation end products). These protein fibers stiffen, slowing the growth of collagen. These AGEs also compromise our natural antioxidant enzymes leaving us vulnerable to free radicals from UV, pollution, and blue light. Without protection these environmental factors trigger an oxidative reaction that leads to more rapid skin aging .
Our bodies can support us with all these processes when we give them the building blocks and tools
- Healthy sleep practices
- Eating the rainbow (brightly colored fruits and veggies)
- Staying hydrated
- Cutting out sugar
- Eating omega 3 and 6 (avocado, flax, chia and nuts)
- Trace minerals
As our body’s systems and processes slow over time, we can support them with commitment to daily healthy practices and supplementing when needed. Work with a health or nutrition professional to determine if you need any vitamin or omega supplement support.
Age Your Way
When it comes to beauty and confidence, choose your own adventure. Your aging process is on your terms. There are lots of great options for skin care practices, products and procedures. Do what feels right for you based on what fits your lifestyle and manages your concerns. For best results, you need to have healthy practices in place to support your skin’s function in order to achieve maximum results no matter what path you choose to take.
Meet The Expert
I'm Nikki Hunter, and I have worn all sorts of professional hats in the health and beauty world over the last 25 years. Currently I am recognized as a Holistic Beauty Coach & Corneotherapy Practitioner, as well as Founder and Director of Shenanigans of The Green Vanity Boutique (Est 2015). I'm also an educator and loud mouth podcaster at Nikki & Raina Show and social activist in the movement of sustainability and ethical practices. I spend my days facilitating a safe space (in downtown Kelowna) for people to discover their relationship with beauty through health & wellness practices, re-examining their beauty narrative, good talks about personal accountability, all while (humorously) pointing our how the industry of beauty has been leading us the wrong direction. Ohhh! I also curate the best of ethical, nontoxic, vegan and sustainably committed products too.