Beauty Tips: Skin Deep
Beauty Tips: Skin Deep
Posted on 13 April 2012
Keep smiling—you can do something about lines and wrinkles on your face
by Lena Grady
If someone had told 37-year-old Michelle 10 years ago that she’d be contending with deep wrinkles and furrows in her brow before the age of 40, she’d have scoffed at the idea. Unfortunately, social smoking and years of lying on the beach without sun protection were starting to show on her face.
“Women, especially fair-skinned women, are more prone to deep wrinkles,” explains dermatologist Dr. Benjamin Barankin of the Toronto Dermatology Centre. “Genetics are critical, yet sun damage and smoking are also important factors. Wrinkling is due to a number of factors.”
So what’s the science behind those deep furrows? “Deep wrinkles have to do with the destruction of collagen and elastin in the dermal layer of the skin,” says naturopathic doctor Natalie van Veelen of the Sage Clinic in Vancouver. “Collagen and elastin are what keep skin taut and young looking. Free radicals, caused by the environment, are the major cause of the destruction of collagen and elastin. So anything that increases free radicals is going to affect how quickly the wrinkles form and how deep they can get.”
Contributing factors such as stress, hormones, toxin exposure and the sun all play a role in the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
To head off the formation of wrinkles, first of all, tailor your cleanser and moisturizer to your skin type, and change these products according to the season, recommends Dr. Barankin.
All dermatologists agree that you need to wear sunscreen every day — even in the winter and even if it’s cloudy. It’s critical for protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation, so opt for a physical formulation such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide with an SPF of at least 30. Avoid any irritating products or cleansers that aren’t pH balanced, such as harsh soaps. Add a topical vitamin C product and a vitamin A or retinol-based product to your routine, suggests Dr. Barankin. Other ingredients he recommends? Look for products containing coffeeberry extract, niacinamide, glycolic acid and matrixyl.
Beauty Tips - Skin Deep
Vanquish free radicals
You also need to nourish your skin from the inside out. Dr. Barankin recommends cutting back on caffeine and alcohol to keep the body hydrated, and quitting smoking. You’ll also want to balance out your free radical production, says Dr. van Veelen. That means not consuming trans fats and animal fats, not overeating, not eating a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar, and preventing stress. All of this will go a long way in helping preserve your skin.
Eating a diet that’s high in minerals and vitamins, and taking supplements is another way. Dr. van Veelen recommends taking vitamin A at 25,000 IU beta-carotene or 15,000 IU retinol, though she cautions against taking this level when pregnant or trying to get pregnant. She also recommends:
• Vitamin C at one to nine grams per day
• Vitamin E at 600 IU
• Vitamin B5
• Omega 3s
• Co-enzyme Q10
• Sliymarin, an antioxidant that’s synergistic with vitamin E at 170 to 340 mg
• Silybin three times per day
• Gingko biloba
• Proanthocyanadina and catechins found in grapes
As always, speak to your doctor before you start up a new vitamin regime.
How are your hormones?
Another factor in the formation of deep wrinkles is your hormones. Head to your naturopath or MD and get a hormone test. “Progesterone plays a role in how plump skin is,” explains Dr. van Veelen. Have a salivary hormone test done on day 19 of your menstrual cycle to determine any imbalance.
The natural route
Injectables at a dermatologist’s office, such as Botox, Restalyne and Juvaderm, can prevent new wrinkles from forming and plump up pre-existing ones. There are also some natural routes to wrinkle treatment. Dr. van Veelen suggests facial acupuncture, topical injectable therapies, a bio-identical hormone cream usually made from soy or yam, and using minerals and herbs to clear oxidants from the skin.