External vs Internal Aging

Since I wrote No-Nonsense Beauty Book, I  followed the anti-aging skin care rules– I used scrubbing grains to exfoliate  the skin surface, slathered on sunscreen, and avoided the two biggest beauty killers, namely smoking and excess alcohol.  It seemed to work  for years — and then it didn’t .  While I  didn’t develop fine lines, crows feet and  brown patches, I suddenly looked pretty old.  My skin was pale  and sagged along the jawline.  I felt a bit betrayed.  I spent all those years limiting my time at the beach and passing on that second glass of  wine.  And now   there were clear signs of facial aging.    What I learned was that   pale and droopy skin are two characteristic signs of  internal aging.    This means that the decline in hormones as well as a slowdown of blood flow and cell growth, all signs of natural aging, were driving  the changes in my skin.  My pattern of aging — pallor but no freckles and folds rather than wrinkles–  are typical of a 55+ women who avoided sun exposure.  So my precautions were not  totally useless.

External aging is due to exposure to the sun and environmentl pollution.  Also known as photoaging, sun -damaged skin is thicker, with enlarged pores and a coarse texture.  The surface is wrinkled with numerous brown patches and spots.  When not tanned,  the skin  is sallow and dotted with small red lines (burst blood vessels)  Not infrequently there are plenty of brown spots, some of which can develop into a skin cancer.  If you spent  many happy hours in the sun and/or in a tanning bed, this type of damage can appear by age 40.

The years are not kind to  sun damaged skin.  When your biological clock passes 55, hormonal changes arrive, bringing with  them deep lines, folds and wrinkles.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  There are now really effective anti-aging  tools  to restore health and beauty to even the most damged skin.  You won’t look 25 again, but don’t worry, you’ll be very happy with the result.  The challenge is picking the right tools.

Close-Up:  MMPi ( matrix metalloproteinases)

What a mouthful!  This is a cosmetic ingredient with a complicated back story.  MMPs are a group of enzymes in the body that clean-up cell debris.  They destroy  old damaged collagen and elastin to encourage new production of healthy tissue. In the body they are controlled by  enzymes  that inhibit their production.  These are known as MMPi with the “i”   meaning inhibit  However, certain factors such as sunlight and pollution  can over stimulate   production of these clean-up enzymes. The result?   Destruction of healthy collagen and elastin.  Are you still with me here?  The idea here is that    adding MMPi’s to an anti-aging product  can prevent natural destruction of the skin to protect the strength and elasticity of the skin.   Laboratory studies  have shown this to work, but many experts want to see more research.

6 thoughts on “External vs Internal Aging

  1. Very interesting article. Couldn’t be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old chum. He constantly kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good chuckle. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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