“Like anyone else, there are days I feel beautiful and days I don’t, and when I don’t, I do something about it.” Cheryl Tiegs, O Magazine, May 2004
US actress & model
There is no magic wand which will help get rid of all imperfections immediately, but you can improve your skin a lot using somo knowledge. First of all the principle of fighting age signs is to choose the right target. There are two huge weak points – slow skin cell regeneration and thickening of the top skin layer. Let me explain how the skin works. Our skin looks as key lime pie does.The top layer, called the epidermis, isn’t very thick. The epidermis is what is actually visible. At the bottom of this layer sits basal cells. They lay in the nourishing intercellular “soup” delivered to them by our capillary system. Every living creature produces some sort of solution through metabolism which flushes away the sewage under the skin – lymphatic system. These are live cells which divide all the time, letting one cell to travel up to the surface and the other one remains for future reproduction. The cell’s journey to the skins surface takes approximately 28 days. These cells, which are filled with intercellular fluid, undergo some drastic changes while getting further and further from home. The cell changes from a living one to a dead one with a hard shell – keranocite.These hard flat cells are the very top protective layer of our skin. Eventually they fall off and are washed away during our usual skin care routine. As the cell travels its shape changes from a puffy square to a hard flat appearance. When you look at the skin through a microscope you can see the distinctive layers of different shaped cells. Normally these layers have a certain thickness according to the time needed for the cell to pass each changing stage. With age this process changes and the layers of the cells are no longer even. The bottom layers of living cells gets thinner and the top layer of dead cells gets thicker.This abnormality causes the aged look of our skin. Thick top layers begin to fold which we see as wrinkles. The middle layer of our skin-pie is the dermis. This layer is much thicker because it houses all capillaries, the lymphatic system, sebaceous glands, hair follicles, nerves and others. This layer is reinforced with collagen and elastin fibers. The cells which are responsible for this fiber production are called fibroblasts. The production cycle of the collagen fiber is about 15 days (T1/2). Everyone has heard about collagen and how important it is for our skin. The main function of collagen is to create a strong, flexible frame which is the “floor” for the upper layer. When it is firm and stretched flat is gives a young, smooth appearance to our skin. But unfortunately with age the collagen production drops.Not only does the collagen production slow down with age but the percentage of old collagen continues to increase or build up. Normally collagen which has grown older and has lost its flexibility gets destroyed by “wiper” – ferment collagenaza. This ferment recognizes and processes old collagen fibers and then redirects what is left as a building material. But sometimes collagen fibers undergo changes that make them unrecognizable for the “wiper”. With age we have more and more these bad “leftovers” which are not replaced by new collagen. Together with slower collagen production this makes the most important part of the collagen carcase – the top flexible membrane (basal membrane)- sag in the places where the skin folds have been created. These sagging depressions are actual wrinkle formations. And finally the bottom layer of our pie, the crust, is the gypodermis. It is formed by fat cells – our storage supplies. This layer varies over our entire body. You can see the “extra cells” over certain parts of the body such as our hips, belly, etc…we know these areas well – they are prone to cellulite, which is caused by changes in this specific layer. So, let’s look around again and point out the problems.
Rule number ONE – Exfoliate.
Looking at the very top we see the thick dead cell layer which looks exactly like a junk yard, where old cars discarded one on top of the other. Old cells, glued together, form an uneven layer which isn’t able to reflect light – what we see is skin that is gray, dull and lacking natural glow. There are temporary remedies such as filling the hollows between cells. Creams with a substance such as lipids, applied to the skin will let the surface reflect light much better. That is why the skin looks much smoother and fresher after we’ve applied these creams. The other decorative method is to apply “decorative cosmetics” which simply consists of reflecting particles.Does this sound familiar? Yes, it should. It’s like painting directly over an old rusted car without removing the rust first.
Rule number TWO – Exercise.
As we look deeper into the skin we notice that the quality of basal cell’s life expectancy depends on two important factors – the delivery of nutrients and the proper removal of waste. Building material for new cells; proteins, amino acids, macro and micro elements and others, are mainly delivered by the capillary system. These tiny capillaries are vital to our skins proper function but unfortunately they are too easy destroyed by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of exercise. Another important factor is the removal of those end, or waste, products. Our lymphatic system is responsible for this significant mission. As toxic waste can damage our environment in the world around us, it too has the same effects on our inner-world – it poisons our bodies. Because of certain life-styles, environmental problems and bad eating habits, the amount of waste becomes too much for the lymphatic system to handle and it becomes clogged. Imagine what would happen if the drainage in your house failed – same idea. This is why stimulating massages are so important. They increase blood and lymph flow which then helps restore normal circulation and prevents stagnation.
Rule number THREE – Nourish.
Still another problem which may affect the natural skin rejuvenation process is the lack of building materials. The ancients came up with a method by which they were able to diagnose illness based on the skins condition and appearance. This means that if we have problems with our inner organs – our skin suffers first. All nutrients whether they come from food or additional supplements are first used by our vital organs. What is left over goes to our skin.That is why a balanced diet is so important for our appearance. Along with a well balanced diet the use of nourishing skin care products is a must. These products supply the necessary components directly to skin cells. This is why it is so important to use active concentrates and other skin care products.
Rule number FOUR – Stimulate.
As we age, the speed in which our cells divide slows. This decrease is dependent on many factors but the decrease of inductive substances in the blood and intercellular liquids is primary.This is a normal process that together with photo aging and the natural oxidation- causes irreversible changes in the skin structure.There are many methods used to stimulate cells, to make them work as though they were in a “younger” mode. Biochemistry.and.physiotherapy are the main resources for such a solution.
Rule number FIVE – Hydrate and Protect.
The skins appearance depends upon the look of the skin’s top layer which is no more than a layer of flat scales or keranocyte which are “glued” together by their lipid membranes. Each scales length is approx. 10mMk , width 0.07-10mMk.There are many micro-channels in between these cells that ensure the “breathing” (2-5% of the daily dose of the gas exchange is provided by skin). Along with the skins exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen there is also the process of water evaporation within the intercellular liquid commonly known as “dehydration”. With this we want to seal in the skins normal moisture content but at the same time allow the skin to breathe.The final task of skin care routine is to introduce cosmetics consisting of hyaluronic acid, collagen and other effective hydrating components which do not create heavy non-breathable membrane, and protect from UV-UA radiation.