Part 1: What Causes Aging?
*Warning: Written for #skinnerds. If you just want to skip to the actual steps for the routine, see Parts 3 & 4 - coming soon!
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to skincare is- what’s the perfect beauty routine? Even with a TON of info out on social media, people ask this over and over, because it’s actually more complicated than just simple rules and steps that work for all. There’s context, personal preferences, exceptions, varying skin needs and goals and varying expert advice. Read on for some background and understanding which will help you sort through the sea of info, and you can decide what applies to you.
The Home Beauty Routine is Based on Professional Skincare Facials
If you’ve gotten a professional facial from an esthetician before, you might recognize that the home beauty skincare routines are basically the breakdown of each step in these facials conducted at home to promote optimal skin health. (If you’re curious as to what professional facials are typically like, here’s one review of a facial done at Aesop.) Remember that the role of the dermatologist is different from licensed beauty specialists. Generally, derms will have a more clinical focus (think skin cancer, burns, and medical conditions) while estheticians will focus more on appearance, preventative, preemptive and holistic care. Then there are the cosmetic surgeons and medical aestheticians (fillers, liposuction, botox injections, etc.) and specialists that stride in between. Understanding these distinctions is important in discerning through the sometimes clashing sea of confusing info on the Internet, as experts can approach the subject from varying perspectives. 💡
Keep in Mind
Remember that beauty is personal and everyone is different. While there are universal guidelines, there’s no ONE perfect routine to suit all. Knowing your skin and having skin goals will help shape the routine that’s right for you. It will take observation and patience. Also, keep in mind that your skin changes and that you may want to alter your routine over time.
So How Do Home Beauty/Skincare Routines Work?
Your skin has a cycle that’s about a month long. This cycle is the process of new skin cells forming and moving up through the layers of your skin that then become dead skin cells at the top layer. By removing the dead skin cells, we speed up the process as new skin appears beneath, making our skin look fresh and dewy. As we age, this process can slow down. The skincare routine is all about prevention, protection and promoting cell turnover. All the steps break down into two overarching actions: cleansing and replenishing.
What Happens When We Age?
Did you know that only 10% of aging is intrinsic, meaning the natural process of aging and your genetic disposition, while 90% is extrinsic aging? That means the environment, lifestyle choices and external factors attribute to the rest. Translation: it can be prevented and slowed!!
When we age, the biochemical changes that happen include losing tensile strength from loss of collagen, and elastic production, and lipid production. The skin also loses the ability to bind water, causing the skin to be more dehydrated and the slowing of blood flow also makes the delivery of nutrition to the cells less efficient. There’s less energy for repairing DNA damage, and slower cell turnover as well as impaired immune function. Your skin becomes dry, the skin barrier function is weakened, and you form aging cells. These all lead to visible physical changes like wrinkles, sagging, loss of fat, and loss of firmness and tension, which leads to more wrinkles, rougher texture and thinning or thickening of the skin. Not to mention discoloration, dark spots, and uneven skin tone, making the skin look dull or lackluster. Dilated capillaries cause redness, and your skin becomes more prone to inflammation.
So What Causes Aging Skin?
The culprits include: Free radicals, DNA repair, inflammation, glycation & cross-linking, mitochondria (energy production), cellular garbage, telomeres, genetic clock, wear & tear, hormones, stress, smoke, alcohol. There's no ONE reason, as it's a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that play a role, so we must be diligent about building a preventative system of anti-aging care at a holistic level. In other words, we need an effective age-fighting systemic plan to tackle the different mechanisms of aging. This means maintaining a healthy lifestyle, drinking plenty of water, getting sound sleep, regular exercise, balanced nutrition and managing stress on TOP of a strong skincare routine filled with beauty products that target skin-aging agents. (Read about the types of ingredients to look for in your skincare regimen.)
Fight aging by building masking into your regular beauty routine. Remember aging can be slowed and prevented by preemptive protection and prevention! Signing up for Mask Moments is one of the best decisions you’ll make in your skincare routine!