My skin is the door to my temple! Caring for our skin as we age

Caring for our skin as we age is essential. I am obsessed with my skin and skincare routines. After all, my skin is the door to my temple! I care about my appearance as it makes me feel good about myself. 

I am so keen to know about the latest trends and products in skincare so I recently joined a skin health conference discussing the results of the very latest real-world research looking at the factors affecting our skin wellness. The study measures how skin changes as we move through the decades. The experts took a closer look at the very latest next, new generation skin science, set to help keep us skin safe in the sun and tackle the challenges of skin ageing.

London Mums editor Monica Costa having a beauty treatment facial to take care of her skin

London Mums editor Monica Costa having a beauty treatment facial to take care of her skin

Interesting new stats

  • Two-thirds of Brits have suffered sunburn despite having applied a sunscreen. 
  • Only a third use a sunscreen every day and just 36% use sunscreen when its hot. 
  • 93% are unhappy with their skin’s appearance. 
  • 84% of women blame hormones for skin health impacts

TV Medic, Dr Hilary Jones looked at why the sun can be risky for skin, the impact on skin ageing and how we can best care for our skin in the sun. He said that although sun gives us energy, it needs to be taken in small doses. 

Sun speeds up ageing. Dr Jones made me realise that sun tan is a form of skin damage. Producing pigment melanin is a way of the skin of protecting itself. 

In the 70’s suntan lotion was used to increase your tan. We’ve moved on and now it’s for protection. We are using more lotion with a higher SPF but skin cancer rates are going up. 

Mediterranean skin – you might be able to be more protected from the sun but not from ageing. In any case, everybody can develop skin cancer. Bob Marley got it, too. 

Skin cancer is the 5th most common melanoma cancer, because people have increased holidays in exotic destinations. We don’t often apply sun screen enough and re-apply. We should always be vigilant of our skin variations. A way to keep it monitored is to take a picture of ourselves naked regularly and notice any changes. Report them to a dermatologist if you notice irregularities.

The skin ageing process is extremely complex. Ageing results from UV radiation, pollution and stress (extrinsic ageing) as well as genetics and hormones (intrinsic ageing).


Tips for effective anti-ageing skincare

  • Three skincare steps: cleanse (remove all make up and gently wash your gently), hydrate (Add an hydrator to the skincare routine. The moisturiser is not enough), moisture. 
  • Hyaluronic Acid – The Japanese lead the  way in world skincare research.  Skin expert and make-up artist Gina Akers took a look at the next new generation skincare innovation borne out of Japan and why the new routines we have adopted following the pandemic is impacting our skin health. Scientifically-studied products by Hada Kabo including the new sun care range contain Hyaluronic Acid that makes our skin more elastic and protects it for longer. These products are non greasy.
  • Vitamin D supplement – It is important to keep a balance between wearing high SPF to protect our skin, but also that most people need vitamin D supplementation as most of us are deficient, partly because we live in the northern hemisphere but also because we have got better at using sunscreens.
  • Getting Hydration back into our body is essential but the epidermis needs additional hydrators and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin elastic. 
  • A good night sleep if reflected back into our skin.
  • A good balanced diet is best for our skin.  One of the experts share her interesting article on chocolate and acne.


Our skin during menopause

Menopause causes a large increase of intrinsic ageing in women. This is because post-menopause, women suffer a massive drop in the hormone oestrogen. Oestrogen plays a role in various processes throughout the whole body, and its receptors are found on various cell types. Within the skin, oestrogen can bind and influence cells such as the epidermal keratinocytes, dermal fibroblasts, and melanocytes. 

Caring for our skin during menopause is essential to prevent wrinkles. Dr Catherine Hood, Woman’s Health Expert explored the benefits of hyaluronic acid, the skin layers and their roles and skin needs across the decades. She provided these tips:

1) Boost collagen production with advanced skincare & skin supplements 

Collagen is the main structural protein within the skin that keeps it strong and firm. Collagen levels start going down at the age of 25. 

Post-menopause a decrease in oestrogen is linked with a drop in collagen content in the skin. Collagen drops at a rate of 2% per year, and it is estimated that the overall collagen can decrease as much as 30% in the first 5 years of menopause. This dramatic change reduces skin elasticity, causing wrinkles and sagging. In addition, the skin starts to become thin. 

Investing in advanced cosmeceutical skincare that can stimulate the production of collagen from cells called fibroblasts, these help preserve collagen and reduce wrinkling. Topical products by Japanese brand Hada Kabo containing vitamin A and peptide-based technologies or nutraceutical supplements with bioavailable collagen peptides and vitamin C are all scientifically proven to do just this.


2) Intensely hydrate the skin with oil-based and water-based hydrators 

Oestrogen helps maintain moisture levels in the skin. ? This is because it can increase skin sebum levels through regulation of growth factors. As oestrogen drops post-menopause, the skin can become very dry and dull. ? There is a decrease of hydrophilic molecules within the dermis called glycosaminoglycans. These molecules bind and store water, and therefore, it is common for post-menopausal skin to have low water content. 

Topical skincare can supply the skin with glycosaminoglycan molecules or other water binding actives to plumps the skin and restore water content. ? Good examples are hydrating serums containing multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. ? In addition, following hydrating serums with oil-based moisturisers with skin barrier repair lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids, or niacinamide will improve the skin’s ability to trap moisture. 


3) Protect the skin with anti-inflammatory active ingredients 

After menopause the skin also has a decreased ability to defend itself against environmental stressors and can have reduce wound healing capacity. The skin shows a decrease in anti-inflammatory proteins TGF-B1 and IGF-1 and can often become chronically inflamed. 

Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory active ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, resveratrol, co-enzyme Q10 can help boost the skin’s defence against environmental stressors and prevent inflammation. In addition, such active will help reduce existing inflammation to create a supple complexion. 

Antioxidants can be unstable molecules, and therefore, should be formulated into sophisticated cosmeceutical formulations to preserve their potency. This can be done with topical skincare and skin supplements. 


4) Stimulate the hair growth Cycle with next generation technologies 

Oestrogen has the ability to act on the hair follicle. It can increase the hair growth phase of the hair cycle and decrease the resting phase. After menopause, when oestrogen drops, it is very common to see thinning hair. 

New generation haircare and hair supplements will use active ingredients that are clinically proven to bind to the hair follicle and stimulate hair growth. Examples include extracts from pea sprouts which can influence the gene expression of hair growth, or advance peptides that gives signals to the hair follicle from the surface of the skin. 

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