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We're not all genetically equal when it comes to ageing skin. Regardless, there are several environmental factors that can play a role in accelerating this phenomenon. Being aware of these factors is the key to preventing the effects of time on your skin.
The fight against skin ageing must start early. Typology explains the mechanisms involved in the most commonly-given advice.
1. Drink at least 1.5 L of water every day.
The secret to plump skin lies in the deep hydration of your different skin layers. Your water intake needs to compensate for the amount you lose. In adults, this amounts to about 2.5 L of water per day. To balance these losses, 1 L of water is provided by food, leaving 1.5 L remaining for you to provide your body by drinking. Let's raise our water bottles to that!
2. Effectively protect your skin from the sun:
The sun is the main cause of avoidable skin ageing. It's mainly UVA rays that damage the skin because they penetrate deeper than UVB rays. And unlike UVB, UVA rays are the ones that we're most often exposed to, as they can penetrate through clouds and windows.
This type of radiation breaks down collagen and elastin fibres, leaving them damaged. Once it accumulates in our dermis, it leads to the thickening of our skin and the formation of deep wrinkles.
3. Moisturise your skin's surface daily:
A moisturised complexion looks plumped up. Every day, a small part of the water in our skin evaporates: this is known as insensible water loss.
To rebalance these losses, you need to counteract the evaporation by applying emollient-rich products like botanical oils that are ideal for your specific skin type.
What's more, the production of hyaluronic acid that's naturally present in the skin begins to decrease over time. Hyaluronic acid's large molecules can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water, giving the skin a supple, dewy appearance: this phenomenon is called hygroscopy. A cream or serum that's enriched with hyaluronic acid will help to limit moisture loss and slow down the appearance of your first wrinkles.
4. Vary your diet:
A study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, compared the dietary patterns of 450 subjects over 70 years old, living in Australia, Greece, and Sweden. The results of this report established a correlation between diet and the appearance of wrinkles:
- The subjects with the least wrinkles had a diet rich in vegetables, olive oil, nuts, dried fruit, apples, tea, eggs, and yoghurt.
- The subjects with more signs of ageing had a higher consumption of red wine, whole milk, red meat, potatoes, soda, and sweets.
5. Don't smoke:
Tobacco acts with UV to effectively age the skin. Many studies have proven that chronic smoking is involved in early skin ageing. Nicotine alters your skin's elastic fibres and causes damage on many levels. For example, heavy smokers have thinner, skin that's more fragile with more pronounced wrinkles, prominent cheekbones, and a yellowed complexion.
Purba, M. br, Kouris-Blazos, A., Wattanapenpaiboon, N., Lukito, W., Rothenberg, E. M., Steen, B. C., & Wahlqvist, M. L. (2001). Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make a Difference? Journal of the American College of Nutrition_
2 Morita A. Tobacco smoke causes premature skin aging. J Dermatol Sci 2007 / Francès C. Smoker's wrinkles: epidemiological and pathogenic considerations. J Dermatol Sci 2007