As a dermal clinician I am regularly asked by my clients how to achieve youthful and healthy- looking skin.
Ageing Skin and the Natural Moisturising Factor (“NMF”)
Many have tried cosmetic injectables to help minimize wrinkles, but although in many cases the wrinkles have gone, skin still looks dull, tired, blotchy, which of course is instantly ageing. Cosmetic injectables are a great temporary solution for wrinkles, but they do nothing to encourage your skin itself to look younger.
Are cosmetic injectables really the only answer for ageing skin?
Youthful skin is fresh, even toned and plump. Think about it, if you stand two people side by side, one has dry, dull, blotchy skin and no wrinkles, and the other has fresh, radiant, even toned, plump skin with some fine lines and wrinkles, which one appears older? Remember Wrinkles are only one signs of aging skin and there are many other skin conditions that can make a person look older than they actually are.
One of the first sign of aging is often caused by dehydration. This is where the skin has lost too much of its natural water reserves looks dull and feels tight and dry. This causes fine lines and crepey (thin) skin and impairment with the skin’s natural moisturising factor (NMF). This is a crucial factor in ageing skin. The NMF is part of the natural chemistry of skin and essential for optimum skin health. Amino Acids, ceramides and hyaluronic acid make up the NMF. Once excreted these hydrating substances coat and protect the skin cells from drying out. The NMF binds with natural skin lipids to create a natural moisturiser for the skin.
This natural moisturizer sits in-between the cells, holding the skin together and preventing excess moisture loss. Referred to as the “barrier function” it is the body's first line of defence against moisture loss and infection. When it is missing or incomplete, and the skin is not producing enough of these substances to keep the skin soft and supple, symptoms such as mild dehydration, tightness, dryness, skin sensitivities, flaking, irritations, and itching can be experienced. Untreated, this can result in premature aging, lines and wrinkles, heightened sensitivities and predisposition to allergies, eczema and dermatitis.
Combining the correct dermal therapies and complementary skin care formulations is vitally important to restoring a healthy barrier function. Advances in cosmeceutical skin care now provide biomimetic formulations which naturally mimic the skins NMF. Derived mainly from the botanical kingdom, when clinically formulated, precisely mimic the skin’s natural chemistry. Cheaper, older-style formulas sit only on the skin’s surface. Biomimetic formulations sit within the skin and do a lot more than just moisturize.