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Healthy Aging Through the Ages

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: October 31, 2012, from the November 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 6 of 7

By the age of 50, free radicals and environmental elements are officially taking a toll on the skin’s ability to repair. Expression lines are more defined, elastin and collagen production have significantly declined, hyperpigmentation and sunspots may be more visible, and acne may still be a factor due to hormones.

In the treatment room. These clients will require highly customized treatments. Strictly focusing on addressing the visual signs of aging, however, a treatment might include a pumpkin-based cleanser for vitamin A and beta carotene support, followed by a skin-brightening scrub that utilizes jojoba beads, and kojic and L-ascorbic acid to lighten and deepen the cleanse. A milk-based enzyme, L-lactic acid and red wine vinegar application will hydrate and stimulate cell regeneration. Finish with a potent dose of amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and SPF. Laser and microdermabrasion treatments also may be effective.

Home care. To specifically address aging, focus on cleansing, breaking down, rebuilding and protecting the skin. Again, the pumpkin-infused cleanser or a gentle milk-based cleanser will work well, especially for post-corrective treatments. Be sure to integrate peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and a protein-packed eye serum.

Lifestyle habits

Along with customized treatment and home care, talk to all of your clients about lifestyle habits. Proper sleep, stress control and a healthy diet will play a significant role in collagen production. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants will help reduce inflammation (which impacts collagen production) and fight free radicals. Antioxidants are vital in minimizing the signs of aging, internally and externally. Getting these nutrients naturally from foods is always the best option, but supplements and topicals applied to the skin also provide benefits. Offer your clients a list of foods that provide the antioxidants they need, such as the following.

  • Vitamin A: Carrots, kale, spinach, pumpkin, liver and cantaloupe
  • Vitamin C: Camu camu, broccoli, brussels sprouts, guava and citrus
  • Vitamin E: Olive oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil, oats, tomatoes and carrots
  • Bioflavonoids: Citrus, berries, onions, tea, red wine, dark chocolate and sea buckthorn
  • Polyphenols: Berries, tea, dark chocolate, walnuts, peanuts and pomegranates

On the right track

For overall healthy aging throughout all age groups, it’s all about balance. Balance in living a healthy lifestyle; balance in properly cleansing and exfoliating to get the most out of serums and anti-aging topicals; balance in rebuilding the skin after more intense exfoliating or peel treatments, and being cautious not to over exfoliate or over-peel the skin. Protecting the skin from environmental stressors with a quality SPF is absolutely vital to maintaining a youthful appearance. Bottom line: While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, skin assessments and customized care—in the treatment room and at home—focused on cleansing, breaking the skin down, and rebuilding, nourishing and protecting, will ensure clients are on the right track toward healthy, youthful skin.