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What causes ageing?

Your ageing process depends on two things – your genes (so called intrinsic ageing) and your environment and lifestyle (extrinsic ageing).

Extrinsic ageing

Let’s start with extrinsic ageing. The main factor here is the sun. The sun’s radiation speeds up the ageing process of your skin, so it is important to use an effective sunblock on your skin always. (Event on grey, dark winter days.)

Pollution is another factor that can speed up the ageing process in your skin. The air is filled of highly reactive particles called ROS – (reactive oxygen species). The concentration of these is higher in polluted areas. These particles create a chain of reactions in you skin that speeds up the ageing process. The reaction is even more forceful if you combine it with sun. This is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize the reactive particles and protect your skin. Well know antioxidants are vitamin E, vitamin C and q10.

Finally your lifestyle will also affect the appearance of your skin. Smoking is known for a long time to damage your skin. Recent research indicates that sugar and a high carb diet also might speed up the ageing process. Therefore by replacing sugary foods with greens is a good idea if you want to look your best.

Intrinsic ageing

Intrinsic ageing is the type of ageing that happens due to what goes on inside your body. For example with age the production of collagen and elastin slows down which effect the firmness of your skin. There are a numerous active ingredients that are claimed to reduce or minimize the effects of intrinsic ageing.

Retinols (variations of vitamin A) is one group of molecules that are well researched. These molecules are effective antioxidants and some variations (derivatives) have shown signs to slow down the deterioration of collagen in the skin and expedite your skin’s rejuvenation process. They have also shown the ability to retain water, which reduces the appearance of fine line and wrinkles in your skin. It is important to remember that there several derivatives which have different effects on the skin.

Another popular group of ingredients are peptides. Peptides consist of the same building blocks (amino acids) as proteins, however peptides are smaller and thus have a better change of penetrating the skin. More and more peptides are used in skin care since there are indications that some types can slow down the breakdown of collagen. Also other research suggests that certain peptides can increase the blood flow to the skin, which is an important factor for keeping the skin healthy. Finally, there is also research implying that peptides can boost cell regeneration. Key to remember here is that there are numerous different peptides that all interact differently with your skin.

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