Sunday 15 August 2021

The Lowdown | Extrinsic Ageing

Extrinsic ageing refers to skin ageing caused by environmental factors and lifestyle choices. It helps explain why some people age prematurely and can look ten years older than their genetic age. UV exposure, pollution, smoking, and a poor diet are the most common causes of extrinsic ageing.

Signs of extrinsic ageing include dark spots and discolouration, loss of skin volume and elasticity, and, of course, wrinkles. Luckily, unlike intrinsic ageing, which is genetically determined, extrinsic ageing can be prevented. The best way to reduce extrinsic ageing is to use an SPF daily, stay hydrated, avoid smoking, and limit the intake of alcohol, sugar, and processed foods. Ensuring quality sleep is also beneficial, as is trying to live as stress-free as possible.

One of the hardest extrinsic ageing culprits to avoid is pollution, especially for those living in densely populated cities. This is where a robust skincare regime is required. Good quality skincare will protect the skin, as well as reduce the damage caused by free radicals.

There are four great skincare ingredients that help in the fight against pollution:

Niacinamide is a standout ingredient as it protects against the three sources of free radical damage - oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen.

Tetrahexyldecyl, the ascorbate form of vitamin C, offers brilliant anti-pollution protection as it is a lipid-soluble formula that absorbs more deeply into the cells, protecting skin from the inside out and aiding with overall repair.

Algae is one of nature's most potent antioxidants. Astaxanthin in particular, an extract from red microalgae, is 150 times more powerful than vitamin E and 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C.

Tocopherol a popular form of vitamin E has been scientifically proven to protect skin from free radical damage. It carries moisturising and healing benefits and helps to strengthen skin barrier function. It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, helping to sooth and calm the skin.

As for my favourite anti-pollution skincare products...

Oskia's Citylife Anti-Oxidant Concentrate (£110 is one of the first clinically-proven products to protect against a number of pollutants, including ozone (AKA smog), particulate matter, smoke, and airborne metals. With a formulation that includes astaxanthin, malachite, EUK 134, co-enzyme Q10, vitamins B3, C & E, O3 yeast lysate, smithsonite, and camellia japonica, this powerful Oskia concentrate provides a defence against multiple free-radicals, while simultaneously improving skin tone and texture.

The Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum (£38 is designed to protect and repair the skin, while reducing redness and inflammation. Ceramide-5 is included to correct multiple sources of redness and strengthen skin’s moisture barrier – a huge benefit if you have sensitive skin, or are suffering with skin damage. The blend of avocado oils (rich in vitamin E) also bolster skin’s resilience, while barrier-boosting pre-, pro-, and post-biotics help feed the flora that protect skin from environmental aggressors. 

The Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (£35 is an ultra-hydrating serum that is formulated with a nourishing blend of plant oils and antioxidants. It is designed to deliver radiance and hydration to dull and dry skin. The Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is formulated with vitamin C and astaxanthin to limit the effect of environmental stressors on the skin. A small concentration of retinol is also included to rejuvenate the skin without causing irritation. 

Eve Lom's Daily Protection SPF 50 (£70 Space NK) is a hydrating moisturiser that protects skin against pollutants and UVA and UVB rays, whilst also reducing the signs of premature ageing. It is formulated with niacinamide to encourage new collagen growth, moisturise the skin, and protect it from free radical damage. Vitamin C is also included to brighten skin and even tone, diminishing the appearance of age spots and pigmentation.

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