Your skin

Your Skin

Your skin has to put up with a lot. It’s exposed to the elements on a daily basis and the

daily basis and the way it looks and feels can say a lot about you, from your age to your

health and well-being. So when you look after your

skin it looks good, feels good and gives your self-confidence a boost.

The skin is the largest organ in the body, with a total area of about

20 sq feet.  It protects us from microbes and the elements , helps

regulate body temperature and permits the sensations of touch, heat

and cold.  Understanding the structure and function of this vitally

important and complex organ is the first step to finding an anti

ageing solution.Young, healthy, vibrant skin has greater elasticity and

firmness, so it’s smooth to the touch and appears luminous, and fresh

. That’s because the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is made

up of cells that attract and retain water, keeping the surface of your

skin soft and plump.

Healthy, young skin works perfectly at rejuvenating itself with the older cells on the surface falling away to be replaced by newer skin cells. Fibroblasts, cells that are formed in your skin’s dermis layer, produce collagen and elastin that, along with hyaluronic acid, also help hydrate, plump and smooth your skin. This is how young skin stays even in tone, texture and luminosity.

As you age, your skin’s natural processes become less and less efficient. Our products are specifically designed to give ageing skin a helping hand, treating lines, wrinkles, blemishes like acne scars, changes in pigmentation and photo-damage, so that you can keep your skin looking great for longer.  We been trained by world class skin specialists so that we can assess and advise our clients on the appropriate course of action for them.  We will prescribe a treatment plan and accordance to your lifestyle and needs.  We work along side of dermatology specialists and will refer clients on as required.

The Ageing Process

Up to your mid 20s your skin will keep itself hydrated and youthful looking through this constant process of repair and replenishment. But as you start to get older your skin’s processes don’t work as effectively, which is when your skin begins to show visible signs of ageing.

Your skin begins to show signs of ageing because:

  • Your skin produces less elastin and collagen, which keep your skin smooth and firm.

  • The natural process of skin cell renewal begins to slow down, meaning that fewer new cells are produced and the older, dead cells are not shed as frequently.

  • Your skin’s natural defences become less effective, allowing reactive oxygen species (ROS, also known as free radicals) to damage healthy cells and protein in your skin, such as collagen and elastin.

  • The blood supply to your skin can become less efficient, resulting in your skin appearing less vibrant.

As you age your skin’s natural protection begins to decline, leaving it vulnerable to lasting damage. It produces less and less collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, which causes the skin’s elasticity, firmness and smoothness to be reduced. This eventually results in fine lines and wrinkles forming.

Skin cells aren’t renewed as regularly and your blood supply can also become less efficient, meaning your skin can begin to look less vibrant and fresh. Your skin’s epidermis also doesn’t retain as much moisture, making it less firm, plump and elastic, which negatively impacts your skin’s tone and texture. This can result in fine lines and wrinkles developing as well as your skin tone becoming sallow and dull.

Your skin’s natural anti-oxidants can also become less prevalent and less effective leaving your skin vulnerable to damage. Which means that exposure to harmful UV rays in sunlight, also known as photo-damage, as well as unhealthy activities such as smoking, only accelerate your skin’s natural decline.

Photo Damage

Photo-damage to your skin is caused by UV radiation in sunlight. On warm sunny days your skin is most susceptible to UVB radiation, while UVA has a more significant effect on your skin all year round – even when it’s cloudy. The danger with UVA is that it’s not obviously damaging your skin as it doesn’t burn or tan your skin. Instead it causes damage within your skin which prematurely ages it as well as causing additional health problems. Daily exposure to high levels of visible light and infrared-A can add to this damage.
If you don’t take the right steps to protecting your skin these harmful rays can:

  • Break down your skin’s natural defences which work to provide low-level protection from all of these effects.

  • Trigger the production of ROS which damage your skin’s healthy cells and protein.

  • Damage the top level of skin (the epidermis), giving it a leathery appearance.

  • Affect your skins pigmentation creating irregular dark, brown patches and age spots.

  • Damage the DNA in your skin cells, preventing them from functioning properly meaning they can die. In certain cases this can even lead to skin cancer.

All of these factors, both natural and external, contribute to visibly ageing your skin. Because of this it’s essential to use a clinically-proven, evidence-based skincare regime that addresses all of the daily challenges that your skin must deal with. Protecting your skin will prevent further damage, while combining it with a carefully selected regime can help rejuvenate and repair a lot of the damage that your skin may have already experienced.

Pigmentation Problems

Pigmentary complaints cause the uneven darkening of an area of skin. This can appear as brown/age spots which can go on to form keratoses (a scaly growth), and pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions. These conditions are difficult to treat because they affect each of us differently depending on our skin type, and how deep in the skin the pigmentation sits. This often depends on the cause of the issue, which is frequently a combination of factors.
Melanocytes in our skin produce melanin as a defence mechanism against radiation caused by the sun. The melanin travels to the surface of the skin to absorb the harmful UV rays. This is the process that, over time, gives us a tan, but within the skin the melanin protects other skin cells, and their DNA, from damage – although this protection is not enough with ongoing exposure to the sun.
Not only does radiation directly damage cells in our skin, it causes excessive Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) to be produced. ROS cause additional harm to healthy cells and protein, and stimulate melanocytes. Our natural defences against these ROS decline as we age, so their effects are more prevalent in mature skin.
There are several other factors that can also stimulate excessive production of melanin:

  • Hormones can have a significant impact on melanocytes, for example while taking the contraceptive pill or during pregnancy. This disruption can cause a condition called melasma, in which excessive pigmentation appears on the forehead, cheeks and around the mouth.

  • Inflammation or trauma of the skin can also disrupt the melanocytes and cause increases in ROS. This can be associated with acne, folliculitis or laser therapy.

Although pigmentary disorders commonly effect darker skin types (due to their increased levels of melanin), aged skin can become susceptible to some of the factors described above.

Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point. It causes spots to develop on the skin, usually on the face, back and chest.

  • The spots can range from surface blackheads and whiteheads – which are often mild – to deep, inflamed, pus-filled pustules and cysts, which can be severe and long-lasting and lead to scarring.

  • Acne is most commonly linked to the changes in hormone levels during puberty, but can start at any age.

  • It affects the grease-producing glands next to the hair follicles in the skin. Certain hormones cause these glands to produce larger amounts of oil (abnormal sebum).

  • This abnormal sebum changes the activity of a usually harmless skin bacterium called P. acnes, which becomes more aggressive and causes inflammation and pus.

  • The hormones also thicken the inner lining of the hair follicle, causing blockage of the pores (opening of the hair follicles). Cleaning the skin does not help remove this blockage.

  • Acne is known to run in families. If both your mother and father had acne, it is likely that you will also have acne.

  • Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, can also lead to episodes of acne in women.

  • There is no evidence that diet, poor hygiene or sexual activity play a role in acne.

 

Who is affected?

  • Acne is very common in teenagers and younger adults. About 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will be affected by acne.

  • Acne is most common between the ages of 14 and 17 in girls, and boys between 16 and 19.

  • Most people have acne on and off for several years before their symptoms start to improve as they get older. Acne often disappears when a person is in their mid-twenties.

  • In some cases, acne can continue into adult life. About 5% of women and 1% of men have acne over the age of 25.

 

Causes of acne

  • Acne is caused when tiny holes in the skin, known as hair follicles, become blocked.

  • Sebaceous glands are tiny glands found near the surface of your skin. The glands are attached to hair follicles, which are small holes in your skin that an individual hair grows out of.

  • Sebaceous glands lubricate the hair and the skin to stop it drying out. They do this by producing an oily substance called sebum.

  • In acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum. The excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a plug in the follicle.

  • If the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it will bulge outwards, creating a whitehead. Alternatively, the plugged follicle can be open to the skin, creating a blackhead.

  • Normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect the plugged follicles, causing papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.

Acne causes spots and oily skin, and sometimes skin that is hot or painful to touch.

Acne most commonly develops on:

  • The face – this affects almost everyone with acne

  • The back – this affects more than half of people with acne

  • The chest – this affects about 15% of people with acne

Rosacea

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.

Symptoms often begin with episodes of flushing (where the skin turns red for a short period), but other symptoms can develop as the condition progresses, such as:

    • Burning and stinging sensations

    • Permanent redness

    • Spots (papules and pustules)

    • Small blood vessels in the skin becoming visiblRosacea is a relapsing condition, which means there are periods when symptoms are particularly bad, followed by periods when the condition is less severe.

Many of the symptoms of rosacea can be controlled to a degree with treatment. But the changes to your physical appearance that may occur as a result of the condition can still have a significant psychological and social impact, affecting how you feel about yourself and how you interact with others.

Who is affected?

Rosacea appears to be quite common, with some estimates suggesting up to 1 in 10 people may have it. Around 1 in every 600 people in the UK are diagnosed with the condition each year.
It most commonly affects people with fair skin, but can also occur in people of Asian and African origin.
Rosacea occurs in both men and women, but tends to be more common in women. Most cases are first diagnosed in people aged 30 to 50.

Causes of Rosacea 

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although a number of potential factors have been suggested.
It is possible a combination of these factors may be responsible for the condition, although there isn’t enough evidence to say this for certain.

Possible factors

Some of the main factors that have been suggested are outlined below.
Blood vessel abnormalities
Skin peptides
Microscopic mites
Helicobacter pylori bacteria
Genetics

Triggers of Rosacea

Although they are not thought to be direct causes of the condition, many people with rosacea find certain triggers make their symptoms worse.
Different people can have different triggers, but triggers that have been commonly reported include:

      • Exposure to sunlight

      • Stress

      • Hot or cold weather

      • Strong winds

      • Strenuous exercise

      • Alcohol

      • Hot baths

      • Spicy foods

      • Hot drinks

      • Humidity

      • Caffeine (found in tea, coffee and cola)

      • The menopause

      • Dairy products

      • Other medical conditions

      • Certain medicines, such as amiodarone, corticosteroids and high doses of vitamins B6 and B12

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