why skin ages, and what you can do about it

why skin ages, and what you can do about it

What makes your skin age faster? It's not what you think.



story highlights

• A chronically unhealthy exposome (environment and lifestyle) can add years of premature aging to your skin.

• Proper skin care helps give back what your exposome takes away.


 It happens to us all: we see our faces in the mirror and realize that we've aged. Our formerly fine lines have begun to etch deeper grooves, our skin tone has become uneven and our once-taut jaw lines have become slack. When did that happen? Apart from the genes we are born with, the answer may lie in our exposome.


What is an exposome? 

Your exposome is your environment and lifestyle, and it greatly influences how your skin looks over time. Up to 50% of visible signs of skin aging come from your exposome, not just your genes. Factors that make up your exposome include your behavior, climate, UV exposure, pollution, sleep quality, diet, stress, etc. These factors can be healthy or unhealthy.

For many people, a chronically unhealthy exposome leads to premature signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity and uneven skin tone. On average, smoking can make skin look 2 years older while excess sun and poor sleep quality can make skin look 6.5 and 2.5 years older, respectively.



Good genes only go so far

Peeling after a sunburn is one of the skin’s self-defense mechanisms: it’s your body’s way of getting rid of the damaged cells that are at risk of "losing control" and becoming cancerous. This mass death of cells results in whole layers of damaged skin peeling off, to be replaced by other cells underneath those layers.


How to look younger at any age

While research on the underlying interactions between our genes and our exposome is still ongoing, there are steps you can take to reawaken and preserve the nature of younger-looking skin. Here are our suggestions:


1. Harness the innate power of skin.
Perhaps our most notable and abundant form of defense against free radicals is an antioxidant peptide found naturally in the body called Glutathione – often regarded as a hallmark of cellular health. You can find a skin-firming, biomimetic (synthetic) form of this peptide in Phyto-Nature Firming Serum, which has been clinically proven to reduce visible fine lines, double skin's luminosity, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


2. Seek out new forms of ancient botanical wisdom.
With science on our side, we're able to combine new technologies with potent plant extracts that have been used for centuries to promote youth and longevity. Such advances have allowed ingredients like Amazonian Camu Camu (aka "the youth berry"), Moroccan Rockrose Extract and Madagascar Green Coffee Bean to help revitalize skin and decrease the appearance of premature skin aging.


3. Wear a Broad Spectrum SPF of 30 or higher.
UV radiation from sun exposure is a top cause of premature skin aging. UVA rays penetrate skin more deeply and accelerate photoaging while UVB rays penetrate clouds and burn skin. Both play a role in cancer formation. Wearing Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen of SPF30 or above daily – not just during the summer – can help prevent future skin damage.


4. Stop tanning and smoking.
Tanning beds reportedly emit 12 times more UVA light than sunlight. Cigarette smoke assaults skin with free radicals, leaving rough texture, fine lines and wrinkles behind. These are two common behaviors that – if stopped – can help restore skin's healthy glow.


Need more advice?
Living a healthy lifestyle can right many wrongs in your exposome, but if unhealthy factors such as UV exposure, pollution and chronic stress are unavoidable realities for you, see a professional skin therapist for help. Your skin therapist can recommend a personalized daily skin care routine that will effectively combat your exposome help you reduce premature signs of skin aging.