Natural Ingredients for Healthy Ageing Skin

The skin is the largest organ and the body’s first line of defence so it’s no surprise that it’s quick to reveal the signs of ageing with thinning, sagging, wrinkles, age spots, dryness and broken blood vessels.

Fortunately, there are a few natural ingredients that can help these changes in both the upper layer (epidermis) and lower layer (dermis) causing ageing skin.

  1. Honey

Honey has been used in skin care for centuries,  the natural enzymes in honey deliver important antiseptic and moisture retaining properties — assisting ageing skin that suffers increased dryness and thinning of layers, which may lead to heightened inflammation and sensitivity.

Studies have revealed that Manuka honey has also been shown to have advanced skin properties assisting in managing minor wounds and providing symptomatic relief of dry, sensitive skin and even eczema.

  1. Liquorice
    Liquorice extract can assist in the treatment of skin redness and rosacea and especially pigmentation thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Pigmentation tends to increase in number and cluster in certain areas as we age, especially on areas that have been exposed to the sun, for example, the backs of your hands. Most people refer to these as ‘age’ or ‘liver’ spots. Liquorice root can be an effective skin care ingredient as it interrupts the enzyme that stimulates melanin production. Improve dark spots and help lighten under eye circles by eating liquorice.
  2. Green tea
    Green tea can help prevent and reverse UV damage to the skin through its high levels of antioxidant chemicals. Green tea is also a natural anti-inflammatory and skin soothing ingredient in skincare which can help to prevent collagen breakdown, one of the prime factors contributing to wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
  3. Oats
    Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, oatmeal can help treat a range of skin irritations and help to replenish and maintain the skin barrier. The skin barrier is often compromised in ageing skin due to the slowing down of cell production in the epidermis and reduction of protective sweat and oil glands.
  4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) battles some of the common signs of ageing skin by providing potent antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals. Free radicals are generated through UV light and air pollution causing the skin to age by damaging collagen and forming darks spots. Vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis targeting sagging and dullness in the skin, this is essential for boosting firmness and smoothness. Vitamin C’s antioxidant power can also help to lighten dark spots while decreasing inflammation and irritation. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the health of the skin as it works on improving the appearance of wrinkles and skin texture.

Alongside these natural ingredients SkinMed recommend Synchrovit® C to slow down skin damage, ageing of skin, improve elasticity and firmness, resist the formation of age spots, plaques and thread veins and reduce flushing episodes. Antioxidant formulas alone only neutralise 20% of free radicals, whether it is vitamin C, CE ferulic combinations, alpha lipoic acid or whichever. SkinMed combine vitamin C (10% ascorbic acid) and super oxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that forces superoxide to immediately convert to a weaker free radical that vitamin C can neutralise. Both SOD and ascorbic acids are boosted by adding in Zinc to the serum.

We also recommend Synchrovit® A/E, a rapid acting Retinol A cream containing encapsulated forms of Vitamin A (Retinol) and Vitamin E (Tocopherol), for use around the eyes, lips, face and neck. Synchrovit® also contains ingredients which improves skin tone and increases the skin’s ability to hold water. Vitamin A and vitamin E improve the appearance of wrinkles as they inhibit the formation of free radicals and stimulate cellular renewal, leaving the skin younger looking and brighter and promotes tone and turgidity on the skin of the face and neck.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Skin Freaks Out in the Sun and Exactly How to Stop Them

Even if the sun is behind the clouds you should always be wearing sunscreen and if you’re not, you need to be, whether you’re spending your summer at the beach or using your lunch break as a time to get your vitamin D boost. If you’re religiously applying your SPF but still confused as to why your skin is turning red then there could be multiple underlying reasons for this. Here are 5 of the most common issues related to sun exposure and how to manage and prevent them.

1. You’re prone to rosacea

If you’re covered in SPF and still look like you’re burning, especially on your face and chest then this could be a result of rosacea says New York dermatologist, Dr Whitney Bowe. Rosacea sufferers blood vessels can be very reactive and when you’re hot, as a way to regulate your body temperature, your body will dilate the blood vessels close to the skin which causes this redness. Always make sure you’re hydrated and cool when out in the sun to prevent blushing but a way to treat redness is to carry a cooler containing an ice pack or cold drink and hold this against the affected red area. If the redness doesn’t fade then The UV rays could be the problem, always make sure you use a high SPF – 30 or above explains Dr Bowe. We recommend Rosacure to help treat Rosacea as it reduces permanent and intermittent reddening skin and thread veins through desensitising the skin against reddening triggers making the skin more tolerant. Evidence and Success Stories available. We also recommend Enerpeel Mandelic acid skin treatments for the management of Rosacea and thread veins.This peelincorporates a 5% concentration of MSM deep into the skin. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) has been shown to exhibit significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it a fantastic new treatment for reddening skin. Call us on 0333 247 2474 to find out where you can have this amazing treatment.

2. You just need to cool off

Prickly heat is caused when your sweat glands are blocked. This could be a result of tight clothing or sensitive skin and humidity, the sweat builds up which causes an uncomfortable reaction explains Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr Joshua Zeichner.

In order to avoid this nasty reaction wear loose clothing and make sure you keep yourself cool.  If you do find yourself experiencing a reaction, Sensicure Cream Gel is a brilliant treatment for prickly heat as it delivers a calming action to rapidly and effectively control the signs of irritation. Also used to reduce the frequency and degree of itching and burning and reduces unpleasant tightness.

3. You’re using birth control pills

Melasma is a reaction result from a combination of fluctuating hormones from factors like birth control and pregnancy and UV rays. Bowe explains that the blotchy, brown hyper-pigmentation that may appear on your forehead, above your lip and on your upper cheeks is usually melasma. Always wear plenty of SPF and a large hat when in the sun to protect yourself from the UV rays to prevent this from happening in the first place.

We recommend using Thiospot, its new formula reduces pigmentation levels in the skin safely improving skin discolouration caused by increased melanin production.

We also recommend Enerpeel JR for melasma to give a smooth and even skin tone. Call us on 0333 247 2474 to find out where you can have this amazing treatment.

4. You’re allergic to the sun

PMLE (Polymorphous light eruption) is a skin allergy that can leave you with a spotty, red and itchy rash when exposed to the sun and after you leave it, says Zeichner. In simpler words, your skin has had an allergic reaction to the sun. This usually happens earlier in the summer season or if you haven’t been exposed to the sun a lot. Make sure you’re always reapplying your SPF and in order to get your skin used to the sun and to make sure it doesn’t react as strongly, acclimate your skin to the sun slowly. Ceramide boosting can also reduce sun sensitivity and sun reactivity. SkinMed recommend Hydratime and Nutritime for ceramide boosting as they can increase lipid density in the epidermis. This can then lead to a normalization of lipid levels reduced by hormonal triggers.

5. You’ve handled limes

If lime juice is mixed with UV rays, this can cause phytophotodermatitis – a burn-like reaction on the skin, explains Zeichner. Depending on whether the lime juice has dripped or splashed, the reaction will be seen in streaks or little dots. Always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, washing away any drips and splashes after handling the limes. If skin has had contact with limes we recommend using Sensicure Cream Gel due to its powerful soothing, desensitising and hydrating action to eliminate any burning or stinging sensations.

Beautiful Skin Through Menopause

Menopause, by definition, is when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months. The time leading up to eventual cessation of these periods is referred to as ‘peri-menopause.’ This is marked by commonly known symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and sleep disturbances. Women typically experience this in their late 40s to early 50s with an average age in the US of 51. Some women go through menopause quite smoothly while others struggle with this troubling myriad of symptoms.

Technically 85% of women have menopausal symptoms. For most these symptoms may stop within a year but in others may last up to 2-3 years. A decline in estrogen levels is the main contributor to these symptoms, although decreased levels of progesterone and testosterone play an important role as well.

While the overall trend is for estrogen levels to decrease it is not always a steady decrease. Women have a wide array of experiences with menopause, but one quite universal fact is how decreased estrogen levels affect the skin.

What happens to the skin during menopause

1.The Epidermis (top skin layer) becomes thinner and drier.  Estrogen help improve blood flow to the skin through capillaries in the dermis (layer below epidermis). These capillaries supply nutrients and oxygen to the basal layers of the epidermis (where new epidermal cells are being made). Now with less estrogen and fewer epidermal cells, the epidermis becomes thinner. A thinner epidermis means more water loss and an overall drier surface.

Try our Hydratime® and Nutritime® range. The Hydratime® and Nutritime® systems also sustain, protect and re-establish the skins’ barrier properties to resist moisture loss by delivering a range of water binding ingredients into the skin. They also provide sun protection using the latest organic pigments. Antioxidant and free radical scavenger activity is provided by special absorbable forms of Vitamin C and Vitamin E which support the natural calming ingredients. Click here to read more about this range.

2. The Dermis has less collagen. Decreased estrogen levels result in decreased synthesis and repair of the collagen and elastin in the dermis. Collagen is the architecture that supports the skin. The skin now loses elasticity, tightness and firmness. When the skin (and collagen) is exposed to environmental insults such as UV-rays, the skin struggles to repair. The end result is the presence of more fine lines and wrinkles. Try our Fillast range. FILLAST is the most effective solution for treating:
– Deep wrinkles and expression lines
– Sagginess and loss of elasticity
– Dryness
– Dull skin
– Signs of age

Click here to read more about Fillast.

3. Changes in skin Melanin production. The cells that produce melanin (melanocytes) are also regulated by estrogen. With less melanin the skin becomes lighter and more prone to sun damage. Women around the age of menopause (and everyone else) should use sun block with a minimum SPF of 20 on exposed skin, particularly of the face, neck and hands. Our Enerpeel JR and Thiospot ranges can help with this. Click here to read more on Thiospot and Click here to read more on Enerpeel JR.

4. Acne may develop.  During adulthood, with adequate estrogen available, the fluid secreted by sebaceous glands is thinner and less likely to block pores. The estrogen and testosterone are in balance. During menopause, the testosterone can exert a greater effect as the estrogen levels decrease. With more testosterone and less estrogen the sebaceous gland secretions become thicker making the skin more acne prone. Try our Aknicare range. AKNICARE® is an Acne Treatment Range which has a superb antibacterial action without using antibiotics. It stops new spots forming and has a spot reducing & calming action. AKNICARE® reduces oil by an average of 53%. Click here to read more about Aknicare.

Improving your skin during menopause

At its core, medical aesthetics and skin care is about improving the top layer of skin while helping increase the supporting layers (collagen and elastin). Ideally we achieve a smooth, vibrant epidermal layer with an elastic, toned and firm architecture supporting it. So with menopause we will utilize every possible (and safe) treatment in our arsenal.

1. Replace Estrogen. Understandably everyone cannot take estrogen replacement but if you can, this is clearly step #1. This is a hotly contested area especially with the arrival of ‘bio-identical hormones’ as an alternative. Certain types of cancers including breast or uterine cancer, a history of heart attack/heart disease, stroke, liver disease, or blood clots are conditions which preclude women from taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is something that needs to be taken on an individual basis and discussed at length with your doctor. Suffice it to say if there is no contraindication to taking HRT, your skin will be much happier with more estrogen around.

2. Avoid Skin Irritants. Changes in humidity, particularly a lower humidity in the winter months can dry out your skin. Wear gloves and a scarf to protect your hands and face in the winter and keep your home at 67-70 degrees. An optimal humidity level is 45-55%. Keep your showers brief with cooler water and avoid ‘scrubbing’ your skin. Hot and long showers combined with aggressive scrubbing strips your skin of its protective, moisture preserving oils.
Avoid any soap or shampoo with heavy perfumes which can be irritating to your skin. Unscented is universally better for your skin. Do not neglect to realize that bed sheets, clothing, dryer sheets, laundry detergents and shampoos may contain irritants that may irritate the skin. If your skin is newly irritated or dry, try to remember if you have tried a new detergent, shampoo or soap.

3. Moisturize your Skin.  Hyaluronic acid should be an ingredient somewhere in your daily skin care regimen due to its amazing ability to keep moisture in the skin. It is almost like an anti-wrinkle vitamin. It doesn’t end there as the list of effective ingredients to help moisturize and hydrate your skin is lengthy. Some favourites to look for in your skin care regimen include petroleum, glycerin, lanolin, ceramides, dimethicone, jojoba oil and coconut oil. Try our Hydratime and Nutritimerange! Click here to read more.

4. Treat Acne (if present).  Many women around age 50 may find themselves wandering through the ‘acne isle’ at the local pharmacy. With a relative increase in testosterone due to the lower levels of estrogen, sebum thickens on what may already be dry skin. This is a recipe for adult acne. While no acne treatment regimen is ‘one size fits all’ (nothing is like that anywhere in medicine for that matter), improvements in diet along with the use of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are certain to help. Try our Aknicare range. Click here to read more about Aknicare.

5. Consider procedures known to increase cell turnover and collagen in the skin. Three procedures that come to mind are chemical peels, micro needling and laser skin resurfacing. In different ways these treatments all increase new cell production in the epidermis making it thicker and more vibrant while also boosting the amount of collagen in the layers beneath the epidermis. Click here to read about our Enerpeel range.

6. Consider having a cosmetic treatment such as Botox or dermal fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse) to give you some real help in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Aging Explained and How to Stop it Dead in it’s Tracks!

When it comes to ageing, most people first turn to facial skin care to hide the signs. From sagging skin to pigmentation spots, appearance of fine lines and excessive dryness – these are issues experienced by most, and most try to safeguard themselves against it, but there are other more visible signs of ageing that most people tend to overlook. It’s not just the face that needs care and attention, but wrinkled elbows, veiny hands, cracked heels and a drooping neck among other body parts need to be looked into. Eating healthy, being fit and a good skin care regime can help reduce the signs of ageing.

Hands show ageing first

Hands are the first to start showing signs of age followed by the face and neck. Often ignored body parts include hands, knees, neck, elbows, and cleavage. You can take care by using sunscreen as these parts of the body are most exposed to sun damage. It is essential to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen on regular basis to hands, neck, elbows and cleavage. Since these areas are usually dry, apply a thick moisturiser and the best thing is that this effect does not last only for a few days, but stays for up to a year, The SkinMed Hydratime® day cream and Nutritime® night cream offer superb upper skin hydration and re-establish the skins barrier properties, they provide sun protection, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents, which all play a crucial role in decreasing signs of aging.

Treatments can help

Dr Mohan Thomas, senior cosmetic surgeon, The Cosmetic Surgery Institute says moisturisation after a bath and prevention of sun damage are the most important requirements to prevent ageing changes. “Knees, elbows and the neck develop pigmentation due to sun damage.” The décolletage or the upper chest skin is frequently exposed to the direct rays of the sun which means this area is especially prone to sun damage and pigmentation, if you do suffer from pigmentation from sun damage fear not, there’s a solution!

The SkinMed® Thiospot range can help lighten dark pigmentation marks caused by sun damage and even contains a UV filter to protect spots from darkening more from the ultraviolet rays from the sun, which in turn can visually improve the colour and texture of the skin in these areas.