We all know our skin is an organ in and of itself, made up of billions of cells that each work in their own way to keep you looking healthy and radiant. Like all other biological systems in your body, the metabolism of your skin slows down as you age, which is why you might notice lines, wrinkles or bags under your eyes around the same time you realize you can’t eat three ice cream cones a day and not gain weight (ah, the good old days…)
However, there’s a silver lining here. Having a better understanding of your skin’s biology (and how it might seem a little slower these days) will help you determine which skin care products or habits you need to adopt (or drop) to make it look its best.
Cells talk (and not on the phone!)
Cells in your skin need to communicate with each other to keep your skin looking healthy, and when you age, the line tends to go dead. That’s where certain moisturizers and anti-aging serums come into play.
In the morning, the molecules that tend to dial in to wake up your skin cells are glycans, which are sugar molecules. These basically open cells up to communication in the first place. Unfortunately, they fade with age, but applying them topically can get everyone talking again. Yves Saint Laurent’s Forever Youth Liberator Serum is a good option that contains glycans.
Lighting up slows skin’s metabolism down
You know smoking causes lung cancer and other gross, dangerous diseases, but it can also slow down your skin’s metabolism – that’s why smokers tend to have sallow, saggy skin and more wrinkles than non-smokers. Smoking damages the mitochondria of your skin’s cells, which, if you recall 7th grade biology, are essentially the powerhouses that process nutrients and turns them into energy. Once these are slowed or broken down, communication between cells decreases. This also sends out signals to break down collagen, causing wrinkles.
Even casual smokers risk cutting blood circulation to the skin, which slows the metabolism. The good news is that quitting jumpstarts cell repair immediately – no products needed!
Protecting the system from outsiders
Free radicals, UV rays and pollutants from other elements we face every day also slows the skin’s metabolism because they damage DNA and break down the protective barrier skin naturally has.
To combat this, always wear a triple sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and plenty of antioxidants like vitamin C or E to neutralize the free radicals that do get through. Try Hydroxatone’s AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex to nourish and protect your skin.