The fight against aging skin is on, and we are here with some good news: while we can’t stop our skin’s aging process, we can absolutely slow it down. As a skin wellness brand, we are firm believers in listening to your skin. But as your skin gets older, it goes through changes that cause wrinkles, discoloration, dryness, etc. In fact, your skin’s health can be impacted by an endless amount of factors, both internal and external. Things like genetics, diet, and inflammation can show up on our skin as well as over-cleansing, using too many products, and environmental threats like pollution. This constant barrage we call life breaks down the skin making it vulnerable, leading to signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin. Some of the factors we can control and others we can’t, but we wanted to share some tips of what to avoid and how to fight back. 

What Can Age Skin?

Everything you come in contact with has the potential to impact your skin’s health, but there are some things that are more harmful than others. Time of exposure is also a huge factor, especially when it comes to things like UV rays and Blue Light. Too much of a good thing isn’t just a saying in the beauty world; you can overindulge on lots of good stuff like chocolate cake and great wine but your skin will pay for it. 

How Does the Skin Age?

Your skin is fragile, and constantly working to repair and protect. It’s up to us to help build back our skin’s barrier to keep in the good stuff and keep out the bad. The barrier is the gatekeeper to your skin’s collagen and elastin, the two main factors for youthful looking skin. Collagen plumps your skin, but as we age our body naturally starts to produce less and less creating extra skin or wrinkles. While most anti-aging products boast about various “miracle” ingredients, it is important to look for antioxidants, collagen, and a retinoid like Bakuchiol (found in our Restoring Facial Balm). However, the main hero for anti-aging is facial oil. They are one of the best companions to anti-aging serums because they strengthen the skin’s barrier while serving up massive levels of hydration (Read more about facial oils here). Collagen this and retinoid that are great, but without repairing the skin’s barrier you just keep leaving the door open for all that goodness to slip out.

What will Age Skin?

1. Genetics: Perhaps the seemingly most uncontrollable is the genetic factor when it comes to your skin. Like everything else in life, DNA has a strong impact on the outcome. That’s not to say that everything is unavoidable, but taking a good look at your grandmother’s will give you an idea of how your skin will age. It will also give you an idea of anti-aging treatments to start earlier for whatever conditions you might anticipate. Starting to address the potential issues, being more in tune with your skin, environment, diet etc. will allow you to focus on the things you can control.

2. UVA and UVB Rays: According to experts, up to 80% of aging signs are due to environmental factors and sun exposure is one of the worst. As we roll our eyes at yet another reminder to slather sunscreen on our faces to help protect our skin from damage, it becomes increasingly clear that we are also protecting our faces from signs of aging. UV rays can penetrate the skin’s barrier, creating wrinkles, dryness and age spots. While it’s impossible to completely erase sun damage, the skin can naturally repair itself if given the chance. It’s best to stay out of the sun, but if that’s not possible, wear sunscreen (reapply as needed) and cover your face as much as possible.

3. Blue Light: Who knew that Netflix and Chill could actually cause harm to our skin? Now we love a good binge-watching weekend (hello Sweet Magnolias), but like most electronic devices, the blue light radiation can have potential long-term effects on the skin. In fact, blue light has become even more dangerous as research has shown that the average person spends about 3 hours minimum on their phones every day. It penetrates below the protective layer of your skin and affects the collagen and elastin levels. Studies have shown that blue light can also affect your sleep, but even more so your skin’s rhythm. Blue light disrupts your skin’s natural circadian rhythm, impacting its natural nighttime repair process. This intrusion causes skin cells to continue to think it Is daytime, which can lead to visible signs of aging, and even dark under-eye circles.

4. Air Pollution: Air pollution is all around bad news, but it is also one of those pesky factors that attacks our skin and causes aging. Pollution breaks down collagen and oxidizes the lipid layer in the skin, which impairs skin-barrier function. It can cause havoc on the skin with a wide range of side effects including dehydration, sensitivity, fine lines and wrinkles. The best way to protect against pollution is to block as much as you can from invading the skin. Strengthening your skin’s barrier to allow it to maintain hydration will help keep damaging particles out. Air pollutants can also deplete the skin of vitamins, so make sure to find products that include vitamins and antioxidants.

5. StressWe know sometimes it is unavoidable, but stress can actually age your skin. When your body is stressed, it releases high amounts of cortisol. This breaks down the skin’s collagen and elastin. Studies show that chronic stress can increase inflammation, which will rapidly accelerate wrinkle formation. 

6. Diet: What we put in our bodies is often just as important as what we put on the outside. Beauty products can work wonders, but a poor diet can be the villain that keeps popping up sequel after sequel. We won’t try and convince you to stock up on salmon and kale, but lowering your sugar intake can vastly impact your skin’s health. Excess sugar can cause inflammation, which accelerates wrinkle formation. Through a process called glycation, sugars found in foods with a high glycemic index bind to collagen and elastin, weakening them - Suddenly, sugar doesn’t seem so sweet. 

7. Lifestyle (excess alcohol, smoking): While we love a good glass of wine at the end of the day, alcohol is a natural diuretic, aka dehydrator. But it can do more than just zap the moisture from your skin. In excess, alcohol can trigger rosacea outbreaks and exacerbate fine lines, acne, and wrinkles.

When does skin begin to age?

The idea that our skin is rapidly aging can be a scary, but knowing how and what we can do to help slow down the process is the life savor (and lip savior) we’ve been looking for. Experts have found that skin aging typically starts around age 25. In our mid 20s, our bodies gradually start to stop producing as much collagen as before which causes our skin to lose elasticity. We can’t undo aging, but we can allow our skin to repair itself to help reverse some of the signs of aging on our skin. 

How Can You Reverse the Signs of Aging?

There is a general consensus in the beauty industry that collagen is key to youthful skin. But without repairing the skin’s barrier, no amount of collagen can fix the signs of aging. Your skin needs antioxidants to help boost the skin’s defense against environmental damage and excess free radicals like UV light, blue light and pollution. Try plant-powered facial oils like 3 Graces Radiant Facial Balm packed with antioxidants that will boost collagen production and strengthen skin elasticity.

As you work to repair your skin and reverse the signs of aging, have patience and be kind to yourself. This is a journey, but one that will take you where you want to go.