A friend of mine messaged me today saying
“I feel like I’m looking so old”.
Myself, someone who has been empowered by changing how I think about my skin, educating myself on why spots happen, why I’m ageing and how I can look after the largest organ on my body, I, of course, am passionate about helping her feel better about herself.
This topic is something I get lots of DMs on Instagram regarding. Nearly 6 years on from taking Roaccutane I’m in such a positive place with my skin, something I could never imagine saying at 29 years old.
The most common advice I give to people is, “If you aren’t helping your skin, your skin isn’t helping you”. People see a few lines and rush straight into having Botox in their early 20s.
There really is no rush to spend ££££ on skincare. Hold off spending large amounts on treatments until you get your home routine in order. I promise you will see results just as fast.
Why am I ageing?
The main culprit for the ageing process is Collagen.
Collagen production starts to decline at 25. But can start to happen earlier depending on your skin type and how hard you punish your body with, smoking alcohol and drugs in your teens to early 20s.
The cells in your upper layers of skin, known as the epidermis, are constantly replacing themselves. That’s why when you use an exfoliator or give it a good scrub it looks different instantly after.
But the deeper layers of skin called the dermis, do not go through this cellular turnover and do not replace themselves.
“Our skin is primarily made of the protein collagen, which is produced by cells known as fibroblasts. When the skin (or any other tissue, for that matter) is wounded, the wound-healing process initiates the generation of new fibroblasts to produce scar collagen, which is different from the collagen in normal skin”.
How can we create collagen?
I asked skin specialist Ashley, from Labeille Esthetics www.labeille.co.uk
“As we age all of our key functioning cells start to slow down, we lose 1% of collagen every year from the age of 18. It once was 25 but the factors that we now live in in the UK, ie pollution, means this number has dropped.
This means that when we get to 48 we will have lost a massive 30% of collagen. Also at that age, we may start to go through the pre-menopause stage where we also lose another massive 30% of collagen over 5 years due to our oestrogen receptors declining.
So as you can imagine, this is a scary thought to think that by the time we are 50, 60% of our collagen could be gone if we don’t do anything about it.
Everything we do in aesthetics is to create new collagen via a wound healing response. If you’ve ever cut your hand you will notice that the skin grows back healthier and stronger.
When we needle our skin (dermaroll/ dermapen), we create a controlled trauma to the skin which then sends signals to our brain that we need to start producing new collagen. This is how our epidermis (lower layer of skin) becomes thicker and a biopsy of 11 out of 11 patients treated with the EDS Skin needling device showed significant improvement in the thickness of their skin”.
How to prevent ageing? / Look younger naturally
My first suggestion to everyone who asks me how to slow down the ageing process and look after your skin is to start dermarolling at home.
As Ashley mentioned it helps to naturally improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks and creates a more youthful skin tone, as well as even out fine lines and wrinkles.
To create the new collagen as she described, the needles need to pierce down to the Dermis layer of the skin.
The rollers you can buy online for home use (click here to buy), usually come in two sizes which can be seen below, 0.2mm (used every two weeks to help products absorb better into the skin) and 0.5mm (reaches slightly deeper touching dermis which can be seen in the above diagram).
To use deeper needles these need to be performed by a practitioner like Ashley or Beau Aesthetics where I recently had 1mm needle performed. Using needles greater than 0.5 can cause serious damage to your skin if not used by a qualified professional so always check reviews before booking in with someone.
If you are new to dermarolling and not looking to invest in the cost of treatments just yet, then stick to using the 0.2mm every weeks/other week for 6 weeks with some , then add the 0.5mm in every 4 weeks.
Sadly you won’t see results overnight this takes time as new collagen is formed, new skin cells are generated, and blood supply is enhanced. It can take up to 6 weeks before visible signs of regeneration and repair are seen and the process will continue over the following months, providing you with a natural and long lasting enhancement.
“The collagen cycle starts to work after 4-6 weeks, however, any pigmentation or age spots will start to lighten after just 2-3 weeks. Once you have completed a course of 3 dermaroller sessions, spaced 4 weeks apart at a level of 0.5mm and above, your collagen may continue to work for upto 12 months later meaning we have a longer lasting permanent result”. – Labellie
Here I created a step by step guide on how I dermaroll at home and the importance of hygiene when performing these treatments.
Keeping up with these treatments have helped my leftover acne scaring dramatically and improved the texture of my skin after it was left delicate and dull after Roaccutane.
Make sure you keep all your hard work protected as not wearing SPF can actually undo what you have done and leave it worse than when you started.
How to prevent further ageing?
If you’re not quite ready to start dermarolling just yet but want to prevent ageing any further the most crucial thing to do is prevent your skin from harmful damage.
Always protect your skin with a broad spectrum SPF. My absolute favourite and honestly cannot rave enough is Heliocare 360
I wear this as my foundation every day, it feels on my skin like a tinted moisturiser texture but has great coverage and leaves my skin glowing! Its £32 and has honestly lasted me 5 months so far and I’m still nowhere near finishing it and wear it every day without fail.
The Heliocare 360° Oil Free Gels combine natural looking foundation coverage and protection in one, daily use product. Available in beige and bronze, the Color Oil Free Gels are light and easy to blend giving even foundation coverage with a matte finish.
Containing all the key Heliocare 360° technologies, the Color Oil Free Gels are SPF50+ and have a PA rating of PA++++. They’re suitable for all skin types, including spot prone skin.
How does Heliocare 360˚ work?
The Heliocare 360˚ range provides unrivalled protection against UVA, UVB, visible light and infrared-A with a combination of broad-spectrum sun protection filters that work at the surface of the skin, and anti-oxidants that work within it to help stop the production of free radicals.
Heliocare 360˚ is the only product range in the world to contain Fernblock FC – a unique, natural and powerful anti-oxidant extract from the fern Polypodium leucotomos. Fernblock FC is clinically proven to protect your skin from free radical damage, it has been researched and developed by leading dermatologists and skin experts for over 20 years and has more than 80 clinical studies to support it.
Click here to buy
How to create an anti-ageing skin care plan
If you’ve read the above and thought, this all sounds a little too advanced for me!
Then don’t feel overwhelmed with where to start. Here are my steps to getting the basics right first.
These next few products are my daily/weekly routine, these aren’t expensive and should have you feeling fresh-faced again.
Liz Earle Cleanser – Click here to buy
If you’ve followed my acne journey you will have seen how many years I have raved about this product. It’s genuinely perfect for every skin type and the reason it’s at the top of the list is because cleansing your face day and night is key.
Leaving your make up on overnight prevents your skin cells from rejuvenating. Sleep is a key part of looking after your skin. It is when your body takes its time to repair itself from the stress of daily challenges. Even the tiniest bit of makeup during bedtime can highly influence your skin’s repair process.
During sleep, our growth hormone pushes new skin cells to the surface, and the old skin cells start to shed. Wearing makeup to bed traps the old skin cells and disturbs the rejuvenation process of the new skin cells. This disturbance can leave your skin very dull and clog your pores. -vitatalalay.com
HOW MANY TIMES?
Morning and night, if you are wearing a heavy amount of make up make sure you double cleanse and remove any left over before jumping into bed.
In your morning routine its a good idea to follow up with a toner. Ashley from Labeille introduced me to using witch hazel as a toner. Using this after cleansing detoxifies the skin, purifying pores, and preps skin for moisture. It helps to tighten and tone the appearance of the skin, but it also has medicinal properties to help reduce inflammation and soothe skin irritations. Its not a necessary part of your routine but if you find you have oily or irritated skin its a good one to introduce for £2.59 from your local chemist or superdrug.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – Glycolic Acid (Click here to buy)
Exfoliates the skin by increasing cell turnover, stimulates collagen
Alpha hydroxy acids work by removing the top layers of dead skin cells. They can also increase the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting firmness. Glycolic penetrate deeply and stimulate fibroblast cells to aid in collagen production. It exfoliates the skin by increasing cell turnover, evens skin tone and builds the support
I use the Aldi version of Nip & Fab and PIXI Tonic but they only release them at random times of the year so i always stock up as they are such a great price!
Glycolic is the only acid that makes you sun sensitive so make sure your using that spf 50.
But my ultimate favourite is the Pixi overnight glow serum (click here to buy) Formulated with 10% Glycolic Acid
HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK?
Celebrity facialist Michaella Bolder, has said “Overusing AHAs can leave the skin red raw, with possible burns, dryness and most certainly photosensitivity introducing premature ageing, thinning of the skin, risk of pigmentation – and, ultimately a confused complexion.Once every other day is plenty unless you are on a programme with an expert that says otherwise.” *Use this at night only.
Vitamin C Serum (click here to buy)
Delays skin ageing and protects it from further damage, antioxidants provide the skin with hydration and increase moisture retention to help revitalise dull-looking skin.
“Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against extrinsic skin ageing effects.
Vitamin C, also named L-ascorbic acid, is water soluble, photosensitive and is the most important antioxidant in the hydrophilic phase. Vitamin C is not naturally synthesized by the human body and therefore adequate dietary intake of vitamin C is required and essential for a healthy human diet.
The richest natural sources are fresh fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, blackcurrant, rose hip, guava, chili pepper or parsley. Stability of the vitamin C molecule depends on aggregate condition and formulation.
L-ascorbic acid can be used orally and topically for skin benefits. Vitamin C is a cofactor for lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase, which stabilize the triple helical structure of collagen”. – See here for further research collected on this.
It sells out extreamly quickly so i buy 6 bottles at a time with this super low price, when it is available.
However if your looking to do it right and not do it on a budget then the holy grail of vitamin C serums, suggested by dermatoligists across the globe is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.
Boasting an antioxidant blend of 15% Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid), 1% Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) and 0.5% Ferulic Acid, the daytime serum envelops skin in a protective veil.
This shields the visage from age-inducing free radicals, infrared radiation and ozone pollution, which can all contribute to visible signs of skin ageing. Alongside essential antioxidant performance, the C E Ferulic serum reduces current signs of ageing, while visibly brightening the visage.
The serum is able to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and photodamage, alongside combating loss of elasticity to leave skin firm and youthful. Expect exceptional protection.
Step 4 (optional)
Hyaluronic Acid (click here to buy)
If you suffer with dry dehydrated skin like me, then this is a must.
Hyaluronic Acid is naturally present in our skin, its loved for its ability to replenish a huge amount of moisture. One gram (or 0.03 oz.) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water!
Hyaluronic acid can enhance moisture content beyond comparison. It also revitalises skin’s outer surface layers, so they look and feel softer, smoother and radiantly hydrated. This instantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid is incredibly gentle and phenomenally helpful for all skin types, even the most sensitive, redness-prone skin. In fact, its positive influence on skin’s surface is due in part to its natural calming benefit, which means it is also suitable for breakout-prone skin.
Although it does hydrate by holding moisture on the skin, it also works as an antioxidant, prevents loss of elasticity, stimulates collagen and plumps the appearance of the skin. Is also known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, key for those of you that suffer from broken skin conditions whether from spots, acne, eczema, rosacea or perioral dermatitis.
HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK?
Apply a few drops to face in the AM or PM. I like to use it after Ive cleansed and seal it with my moisturiser for my skin to feel hydrated but its completely up to you.
This is a great one to use with your 0.2mm dermaroller just make sure you apply your moisturiser quickly after it to help maximise the benefits.
It also works well with the glycolic acids in step 2, as these acids can be drying on the skin, so including hyaluronic acid is a great way to enjoy the benefits of AHA’s without dehydrating the skin. Hyaluronic acid also works well alongside other anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C, this pairing together encourages and protects collagen, whilst hydrating and brightening aging skin.
Moisturiser (click here to buy)
When people say if you were on a desert island and you had only one thing, I would hands down chose this. Believe it or not its also from Aldi.
Your moisturiser is your coat. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, not moisturising will only make these concerns worse.
The Aldi moisturiser includes Snow Algae Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. Snow Algae has been clinically proven to extend the life of skin cells and is said to trigger stem cells to replicate, replace damaged cells and in turn, rejuvenate the skin.
The Caviar extract is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and it reportedly tackles signs of ageing. Luxe beauty brand La Prairie has a Caviar Collection, but the downside is it’s £292 for 50ml.
The cream feels silky, it glides on and sinks in well.
HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK SHOULD YOU USE?
I use the night cream morning and night but i have very dehydrated skin and it just sucks it up, but that may be a little too heavy for you, test both creams to see which you like, for £13.99 its not breaking the bank! And honestly the smallest amount goes the longest way.
They even provide this helpful guide on how to apply: