There is no doubt that healthy, glowing blemish free skin is something most people desire in order to look and feel their best, but most of us as adults do not have baby soft skin and this is down to a number of factors:-
There is undoubtedly a genetic element to good skin and some people will fare better than others through the years, this is one element of skin care that is out of our control.
However, if we want to know what we can do to keep our skin at its best. The biggest enemies of your skin are probably smoking and sun damage, and let’s face it, these are two things that we can control. Heavy smokers damage their skin by reducing the oxygen supply to their biggest organ thereby depleting collagen and constant pursing of the lips to inhale on a cigarette gives us fine lines around the mouth.
The sun will also dry the skin, cause damage to your DNA (the repairing and protein synthesis mechanism) and collagen and prolonged exposure can give rise to pre-malignant changes in the skin that may not manifest themselves till some year later. This may show itself as brown spots, lesions and may result in skin cancer.
So what can we do other than avoiding smoking and using a good quality sunscreen?
A good quality moisturiser will help to keep the skin in good shape and prevent it drying out. If it comes with a sunscreen (marked as SPF on the container, usually SPF15, which stands for Sun Protection Factor) then you are getting two for the price of one.
Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet and exercise will also help ensure, via the blood supply, that oxygen and nutrients are at their highest and these two things are essential for skin to thrive.
Unfortunately there is no real evidence to back up the theory that drinking water (and how much) is good for the skin, but some effect has been measured through the assessment of skin ‘turgor’. This is a measurement of how fast it takes the skin to return to ‘normal’ if you pinch some skin and lift it up. If you are dehydrated, your skin will take longer to get its shape back. A good measure of what amount to drink is if you are thirsty to drink!
What about lasers, vampire lifts, peels etc? It can be a confusing world now with so many different terminologies and branded treatments and trying to determine what works and what doesn’t can be difficult. I will therefore try and break the treatments down into what they are trying to do and explain how they work or maybe don’t work.
A number of treatments work by removing the top layer of the skin (epidermis). This can be done with Lasers, Chemicals or by mechanical means and this just aims to remove the dead cells on the surface and then stimulate the lower layers to start work making new healthy cells. The important aspect of these treatments is that the skin can be different thicknesses in different areas of the face and so the depth of treatment must be very carefully controlled in order to prevent problems with scarring or loss of pigmentation so it can be wise to have a test patch before proceeding.
The vampire lift is a treatment that is not in favour with Plastic Surgeons as there is very little evidence of it’s effectiveness. It involves drawing blood from you and then extracting platelets (tiny cells involved in clotting). This are then injected back under the skin. The science is rather poor but it does receive good reviews on Realself.com
Other procedures involve controlled injury to the skin through micro needling in order to stimulate blood supply and repair. These treatments can involve a short downtime and will produce a temporary effect from swelling but the evidence for long term benefit is not yet available.