Whoever coined the phrase “you’re only as old as you feel” might have been on to something far more substantial than just a simple feel-good saying. The biggest culprits with regards to outward signs of ageing are inflammation and the reduced production of collagen, as well as the relationship between them.
So, what exactly is collagen? To put it simply, collagen is the most abundant protein found in your skin, joints and tendons. Type 1 collagen is present in skin, and its primary role is to maintain its integrity and elasticity, thereby promoting and maintaining a healthy, supple and youthful appearance. But here’s the catch: collagen production actually decreases with time, thereby causing the appearance of loose skin and wrinkles.
Research has shown that up to 90% of those signs can be linked to inflammation, and your arsenal in fighting this ought to include both protective and preventative measures. So, House of Life London’s objective today is to cross a few T’s and dot a few I’s, and allow you to maintain your youthful appearance and reverse the test of time.
Before diving into the nitty gritty, let’s discuss inflammation itself, and dispel some of the more common myths associated with it. First thing’s first: inflammation is a key part of the immune system and is, in itself, a natural response to tissue injury. For the purpose of this article, we’ll use ‘injury’ as an umbrella term to include all things that may cause some sort of stress on your body. To that effect, your skin is essentially a protective barrier: it is the first point of contact for several environmental agents that may either boost or deplete your immunity.
The five cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function. Inflammation can be broadly divided into good and bad inflammation. The latter is usually associated with degenerative disease, whereas the former is a healthy response which will essentially initiate your skin’s auto-repair process, promoting the production of collagen.
For most women, the first alarm bells manifest themselves in the form of crows’ feet around the eyes, accompanied by drooping eyelids. A crucial tool in preventing and repairing them is sunscreen. Sunscreen is the Holy Grail, and it should be omnipresent in your life: a king-size tub in your medicine cabinet, a medium-size flask on your vanity table and a travel-size bottle for your handbag.
Next up: laughter lines and frown lines. Now, these are slightly harder to tackle, because their appearance is due to genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. So, in these cases, preventative measures are key, as reducing the overall stress endured by your body will reduce the rate and level of inflammation. With regards to frown lines, the sun is once again to blame, because excessive squinting to shield your eyes creates creases on your forehead and between your eyebrows. With the decreased production of collagen, these creases will lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. You need to consider the sun as a hazard, and much like the protective goggles you’d wear inside a laboratory, sunglasses are far more than a fashion accessory: they are part of your suit of armor in turning back the clock.
Last, but not least, and perhaps the most insidious: dark spots. Dark spots are caused by an excessive production of melanin, and once again, unprotected exposure to sunlight as well as air pollution are to blame. Pollution generates molecules known as “free radicals”, which cause oxidation, leading to irritation and inflammation of the skin by clogging up the pores. Products and diets rich in vitamins C and E have anti-oxidative measures, which help combat and reduce dark spots.
House of Life London’s modi operandi is to opt for a natural and holistic approach when taking care of your skin. The Complete Skin® Nº20 Face Repair Oil blend is suitable for all skin types, and with all organic and natural ingredients like buckthorn, horsetail and burdock, it helps to boost skin nutrition and accelerate repair, while enhancing elasticity, radiance and firmness, helping to reverse the effects of time.