Doctor shares single most important thing to reduce signs of ageing – highly effective

This Morning: Sister Monica discusses skincare

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It is important to look after one’s skin, especially in hot weather. Signs of ageing such as wrinkles and eye bags are inevitable, but they can be reduced or avoided for as long as possible.

Causes of premature skin ageing

Dr Ginni Mansberg, GP and Founder of ESK Skincare, spoke to about the causes of skin ageing.

She said: “Our skin is a pretty incredible organ.

“It’s the largest in our bodies and its primary jobs are to protect our bodies from impacts, changes in pressure and temperature and to keep out bad things like harmful chemicals, radiation, micro-organisms and other foreign bodies.

“And while it is performing its job as our very own armour and raincoat, it also lets waste out which helps with regulating the temperature of the body.

“Not only that, but it’s pretty great at sensing things like heat, cold, touch and pain and all the while renewing itself.

“But it does age. Its ability to renew itself reduces.

“That results in the skin’s barrier function becoming less effective, a loss in strength and resilience of the skin and reduced ability to repair itself.

“The skin also often starts to show uneven pigmentation and reduced elasticity and bulk.”

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Dr Mansberg continued: “There are two factors that result in skin ageing. The first is simply the ticking of the clock or chronological ageing.

“The second, often called premature ageing, is caused by external factors like air pollution, smoking and diet but is primarily caused by cumulative exposure to the sun.

“While many of the impacts of chronological and premature skin ageing are similar, chronologically aged skin tends to look dry, thin and finely wrinkled.

“On the other hand, prematurely aged skin tends to look leathery, with bigger wrinkles and uneven pigmentation.”

The doctor went on to explain how “there are some pretty good evidence about things we can do to reduce and reverse some of the signs of premature skin ageing”.

“When it comes to chronological ageing the evidence is less clear and so most of what we focus on is premature ageing,” she said, before listing what people can do to reduce these signs of premature ageing.

What you can do about premature skin ageing

“I hate to say this, but skin health is just one more thing that is adversely affected by lifestyle,” Dr Mansberg said.

“To be the bearer of bad news, this means it will be improved by cutting out the sugary snacks, fried food, alcohol and cigarettes.

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“However, the single most important thing we can do to limit and reverse skin ageing, is limit our sun exposure.

“And it is never too early or late to start. Sun avoidance, shade, and protective clothing are the best forms of protection.

“Though, perhaps the easiest thing we can do is use broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.

“The concern about skin cancer has led us to a focus on UVB protection and the measure which describes UVB protection in skin care – it’s SPF.

“But the primary concern for premature ageing is exposure to the sun’s UVA rays. On a skin care product, the words ‘broad-spectrum’ indicates that the product protects from UVA as well as UVB.”

Dr Mansberg went on to describe the “three main groups of ingredients that have evidence for anti-ageing”.

They are cell regulators, anti-oxidants, and chemical peeling or exfoliation.

The skincare expert recommended products containing Vitamin A Retinaldehyde, which is “both highly effective and non-irritating”.

As for anti-oxidants, the products to look out for are ones containing Vitamins B3 and C.

Additionally, “the ingredients with the best evidence in the chemical peeling or exfoliation group are Glycolic and Lactic acid”, according to Dr Mansberg.

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