Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Aging

Written by: Mary Mireles, L.E

Aging. A word that often causes dread in a patient’s heart. We are all familiar with the effects of aging including sun spots, wrinkles and jowls. However, not so many people are familiar with the actual aging process. When you begin to dive into the science behind aging, you are able to begin to understand the different factors that contribute to the aging process. This knowledge empowers you to choose products that will help protect against specific factors.
Let us first look at extrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging is caused by outside factors such as sun, pollutants and other environmental factors. Even things like your pillow case could be contributing to the extrinsic aging you are experiencing. One of the most interesting things I have seen working at L-Aesthetics, is how often you can tell what side someone sleeps on as that is always the side of the face that is aging more. The same goes for the side of the face that is facing the window when you drive. When you begin to think of all the outside factors that go into harming your skin it can begin to get overwhelming!
Now, not only are there outside factors that contribute to our aging process, but our bodies are aging from the inside as well. This is called intrinsic aging, and includes things like our collagen and elastin production slowing down. Our cells also begin to stop working as hard, and therefore age a lot faster. Now before you begin to do the math on how all these factors add to the swiftness of the aging process, let’s dive into some of the solutions to these different types of aging.

Since we know that the sun is the biggest contributor to damage, sunscreen is going to be the biggest defender against the sun’s damage. When choosing a sunscreen you will want to be sure that is has not only UVA and UVB protection, but also infrared protection. The IR rays from the sun, are actually the rays that reach the deepest and cause the most damage to our collagen and elastin. These are the building blocks of our skin, and, as discussed above, are already being attacked by the intrinsic aging process. This makes it evermore important to protect them from the harmful rays from the sun. My personal favorite sunscreen is SkinMedica’s Total Defense and Repair. Called a “superscreen” for a reason, this product is one you definitely want to add to your collection. Hats and proper protective clothing will also add to the protection of your skin. Be sure to always apply your sunscreen on the back of your hands as they are very susceptible to sun damage. Especially in these Texas summers, the sun is constantly beating down into our cars, and right on our steering wheels where our hands are resting. By adding your sunscreen application to your hands and arms you are able to actively fight the signs of aging.

Lumivive, by SkinMedica, is hands down one of the best ways to fight extrinsic aging as well as intrinsic aging. As a bit of a skincare science geek, I was intrigued by the science behind this product. They have harnessed the power to create this power duo that works on your natural aging process, as well as the environmental factors contributing to aging. The night cream works all night to keep your skin cells pumping. This is vital, as the processes that keep your skin soft and supple begin to slow down as the years go by. I like to think of this as a “reset button” for your skin. On the other hand, the day cream protects your skin against free radicals, sun damage and blue light. I love the blue light protection as I am constantly surrounded by my phone, computer and even certain lighting that can damage my skin. With this power duo, you can feel confident in the fact that you are fighting aging inwardly and outwardly.

Lastly, it is so important to fight the aging process with our diet. Sugar is one of biggest contributing factors to the inward breakdown of collagen. By limiting the amount we consume, we are prolonging the life of our natural collagen. However, we are also able to supplement the lost collagen by taking one in our diet. Our office favorite is the OrthoMolecular one, as our bodies are able to easily absorb it and use it in our skin and joints. Another great supplement is Glutathione. This supplement helps to support our overall skin’s health, and is often said to give a glow. It also target’s pigmentation issues, and can help to even out the skin tone.
Although the aging process is daunting, take heart in knowing that there are many ways that we can combat its effects. If you are interested in learning more about the procedures and products, as well as the wellness side of anti-aging be sure to schedule a complimentary consultation with us! We look forward to walking beside you in the fight against aging.

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