What’s the secret to keeping natural radiant skin as you age? That depends on who you ask. The experts don’t seem to agree on much of anything, except that they are right.
It seems to me that a lot of the recommendations have to do with the expert’s specialty. In a recent article, a doctor who specializes in prescribing bio-identical hormones for menopausal women said that the causes of the visible signs of aging are low estrogen levels and environmental factors.
That’s interesting, because dermatologists released a report last year saying that the primary cause was something different. They found that there are more free radicals in older skin and that fewer antioxidants are present to quench them. They concluded that the free radical/antioxidant imbalance was the primary cause of wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.
We know that we tend to lose the radiance we once had. Our complexions look duller and splotchier. Those symptoms are due to a lack of moisture and collagen; not a lack of estrogen. I am not an expert on estrogen, but I can find nothing to support the hormone specialist’s statement.
I can explain why moisture and collagen contribute to natural radiant skin. Moisture promotes a dewy, youthful look. It is not particularly shiny, but the well-moisturized face seems to glow with good health.
Collagen contributes to the skin’s color or tone. As collagen levels decline with age, the skin’s layers become thinner and more transparent. What we think of as radiance is a glowing, evenly toned flesh-color. A pasty white or pale complexion is just the opposite. Loss of collagen, not estrogen, causes that pale pasty look.
Many dermatologists have said that we fail to recognize the importance of a good moisturizer. I believe a good moisturizer is the key to natural radiant skin. Of course, not all moisturizers are that good. So you have to be selective.
You want one that contains plant oils and extracts. You want to avoid the ones that contain petroleum-based oils and chemicals.
You want to avoid irritants and allergens as you age. Things that might not have caused you a problem when you were younger could cause a problem today.
Irritants and allergens cause redness and itching, which are symptoms of underlying inflammation. We need to avoid inflammation, because it is one of the known causes of cellular aging and it degrades the skin’s existing collagen content.
Creams containing collagen will not help you get natural radiant skin. The thick substance tends to cake and crack. It will make you look worse, rather than better. It can’t increase the amount of collagen that is in your skin’s layers, because it can’t penetrate.
It’s a good idea to look for a moisturizer containing the antioxidant coenzyme Q-10. It helps to correct the antioxidant/free radical imbalance. It has proven to be effective for reversing wrinkles and sun damage. It could help prevent them too.
While natural radiant skin is more common among the young, older women can have it too. I don’t believe it is necessary to take hormones to get it. Moisturizing is the key.
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