What makes us AGE faster?
As we all are aware of; as we AGE we start to lose collagen that’s possibly one of the reason we start to have wrinkles but with collagen we also start to lose lipids, that’s one of the major reason for visible signs of photo aging so while everyone is focusing on the collagen and deeper layers don’t forget your lipids that are equally responsible for showing signs of aging. Lipids are responsible for keeping the moisture sealed and keeping fluids intact of the skin barrier. With loss of lipids we are becoming more vulnerable to environmental stressors that eventually destroy the collagen.
So what are LIPIDS?
Lipids are large molecules that are a major part of cell membrane that do not mix with water. Lipids usually include animal fats, plant oils, hormones, Vitamins (A, D, E, K) that are also known a fat soluble vitamins. Lipids have very important cellular functions and are about 50 percent of the cell membrane. Without good lipids cells become leaky and start to lose vitamins and minerals that play a vital role in communication. Our skin has its own natural lipids like ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids which are important for skin barrier. They play a vital role in keeping moisture intact within the skin and allowing exclusions of impurities, irritants and infectious organisms (Fungi, virus and bacterial infections).
Its important to remember that cholesterols in the skin is not the same as the dietary cholesterol like HDL, LDL, Plaques, arteries and cardiovascular diseases.
Cholesterol is a very important lipid in our skin that accelerates the skin barrier recovery and provides elasticity for our skin.
Cholesterol is also important for keeping skin plumped and hydrated but as we age we start making less cholesterol for our skin and that leads to less elasticity and visible signs of aging like dry, dull skin, redness and also peeling in some and this could be a concern for us in 30s and 40s. As we lose cholesterol we are more vulnerable to damage due to reactive oxygen species from the environmental stressors that further contributes to weakening and breakdown of skin barrier. We are more prone to irritation, stinging and burning which are also the signs of a sensitive skin but the root issue is the loss of lipids in the skin barrier that in return provokes irritation and also damages the collagen that is present in then deeper layers of the skin.
Moving on to the Ceramides which are also a part of lipids which are extremely important for maintaining the integrity of moisture barrier and keeping the irritants out. A major underlying cause for a dry skin is lack of ceramides. Some people are born with problems with ceramides level in their skin and they are prone to ECZEMA. As we age we also stop making enough ceramides that makes our skin dry and there is more water loss from the skin.
To prevent your skin from losing that skin barrier and maintaining elasticity ands functioning properly we can proactively add things to our diet and skincare.
We can add cholesterol and ceramides to our skin topically to help with moisture retention and strengthen skin barrier. It can be done by simply using moisturizers and serums that consists of these cholesterols and ceramides which can be very important eventually as our skin starts to make fewer lipids with time. Moisturizers and serums help you seal in moisture and allow your skin barrier to function better and recover better. Sunscreen is equally important because that to some extend will help in moisture retention and also protecting the skin from exposing to harmful Sunrays that destroys collagen in the deeper layers and also impair the integrity of moisture barrier by damaging lipids in the top layer of the cell membrane and contributing to signs of aging and irritations. Harmful UV rays creates a havoc on the topmost layer. It generates free radicals, damages DNA and our skin cells. It is important to remember that damaging Sunrays are present on a sunny, cloudy and even on a rainy day. Sunscreens also have ingredients that seal water in and helps by protecting from water loss from the skin. Similarly, Sun tan is not recommended as it is a sign of wounded or damaged skin and you are more prone to lose water and moisture because the natural lipids are actually destroyed in this entire process. As we have lesser ceramides and cholesterol its important to stick to gentle cleansers (Foaming cleansers are a BIG NO! instead stick to cream cleansers) because at the end of the day we don’t want dry, irritated skin. We don’t want to over cleanse, cleansing too frequently, using harsh ingredients that strip off the moisture, oil and natural lipids from our skin. As we tend to get older the harsh ingredients in the products can subsequently further disrupt the moisture in the skin, the PH and also the moisture barrier so keeping skincare products and routine is always the best. At the same time also taking care of your diet is extremely important that includes taking balanced healthy meals including good fats like omega 3 fatty acids, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, fatty fish, avocados and incorporating these things in your diet will improve your lipids in the skin. These foods also help in handling free radical damage better.
Keeping your skin healthy is extremely important and the key is to be proactive and inculcate these habits and diets before the damage is done so in your wiser years you are less sensitized and irritated by environment stressors and have a more plumped and hydrated skin; because at the end of the day a moisturized, hydrated skin looks better, younger and plumped. There are less wrinkles and fine lines and a more healthy looking skin.
PRICKLY PEER SEED OIL contains the highest percentage (88%) of unsaturated fatty acids, which are essential to stimulating healthy cell production and turnover. It also contains the highest level of tocopherol, or vitamin E, which protects the skin and helps it retain moisture.
The constitution of prickly pear seed oil’s essential and non-essential fatty acids (EFAs) are worth delving into a bit further:
- 60.5% linoleic acid – An omega-6 EFA, linoleic acid at once nourishes and repairs. Linoleic acid strengthens our skin’s barrier, allowing it to better retain moisture. Sometimes referred to as vitamin F, this fatty acid fights inflammation while healing. It also has acne-reducing properties and helps soften the skin. It can even help heal cold sores and minor burns. Nails, cuticles, and hair also benefit from this wonder moisturizer.
- 20.6% oleic acid – Also found in avocados, almond oil, and olive oil, this fatty acid seals in moisture and helps other beneficial ingredients more easily penetrate the skin.
- 13.9% palmitic acid – Also found in palm tree oil, research has found that this acid has antioxidant and healing properties, and can even help with dermatitis and eczema. It’s found naturally in our skin, but quantities diminish as we age.
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Prickly pear seed oil contains almost 150% more vitamin E than argan oil. Wild, right? (Vitamin E is found in tocopherols, a class of eight different organic chemical compounds.) This naturally occurring antioxidant acts as a free radical scavenger, preventing them from causing damage that leads to signs of aging. It also has serious anti-inflammatory properties, helping wounds heal faster, and can even repair damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollution. It’s great for sunburns and redness as well.
Vitamin E is a superb moisturizer, hydrating skin while preventing further water loss. This can diminish the appearances of wrinkles and fine lines. Great anti-aging agents, tocopherols protect the skin cells that make collagen and elastin (a protein that helps skin keep its shape) and can fade acne scars.
This component of prickly pear seed oil is similar to cholesterol, as it binds to water. This is great news for our skin—when applied topically, water-binding phytoserols help the skin retain moisture, making for a strong, healthy skin barrier. They also assist in collagen production, keeping our skin youthful and soft, and have even been found to reverse the effects of aging.
These compounds are a real powerhouse: Not only do they boast antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties, but they also fight oxidative stress—an imbalance between free radical production and the body’s ability to defend against them. Like tocopherols, they are also free radical scavengers. POLYPHENOLS prevent and treat sun damage, and can help with redness and irritation.