AGELESS BEAUTY - MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
Andreas M. Papas. PhD
When it comes to beauty, skin appearance figures prominently in our feeling of well-being and physical attractiveness. It is no surprise that we go to great lengths (and expense) to keep our skin youthful, supple and firm. According to the latest science, however, we are doing only half of the job. We focus primarily on external skin care. Equally important, but ignored, are inner health and wellness.
A new approach to ageless beauty is now emerging. This approach is holistic (complete) - it links directly inner health and wellness to external skin care. Lifestyle, diet and nutrition, including supplements, are combined with specially designed skin care to achieve radiant and ageless beauty. Let's examine this holistic approach.
Skin is the largest organ in our body. A complex and sophisticated barrier, the skin protects our body from the external environment (including bacteria and viruses) and helps the body retain moisture and regulate temperature. It is made up of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the top layer and includes melanocytes, the cells that give skin its color. The dermis is the inner layer and contains blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands, and hair follicles.
The aging of the skin and the unwelcome wrinkles. Like every other tissue, skin ages. But, unlike other tissues, the aging of the skin is affected directly by our environment. Actually photoaging from daily exposure to the sun causes over 80% of premature aging of the skin. Other environmental factors such as pollutants and smoking, allergens and irritants damage the skin. While intrinsic or chronologic aging of the skin is genetically programmed and cannot be easily controlled, photoaging can be managed and delayed.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause photoaging. Sunlight contains many different wavelengths, but the ultraviolet portion is primarily responsible for photoaging and cancer of the skin. UV is made up of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVC is absorbed almost entirely by the ozone layer. UVA and UVB escape the ozone layer.
UVA rays penetrate deep into our skin, damaging collagen and elastin fibers. UVB rays are the most intensive UV rays in sunlight, causing damage to the skin's surface. In summary, UVA ages the skin while UVB burns the skin.
Skin cancer, a growing epidemic. Skin cancer attacks one out of every seven Americans each year, making it the most common form of cancer. It is also the most rapidly increasing form.
The three most common forms are: