Are you ever too young to start using an eye cream? Do collagen creams work? Do you need to use anti-aging products on your body? It’s hard to find the answers to your most pressing questions to know what is best for your skin.
According a recent study, millennials age 25–35 say they have started using anti-aging skin care products as early as 26 years old. Older women ages 55 and older, however, say they began using these twenty years later in their life, starting at 47. And, according to another study, women will use an average of 16 products in their morning routine before even leaving the house.
Here, we’ve asked leading experts in the health/beauty field, Lydia Sarfati, CEO and Founder of Repêchage Skin Care, pioneers of sustainably-harvested, seaweed based skin care, and Natalya Fazylova, DNP of ReBalance Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging Center in NYC to share their expertise to help you answer your most pressing anti-aging questions, demystify the science and remove the myth from the many things out there to see real anti-aging skin care results.
Q: Anti-aging is one of the biggest concerns for everyone, but not everyone understands what happens on the inside as we age and how it affects our skin. Can you explain the process?
That is a big question! If you look at someone who is young and beautiful, and you believe that everything that they are doing is on the outside, that’s not true. The term “anti-aging” is actually a big umbrella for multiple ways of making the skin look better, but it has to come from the inside as well.
Skin is our biggest body organ and the condition of the skin is directly related to what’s going on inside. The connections from the skin and other body organs is tremendous. Factors such as gut health, circulation, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, taking vitamins or not taking enough vitamins, and sun exposure are all things we need to consider to have healthy skin plus taking care of the skin from outside as well.
From my forty five years of experience, when I look at aging, I look at intrinsic aging, the biological aging as well as the environmental aging.
And certainly nutrition, hormones, and health are very responsible for the way we age on the inside. But the biggest culprit in formation of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation is the loss of collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks and foundation of the skin.
There is a fibroblast proliferation that creates the collagen, which is hard, and elastin which is elastic. That is what gives our skin its snap. These two things are definitely destroyed by sun exposure, especially UVA,
Are there any therapies and products to boost collagen?
When we are young, collagen production is very prolific as a result of female estrogen hormones which helps to keep the collagen production going. This in turn helps keep up the shape of the face and the structure of the face. As we get older, closer to 40, 50, 60 and beyond, collagen production naturally decreases and skin gets thinner. We are losing some of the bone mass as well, so we are losing some of the structure and that is what keeps the shape and structure of the face and what makes a lot of patients develop droopy skin.
Plus, if a person is not taking care of their skin, tanning or not protecting their skin properly, has hormonal imbalances, or any other health imbalances, this process accelerates. This is when you start to see younger people developing wrinkles and saggy skin, and have textural changes that we are used to seeing in older age. I used to see this only in women fifty and older. Now, I’m seeing it my clients in their thirties.
Procedure wise, there are some things than can be done, including laser therapy and microneedling. It’s important to remember, however, that these procedures need to be performed in a medical environment by a medical professional.
Microneedling is a procedure that’s done by causing micro injuries to the skin surface, which in turn stimulates the skin to rebuild the collagen to help tighten the skin. We combine this with specific techniques and topical ingredients depending on the skin type. We have a specific cocktail for problem skin patients, for example, as well as for someone who is concerned about wrinkling around the eye area. So, the medical environment is important to make sure it’s sterile, performed by a qualified medically trained technician and to be sure that they are following the correct protocol that corresponds to the skin concern.
These professionals also need to follow up with proper home care advice. I see a lot of practices and procedures failing because of improper follow up. I could do whatever I can do during the process but it that person is not doing what needs to be done when they get home half of the success of the procedure is gone.
For example, for at-home, there are certain products that contain ingredients like retinol which tend to make your skin thinner, and can actually destroy a little bit of collagen, which a lot of people do not know. The product itself is advertised as collagen building, but the reality is that it has some effect of losing and destroying collagen.
So when you are choosing your products you need to speak to someone who knows what they are doing, knows the products and will recommend them based on your skin type and condition.
There are two ways of looking at production of collagen and thereby boosting the density of the skin. One is by forming injury. When your skin is injured, it’s going to start producing collagen, so the injury is done, or was done, through retinoic acid or through microneedling, or laser--- there are many different techniques. But at the same time, it’s not applicable or suitable for everyone. For at home, it’s a myth that you can put collagen in a cream and it will work on your skin. It will do absolutely nothing because the collagen used is most likely derived from bovine, and the molecules are too large to penetrate through the lipid structure of the skin.
My approach to skin care has always been the holistic—finding ingredients that will do the work.
When you work with really good skin care products that have ingredients that are really delivering the results, you will enhance the appearance of your skin. About 20 years ago, we started to have a beauty industry breakthrough when we were able to develop ingredients such as adenosine, derived from yeast, which helps to stimulate natural collagen production. We have adenosine in our body naturally as well. But unfortunately, through age and UV exposure, the adenosine production is diminished.
The other thing to remember is that our estrogen production decreases as we get older. This is why the skin needs additional moisturization, because the dryness is coming from within as well as without.
For this, we have great new technology with peptides, including Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, which helps to reduces the appearance of wrinkles, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 which helps skin look and feel smoother, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, makes skin look and feel firmer and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 which has a water-binding property.
And also, of course, there is our exclusive, sustainably-harvested seaweed. Our Laminaria Digitata seaweed, extracted by a proprietary process, has 18 amino acids and amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
These ingredients can be found in the Repêchage Triple Action Peptide Mask For All Skin Types and the Triple Action Peptide Serum. These products can be further enhanced by using an at-home hand held device such as the Repêchage® LED Radio Frequency and EMS Skin Tightening Machine, which helps to further stimulate the surface layers of the skin.
Repêchage was one of the first companies to utilize a really unique ingredient called Thermus thermophilus ferment. This is a marine organism that lives about 2000 meters under the sea in the ocean, in very high temperatures reaching over 145 degrees F without being destroyed. This ferment is great because it creates an opportunity for the collagen to rebuild as well as helping to protect skin from oxidative stress. This ingredient is found in the Vita Cura® Renewal Serum.
Repêchage has over 225 different products designed skin types and conditions, but if your concern is signs of aging, the Vita Cura® Gold Collection shows wonderful results fast. In independent laboratory tests, the Vita Cura®️ Gold B3 Serum Complex has shown a 58% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and a 41% reduction in the appearance of pores. Very often, when you get older, the appearance of pores enlarge not because your skin is getting oilier but because you are losing elasticity and skin is stretching. This combined with the Vita Cura® B3 Elixir Complex and Lifting Mask contain Niacinamide/Vitamin B3, Adenosine and Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, a red algae, designed to help restore and balance in the skin.
Is there any specific age that you recommend that an anti-aging program is started and are you ever too young for an eye cream?
Skin care starts day you are born. As we know, skin has different needs at different ages. Teenagers are concerned with acne and breakouts. Between 20-30 is the time when lifestyle choices can most affect aging, such as drinking, sun exposure, and stress. Then, skin changes completely as you go beyond the age 30, and these changes are compounded by seasonal changes, diet and health. Therefore, it’s never too early to start taking care of your skin.
I don’t think you are ever too young for an eye cream, especially a good eye cream. We have muscles around our eyes, such as the corrugator muscle, which is responsible for the lines where people most often inject Botox. A good eye cream will do the same job without needles. The key is to pick the appropriate eye cream based on age and skin concern. Repêchage has a full collection, for example. There are ones for brightening, for moisturizing, and for fine lines.
If someone has a lot of puffiness and swollen eyes, I recommend a gel, such as the Biolight® Frost Bright™ Eye Contour Gel, which helps with de-puffing with caffeine and peptides.
If someone is concerned about deep wrinkles, I recommend the Opti-Firm® Eye Contour Cream, which contains three peptides and Chysin. It is very light, but very effective, particularly when applied with a Silver Ball Massager, which keeps long nails away from the eye area, and provides just the right amount of pressure.
How can you combat signs of aging on the body?
My go to recommendation is daily dry brushing followed by moisturizer. A dry brush, used vigorously in the morning, helps to exfoliate the skin while it stimulates the circulation. If you find this too stimulating, you can use Sea Spa Glow, which utilizes sea salts from the Dead Sea as well as peppermint oil.
Then, follow with a daily application of body moisturizers such as body cream, hand cream and if you have signs of cellulite, a firming body cream such as Vita Cura® Triple Action Body Contour Cream which has co-enzymes, seaweed extract and caffeine. If your skin is particularly thin and dry, you can use a body oil such as Vita Cura® Triple Action Nutrí Oil, which contains Mafura Seed Butter and the delicious scent of Madagascar Vanilla.
What are your most pressing skin care questions? Leave them in the comments below!