One of the main causes of aging skin is inflammation. It damages cells and reduces collagen production, creating wrinkles and sagging well before they are supposed to appear. There are two types of inflammation – acute inflammation, which is the body’s healthy response to injuries and infection and chronic inflammation, which is when the body is continuously in a state of inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body can trigger serious diseases such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and diabetes. On the skin, it can lead to premature aging, rosacea, eczema and hyper-pigmentation. It is caused by eating the wrong foods, drinking excessively, smoking, stress, infections, immune responses, uv rays and the most common, harsh skin care products.
People inundate their skin with harsh ingredients every day of their lives because they are in so many products. Sensitive skin types know exactly what these products are because they will feel a burn, and develop redness and/or swelling. Other people won’t feel a thing but that doesn’t mean it is not incurring the damage.
Look for the following ingredients to avoid chronic skin inflammation in your daily routine:
1. Alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids – Includes glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, salicylic acid and tartaric acid. The are chemical exfoliants that remove dead skin cells but can also damage healthy cells and barrier function. They also leave the skin vulnerable to UV rays.
2. Chemical sunscreens – These types of sunscreen turn UV rays into heat on the skin. They can be very irritating and cause redness and bumps to form. Look for products with zinc, a physical sunscreen that blocks UV rays by deflecting it off the face.
3. Fragrance – Can be an assortment of many chemicals, including harmful ones like phthalates and synthetic musks. Choose natural products with no fragrance or ones with gentle essential oils.
4. Detergents – These cleansers are currently in everything. They have even replaced bar soap for many people. They are meant to remove grease, dirt and pollutants but will also remove protective barriers and cause imbalances and inflammation in the skin. Use bars soaps and milk cleansers instead.
5. Retinoids – Retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, and retinyl linoleate are anti-aging ingredients related to vitamin A. They make your skin sun-sensitive and break down when exposed to UV rays to create free radicals that will damage your skin. Stick to anti-aging rosehip oil for a natural dose of retinoid, sans the side effects.
If one of the main causes of premature aging is chronic skin inflammation, then it is wise to keep inflammatories out of your life by way of lifestyle choices and the right skin care products. Natural skin care is the best choice for this because the ingredients are not only free of harsh ingredients, but they also contain anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that will reverse the damage that occurs.