Our skin versus the environment

Every day, your skin faces a battle with free radicals in the fight against premature ageing. The best defense against this daily onslaught? Powerful antioxidant and Vitamin C protection.

It’s a little scary to think that every day there’s a war raging on your skin and that from the moment you wake, there are factors at play that will determine the way in which your skin ages.

Over time the skin’s structure, function and appearance changes due to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are largely out of our control and include genetics and metabolism; however extrinsic factors are, for the most part, environmental and to some extent, easier for us to exert control over, such as UV radiation exposure, smoking, air pollution, diet, stress and sleep.

The structure of our skin

Our skin consists of different layers; on the outer, the ‘epidermis’; the complex inner layer the ‘dermis’ and finally the hypodermis. The skin’s dermis contains the dermal matrix, which includes collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid that provide the skin with its structural framework and give skin elasticity.

Collagen gives the skin its strength and structure. It is constructed of strands of Procollagen (fibrils) twisted around each other like a rope.

Elastin is the protein in the body’s connective tissue that provides elasticity. It’s function is to allow tissues to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin strands form more of a web-like structure within the dermal matrix.

What is Free Radical Damage?

It has been reported that over 80 per cent of premature skin ageing is attributed to these environmental aggressors, mainly due to damage known as ‘oxidative stress’. The damage and imbalance caused to the skin by highly reactive molecules is called ‘free radicals’.
These pesky free radicals subsequently cause damage to our skin cells, including their DNA. Over time, this damage accumulates and expresses itself visibly as signs of ageing including fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness and loss of skin elasticity.

How does Vitamin C help?

Hero ingredient Vitamin C Is loved the world over by dermatologists and skin care professionals. Helping to reduce visible signs of ageing by supporting collagen synthesis, often damaged by free radicals, Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) has a firming and smoothing effect while strengthening and protecting the skin.

With so many Vitamin C products on the market, how do choose the one that will work and that will be right for you?

The answer is to look for pure L-ascorbic acid which penetrates further into the skin and a product that has a scientifically proven delivery system. After all, there’s no point in putting Vitamin C on your skin if it cannot penetrate deep enough to have its effect.

We recommend Ultraceuticals Ultra C range that includes a 10% and 23% formulation. They contain the powerful messenger peptides Microelastin and Microcollagen to help stimulate skin rejuvenation and renewal, while the Ultra C23+ Firming Concentrate has a CSIRO developed delivery system to ensure it penetrates deep enough to have its maximum effect. The Ultra C Firming Eye Cream is also a fantastic product to smooth and plump lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

Overall, Vitamin C is a must have ingredient to have in your skincare regime to use on a daily basis in the fight against ageing.