We all hit an age, whether it be younger or older, where we begin to get concerned with signs of aging appearing on our faces. Throughout this article we will be focusing specifically on facial drooping and sagging, how to prevent it from happening, slow the process down or even reversing some of the damage already done.
What is sagging?
Sagging is defined by the loss of collagen and elastin, muscle tone and fat. These physical tissue breakdowns lead to the appearance of drooping and sagging skin.
How does it happen?
Sagging can happen on three different tissue levels. In some severe cases it will be apparent that all three levels have been affected.
Starting with the top most outer skin layer, the epidermis layer, it is a loss of collagen and elastin. These are the tissues that make up the skins thickness and elasticity. With the loss of these tissues you will begin to see fine to deep lines and sagging of the skin.
Beneath the skin layer are the facial muscles. If the muscles begin to become loose and start to lack tone then just like the muscle in your arm it becomes weak and drops or hangs.
Last layer is the fat layer. Fat is needed to make your face and cheeks appear full and healthy. A loss of fat can appear as gaunt and drooping.
The appearance of facial sagging can be cause by the breakdown of one or all of these equally important layers of the skin.
What encourages the tissues to breakdown?
One, or a combination of the following can cause these important tissues to breakdown and become weak. The sun can burn and kill collagen and elastin creating a leathery look and over time the skin will sag and thin out and become transparent. A poor diet can also be a contributing factor. Certain vitamins such as Vitamin A & C as well as proteins are the crucial building blocks for collagen and elastin growth and health. A low fat/no fat diet can force your body to eat the stored fat cells, some of which make up that plump, fullness of your skin. Think of baby's cheeks with all the fat, collagen, and elastin and how that changes as the person ages. Vitamins are just as important in topical skin care, making sure you are using skin care products that contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Peptides and good oils. The skin is semi-porous, meaning it will absorb what you put on it. This is how you feed your skin with the nutrients it needs. There's a saying that goes, "if you don't use it you lose it". That same rule applies to your facial muscles as well. If you don't work your muscles and stimulate the tissues then they become slack and lose their tone and strength. Lack of moisture, always, ALWAYS stay hydrated! Just like dehydrated fruit, if your remove all the moisture and juice, it dries up and the skin becomes loose and wrinkly. This goes for your skin cells as well, with an adequate amount of water the cells will remain plump and are able to function optimally.
How do we prevent our skin from sagging and how do we keep our muscles toned and strong?
And if I am already experiencing some of these signs and don't want injections, lasers, or surgeries, what are my non-invasive options?
There are MANY non-invasive options available to you that can be customized to you and your skin and lifestyle needs. With all natural Anti-Aging Facials and Products, Peels, NUFACE, Facial Lifting Acupuncture and even at home Massage Techniques, who needs to "go under the knife"? The consistency in which you perform these practices will affect the results you will achieve. We are not about some magic trick, the fountain of youth or the immediate results of a surgical facelift. Changing anything for the better the correct way always takes some time and a little patience.
The first golden rule is wear sun protection! Always be aware of the level of sun exposure you are receiving because the UV rays of the sun destroy collagen, elastin, and other skin tissues. Wear sun glasses, hats, light, breathable, protective clothing and always apply and re-apply natural sunscreens. Eminence has many sun care products ranging from Tinted Moisturizers (Tiffany our Office Manager's favourite moisturizer), low oil SPF moisturizers, body lotions and even an easy to carry, easy to apply powder "sticks". Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup is another great option as some of their foundations contain an SPF of 15 or 20. Making it easy to integrate it into your everyday regime without adding extra steps!
Next, always feed your skin inside and out! Proper nutrition as we mentioned is very important for growing and maintaining healthy skin. Collegan, elastin, healthy fat, and muscles all depend on your maintaining a healthy consistent diet. To help you along the way we have a Holistic Nutritionist that can answer any questions you may have and to work with you to build a nutrition plan that will work for you. The skin only receives an estimate of 4% of what you consume internally so applying the nutrients and natural oils directly to the skin has been proven very effective in achieving positive results. Our natural boutique is full of many different products in all price ranges that will provide just what the skin needs.
We just brought in this new, exciting, micro-currant machine called the NUFACE. NUFACE has made hand held micro-currant machines that stimulate better circulation, and allows for a deeper, more effective, product and vitamin absorption. It stimulates cell growth like collagen and elastin, and helps lift the skin and muscles. They have perfected them for use in the spa and for continual use at home a few times a week to every night.
There are even manual facial lifting exercises that you can utilize at home, for free! These exercises work the muscles and stimulate them to tone and lift. Over time they will tighten and therefore lift and firm your skin. Just like going to the gym for your face!
Please book yourself a Complementary Skin Care Analysis with a professional here at The Natural Art of Skin Care if you need more one on one time to decide what products and options will work the best for you. You can also pop in any time the reception and boutique is open to ask our knowledgeable staff and questions or concerns you may have.
We hope this answers a few of your questions and sends you in the right direction. If you want to learn more we will be covering this topic more in depth at our Facial Lifting Seminar here at the Spa October 21, 2013 (see poster for details)
Owner of The Natural Art of Skin Care and Medical Esthetician