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skin ageing - cause and prevention

Cause & Prevention


At Medik8, we understand the intricate, interconnected causes of skin ageing. We believe its important to embrace ageing as a natural part of life. But the good news is we also know how you can take years off and attain beautiful skin for life with just a few simple steps.

Causes of skin ageing

While the natural ageing process is genetic and sadly can’t be halted, we can influence the external factors which speed up the ageing process and leave us looking older before our time. Our lifestyle and environment are huge factors in how we look and are some of the main causes behind premature ageing. Medik8’s core philosophy not only helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, but also tackles the existing signs of ageing, leaving you with a youthful-looking, future-proofed complexion.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight cause up to 80% of the visible signs of ageing we experience.* UVA (those that age the skin) and UVB (those that burn the skin) can penetrate deep into the skin, causing DNA damage and creating harmful free radicals which degrade collagen. The result is cells that are no longer able to regenerate and protect themselves. This leads to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, uneven tone and texture and sagging skin.
*F. Flament et al., Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 2013, 6, pp 221-232
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that have an unpaired electron. Deprived of an electron, they look to complete their pair by stealing an electron from other molecules. Our body has a natural defence system of antioxidants, which gives free radicals a spare electron to stop them doing damage to our skin cells. When there are more free radicals than antioxidants, the skin becomes overwhelmed in a process called oxidative stress, where it cannot protect itself fully from free radical damage. The radicals can attack collagen molecules, cellular DNA and cell membranes to weaken them. This makes cellular regeneration difficult; leading to sagging and wrinkled skin.

Many factors contribute to the levels of free radicals in your skin, particularly pollution and UV. Pollution comes in many different shapes and sizes: cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, tiny particles in the air and ozone can seep into the skin and trigger free radical production. Blue light from screens is very similar in wavelength to harmful UV light and has been found to cause hyperpigmentation and free radical damage. IR (infrared) radiation derived from sunlight also penetrates the skin and has been found to cause free radical production and even collagen degradation.
One of the least recognised factors in ageing, glycation is caused from accumulated sugar from the diet. Excess sugar molecules bind themselves to collagen and elastin fibres creating advanced glycation end products (A.G.E.s for short). As a result, the collagen is deformed and cellular turnover is reduced which leads to sagging, devitalised skin.
Smoking triggers an uprising of free radicals which cause excessive damage. They intensify the effects of sun exposure, leading to skin ageing before your time. Even stress can accelerate cellular ageing. Lifestyle choice can greatly impact skin and living mindfully is an important factor to take into consideration to prevent premature ageing.
Your body’s response to injury, infection or irritation, inflammation can be chronic and long lasting. Often not visible on the skin’s surface, inflammation can be caused by UV, smoke, pollution, irritants, toxins, alcohol and a whole variety of other stimulants. Inflammation ultimately leads to free radical production which causes cascades of damage to skin cells.

Preventing skin ageing can be an uphill battle, but Medik8’s core philosophy provides you with a bulletproof strategy to fight all its signs...

Wake up and put on your vitamin C. Able to stimulate collagen production, block the production of pigment and provide an urban shield from free radicals; vitamin C has all your anti-ageing, pigmentation and protection needs covered. C-Tetra® provides super-stable vitamin C delivered in our hydrating, nourishing serum – the perfect start to your morning. Our extensive range of vitamin Cs cover a broad range of formulas, textures and power levels. Find the right vitamin C for you here.
As one of the biggest factors in the ageing process, wearing a high protection sunscreen every day is the most important preventative measure against premature skin ageing. Sunscreens provide a shield between your delicate skin and harmful UV rays; preventing the damage caused to skin cells. All Medik8 facial sunscreens provide a minimum of broad spectrum, SPF 30 protection in beautiful, lightweight textures which you wouldn’t even guess were sunscreens. Add SPF 30 Physical Sunscreen onto the end of your morning routine, or take a look at our sunscreen guide to pick a sunscreen which suits you.
The gold standard in anti-ageing, a skincare routine is not complete without the addition of an evening vitamin A. Working to restore skin from daily damage, vitamin A speeds up cellular renewal, enhances collagen synthesis and helps prevents hyperpigmentation. As the most effective anti-ageing ingredient we have a developed a wealth of choice in vitamin As - after all, we are the ‘Experts in Vitamin A’. All our vitamin A products have sophisticated, intelligent formulas to slot right into your night time routine. Our brand new Crystal Retinal 6™ provides you with the latest in vitamin A technology, or Retinol 3TR™ could be the classic vitamin A serum you’ve been looking for. Take a look at our vitamin A guide to ensure you pick the perfect one for you.
Our Advanced range of moisturisers covers your back in terms of 360 degree, daily protection to top-up your skincare routine. Glycation, blue light, infrared, pollution - we’ve got you covered. Learn more here.