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Vegan Anti-Ageing Tactics

Worried about living a vegan lifestyle and still being able to ward off the ageing process of your skin? Don’t be.

As Shonagh Walker discovers, there are myriad vegan anti-ageing skin care solutions on the market, so you can look and feel your best for longer, without concern of cruelty. Because ageing doesn’t happen in one fell swoop – it typically appears slowly, in one form or another (think pigmentation and sun damage, followed by lines and wrinkles and so on), your best tactic is to identify what your skin is most under fire from, and address those issues with targeted plant-based skin care.

1. Pollu-Ageing

“Pollu-Ageing is fast becoming the new beauty buzz word,” says Arbonne National Training Manager Jacinda van Drongelen. “It refers to pollutants that have been affecting our skin daily for many years, most of which we can’t just eliminate – fumes emitted by cars, dust, artificial temperature control and artificial light all have damaging effects on the skin through free radical damage; a process by which our cellular DNA is damaged and our collagen and elastin, the strength and support we need to maintain great skin, is broken down. The result? Skin ageing, lines, wrinkles and degeneration of tissues.”

What to do? “Cleansing your skin morning and night is a no-brainer when it comes to protecting it from the environment,” explains Jacinda. “So is looking after your barrier function with restorative and nourishing products – it’s your skin’s natural first line of defence. Skincare has come a long way from cleanse, tone and moisturise and we can now develop products to help combat the effects of pollution.”

Try:

  • Arbonne Re9 Advanced Brightening Cleansing Foam, $69, and Toner, $59, and Moisture Cream SPF15, $95, www.arbonne.com
  • Arbonne Intelligence Pollution Defense CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF30, $35.20.
  • Arbonne Let it Set Refreshing Finishing Spray with Pollution Shield Technology, $53.
  • Liberty Belle RX Superhero Nutrient Hydrator with Anti-Pollution Barrier, $130, www.libertybelle.com.au

Hint: Also try to reduce time spent on devices. It’s increasingly reported that the blue light emitted from them can detrimentally affect the skin.

2. Pigmentation

Freckles, sunspots, melasma – all can be a concern for anyone who has spent time in the sun or may be experiencing hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause. There are other culprits, too.

“When it comes to pigment, we tend to only think along the lines of sun damage, however, hormones, trauma to the skin, inadequate nutrition and medications can all contribute to pigmentation,” explains Jacinda. “No matter what is triggering it, all pigment is produced in the same way. When skin is under fire, your melanocytes (pigment producing cells) inject melanin into neighboring skin cells to protect your DNA (your cell’s nucleus from damage).

“This is a completely normal skin function, however in the case of hyperpigmentation, your melanocytes have been aggravated into behaving in a hyperactive manner and begin injecting excessive pigment into the neighboring skin cells, resulting in uneven skin tone and dark spots.”

The solution?

First and foremost, look at what could potentially be triggering hyperpigmentation. Pigment is always best tackled holistically.

“It needs to be a multipronged approach,” stresses Jacinda. “We need to treat pigment whilst preventing further pigment from occurring. Exfoliation is beneficial in increasing the cellular turnover and lifting off dead, dull, pigmented skin cells.

“Eating a balanced diet filled with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables to provide your skin with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will help, teamed with topical application of products high in antioxidants such as vitamin C.

“Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants you can put on your skin and it’s well known for its brightening abilities, helping to diminish the appearance of dark spots, improve the appearance of skin tone, and revitalise the look of skin’s radiance.”

Next, reach for the SPF and your beautiful sun hat and oversized sunglasses to protect skin from stress when you’re out and about. If it is still troubling you, there are various laser treatments available, such as Clear + Brilliant (www.clearandbrilliant.com) that can effectively treat the problem.

Try:

3. Expression Lines

These dynamic lines are caused by repetitive muscle movement when we smile, frown, or grimace, and they are basically unavoidable. The only thing that will erase them are wrinkle relaxing injections. However, you can minimise their appearance with clever skin care.

“Years of expressing emotions when we smile, frown or squint form these lines that come and go with the expression,” explains Jacinda. “Think: smile lines, crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and frown lines. Once we relax our face, the expression line usually relaxes, and it is no longer noticeable. However, over time with gradual loss of collagen and elastin, dynamic lines will eventually become ‘static’ lines and will be permanently etched in our skin.

“Whilst we do not want to stop the ageing process completely – your expression lines are a testament to your life story – most people would like to age gracefully.”

Enter, self-care and skin care.

“First and foremost, make sure you get quality sleep every night to give your skin the optimal chance to repair and rejuvenate itself. Sleeping on your back can help prevent the repeated nightly pressure on the side of the face and a silk pillowcase is also beneficial in reducing pressure and friction between your face and the pillowcase, reducing repetitive sleep lines.

As well as quality sunblock, a night cream that delivers essential nourishment and hydration into the skin is non-negotiable. Finally, don’t forget your eye cream – not only will it spare you from new crow’s feet, but it can help to brighten under eye circles and minimise puffiness.

“Look for ingredients such as peptides, hyaluronic acid, essential fats and antioxidants,” says Jacinda.

Try:

4. Wrinkles and Furrows

Otherwise known as static lines, these are present when your facial muscles are relaxed – when you’re not smiling, laughing or frowning.

“Over time our collagen and elastin production declines (slowing down a dramatic sixty-five percent between the ages of 20 and 80),” reveals Jacinda. “Our skin loses its strength, support and its ability to be able to bounce back. Gravity, premature and chronological ageing and free radical damage are the main contributors to static lines.”

Jacinda’s tip?

“Protect your collagen supply and guard your skin from excessive sun exposure with an SPF wear a hat and sunglasses. The sun causes ninety to ninety-five percent of lines and wrinkles. Along with UV, pollution, stress and smoking all cause free radical damage and are the most detrimental factors to our healthy collagen supply and lead to ageing, so watch out for these, too!”

Fillers are a sure-fire way to bring volume back into the hollowed areas of the face and can produce a totally natural result. However, should you not wish to take that path, there is skin care that can help prevent the wrinkles from becoming deeper and perhaps prevent more occurring. “Invest in a good neck and décolletage cream, too,” advises Jacinda. Skin care doesn’t stop at the neck!

Try:

5. Sagging

Unless you have been through a dramatic weight loss journey, sagging skin is a result of the ageing process and a breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, reveals Jacinda.

“Elastin, like collagen, is a connective tissue giving skin its elasticity, resilience and flexibility. It allows your skin to return to its original shape after stretching or contracting. Over time your collagen, which provides your youthful plumpness and support, and your elastin declines.

“Skin gets thinner by a staggering six percent every 10 years and then (as if things couldn’t sound any worse) there’s gravity. I would love to be able to say there was a magic cream for sagging skin but aside from face yoga, your best bet (as mentioned above), is to look after your collagen supply, avoid excessive UV exposure and wear a hat and sunglasses.”

Invest in a good skincare routine with products containing ingredients like peptides, essential fats and antioxidants and collagen boosting vitamin C.

Try:

Lifestyle and Beauty editor Shonagh Walker

 

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