What Is Inflammageing And The Sudden Rapid Ageing of Skin?
5 minutes read
Stress speeds up the skin ageing process; this is called ‘inflammageing’ – and it’s becoming more widespread. Beauty Daily finds out all the facts.
It’s inevitable – our skin ages. But when there’s the sudden rapid ageing of the skin, that’s a whole different story. Caused by stress, inflammageing involves skin inflammation and manifests in different ways – yes, eczema, psoriasis and acne can be caused by stress, but add inflammaging to the list too.
When there’s sudden ageing of the face, it can come as a shock. The good news? It’s possible to prevent this extreme type of inflammation. It involves leading a healthy lifestyle, slowing down a pace or two, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture instead of stressing endlessly.
How are stress and ageing connected?
Indeed, both stress and ageing are natural parts of everyday life. The Orlando Clinical Research Centre explains how they are intrinsically linked. “When you’re physically or emotionally distressed, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which help you deal with the stressful situation.” However, “stress accelerates ageing, and ageing causes stress—it’s a vicious cycle.”
What inflammaging means for your skin
Research has proven the link between stress and sudden rapid ageing of the skin. It’s described as “ageing induced by persistent, underlying inflammation that ultimately exhausts the skin’s defence system. This weakens skin structure, results in the degradation of collagen and elastin and impairs the skin’s barrier function.”
- Inflammation is the skin’s defence mechanism, a way the skin protects itself. It accelerates the ageing process when it’s affected by physical or emotional stress.
- Acute inflammation is your skin’s immediate response to stress – this often results in conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
- Chronic inflammation is usually caused by external stressors (bad diet, lack of sleep, constant work deadlines). Inflammaging is a chronic inflammatory response – in this case, skin ageing.
Skin changes caused by inflammageing
Here are some of the main changes you may notice due to inflammaging:
Dehydration: The natural hyaluronic acid in our bodies has one important task: hydrate the skin. But when ageing is accelerated because of stress, skin becomes dehydrated and fine lines and wrinkles appear.
Damage to Fibroblasts: Fibroblasts are the skin cells that produce collagen and elastin. But when skin becomes chronically inflamed, collagen and elastin aren’t produced effectively, so skin loses elasticity and firmness.
Wrinkles: Skin loses its plumpness, resulting in the formation of lines and wrinkles.
Combatting stress-induced ageing
Not only can you reduce ageing from stress, but you can also take preventative measures. Here’s how to age gracefully:
Diet: choose anti-inflammatory foods and supplements
Make eating healthily and drinking water to hydrate your body as natural as breathing. Eating food that lacks nutritional value, like junk food, can cause inflammatory responses to other body parts, not only the skin (we’re talking insulin resistance, an impact on gut health and hormones).
Choose anti-inflammatory foods to help your skin combat ageing. A well-balanced diet does more than reduce the signs of ageing; it also boosts your health and mental wellbeing.
Bolster your diet with a supplement. The Beauty Chef Antioxidant Beauty Boost is a probiotic concentrate that contains antioxidants papaya leaf, pomegranate, green tea and vitamin E to fight free radicals and repair damaged cells. Mix with water or your favourite smoothie; it helps protect from cellular ageing from the inside.
Exercise: whatever makes you feel good
Get that body moving. Less strenuous options include walking, swimming and cycling when the weather’s good or, when it’s cold, using one of the numerous exercise apps for yoga, barre, HIIT, Ring Fit, whatever floats your exercise boat.
Sleep: beauty sleep is real
We often forget how important sleep is to our health. Disrupted sleep plays havoc with your skin and causes even more stress. Research has proved the importance of good quality sleep. When you aren’t well-rested, this shows on your face.
The body needs seven to eight hours’ sleep. If you don’t get enough, this will affect your immune system and make it harder to cope with stress. It can also increase anxiety and depression and can lead you to fetch the biscuit tin – as you’ll crave sugar to keep you going.
Meditation and relaxation: take control
Train yourself to relax through meditation or breathing exercises or find a calming activity or hobby. Make this a routine first thing in the morning or before going to sleep – or anytime you start to feel the pressure build.
Beauty Daily suggests a bit of pampering has a whole host of benefits. Whether that’s a home-spa session or booked with a pro – both will have you levitating in no time. Plus, getting the lymph system moving and the blood circulation going is beneficial in getting a good glow and radiant complexion.
Active ingredients that slow ageing
One of the most effective methods of preventing inflammaging and treating it is using quality natural skincare products. This not only improves your skin’s appearance and minimises the signs of ageing; it also prevents inflammaging from reoccurring.
If your skin is having an inflammageing moment, try not to stress the epidermis further. Take a calm and gentle approach. Avoid hot cloth cleansing regimens, granular scrubs, and super strong retinols. Also avoid hot water, hot steam and hot yoga.
Instead, reach for calming and nurturing products – Beauty Daily recommends the Calm Essentiel range. It’s not only superb for sensitive skin – the formulas have been specifically designed to combat skin dryness, irritation and redness. In addition, there are a minimum of 95% natural origin ingredients in each product plus the key ingredient, clary sage, which is a great anti-inflammatory.
The range includes the Soothing Emulsion, which hydrates and soothes skin and the Redness Corrective Gel, which protects, hydrates and reduces redness. Finally, for intense nourishment, there’s the Restoring Treatment Oil.
“Sampling is a great way to test whether the skincare product will decrease inflammation,” says Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager. “It’s the reason we offer samples so generously – we want people to make the right decisions about their skincare.”
To help fortify the skin and diminish the signs of ageing, McHale recommends using the Extra-Firming Mask, a relaxing, anti-ageing mask that transforms the skin in just 10 minutes. She calls this her “Friday night mask” because “it resets my face for the weekend and makes my skin more youthful and radiant.”
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