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Dealing with Aging Skin October 20, 2021, contributed by Alicia Kneeland-Teasdale

We get older. It’s a fact of life. In my brief and meandering experience, I have found that self-acceptance around the topic of ageing tends to keep the inevitable at bay a little longer. How? Let me explain.

First, we have to look at the skin itself, the reasons we age and the process. Our skin structure is composed of 3 layers – The outer layer (Epidermis), the middle layer (dermis) and the deep layer (subcutaneous). Think of the outer layer as a watertight barrier against the outside world. It is strong but gets its actual strength from the supportive fibres in the dermis. These fibrous structures are called collagen and elastin. They act as tiny rubber bands in the skin to give it that bouncy, soft, supple appearance. When these weaken, the skin doesn’t bounce back to its natural shape quickly or easily. We need these fibres to keep our skin looking youthful. They weaken over time from stretching, drying, UVA/UVB rays, and exposure to the elements.

It's not all doom and gloom, though – I’m not saying that you need to remain motionless in a dark, protected room for the rest of your life to keep youthful skin. I can, however, offer some tried and true tips to freeze time! Let's start with preventative measures in one’s youth - moisture and protective clothing, staying out of direct sunlight for long periods, and a basic skincare routine. Prevention is something that I can advise for the younger individuals out there, but let’s be honest, some of us are past that!

You have heard it before, wear sunscreen! In this day and age, I recommend at least an SPF 30 or higher daily! Many products such as foundations, BB Creams and Moisturizers contain SPF that doesn’t leave your skin feeling as if you slapped on zinc and petroleum jelly – Look for natural, organic, light ingredients and find what works best for you. I have heard some people say that they are allergic to sunscreen, but there are many hypoallergenic options. Talk to a local skincare expert and ask what options they can suggest. If you can find testers or get small samples to try before buying, that is best.

Beauty is pain – sometimes, we have to look worse before we look better. Now, hang in with me here! The body is a miraculous machine that can repair itself when injured. That’s why we can heal a paper cut and never have a scar from it – If visibly scarred from every minor injury, we would be covered in lines and discoloration. This leads us to be able to believe that skin can be damaged without visible after-effects. Controlled damage of the skin activates special cells in the dermal and subcutaneous layers called fibroblast cells. These fibroblast cells regenerate and create new collagen and elastin fibres! The creation of these fibres, in turn, tightens and strengthens the skin from the inside!

Controlled skin damage does not have to be a painful experience – many procedures include a numbing cream before the treatment, and others are inherently pain-free. Physical damage to the dermal layer can easily be done with Radio Frequency, Ultrasonic, micro-needling, IPL photo facial, fractional ablation, or microdermabrasion. Medical grade chemical peels will also get the job done to cause the skin regeneration process to occur effectively.

There are varying degrees that this process can be done. To combat facial lines and wrinkles, one may recommend micro-needling, hydrating spa facials or microdermabrasion. These services are available at most salons and spas. Those mentioned above are reasonable solutions for small delicate areas. Still, individuals who have gone through significant weight loss/gain or a large pregnancy have essentially super-aged the skin from overstretch and need a more comprehensive solution. You may have heard someone say, “there is no exercise for the skin.” As much as that statement is true, sagging skin, stretch marks, bat wings, abdominal area, double chin and cellulite can be treated with modern technologies such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Skin rejuvenation, Radio Frequency and PEMF. (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field). These treatments can only be done by Medical Aestheticians in Medispas.

You can freeze time or even reverse signs of ageing skin by following some of the above tips and suggestions. Talk to a local professional – Stettler has many excellent estheticians working in the local spas, and we have the technology for all your ageing skin needs at Stettler Medi-Aesthetics.

Alicia Kneeland-Teasdale is the Cosmetology Teacher at Wm. E Hay Stettler High School and is the owner of Stettler Medi-Aesthetics downtown Stettler. Alicia has been in the beauty industry for over 25 years and holds a red seal journeyman's certificate, a BEd degree, various esthetic specialization certifications, HHT certification, and is a practicum trained certified Medical Aesthetician. Alicia is a long-time Stettler local and calls White Sands home.

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