Children have near perfect skin as they have excellent repair capabilities and low sebaceous gland activity. As we reach adolescence, and become young adults, there is high sebaceous gland activity and an increase in pore size, along with a slight reduction in the dermis’ repair processes, immune system, collagen production and skin hydration, resulting in the possible beginnings of fine lines by our mid-twenties.
Between the ages of 25-45 the first signs of wrinkles start to appear, coupled with a small decrease in skin elasticity that results in slight sagging. Dermal repair decreases in so creating a reduction in collagen production, and there is a significant drop in skin hydration. Your skin also now has accumulated a significant amount of damaged connective tissue from a combination of age, diet, sun damage and other environmental factors (e.g. smoking), not to mention stress.
Middle-aged skin starts to appear more wrinkled, has a rougher texture and we develop sagging around the eyes and cheeks. Brown spots may also now be noticeable. The skins ability to repair and protect itself continues to decrease and here is general thinning of the skin and the skin becomes drier.
From around the age of fifty-five the dermal repair mechanisms are almost entirely defunct, there is now an abundance of damaged connective tissue, erratic pigmentation production, and a severe decline in collagen, elastin and sebum (oil) production that lead to drier, wrinkled and sagging skin.
The following properties are what is considered to constitute healthy skin:
- Smooth – for skin to have a smooth healthy texture requires an effective exfoliation process and keratin to give strength and a healthy glow to the skin.
- Firm – Collagen and elastin production is essential to keep skin tight and lifted.
- Even tone – no pigmentation and an even tone are signs of healthy skin, denoting that your pigment producing cells (melanocytes) are working regularly ad evenly for a smooth complexion.
- Hydrated – Your skin has its own moisturising resources that are turned off by regular high-street moisturisers, paradoxically leading to dehydrated skin. Healthy skin does not require moisturisers to replenish the skin – it should have its own moisturising factors and a firm barrier protection to keep moisture in.
- Strong – Healthy skin should be able to resist free radicals and inflammation, thereby protecting the skin from damage.
- Disease free – healthy skin does not suffer from acne, rosacea, melisma etc.
ZO Skin Health products
ZO skin health provides a comprehensive, systematic approach and range of solutions to:
- restore and maintain skin to a healthy state
- correct sun damage & pigmentation
- preventing new damage
- protecting against future damage
This is achieved via a three step process:
- Getting Skin Ready
- Prevent & Correct
Getting Skin Ready
Healthy skin starts with the basics, looking to restore skin back to its most healthy, balanced state through three simple measures:
- Cleanse – this removes surface debris and normalises skin.
- Exfoliate – enables epidermal renewal, improves circulation and enhances product penetration.
- Tone – controls sebum, restores pH and enhances product penetration.
Prevent + Correct
Through correction, stabilisation and stimulation of both the epidermis and dermis of the skin, this step seeks to keep skin healthy and prevent future damage and, where specific skin concerns already exist (e.g. acne & rosacea, pigmentation, signs of anti-ageing). Products designed to target repair and restoration can be employed and introduced to your daily skin care regimen.
The goal of correction is to improve the epidermis through the use of topical agents. Stabilisation then enables the skin to renew and strengthen itself. A stable and healthy epidermis maintains the barrier function that provides resistance against external and internal damage, restores hydration, optimises natural exfoliation, alleviates inflammation and controls melanin production which aids defence against damaging UV rays. A stable dermis provides anti-ageing benefits through optimal hydration balance, collagen and elastin repair, improved circulation and improves and maintains skin texture and tone.
Each normal cycle of skin cell turnover is around six weeks. In order to correct existing skin conditions and signs of ageing, it will take three cycles (approximately eighteen weeks) of committed treatment to achieve correction, following which maintenance treatments will be recommended and further treatments as and when required.
During the correction step of skin rejuvenation, skin will likely become itchy, red and sore, especially during the first two six-week cycles, as the active ingredients get to work on your
skins cells. This is a normal reaction, not an allergy, requiring a degree of determination to get through. This can be helped and made easier with the use of hydrating and calming products that reduce the severity of reactions and irritation, increase skin tolerance and accelerates skin hydration from within.
Aside from age, genetics, diet, smoking and stress, the single biggest factor that ages skin and adversely affects skin health is damage from Sunlight. Sun protection is therefore vitally important as part of your daily skin care regimen. When selecting a sun protection agent, you ideally want to be using a Factor 30 agent during the autumn & Winter months, and a Factor 50 agent during the spring and summer months, and any winter sunshine holidays you may be lucky enough to have. When selecting a sun crème, you ideally want an agent that Triple protects against:
- UVA & UVB rays
- High-Energy Visible (HEV) light
- Infrared-A (IR-A) rays