The first signs of ageing.
Long before we notice any loss of facial volume, lines and wrinkles appear.
For me, it was 1985. What’s this? I pondered, as I peered into my reflection. Out of the blue, a barely perceptible line appeared on the left side of my face, the line etching the exact location of where facial folds appeared as I smiled.
Bemused by this little crease. Could it be a wrinkle?
Of course, I knew the perils of the sun and despite studying to become a beauty therapist, I didn’t really understand the ageing process as I do now, nor did I believe my little wrinkle was, well, a wrinkle. This happened to other people.
But still. My first wrinkle!! Self-obsessed? Me? Never! Okay, maybe just a bit.
Thankfully (for me at least), there was no Instagram or Facebook. Zoom? Are you kidding? Science fiction! Beauty influencers? Nope. Ah yes, those were the days—living life without the constant pressure of the insta-selfie.
How does a wrinkle form?
Typically, once our facial expressions relax, the facial folds and lines around the mouth, known as dynamic wrinkles, disappear; however, my little wrinkle had become what’s known as a static wrinkle and appeared after years of smiling or other facial expressions. And even after my facial expression was no longer active, the crease/wrinkle remained. How disturbing!
With constant facial expression, the elastin in the skin loses some of its flexibility. Like a birthday balloon whose smooth surface is lost once deflated, our elastin stops bouncing back into shape.
It’s no surprise that anti-wrinkle injections to minimise facial expression are popular.
Compound this loss of elastin with a short supply of collagen, the protein that gives your skin its strength and structure? Bam! That initial wrinkle of expression becomes more pronounced and permanent, and the surrounding skin begins to sag signalling the beginning of facial volume loss.
The depth of wrinkles and early onset of sagging skin depend on how well your collagen and elastin are preserved.
Skin ageing is also associated with loss of skin moisture in the epidermis layer of the skin.
But, hold on before jumping up for another glass of water; the skin moisture I’m referring to comes from a specific molecule known as hyaluronic acid (HA), a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) with a unique capacity to bind and retain water.
The role of hyaluronic acid and the skin.
In the big, bold skincare world, hyaluronic acid (HA) is associated with many and various moisturisers and serums to plump up dehydrated or ageing skin.
However, despite the plentitude of serums to plump up your skin, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural substance found throughout the body.
It keeps the skin looking smooth and plump, whereas, in other parts of the body, such as the joints, eyes, and other tissues, it provides natural lubrication.
But, even though it’s abundant in the body, fifty per cent of hyaluronic acid is found in the skin, giving it volume and bounce and providing a cushion against impact and injury.
Think of it this way. Next time you trot out in that new pair of shoes and then hobble home with a blister? That fluid forming within your blister is signalled by hyaluronic acid in the surrounding tissue to provide a cushion between you and your shoe to minimise the injury and speed up the healing process.
So, if you want your skin to look voluminous and healthy, it’s pretty important to maintain the hyaluronic acid naturally occurring in the skin! Right?
Unfortunately, as we age, the hyaluronic acid found in the top layers of your skin begins to decrease resulting in a loss of skin moisture.
The natural ageing process and external factors like the sun, which activate free radical oxidation, mess up the cellular processes that keep the skin bouncy and youthful.
Is topping up with a hyaluronic serum going to help?
Hyaluronic acid in skincare has become a multi-billion dollar skincare ingredient. It will appear in various forms, from inexpensive sodium hyaluronate to hydrolysed hyaluronic acid, a gel-like substance used in dermal fillers to fill the underlying skin where a wrinkle has formed.
Before you run for the next big thing in hyaluronic acid, wait. The myriad of HA serums and other clever hydrating formulations feel amazing, especially if your skin looks tired and dehydrated.
Still, that instant hit of hyaluronic acid is not a long term fix for the loss of volume or the absence of hyaluronic acid in the deeper layer of your skin.
It’s worth noting hyaluronic acid pulls water or moisture towards itself, usually from the atmosphere which can lead to a constant craving for more moisture.
In dry environmental conditions where there’s little moisture in the air, hyaluronic acid will pull from below leading to more dehydration in the skin.
5 skin saving solutions for facial volume loss.
1. Active Skincare.
One way to combat the loss of moisture in the skin and maintain the flexibility of the skin is to apply an occlusive moisturiser on top of your hyaluronic serum, or even better, skip the hyaluronic acid serum and opt for other long-term solutions such as a combination of lactic acid, retinol and vitamin C topical skincare.
Retinol: Has a significant role in reducing the signs of ageing and sun damage and increases hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin. Add this to the already established activity of increased collagen, elastin and cell proliferation, and retinol provides a multi-functional topical for skin ageing, photodamaged skin and a loss of facial volume.
Lactic Acid: Well known for its exfoliating capabilities when used consistently will increase the activity of Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the skin. Which means more hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Vitamin C: Plays a crucial role in the health and longevity of the skin so topical retinol with vitamin C booster serums or cream, will support the cellular activities that produce hyaluronic acid.
2. Skin-boosting injectables.
While I’m not an advocate for dermal fillers, as I’ve seen too many mishaps, hyaluronic skin booster treatments may be an alternative and a great way to hydrate, nourish, rejuvenate and improve the overall density in the skin.
Unlike dermal fillers, which create volume, smooth away wrinkles and change the shape and contour of the face. Skin boosters are micro-injectables placed inside the skin rather than underneath, giving the skin a more youthful, healthy and plump appearance. Skin Booster Injectables are carried out by cosmetic health care professionals, and you can expect to pay around $700AU per treatment.
3. Stay out of the sun.
Hyaluronic acid is part of the skin’s wound healing response and is activated when you overexpose your skin to the sun, as in the case of sunburn. However, the long-term effect of UV radiation exposure and photo-ageing damages the processes that produce hyaluronic acid.
If you want to maintain the hyaluronic acid in your skin, make sure you’re appropriately protecting your skin from UV radiation.
Every day, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect the skin from the oxidation caused by the sun damage that degrades the hyaluronic acid that naturally occurs in your skin.
Like a birthday balloon whose smooth surface is lost once deflated, our skin stops bouncing back into shape.
4. Skin Nutrition.
In particular, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C can help maintain cellular activities to produce hyaluronic acid.
A magnesium deficiency can contribute to low levels of hyaluronic acid. While ensuring you’re eating foods rich in magnesium is recommended, the body absorbs 30 – 40 per cent from the foods you eat, so consider a daily supplement of magnesium. For more on magnesium, you might like this article.
A diet deficient in zinc will also decrease the production of hyaluronic acid and contribute to facial volume loss. You’ll need around 8mg a day to support your skin health, and you’ll also find the quality of your hair and nails improves.
Specialised cells in your dermis known as fibroblasts produce hyaluronic acid to keep the skin bouncy and voluminous. They can only do this with an adequate uptake of vitamin C.
As you can only obtain vitamin C through your diet, consider including low sugar fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and other colourful vegetables for your daily dose to help slow down facial volume loss.
Of course, your body needs a constant supply of vitamin C, and you may want to boost your intake with a Liposomal Vitamin C supplement, which ensures better biological absorption.
LED Light therapy activates skin cells, but more importantly, LED Light activates your mitochondria, and that’s an excellent thing.
Mitochondria are organelles found within every cell in your body, including your skin cells. They are an energetic powerhouse responsible for giving your cells the energy to do everything they need to do.
In your skin, the improved mitochondrial output will assist in the better functioning of fibroblast cells responsible for collagen, elastin, and yep hyaluronic acid production to give your skin a more youthful appearance.
Phew, that’s a lot. But worth it if you want to maintain facial volume for as long as possible.
Cue happy face!!
And now you?
Do you have concerns about facial volume loss? Or, perhaps this article could help someone you know, click below to share on your socials. Or, if you’ve got more questions you can get in touch with me here.
See you next time,