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We know what our skin looks like during the ageing process, but what's actually happening underneath where we can't see?

Nutrimetics International Product Development Director Annis Won sheds light on some of the lesser known facts about the skin ageing process, and reveals her tricks to combat them.

1. What happens to the skin during the ageing process?

Cells of the outer layer of your skin undergo a daily cycle of shedding and regenerating. When you are young, your skin cells turn over quickly, but that turnover rate begins to slow as you age. As a result, your skin begins to look dull.

Collagen and elastin also affect how young skin looks. They give your skin elasticity and plumpness, but they also need to be replenished. As you get older, that replenishment process slows as well. As a result skin is less elastic, less firm and will start to show fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.

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2. Environment Vs Genetics - which has more sway in the ageing process?

Personally, I believe that it is 70:30 - that is, 70% environment, 30% genetics. Some lucky people are born with skin which genetically does not age quickly. On the other hand, some people have more delicate skin that tends to develop wrinkles easily.

People with lighter skin tone are more prone to photoageing because their skin contains less melanin (pigment) compared to people with darker skin tones. Genetics control how quickly the ageing process unfolds.

However, I truly believe environmental factors and individual lifestyles definitely have more sway in the ageing process. The majority of us are born with healthy supple skin. As we age our skin becomes less resilient to various environmental influences and lifestyles. I believe around 70% is down to how we live.

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3. Which environmental factors affect skin ageing the most?

The main signs of premature aging are attributable to dehydration and sun exposure on the skin. Lifestyle is another important factor. Smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet, lack of sleep and stress can all contribute to premature ageing of the skin.

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4. What kind of active ingredients should we be looking for in anti-ageing products?

It is extremely important for consumers to be smart and pinpoint their specific skin concern and to choose the correct active ingredients.

With the increasing interest in anti-ageing skincare, the number of anti-ageing products available on the market can be overwhelming and choices of active ingredients are vast.

In general though, look for products with an SPF factor for your daytime moisturiser and products with Peptides, Vitamin C, AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) or antioxidants.

Peptides help reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Vitamin C helps to boost collagen in your skin, AHAs help the skin’s natural renewal process and antioxidants protect the skin from environmental damage.

5. Can diet/health affect skin ageing? How? Any best-kept secrets there?

Definitely. One of the main causes of skin ageing would be imbalance of nutrients in the skin. Although dietary nutrients may not reverse skin damage that has already occurred, it will help in nourishing skin in order to prevent further damage. A healthy balanced diet provides a rich supply of antioxidants which help protect and repair your skin.

Secrets? My best tip is to eat fruits and vegetables with the peel on where possible, as this is where all the good vitamins and antioxidants are stored.

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6. If you had to pick one thing to do to help skin ageing, what would it be?

Just one? Night Crème and Facial Masques - the optimum time for biological skin regeneration is at night, so getting a good night’s sleep is highly recommended.

However, we know this is difficult for busy mums or busy people in general.

The best kept secret would be to take advantage of this natural body cycle and use a good treatment night crème and use a facial masque. The new serum-infused paper masque technologies on the market today make it so quick and easy to use and benefit from masque treatments. Likewise, using a night crème will help you wake up refreshed and with glowing skin.

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7. What are your 5 sure-fire ways to combat skin ageing?

- Avoid sun exposure (especially between 10am-4pm) and wear sunscreens or moisturiser with SPF.
- Keep your skin hydrated. Apply a good moisturiser and avoid prolonged exposure to dry conditions like heaters and air-conditioners.
- Maintain balanced diet and get a good night’s sleep.
- Ensure you cleanse thoroughly every morning and night and also use an exfoliator, masque or light peeling products periodically to promote the natural cell renewal cycle, especially at night time.
- Analyse your skin concern and find the most effective treatment which specifically targets your concerns.

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Annis' Top Nutrimetics Products:

Try Restore Intense Anti-Ageing Night Crème 60ml, RRP $60.00. In independent clinical trials over 28 days, 100% of women reported a reduction in wrinkles.

For a masque, try Ultra Care+ Facial Rejuvenation Kit 4 Masques RRP $39.00, a pack of four serum-infused masques each formulated to target a specific concern: Detox, Firming, Hydrating and Brightening.

Peptides and Vitamin C are found in our new Restore Anti-Ageing Serum 30ml RRP $65.00. It is so effective, 94% of women said they would recommend this product to a friend*

AHAs are found in our Ultra Care+ Facial Peel Crème 50ml RRP $59.00, a night treatment that dissolves away blackheads, blockages and dullness to reveal a complexion glowing with clarity and radiance.

*Results based on consumer testing over 28 days.

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