Inflammaging, a new baddie on the block
Inflammaging is a chronic condition that creeps up on our skin. It's little known or understood. But one thing's for sure - it slowly, but surely causes our skin to age prematurely. Over time, tiny inflammations attack our body tissue and reduce our cells' immune response. The result? Dehydrated skin, sagginess, wrinkled face... Does that mean we'll all suffer from inflammaging? Well, no one really knows, not least because it discreetly runs awry with age. It's the reason why Americans have named it 'The Secret Killer'! It's true that if we look younger than our age, it could mean that our body is less affected by inflammatory conditions. And whilst any skin type can suffer from chronic inflammation, sensitive skins are the ones that really bear the brunt.
Inflammaging can be caused by environmental pollution, UV rays, stress, illness, lack of sleep, rough sports and poor diets that produce oxidants and their damaging free radicals. Being a chronic inflammatory condition, treating it is complicated. Our bodies have to deal with attacks on all fronts and when our systems are overloaded, small, chronic inflammatory responses are activated. Over time our bodies and our skin begin to suffer.
The cosmetics industry has been tackling inflammaging for a while, by concocting soothing treatments that contain rose or aloe vera, antioxidant active ingredients that are packed with vitamin E and anti-inflammatory formulae; although oxidation and inflammation are two separate issues, they do come hand in hand. The good news is that nowadays experts are able to identify different causes of inflammation and better treat irritated skin.
Here are four golden rules to keep inflammaging at bay:- Get moving. When we excercise our muscle fibres produce anti-inflammatory mediators.- Get your beauty sleep. A lack of sleep can provoke inflammatory conditions.- Chill out. Try some yoga, gardening, grab a book - anything to get back your zen.- Eat the right foods. Pile your plate with vegetables packed with a variety of antioxidants and inflammation-busting nutrients.