Inflammation: Does it age us?

Inflammation is a hot topic in the skin care world.

Largely because of its effect on our bodies, our skin, and the way we age. When our skin is inflamed, it can show in the forms of redness, sensitivity, acne, rosacea, and many others.

The truth: we all have some level of inflammation in our bodies – especially during stressful times in our lives. Inflammation is a response of the body’s defense mechanism. It’s when the immune system recognizes and eliminates harmful and foreign stimuli and begins the healing process. The good news is our body naturally responds to it, the bad news is that our bodies can lose control and get stuck in what we call a pro-inflammatory state.

The term we use to explain inflammation as it relates to aging, and more specifically in this case, to our skin, is called: inflammaging. It’s chronic low-grade inflammation that ages us – and it can age us quietly, rapidly and prematurely.

While the exact causes of inflammaging are still being studied, researchers believe that it is a result of several factors which can include, but is not limited to:

  • stress and anxiety
  • chronic infections
  • exposure to environmental toxins
  • UV exposure
  • lifestyle choices: poor diet; inactivity

Inflammaging has a sneaky way of making our skin look older than it should, which is why we’re bringing awareness to it here in The Beauty Room. Today, we’re breaking down the different types of inflammation and what we can do to counteract its effect and restore a youthful glow. It’s important to understand how you can tackle inflammation in your body and keep it at bay so you can love the skin you’re in for a long, long time.

First, how inflammation affects the skin is important to understand. Not all inflammation is bad. And we need to know this.

Acute skin inflammation can last for a few hours to a few weeks. Usually, most acute inflammation resolves within a few weeks. Some forms are acne, sunburns, hives, blisters, etc. Chronic low-grade inflammation like redness, sensitivity, acne, and rosacea – can last for much longer if left untreated. As we age, the more susceptible we are to free radical damage, and it can be difficult to jump off the pro-inflammatory hamster wheel. Chronic inflammation varies in severity due to the cause of the injury and the ability of the body to repair and overcome the damage. Every BODY is different, as is their threshold for inflammation.

As we mentioned above, some inflammation is OK. Our bodies respond to injuries with a short burst of it, actually – which kickstarts our body’s natural healthy healing process. Think of some of our skin care treatments: lasers, peels, retinoids, and microneedling. They all work by damaging the skin just enough to incite a short inflammatory response. When it comes to skin care, the normal inflammatory process clears out the bad stuff and stimulates collagen production. With the proper guided treatments by our expert skin care professionals, we help our bodies work for us to achieve our aesthetic goals.

So, what does an anti-inflammaging routine look like?

Here are six things you can incorporate into your daily, weekly or monthly routines to help stave off inflammation:

  1. Take healthy bites: Eating a healthy diet rich in healthy fats, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
  2. Hit your steps: Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight
  3. RELAX: temper emotional stress with techniques like meditation and yoga.
  4. Fight free radicals: Reduce exposure to environmental toxins by avoiding smoking and air pollution; fight these free radicals by choosing clean products in clothing, cleaning, and beauty categories
  5. Get those pearly whites checked: good oral hygiene to prevent chronic infections like periodontal disease.
  6. Consider do-no-harm skin care: we want to see you on the best products you can possibly use for YOU. If inflammation is something you struggle with, we don’t want to add to the fight. Our licensed aestheticians will introduce you to brands we carry that are excellent at giving you results while being gentle on your body’s systems.

Inflammaging is a complex process that occurs as a result of aging and several other factors. There are many positive lifestyle choices that you can make to help reduce the risk of inflammaging and promote healthy aging. If you’re starting to notice inflammation-related skin conditions, schedule a consultation with our medical aestheticians. Our experts will assess your skin to get a good understanding of what is going on and how best to treat it. Let us help you enjoy healthier, happier skin.