Aging is inevitable. As we get older, our bodies’ natural aging processes kick in, causing the skin to sag and fine lines and wrinkles to set in. It’s a fact of life. But, did you know that time only accounts for 10% of skin changes? The remaining 90% is caused by external influences that accelerate the aging process. Read on to learn about three sources of environmental aging and how you can protect your environmentally stressed skin from external damage.
Skin aging is caused by two distinct processes: intrinsic and extrinsic aging.
Intrinsic aging is the natural and continual aging process by which cellular and biological functions slow. Over time, the skin’s strong, fibrous and elastic matrix begins to weaken, inhibiting skin cell turnover and contributing to hyaluronic acid, elastin and collagen depletion. As these essential compounds diminish, the skin loses the strength and resilience associated with a healthy and youthful complexion.
While intrinsic aging is unavoidable, extrinsic aging is more easily preventable. It is caused by a set of external factors that accelerate the aging process, including lifestyle choices like smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise, as well as environmental stressors like pollution, blue light radiation and UV exposure. These sources expose the skin to free radicals and oxidative stress which contribute to inflammaging - a process whereby chronic inflammation brought on by external stressors causes the skin to age prematurely.
There are three main environmental factors that contribute to premature skin aging: pollution, blue light and UV exposure. Here is a closer look at each one.
One of the major threats to healthy and youthful skin is air pollution. Urban living puts us in direct contact with particulate matter (PM), a complex mixture of harmful contaminants that wreak havoc on our complexions. Evidence increasingly shows a connection between long-term PM exposure and premature aging; in fact, studies have shown that a greater degree of PM exposure is associated with a larger number of dark spots and more pronounced nasolabial folds (smile lines).
How does this happen? Well, these minute particles expose the skin to free radicals that actively break down hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin. When these become weakened, they lose the ability to keep skin hydrated, firm and elastic. Without a strong and secure structure, skin loses its density and bounce; it begins to loosen and sag and fine lines and wrinkles set in.
With the increasing adoption of new technology, blue light has become another factor to consider in skin aging. Blue light emits from many sources, including the sun, our cellphones, computers, TVs and even lightbulbs. According to Eminence Organics International Trainer Brian Goodwin, we are typically exposed to blue light for 13 hours a day; over time, this daily exposure compounds and poses a serious threat to skin health.
Blue light’s short wavelength is associated with higher energy output and a greater potential for damage. In 2010, research by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found more pigment, redness and swelling in skin exposed to blue light from the sun than skin exposed to similar levels of UVA rays. In addition to triggering inflammation and redness, blue light stimulates the production of free radicals (which we know are major culprits of premature skin aging).
Sun exposure plays perhaps the biggest role in aging our complexions. The sun has several different types of rays (including blue light) but those that cause the most concern are UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin’s layers, exposing otherwise healthy skin to damaging free radicals. UVB rays, on the other hand, penetrate only the skin’s outermost layer where they interact with melanocytes (the cells that are responsible for skin pigmentation). Melanocytes are your first line of protection against sun damage; when they are exposed to the sun, they release melanin. This protective pigment absorbs UV rays and shields the skin’s deeper layers from sun damage. However, overexposure can lead to an overproduction of melanin, which presents as dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Minimizing exposure and adjusting your lifestyle habits are your best defense against the aging effects of environmental stressors. However, you can also adjust your skin care routine to provide additional protection and keep the appearance of your skin looking healthy and youthful.
You can enhance your skin's health with additional antioxidant-rich ingredients that replenish your skin and protect it from the drying effects of environmental pollution and sun damage.
Vitamin C is one major antioxidant ingredient that keeps your skin looking bright, healthy and glowing! Incorporate Vitamin C into your daily skin care ritual with our Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum. It’s loaded with ingredients like avocado, hyaluronic acid, botanical ferulic acid and citrus oils which offer antioxidant benefits and intense hydration that helps the skin look firm and plump. Vitamin C from lime juice also tones and balances the skin. You can try a product like the Lime Refresh Tonique if you’re after an antioxidant-rich toner that helps the skin looking fresher and balanced.
Perhaps you have mature skin? You’ll love the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque, a cream-gel formula enriched with potent Vitamin C and antioxidants for skin that appears smooth and firm. This nutrient-rich mask is designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Birch water, snow mushroom and reishi mushroom are other ingredients that deliver essential moisture and nutrients as well as minimize the visible signs of aging brought on by pollution, blue light and UV rays.
Birch water is a powerhouse sap that is found in our Birch Water Purifying Essence. Natalie calls it "nature's sports drink" for its beneficial blend of electrolytes, flavonoids, amino acids, proteins, enzymes and vitamins. Not sure how to add a facial essence to your skin care routine? Check out this article for our how-to guide on what is an essence.
Adaptogens are another must. These mushrooms, plants and herbs have roots in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, where they have been used for thousands of years due to their restorative and balancing properties. Perhaps the most famous adaptogen is the reishi mushroom. Also known as the "mushroom of immortality," this 'shroom contains over 400 bio-active compounds with rejuvenating properties. You can find reishi mushroom and snow mushroom (another powerful adaptogen) in the in the Snow Mushroom & Reishi Masque.
Does your skin show the effects of environmental aging? Visit an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you for a customized routine to protect your complexion.
This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Whether we’re shielding our skin from the sun or protecting it from the aging effects of gravity, sometimes it feels like our complexion is under attack from all sides. And with the increasing adoption of new technology, we can add one more aggressor to the list: blue light. This type of light comes at us from multiple sources - not only does blue light come from the sun but also the screen of your cell phone, computer, flat-screen TV and the majority of light bulbs. In short, our skin is exposed to a potential source of damage for a large part of your day, every day. Here’s all the information you need about whether blue light is harmful and what you can do about it.
Blue light is simply light on the blue end of the visible light spectrum, falling within the wavelength of 400 to 450 nanometers. This is a short wavelength which has a higher energy output and unfortunately, can cause greater damage. As already mentioned, blue light is not only found in sunlight but just as importantly, it also emits from the electronic devices now integrated into most people’s daily lives. According to Eminence Organics International Trainer Brian Goodwin, we are “typically exposed to blue light for about six hours a day between your cellphone and computer screen.” With the long, daily duration of exposure and the high potential for damage, blue light could be the next enemy number one for our skin health.
Blue light first started receiving a bad rap when people noticed its link to poor sleep. Late night hours in bed scrolling through your phone resulted in restless nights, and scientists soon discovered why. According to Harvard Health, blue light at night suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that affects the circadian rhythms that schedule your sleep / wake cycle. With a sleep cycle out of whack, many people don’t get enough sleep, leaving them open to health problems like depression, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
A restful night is not the only thing at risk. Blue light exposure to the eyes was one of the other potential problems that professionals first pinpointed. Health magazine tells us that the cornea and lens don’t filter out blue light so it goes right to the back of the eye. And a University of Toledo study discovered that blue light “transforms vital molecules in the eye’s retina into cell killers which damage the retina,” resulting in conditions like macular degeneration. Although experiments were only conducted in a lab setting and not on eyes, the potential for harm to eyes from blue light appears problematic.
With blue light making waves in the area of sleep and eye health, it’s no surprise that potentially harmful effects have been discovered for skin health as well. Unlike other environmental stressors for the skin - like sunlight and UV rays - there’s no heat, no burn. However, don’t let the lack of immediate effects fool you. Dr. Shari Marchbein, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at New York University, tells Allure magazine: “Visible light, especially in the blue wavelength, has become a hot topic in skin care, as there is mounting evidence that supports its contribution to photo-aging, including wrinkles, worsening skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation.”
Visible light, especially in the blue wavelength, has become a hot topic in skin care, as there is mounting evidence that supports its contribution to photo-aging, including wrinkles, worsening skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation.
Academic researchers like the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found in 2010 that exposing skin to the blue light we receive from the sun caused more pigment, redness and swelling than when the same person’s skin was exposed to similar levels of UVA rays. Supporting this is another study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, which concluded that exposure to blue light could stimulate the production of free radicals in skin, a major cause of premature visible signs of aging.
So, if we know that blue light is a danger to our skin, how does it actually cause harm and what are the effects? When blue light stresses the skin, it reacts by producing inflammation, leading to swelling and redness. Also, free radicals are produced which harm the skin by damaging the DNA and resulting in weakened collagen and elastin. With compromised collagen and elastin, the skin becomes uneven and forms lines and wrinkles. Free radical damage also causes hyperpigmentation, leading to more signs of aging like dark spots. In summary, Brian outlines our body’s alarming reaction to blue light: “The skin responds by immediately protecting itself with inflammation which gives signs of swelling and redness … This sets off a chain of other events that presents symptoms in the skin such as hyperpigmentation and a quicker breakdown of collagen and elastin.”
Counteracting the potential harm that blue light can wreak on our skin health, researchers are turning to botanical solutions like cocoa seed extract. Skin care experts have discovered that this extract is one of the best ingredients for shielding the skin from blue light damage because it helps block the skin's blue light receptor cells. A decrease in activity in these blue light receptors lowers free radical damage and boosts collagen and elastin production in the skin. Another bonus? Cocoa seed extract is packed with antioxidants, which also help neutralize free radicals.
Part of our Lilikoi Mineral Defense Collection, the Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer SPF 23 - formulated with cocoa seed extract - is an ideal step for improving the look of skin suffering from blue light stress as well as protecting the skin from sun damage. Adding this lightweight primer to your daily routine defends your skin from all angles - it protects against UV rays with mineral SPF, helps counteract the downsides of technology use and minimizes the appearance of damage from free radicals.
Not only does this mineral primer help with the appearance of a complexion exposed to blue light, it also adds subtle illuminating properties with a no-white cast finish, so the skin looks healthy and radiant. For full protection, layer this primer after applying our Lilikoi Mineral Defense Moisturizer SPF 33 and use in addition to our Lilikoi Mineral Defense Sport Sunscreen SPF 30. Find out more about Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer SPF 23 and blue light stress at your nearest Eminence Organics partner spa.
What do you find most alarming about blue light? Let us know in the comments below or share with us on social media.
When experts in the skin care industry recognize our mission to produce extraordinary products, we can only say this: We are honored. In the past few months, we have won accolades ranging from the Beauty Shortlist Awards in the UK to the NewBeauty Magazine Awards. Here’s a rundown on the skin care products that are attracting these top honors and why they’re winning.
Winning a clutch of awards within months of launch, our Acne Advanced products took the top spot with several honors. The DAYSPA Professionals Choice Awards and the Beauty Shortlist Awards recognized our Acne Advanced Collection this year, especially our Acne Advanced 3 Step Treatment System. Including our Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam, Clarifying Masque and Clarifying Hydrator, this system uses natural and botanical actives for a proven organic solution that treats and prevents acne. Whichever type of acne that you are treating, Acne Advanced products are effective for removing impurities, minimizing pores and leaving the skin looking clear and feeling refreshed.
NewBeauty Magazine’s Beauty Choice Awards singled out the Acne Advanced Foaming Cleanser for special mention. Winning the coveted title of Best Skin Care Product For Acne, our Acne Advanced Foaming Cleanser is a unique liquid-to-foam cleanser that provides lightweight cleansing action, preventing acne breakouts and clearing blocked pores. Cleansing the skin perfectly without overdrying, this product leaves your complexion clean and clear.
Looking to uncover a bright and glowing complexion? We have the best skin care products for exfoliation, as approved by international industry awards.
Perennial favorite Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant won in the most recent Spa & Wellness Mexicaribe Product Awards for Best Exfoliator. This fine scrub includes rice powder which absorbs oil while lactic and salicylic acids remove dead skin cells. Infused with delicious-smelling strawberries and rhubarb, this exfoliant leaves the skin polished and smooth.
If you’re looking for a two-in-one exfoliant and cleanser, the UK-based Beauty Shortlist Awards named our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser as the Best Exfoliating Cleanser. This milky gel cleanser is packed with AHAs which slough off dead skin cells without manual exfoliation. The Lactic Acid Complex in the formulation removes surface buildup, only leaving smooth and radiant skin behind.
Hydrate from head to toe with our body care products, recently voted as the best of the best by skin care experts. Industry professionals selected our Stone Crop Body Lotion as their favorite body lotion in the Dermascope Aestheticians’ Choice Awards - and we’re absolutely thrilled! Formulated with stone crop, this lotion helps reduce the appearance of age spots and skin blotches,resulting in visible improvements with regular use.
If you’re looking for a richer body product, you’ll love our Apricot Body Oil, recently selected as Best Massage Oil in the DAYSPA 2019 Professionals Choice Awards. Luscious in scent and texture, this oil brings a soft and supple texture to the skin.
Whatever your skin type, facial oils are essential for adding nutrition to the skin while sealing in moisture. Loaded with benefits for the complexion, our Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil and Facial Recovery Oil won over expert judges for two different awards in 2019. Winning the LNE & Spa’s Best Product Award for Best Facial Oil, the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil blends rosehip, jojoba and seabuckthorn oils into a treatment that provides intense hydration and protection. After use, dry skin is soothed and the complexion looks firm and plumped.
Our Facial Recovery Oil also earned kudos - the product won big with the Beauty Shortlist Awards where it was named an “Editor’s Choice” product. A cult favorite, with fans that include Cameron Diaz, Facial Recovery Oil hydrates and tones in multiple ways. From treating signs of aging in the neck area to the look of uneven skin tone, this award-winning facial oil works wonders for all skin types. Watch our In The Mix video above for more tips on enjoying our multi-use Facial Recovery Oil.
We’re incredibly proud of our team-members as well as our products, and this year, we were thrilled when the Dermascope Aestheticians' Choice Awards voted our International Trainer, Brian Goodwin, as Best Brand Educator. A Master Medical Esthetician, Master Herbalist and Consultant with over fourteen years of experience, Brian specializes in trainings that are passionate, fun and educational. As an Eminence Organic trainer, he has educated and consulted for over 2000 distinguished spas.
If you want to find out more about these and other awards we’ve recently won, learn more on our Awards page. Have you experienced our award-winning skin care? Find out more by visiting your nearest Eminence Organics spa. Or, if you’re a spa owner, learn more about how you can partner with Eminence Organics.