Today I want to address a situation I have encountered in the esthetic room…I was assessing a client’s skin and told her she had rosacea. And true to what I believe…Thank you Rick Simcock for instilling in me “Don’t come to me with a problem if you don’t have a solution”, I gave her a solution…watch her diet and use the Carrot Seed and Evening Primrose oil we have at the SPA. No I am not trying to sell a product, I am trying to give her a solution as there are other more expensive products I could have directed her to. Her answer was “I don’t know why people always want to fix my red cheeks…I like my red cheeks”…Great, glad you do…however…do you know what happens when you have inflammations anywhere in the body, in this case your face?? You age…Here is the breakdown of what happens…Ill get a little geecky here so bare with me…
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury, infection, or irritation.
The purpose of inflammation is to contain an injury and clear out the infection. It prevents the spread of infection and prepares the tissue for wound repair.
Inflammation occurs when tissue has been injured or abnormally stimulated. There are two kinds of inflammation: local and chronic. We are talking about rosacea so we will be focusing on chronic. Local has to do more with temporary irritations caused by say…burns or insect bites.
What Causes Inflammation?
Inflammation can be caused by a variety of stimulants that are physical, chemical, or biological in nature.
- sunlight (UV)
- cosmetic ingredients
- chemical irritants
- physical trauma
- bacteria and viruses
- diet (foods that elevate blood sugar)
- adverse weather
The stimulant triggers free radicals, which in turn starts an extremely destructive chain of events, called the inflammation cascade.
In the first part of this cascade, the free radicals activate the release of arachidonic acid, which starts the chain. After a series of steps, white blood cells (leukocytes) are transported to the site of injury.
At the end of this cascade, a group of enzymes called Matrix Metallo Proteinases (MMP’s) are released.
Matrix Metallo Proteinases (MMP’s) are enzymes that break down tissue. After an injury or ‘insult’ to skin, the body’s natural response is to destroy the injured tissue and create new tissue. MMP’s are needed for remodeling skin in wound healing.
This make sense if there is a real wound, such as a cut from a knife. But it is not a good thing if ‘normal’ skin with low-level, chronic inflammation is broken down.
And how exactly do MMP’s affect skin with chronic inflammation? MMP’s break down healthy collagen and elastin fibers as well as GAG’s (Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) Glycosaminoglycans, known as GAGs, are polysaccharides that exist naturally in the dermis of the skin as natural moisture factors that bind nearly 1000 times their weight in water. The most commonly known GAGs are hyaluronic acid and dermatan sulphate.and other connective tissue).
These MMP enzymes literally chew them up, leading to disorganized and clumping fibers. And you can guess what happens next. Collagen, elastin, and GAG’s that have been degraded lead to a thin, flattened dermis. Skin ages. MMP’s are also responsible for the acne scar pitting that is caused by acute inflammation.
Beginning in our third decade, MMP’s begin to degrade collagen and elastin. This is accompanied by a decline in new collagen production. The net effect of the two trends is an increase in wrinkles and sagging.
Skin is ALWAYS subject to inflammation, because free radicals are unavoidable. But we can control it.
Immediate Effects of Inflammation On Skin:
- Cracked skin
- Dry patches
- Spots (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
- Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs)
- Vitamin C
- EGCG (in white and green tea)
- Chlorella vulgaris (upregulates all four TIMP’s)
- Boswellia serrata (suppresses the effects of elastase)
- Lupine (suppresses the effects of collagenase)
- Evening primrose
- Carrot seed oil
Anyway, I hope I have scared you enough to think next time you look in the mirror and say “I like my red cheeks”. Although they might look cute…they are anything but…As always though…I do have a solution. Just call me…You know where to find me. It takes me two seconds to assess your skin and suggest some amazing products and who wants to age faster than we have to??
Thanks for reading this and for your commitment to better your life!