Mira here again.
I use my love for the science behind skin and extensive research to demystify skincare and analyze marketing claims. You may know me as Skin Science by Mira as well as the admin for the NEWA Beauty Facebook community where I share content and answer your questions.
Aging is a complex biological process and facial aging is no exception. NEWA as a brand blends research with medical grade technology and I’m happy to be featured on the blog again as we discuss this topic. Understanding what’s occurring as we get older means we can better prevent premature aging - and feel confident in using NEWA radio frequency at home.
At the same time, aging is an inevitable and natural process. There’s no wrong way to approach it. If you’d like to learn more about how it works or want to see what you can prevent at home then keep reading!
Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Aging
Before we launch into how aging impacts the different facial tissues, we have to understand the two different types.
Extrinsic Aging aka Photoaging
- the primary form of skin aging
- caused by environmental factors like UV radiation and other visible light from the sun, pollution, and smoking
- upwards of 80% is due to the sun specifically
- mainly preventable
Photoaging can be identified by coarse wrinkles, loss of elasticity, increased laxity, and a rougher appearance to the skin. Age spots can also occur. We can prevent the bulk of it with correct sunscreen usage and antioxidants but once sun damage is present it can be very difficult to fully reverse.
Intrinsic Aging aka Chronological Aging
- a physiological process that occurs internally, influenced by genetic and metabolic factors
- for women, hormones also play a vital role (particularly during menopause)
- visible in areas of the skin protected from the sun and significantly impacts other facial tissues
Chronological skin aging is characterized by finer wrinkles, dry skin, slower cell proliferation in the epidermis (top layer of the skin), and a gradual atrophy of the dermis (deeper skin layer). Because it’s a result of internal processes, it occurs in areas not exposed to the sun too.
Aging in the Facial Tissues
It’s easy to only think about skin since that’s what we can see with the naked eye. But facial aging also involves the subcutaneous tissue (fat), muscles, and bones too!
Because our skin acts as a barrier and is our most superficial organ, it’s exposed to daily assault from our environment. This means that unlike most tissues, aging is primarily environmental. This is a good thing though because that means it’s preventable.
The skin is composed of two layers: the epidermis and the dermis.
The epidermis is continually creating new skin cells which are pushed outwards toward the surface, ending up as part of the skin barrier before they’re shed. This process is called cell proliferation (the terms cell turnover or renewal may be more familiar with you) and it slows down with age. The skin cells that make up the skin barrier also lose their uniform shape, impacting barrier function.
The structural integrity of the dermal epidermal junction, located between the skin layers, is impacted by photoaging especially. This further contributes to fine lines and wrinkles. Meanwhile, the collagen and elastin fibers that make up the dermal matrix are degraded by UV radiation and formation of new fibers slows down with age. The dermis especially is why more mature skin can be thinner and is lacking firmness and elasticity.
For women, menopause and the subsequent decline in estrogen hormones has a pronounced effect on our skin too. Collagen loss increases in the dermis while less hyaluronic acid is produced in the epidermis - making skin look dull, dry, and less plump.
Facial Fat Compartments and the Aging Face
Subcutaneous tissue (or fat) is often forgotten when we think of facial aging, despite being the most significant factor in the visual changes that occur.
As we age, facial fat compartments lose volume as well as support. Starting in the center of the face typically, the fat pads will herniate and begin to sag.
Some of the most common complaints like jowling, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and hollowing under the eyes are actually a result of fat redistribution - not skin.
Changes to the Facial Muscles and Bones
While not as significant as the subcutaneous fat and skin layers, other tissues like bones and muscles are affected by the aging process.
Repeated muscle movements are responsible for dynamic wrinkles in the skin, the type of wrinkle that’s mostly present when you’re making facial expressions. These repeated muscle movements may also help contribute to the redistribution of fat we discussed. Muscle loss also appears to occur with age.
Age-related bone remodeling, particularly bone loss, can change the structure of the face. This can also mean less support for the soft tissues over top.
NEWA Radio Frequency and Other Home Treatments for Facial Aging
Skin is mainly what we can safely target at home. Since photoaging can largely be prevented, we will cover the most proven essentials of any skincare routine.
But since skincare is largely good for prevention, what about existing signs of skin aging? That’s where NEWA will come in.
NEWA uses radio frequency, a researched technology, but they’ve done additional research on the device itself too. Still, no treatment can make up for not having a basic skincare routine in place. NEWA won’t be as effective if you’re going out into the sun without sunscreen for example and undoing all your hard work. You also won’t get ideal conductivity during treatments without proper cleansing and a good moisturizer.
Sunscreen and tretinoin are considered the “gold standard” when it comes to skin aging and prevention and should make up the foundation of any anti-aging routine.
Morning skincare basics:
- Gentle cleanser
- Vitamin C serum
- Broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen
Evening skincare basics:
- Thoroughly cleanse skin of sunscreen
- Tretinoin or other retinoid
- Moisturizer, ideally with niacinamide
Collagen Induction with NEWA
We lose about 1% of our collagen each year and this number increases after age 40 - and even further with menopause. Skincare alone isn’t enough to not just slow this down, but reverse it. Enter NEWA.
The resistance of the skin to the device’s current generates heat. This contracts the collagen fibers for a temporary tightening effect and triggers the formation of new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid in the dermis over time.
NEWA can increase dermal collagen by 4% in 3 months, 4 years worth of collagen loss for many women under 40. The other changes discussed also makes the skin thicker, firmer, and more elastic.
Now, I do want to add that just because we cannot reposition sagging fat pads at home doesn’t mean we can’t reduce their appearance. When your NEWA device thickens the skin, this makes deeper aging related changes less visible.
There are a lot of devices on the market but NEWA is one of the proven. Microcurrent is a less proven technology in comparison but used with NEWA, can help improve muscle tone and better help with sagging. Click here to see the NEWA blog post on this.
Interested in NEWA? Use code “mira10” to save 10% off your order.