How to age gracefully

Skin Care Matters

with Michelle Vernon

Sunday, March 19, 2017    

Print this page Email A Friend!

Many of us are in a fight against ageing. Not so much for our vanity either, but for our overall health. We constantly hear about ways to stay young: Eat right, exercise, stay out of the sun, take care of our skin.

But there are some random things that cause ageing that we may not be fully aware of.


A majority of deep wrinkles on our face as we age are actually caused by how we sleep. A major cause of this is due to pillowcases that don’t allow our skin to move, but actually causes it to crease. Cotton and synthetic fabrics stick to our skin so that while we sleep, our skin doesn’t budge.

Whats’s the best way to avoid pillowcase wrinkles? Use a 100 per cent silk pillowcase or train yourself to sleep on your back.


Women who tend to sleep on their side are most likely to see deep lines appear on their chin and cheeks. Our cells have memory. When our skin is etched with a line from smiling, squinting or sleeping on our side where our face is squished, our cells create scar tissue to protect that spot.


Stress, especially emotional trauma, causes our cells’ lifespan to shorten at a faster rate. Cellular regeneration, as we all know, is the key to having young, beautiful and supple skin.

Stress also releases free radicals, which increase oxidative damage to our cells. Free radicals are responsible for a majority of health-related issues from which the body suffer. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals from attacking the body. So if you have a high-stressed life, please be sure to stack up on your antioxidants.


When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol to give us extra energy to get through the day. While that sounds great, cortisol can actually accelerate the ageing process by breaking down skin cells, among other things. When cortisol is released, it is essentially communicating to our body to stock up on more fat, increase our appetite, and break down materials that can be used for quick energy.

Our skin cells fall into that category. Cortisol tells our body to use energy from our cellular regeneration, which can cause damage to our skin cells.


Picture a desert with cracks in the mud from a lack of water — that is your skin dehydrated. Many of the fine lines you see can be visibly less noticeable if hydrated properly.

What does this mean? It means hydrating not only topically, but also internally. Make sure to drink plenty of water also if you are dehydrated, use creamy cleansers and moisturisers that are right for your skin type.


Sugar causes a process known as glycation, which is when two collagen fibres cross-link, making them unable to repair. The results are hardened collagen tissues which loses elasticity.


Coffee and caffeine lower the production of DHEA. DHEA is referred to as the ‘youth hormone’.

Production of DHEA starts around the age of seven and starts declining in our 30’s. DHEA is important for mineral metabolism, energy levels, and sexual and reproductive functions. When it comes to ageing skin, DHEA has been found to increase epidermal thickness, regulate sebum production, increase skin’s hydration, and decrease pigmentation.

There are many causes of ageing, some more obvious than others. It is important to live a balanced lifestyle, eat right and stay calm.

Life is a beautiful thing and our bodies are a gift. Taking care of our bodies not only reflects on how we see and feel the world around us, but also affects our skin, which is our face to the world.

When we feel good and look good we are more confident, which in turn leads to happiness.

Michelle Vernon is a licensed aesthetician who operates the Body Studio Skincare located at 23 Central Plaza, Kingston 10, and Fairview Shopping Centre, Montego Bay. She may be reached at telephone 908-0438 or 684-9800; IG@bodystudioskincare; E-mail:; Website:





1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Do you believe Dr Peter Phillips will be a better People's National Party (PNP) president than Portia Simpson Miller?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon