Just when you thought you’d conquered every possible skin issue, along comes a new foe: inflammaging. Though the term is a relatively recent, science-based concept in skincare, the idea of inflammation has been well-documented across all medical fields. Inflammaging refers to the link between inflammation and aging (inflamm-aging); that is, when you experience inflammation, your cells can undergo an accelerated aging process.😱
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural, defensive response to harmful agents like stress, infection, or injury, and can be found in different parts of your body within various organs. Clinical advisor to Parallel and Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Gary Motykie, says, “Inflammation is the underlying cause of many illnesses and autoimmune disorders. Even something relatively small, like acne, is considered inflammation.”
An inflammatory response may be triggered by internal factors (stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition) or external factors (UV rays, pollution, smoking). If an inflammatory response persists, it can develop into chronic inflammation.
How inflammation happens on the skin is a multi-level process. As mentioned above, inflammation may be caused by internal and external stressors, such as a poor diet and exposure to UV rays; additionally, it can also be caused by imbalances in the skin microbiome. The result is often visible, premature aging of the skin. Cue: fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmented age spots, sagging skin, blemishes, redness, and/or dryness.
Chronic skin inflammation
When the skin’s cells are in a state of chronic inflammation, they can’t rejuvenate or build collagen and elastin: “Underlying inflammation that is consistently present is the opposite of anti-aging - it’s harming your skin. Underlying inflammation compromises the skin’s functionality and breaks down your own collagen and elastic, which accelerates the overall aging process,” says Dr. Motykie.
In short, your cells can’t perform the processes that keep your skin looking healthy and radiant. Bye-bye gorgeous glow. With chronic inflammation, your skin may develop lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation earlier than normal. But worry not; there’s hope. Understanding how inflammaging occurs, and how to maintain a healthy skin microbiome, can help you preserve your youthful complexion.
What is the Skin Microbiome?
Your skin is home to trillions of bacteria, fungi, mites, and other microbes that make up a microbiome. A healthy skin microbiome protects against invading pathogens that can cause skin infections and other issues. Therefore, if you have an imbalance in your skin microbiome, you may experience breakouts, blemishes, and redness.
What Role Does Bacteria Play in Inflammaging?
Push up your glasses for a science lesson. Bacterial-based skin issues like acne, eczema, and rosacea are major drivers of inflammation and premature aging. The bacterium, Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes), which lives on the skin and in the pores, can cause breakouts that contribute to inflammaging. Certain strains secrete proteins that break down skin tissue and hyaluronic acid.
As a result of these attacks, the skin can’t heal or regulate inflammation; it becomes locked in a cycle of tissue damage, inflammation, and premature aging. When the skin is simultaneously exposed to external stressors, the aging process is accelerated.
To combat inflammation and premature aging, it’s crucial to determine which microbes are responsible for your flare-up.
How Can You Combat Inflammaging?
You’ve heard this before, but protecting your skin really does start from within, so you should drink plenty of water, eat well (whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals), and maintain good sleep hygiene. Alongside these self-care practices, you should adopt a targeted, personalized skincare regimen. Choose products that are rich in antioxidants, contain SPF, and help fight the specific bacteria that are harming your skin. When you use products that balance your skin microbiome, harmony can be restored, resulting in strong, supple, and resilient skin that you can noticeably see and feel.
The Future of the Skin Microbiome
To fight against inflammaging, Parallel has developed a first-of-its-kind, controlled skin sequencing test that helps you understand your unique skin microbiome, so you can understand what’s happening on your skin and take action. We conduct ongoing research on how the skin microbiome can promote an anti-aging effect. Our dedication to cutting-edge science helps us develop and iterate on the best, most targeted microbiome skincare for optimal skin health and radiance. If you’re interested in being part of the community, sign up HERE.
· Inflammation can accelerate the aging process – this is called “inflammaging”
· A skin microbiome imbalance can cause or exacerbate inflammation
· Understanding your unique skin microbiome is crucial to fighting premature aging
Based on the most advanced technology available, Parallel has developed the most effective skincare diagnostic, as well as clean, targeted skincare products for your unique skin microbiome type (available in 2022 - sign up for the waitlist!).
In the meantime, opt for natural skincare, hydrate (both in and out), eat healthy foods with beneficial ingredients, and avoid harsh chemicals and products that do damage to your skin microbiome.
If you’re interested in learning more, sign up to join the Parallel community. All members gain access to our proprietary skin microbiome test, as well as opportunities to obtain discounts, participate in cutting-edge research, and get personalized microbiome products before anyone else.
A parallel world lives amongst us: the microbial world. This world impacts not only our lifespan, but also our healthspan.
Our mission is to empower people with real science to make meaningful decisions to improve their healthspan.
Parallel is a microbial diagnostics and next-level skincare company that aims to revolutionize skin health by providing deep insight and true personalization, through best-in-class testing and targeted, clean microbial formulations.