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What is Ageing?

We begin ageing the moment we are born. Evidence of this natural process is reflected most visibly in the quality of our skin. The effects of ageing become apparent in early adulthood, steadily progressing through middle and old age.

For many, this reminder of our ultimate mortality is undesirable; hence, billions are spent every year to reduce the impacts of ageing on the skin.

DermaQuest™ Skin Therapy views facial rejuvenation and age management as a constantly evolving art and science. Only one group of products mentioned in this website - AHAs - was in mainstream use in the early 1990s! Even within the next few years, more sophisticated performance ingredients will be available, allowing even greater customisation of treatments to client needs. Formulating new products goes hand-in-hand with the development of new ingredients and technologies. This is our practice and our goal at DermaQuest™ Skin Therapy.

What is ageing?

The skin progresses over time from beautiful, radiant, and well-functioning to rough, dry, wrinkled, sagging, and usually hyperpigmented. Age-related changes occur for many reasons, but much of the change is dictated by basic genetics. Genetic-based ageing is called intrinsic ageing. Since each person’s genetic program is unique, everyone ages at his or her own rate. However, other factors affect the skin’s appearance. Environmental factors, health, nutrition, sun exposure, and stress can all intensify the normal effects of ageing. These impacts are called extrinsic ageing.

Genetically based ageing causes biochemical changes in collagen and elastin, the building blocks of tissue in the skin’s dermal layer that provide firmness and elasticity. Collagen forms the structural network of the skin and is the most abundant protein in the body. It is one of the strongest proteins in nature and provides strength and durability in the skin. As collagen deteriorates naturally, the skin becomes thinner. Elastin is similar to collagen, but is a more supple protein and maintains the skin’s elasticity - its ability to stretch and then return to its former shape. Elastin provides the matrix that holds individual skin cells in place. Loss of elastin causes the skin to lose its tautness and its ability to return to its former contour after being stretched. Sagging is a visible indication of damaged or lost elastin.

The loss of collagen and elastin manifests as thinner, rougher, drier, less responsive skin, and wrinkles. As a result, the epidermis collapses into the damaged dermis. This process also loosens underlying support of the skin’s subcutaneous fat layer. The fat that is left succumbs to gravity and moves to lower areas. Reduced firmness and elasticity cause the skin to sag and look less taut, with deepened wrinkles and a rougher surface.

Extrinsic ageing can hasten and exacerbate intrinsic ageing. Extrinsic ageing caused by sun damage and other factors can increase the rate of intrinsic ageing from collagen and elastin damage in the dermis. Many scientists believe that photo-damage causes up to 90% more damage to skin than genetically programmed changes. Cigarette smoking contributes dramatically to harmful biochemical changes in the skin. Similarly, poor nutrition, stress, and illness also take their toll.

DermaQuest™ clients have wide-ranging issues with their skin, but they all share a common desire to turn back the clock. Significant progress has been made in the science of skincare, enabling powerful treatments to slow and, in some cases, even reverse the damage that time, the environment, and lifestyle habits have caused. New products, techniques, and procedures offer the possibility of beautiful, rejuvenated skin at every stage in the ageing process. DermaQuest™ Skin Therapy is committed to product and treatment innovations that vigorously combat signs of ageing in the skin.

Recent skincare innovations have shattered the conventional wisdom that topical products don’t work. Many of the most effective skincare ingredient and product innovations did not exist as recently as 5-10 years ago, although important basic treatments have been in use much longer (glycolic acid products are an example). DermaQuest™ Skin Therapy products include cutting-edge performance ingredients, giving physicians and estheticians the effective tools they need to help their clients fight the ravages of time. In addition, even more powerful formulations are in development at all times in our laboratory.

Chronological ageing

As we age, we experience gradual changes in skin tone. Many factors influence the effects of ageing on the skin, including genetics, nutrition, environmental factors, sun exposure, stress, and quality of skincare. Ageing proceeds over the course of our lives in a pattern known as “chronological ageing.” The following is an overview of the appearance of chronological ageing of the skin:


Most people in their twenties enjoy plump, healthy skin with few fine lines except for inherited features such as dimples and laugh lines. Though many still struggle with acne, it is usually manageable with good skincare habits and appropriate intervention, depending on severity. Prevention is the keystone of a skincare regimen, and “cleanse, moisturize, and sun protect” is this decade’s skincare mantra. Time and effort invested in skincare now brings less evidence of ageing later in life. Regular home use of a high-quality cleanser and moisturising product, including an antioxidant and a minimum of 15 SPF sun protection, are essential prevention tools for the 20s age group. Weekly home exfoliation with a mechanical exfoliation scrub is important to maintaining vibrant skin.

Monthly deep cleansing facials with anti-oxidant treatments are the recommended professional treatments.


Fine lines begin to appear around the mouth and eyes. Most clients in their 30s are beyond acne, but adult acne may appear due to hormonal changes and stress. Age prevention skincare is more important than ever at this point. Dermal building and hydration home care are important now. Use of skin nutrients, antioxidants, moisturizers, hydrators, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen ensures greater success over time in the battle against ageing skin. Deep cleansing facials with an enzyme exfoliation and a sodium hyaluronate-based hydrating mask with anti-oxidants is the recommended facial treatment for this client. Mechanical exfoliation at home is performed more often, according to professional recommendation.

Late in the decade, a professional may recommend a resurfacing professional treatment.


Early in this decade, most people exhibit less oil production in the skin as well as less elasticity and new, shallow wrinkles around the eyes are evident. The eye area begins to lose tone, and wrinkles deepen visibly as the decade progresses. Pigmentation problems will surface due to sun exposure and hormonal changes. Along with treatment products to stimulate collagen and elastin production, adding an enhanced exfoliant to the home care regimen to remove dead cells is important to stimulate cell turnover.

Professional chemical and mechanical exfoliation treatments may be necessary to smooth the skin, and products that further enhance cell turnover will be added to the home care regimen.

As we progress through our 40s, we produce less oil and our skin becomes dryer. A skincare regimen that emphasizes age management and exfoliation is appropriate at this point. Drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly are important to promoting hydration and nutrient circulation to the skin. Using high-quality cleansers, moisturizers, antioxidants, and exfoliants are important for these clients, along with dermal building and targeted treatment products.

Routine professional treatments are appropriate, including resurfacing, peels, and microdermabrasion, usually in a series, to rejuvenate the skin and reverse the effects of ageing. Anti-oxidant and hydrating masks between professional treatments are helpful for skin in this category.


In this decade, wrinkles are apparent around the eyes and mouth, and skin on the face, chin, and neck begin to sag. The skin loses its plumpness and tone. Wrinkles deepen, and sagging increases as the decade progresses. Irregular pigmentation becomes more apparent. The skin becomes drier. The skin around the eyes loses tone and requires special treatment. Actinic keratosis and other sun and age-related lesions may appear on the face, reflecting prior sun damage or tanning. Clients should be referred to a physician for removal of these lesions.

An effective home care regimen includes an appropriate cleanser, exfoliant, moisturizer, anti-oxidant, nutrient, and age management treatments, as well as collagen and elastin enhancers. Deeper peels and microdermabrasion are routine recommendations for this age group, and more extensive physician care can produce impressive results for the skin. Age management and dermal building treatment products are crucial to a successful home care regimen.

Sixties and beyond

Beginning in the 60s, naso-labial folds deepen dramatically and sagging in the neck becomes more pronounced. Depending on genetics and the level and quality of care in previous decades, wrinkles of varying depths are evident around the eyes and on the face and neck. New wrinkles appear everywhere. Wrinkles from repetitive facial movements are deep and very apparent on the forehead and above the mouth. Dryness results from a dramatic decrease in oil production.

Skin is in the advanced ageing stage and, as the years progress, wrinkles intensify and tone is lost. Diligence must be taken in the home care regimen.

Clients with advanced ageing who wish to aggressively rejuvenate the skin require both regular age management treatments and physician level treatments including lasers, peels, and microdermabrasion to retard and reverse the visible signs of ageing.