Functional Skincare: it’s not just about a pretty face!

functional-skincareby Dr. Kelly Cobb

At Nouriche, we combine both wellness and aesthetics under one roof.  We take a multidisciplinary, functional medicine approach.  It’s important to recognize that the skin is a very large organ that can reveal very important details about what’s going on inside the body.  It’s why I became interested in skincare in the first place!

For example,  if a young woman comes to us for laser hair removal on her face, it sets off a red flag to check for hormone imbalances that caused the unusual chin hair growth in the first place!  Don’t ignore the skin as a powerful indicator of what may be going on internally.

Visible aging of your skin starts around age 25 as your natural regenerative processes begin to slow. Your skin replaces old cells more slowly and there is a slower turnover of the surface skin as well as slower wound healing.

Around age 45, the skin begins to thin, due in part, to hormonal changes. This thinning makes your skin more fragile and vulnerable to damage by abrasion and more sensitive to irritating environmental factors and allergens. The coils of collagen and elastin in your skin suffer cuts and cross linking damage and as a result, the skin loses much of it’s strength and elasticity. The moisture holding proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans decrease in abundance, making the skin become dryer and looser. Your skin loses fat, so it looks less plump and smooth. The number of blood vessels declines adding to that loss of the “youthful glow”

The key to beautiful skin is to maintain the skin’s acid mantle and encourage a rapid turnover of skin cells that rebuild damaged collagen and elastin to maintain strength, elasticity, and resiliency. This rapid turnover maintains ample levels of the water- holding proteoglycans and GAGs. The biocirculation (sometimes called the microcirculation) of capillaries and small blood vessels must constantly be renewed – damage to the microcirculation, which is common during aging, impairs nutrient flow to the skin – and produces the “graying” of skin associated with aging.

What exactly do we mean by beautiful skin?

  • Smooth and free of defects
  • Firm with elastic tone
  • Generally has some lingering traces of “baby fat”
  • Has a reddish tint (regardless of skin color) from profuse blood circulation
  • Covered with little or no cosmetics – Usually is somewhat suntanned
  • Free of skin breaks and cracks

On the biological level, that skin exhibits:

  • A strong and well formed blood microcirculation – Collagen and elastin fibers in excellent repair
  • Ample water-holding proteoglycans and GAGs – Has a rapid turnover of skin cells
  • Heals itself rapidly after injury
  • Rapidly recovers youthful appearance after injuries
  • Has high antioxidant levels and superoxide dismutase activity
  • Has adequate but not excessive natural skin oils