What is inflammaging?
“Factors that contribute to chronic inflammation include ‘antigen load,’ namely the overexposure to external substances and microbes over the course of one’s lifetime,” Dr. Macrene explains. “This causes overstimulation of the immune system, the accumulation of activated immune system cells, and the overproduction of immune system factors that cause degeneration to various tissues in the body.” In simpler terms, an overstimulated immune system causes inflammation, which then causes damage to our bodies at a foundational level. Dr. Macrene adds that obesity and issues with the gut microbiome may also contribute to inflammation.
What are common signs of inflammaging?
Inflammaging also contributes to faster aging of our skin. It speeds up collagen loss and wrinkles and weakens our skin barrier, which can result in things like dryness, redness, acne, and darker under-eye circles.
How can we slow down inflammaging?
FOCUS ON THE BASICS
Dr. Macrene’s primary recommendation is to reduce stress, which, as we all know, can be easier said than done—but it’s not impossible. Rest, eating a healthy diet full of antioxidants and herbs, and avoiding excessive exposure to toxins (like cigarette smoke, alcohol, and pollution) can also help.
LOOK FOR SKINCARE PRODUCTS WITH ACTIVE ANTIOXIDANTS AND BARRIER REPAIR
“To prevent and slow down inflammaging specifically on the skin, use products formulated with active antioxidants, barrier repair, anti-inflammatory plant polyphenols, and DNA repair—all of which are among the over 110 actives in Macrene Actives cream and serum,” says Dr. Macrene. Resveratrol, omega fatty acids, plankton and algae, and organic extracts of yerba mate tea and feverfew are among those actives.
Dr. Macrene emphasizes the importance of getting outside for our health. And it doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate event. “Interestingly, a randomized controlled study recently demonstrated that activities such as gardening were effective in reducing inflammatory markers in the bloodstream of the patients,” she elaborates.
For those of us who live in a high UV environment, she recommends spending time outside in the late afternoon and wearing sun-protective clothing to help reduce free radical attack. And it should go without saying, but we’ll say it—everyone should be wearing sunscreen.
TL;DR lifestyle changes can minimize the damage of inflammaging