Since ancient times, people have used cosmetics to try to improve their skin and to hide the visible effects of ageing. While offering the hopeful user the promise of being a ‘miracle in a jar’, until recently, most creams remained simple, old-fashioned moisturisers in progressively more modern and expensive packaging.

The introduction of vitamin A into skincare formulations was a ground-breaking development, because it offered benefits to sun—damaged skin. Prominent Cape Town plastic surgeon Dr Des Fernandes was a pioneer in this field. In the 1980s, he was one of the first to use vitamin A in high enough doses to ensure a genuine, visible effect on the quality of the skin.

Dr Des became interested in the physiology of skin cancer and the skin following the untimely deaths of two young patients due to melanoma. Through his research, he discovered the essential role of vitamin A in skin health and he became determined to create a range of skin care products that would maintain healthy skin, especially as the incidence of sun-related skin disorders grows worldwide. Out of this, the Environ® company and skin care range were born.

Caring For Your Skin

Caring for your skin is important, whether you are male or female, and a combined strategy of effective skincare and sound lifestyle habits will help keep your skin in optimum condition. And, it’s never too late to start.

The way your skin responds to ageing is due, inpart, to your genetic make—up. But how you treat your skin has a huge impact on the visible signs. Exposure to sunlight, environmental elements such as air pollution and toxins in your food, and your lifestyle (lack of sleep, stress, smoking and alcohol) all contribute to the visible signs of ageing developing well before their time. So, it's good to know that if you control these factors, you can make a material difference to your skin.

What Causes Problem Skins?

Problem skin goes hand in hand with the teenage years, thanks to the body's fluctuating hormone levels. Unfortunately, pimples are no longer the preserve of teens. Men and women of all ages find themselves with spots cohabiting unhappily with lines and wrinkles, Luckily, there is much you can do, whatever your age, to combat this problem.

Besides a genetic predisposition to skin problems and hormonal fluctuations, stress plays a serious role. This modern malady has as much of an effect on your skin as it has on the rest of your body. Researchers have found a correlation between mental state and skin health. Under stressful conditions, the body releases hormones adrenalin, cortisol and DHEA to help us channel energy and oxygen to our muscles and brain in a ‘fight or flight‘ reaction.

These are good in times of genuine danger, but the body reacts the same way when you’re stuck in traffic, or rushing to meet a deadline. When the body remains in continuous stressed mode, energy is channeled away from repair and maintenance; the result is accelerated ageing and skin problems. It's commonly believed that the release of adrenalin during stress also stimulates the production of androgens — ‘male’ hormones that exist in both male and female bodies - which causes an increased production of sebum(oil) which, in turn, can cause skin problems.

Vitamin A products have been used for decades to treat problem skins. This super vitamin, along with ingredients like salicylic acid, helps unblock pores and makes the environment of the skin hostile for acne bacteria. Never use harsh products that strip your skin of oil as you will end up with dry, irritated skin with even more oil than before as the skin tries frantically to repair its protective outer barrier. Find products that respect the skin’s barrier function and moisture, while working to control the causes of pimples.

The Story of Skin

Fabulous Vitamin A

The cornerstone of Environ® treatments is vitamin A. Extensive scientific research and trials have shown that vitamin A has a corrective effect on skin, smoothing it and softening and protecting it from the effects of ultraviolet radiation and free radicals. Its most important activity is to normalise the function of the skin. it promotes the production of healthy collagen and elastin and improves the skin's natural moisture, leading to healthy, younger-looking skin.

Environ draws on cutting-edge technology, combined with proven botanicals and scientific principles to create skincare ranges that address different needs and problems for people of all ages.

Free-Radical Onslaught

The daily, total onslaught by external aggressors on each cell in the body changes oxygen molecules into free radicals, which wreak havoc in cells, damaging their walls and connective tissue. These faulty cells then copy themselves, carrying the damage in their Blueprint.  Antioxidants or free-radical scavengers are the best defence against this. The most well known antioxidants are vitamins C and E,beta—carotene, green tea, rooibos and grape seed extract.

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