Skin and the Ageing Process
It’s only natural that our skin will age over time and there are many factors that influence this process. Some of these we have no control over but others we can influence.
Put simply, there are two distinct types of ageing.
1. Intrinsic (internal) ageing
A natural process that typically begins in our mid-20s, our genes will control how the process unfolds and how the layers of the skin are affected. As cellular processes decline, the epidermis thins and Vitamin D stores reduce. Skin becomes paler and more prone to sunburn and other skin issues. The dermis becomes weaker, leading to sagging and wrinkles and, finally, changes in circulating male and female sexual hormones alter distinctive physical and facial features.
2. Extrinsic (external) ageing
This type of ageing is premature and is caused by environmental and lifestyle choices. Primarily caused by sun exposure, other external factors include our facial expressions, sleeping positions, gravity and smoking.
Even short, daily exposure rates to sunlight and UV radiation can cause changes to the skin. Typical changes commonly associated with sun exposure include deep wrinkles, sallowness, pigmentation, vessel damage, discoloration and skin lesions. A breakdown and decrease in collagen, caused by UV radiation absorbed by skin tissue is one of the main reasons behind photo-ageing.
Repetitive facial movements also lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Constant facial muscle movements form a groove beneath the surface and, as the skin ages, it loses elasticity and stops springing back to its line-free state. Today, we see more facial lines in young people due to regular frowning at computer screens and mobiles.
With the effects of gravity working to pull our body towards the center of the earth, changes related to gravity become more pronounced as we age. As our skin loses its elasticity, facial features become more pronounced which, in turn, influence the appearance of our skin. Even resting our face on the pillow each night in the same way leads to wrinkles as sleep lines become permanently etched.
Finally, we all know the dangers of smoking but did you know that as well as causing age lines, deep wrinkles, skin discoloration and damaged facial vessels, by the age of 70, a 30-a-day smoker can age up to 14 years.
Caring of Ageing Skin
We recommend wearing sunblock, particularly in summer, and avoiding outdoor activities in intense heat. Avoid smoking and avoid repetitive facial expressions where possible. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid alcohol. Participate in moderate exercise, regularly cleanse skin and moisturize every day.
Reversing Premature Ageing
Lifestyle changes, together with tailored dermal therapy procedures, can be extremely effective in this area. Talk to me, your local skin health technician about IPL and laser treatments along with skin tightening, skin needling, chemical peels and transfer messenger enzyme therapy. Muscle relaxant injections can reduce deep furrows and wrinkling, and cosmetic surgery can remove redundant sagging skin.