Your skin changes as you age. Evidence of aging includes wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots and acne. As you age, your personality and lifestyle leaves an imprint on your aging skin.
Despite what you may hear or read there are two types of aging skin:
- intrinsic aging
- extrinsic aging
Intrinsic Aging (“it’s in the genes”)
Intrinsic aging or the natural and continuous process of aging is directed by your genetic makeup or those elements you inherited from your parents. As early as 20 years the collagen production slows, and elastin, the substance that allows skin to snap back into place loses its elasticity hardening the skin.
But even before your 20’s in some individuals the onset of puberty may cause excessive oil production resulting in spots, blisters or pimples, commonly known as acne.
People with Werner’s syndrome (Adult Progeria), serve as an example of an accelerated aging process. A gene common among Japanese, and affecting 1:20,000 people world-wide, show signs of gray hair and tough or hardened skin as early as 20 years of age.
Extrinsic Aging (“the way you live”)
Extrinsic aging is caused by external or environmental factors that act together with the normal aging process to cause premature aging. These include the sun, facial expressions, gravity, sleep, diet and toxins from alcohol or smoking.
The greatest impact to skin is caused by the sun, called photoaging, and depends greatly on skin color and length of exposure. The impact of UV rays from the Sun (“hope you wear raybans”) breaks down collagen and inhibits the synthesis of new collagen causing deep wrinkles, age spots, leathery skin, and even skin cancer.
Normal Aging of Skin: Collagen, Elastin, and Sagging Skin
Underlying our skin is a fiber meshwork of collagen and elastin — proteins that keep skin firm. When skin is stretched, this protein matrix snaps it back into place.
As we age, the fiber network weakens, and skin sags as it loses its support structure. Other unavoidable forces contribute to aging skin, as well:
- Skin becomes thinner with age, and loses fat. The plump smoothness of our skin as children is replaced by a rougher texture.
- Gravity relentlessly tugs on weakened skin, creating the droop of jowls or “chicken fat” under the arms.
- Our genetic code contributes invisibly to the process — leading to skin that looks 50 at 80 in some people, the unfortunate reverse in others.
None of this so-called “intrinsic aging” of skin can be avoided. But did you notice we haven’t said anything yet about wrinkles?
Preventable Aging of Skin: Sun Damage
In fact, most of the skin changes associated with aging are avoidable. And most of them are due to one cause: sun damage.
The ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate into the skin. There, they damage the elastic fibers that keep skin firm, allowing wrinkles to develop. Sunlight is also responsible for age spots or “liver spots” on the hands, face, and other sun-exposed areas.
The amount of wrinkles that develop, and how prominent they are, are largely dependent on a person’s lifetime sun exposure. While we can’t go back and put sunscreen on our carefree 10-year-old selves, we can stop the damage that’s happening now:
- Stop intentionally sunbathing. Any suntan means skin damage has occurred.
- Always wear sunscreen. Choose a product with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or greater. The hands and face are the most frequently exposed — cover them.
- Wear a hat with a brim.
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when its rays are the strongest.
Even with perfect sunscreen use, wrinkles can’t be prevented completely. Some wrinkling is hereditary, and a certain amount of wrinkles are natural to aging.
Besides preventing sun damage, other habits can age skin prematurely. Slow the aging process by eliminating these skin wrinklers.
How Smoking Damages Skin and Causes Wrinkles
Wrinkles occur sooner and run deeper in people who smoke, leading to so-called “smoker’s face.” Decreased blood flow to the face, and damage from toxic chemicals in smoke, are the likely causes. In addition, smokers tend to squint to keep smoke from their eyes, which can cause wrinkles.
Crow’s feet around the eyes, and droopy skin around the eyelids (“smoker’s face”) are common in long-time tobacco smokers. A desire to protect your youthful looks is one more good reason to quit smoking.
Best Practices to Looking Young
Want to look and feel young at any age? Want to insure your next skin procedure or skin treatment is long-lasting and effective? If you answer is yes to these questions, then you need to know the basic facts on preventing or slowing down the aging process.
The following recommendations will help accellerate the healing process and rejuvenation of your skin before and after our treatments.
Recipes From the Cellar
There are many health benefits from eating avocados, which include healthy skin together with hair. Avocados are found as key ingredients in many facial solutions.
To develop an avocado mask, combine one avocado, marauded, one egg yolk and one tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl. Mash the ingredients together well with a fork until smooth.
For a makeup mask, apply the mixture to your clean face and allow it to needlessly set for 10 or more minutes. Rinse and take away the mask. For a hair mask, apply the mixture to damp hair. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Cover the hair with a plastic cap and apply heat using a hair dryer with regard to 20 minutes. Rinse the mixture from your hair.
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