Aging skin is a skin problem that everyone has to face. The aging of the skin tends to define the age of a person. Although anti-aging products can help restore a younger looking skin, the aging skin cannot be completely reversed. The most effective way to prevent the skin from aging is to slow down the aging processes as early as you can.
Skin has three main parts. The outer most layer (epidermis) contains skin cells, pigments, and proteins. The middle part (dermis) contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, and oil glands. The inner part contains sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels, and fat. Each layer contains collagen fibers which make the skin firm and elastin fibers which give the skin elasticity.
As we age, the collagen and elastin fibers break down, causing the skin to sag and wrinkle. The pigment-containing cells increase in size, resulting in age spots. Sebaceous glands produce less oil, so the skin becomes drier.
There are two main causes that age your skin- intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) aging.
Causes of Skin Aging
Intrinsic aging, known as the natural aging process, occurs because of genetics. This type of aging is uncontrollable. The aging process begins in our mid-20s. The signs of intrinsic aging are fine wrinkles, thin and fragile skin, loss of skin firmness, dry skin, hollowed cheeks and eye sockets, and sagging skin.
Extrinsic aging is caused by our lifestyles and environmental factors. These controllable factors often act together with the normal aging process to prematurely age our skin. These factors include
- Sun exposure: Sun’s rays break down collagen and attack elastin, causing loss of firmness. The sun also accelerates the production of melanin, leading to age spots
- Smoking: Smoking also ages the skin by increasing harmful free radicals that damage the skin’s cells. It also dries out the skin.
- Poor diet: Omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies cause the skin to become dry and itchy. Antioxidants which can be found in fruits and vegetables are also needed to help the body fight against free radicals. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the skin, making it dry and itchy.
- Lack of sleep: While sleeping, our bodies repair damages that occur during the day.
- Facial expression: Repeated facial movements cause the contraction of the muscles and lead to wrinkles.
- Gravity: Gravity pulls the skin downward, causing the skin to sag.
The signs of extrinsic aging are freckles, age spots, fine line, deep wrinkles, uneven skin complexion, sagging skin, and skin cancers.
Anti-Aging Treatment & Tips
- Prevent the skin from aging as early as you can. Start incorporating skin care products that contain antioxidants to your skin regimen in your 20s.
- Stay out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 and above every morning. You need sunscreen all year round. In winter, the snow reflects the light so you get double the exposure.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Apply anti-aging skin care products that contain vitamin C, retinoids, AHAs, BHAs, and/or peptides. A cream that contains Functional keratin, Coenzyme Q10, or Phytessence Wakame can also reduce wrinkles because these natural ingredients stimulate the collagen production.
- Get wrinkle or age spot removal procedures. Laser resurfacing, micordermabrasion, chemical peels remove the top layer of the skin and stimulate collagen production. These treatments can get rid of age spots, uneven complexion, and wrinkles. Botox and wrinkle fillers help make skin crease-free. A facelift can be used to remove sagging skin.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Drink lots of water.
- Quit smoking.