Updated: Nov 6
Our skin ages for a variety of different reasons. Many of the causes of skin aging are entirely natural and cannot be altered, only delayed. There are, however, several factors that can cause the skin to age prematurely, and these can be influenced.
Understanding the way that internal and external factors affect the skin’s structure and function can help to inform choices about treatment and care.
What are the signs of skin aging?
There are three main signs of skin aging and each one affects facial skin differently:
· Fine lines and wrinkles are usually the first visible sign of skin aging - small, shallow wrinkles tend to become noticeable at the outer corners of the eyes. These may appear around the age of 30, but we all age differently, and how we age depends on our genetics and lifestyle.
· Sagging skin is a sign of loss of volume. The reduction of collagen and elastin in the dermis are cause of saggy skin. Gravity is also responsible for saggy skin.
· Loss of elasticity and deep wrinkles. As our skin loses elasticity it becomes less firm and deeper wrinkles form. These changes become visible at different ages but are most commonly experienced by those who are 50+.
How does the skin aging process work?
Skin aging takes place in every layer of the skin and shows itself on the surface.
· At the epidermis, the most outer layer of the skin - slower formation of new cells, less hyaluronic acid content and reduction in sebum production on the skin’s surface causes the skin to appear more rough and dry. Skin becomes more sensitive to sun radiation and is less efficient at healing itself. A reduced immune function can lead to an increase in skin infections.
· At the dermis the collagen, one of the skin’s building blocks, decreases by 1% each year. Together with a decline in functional elastin, this leads to dermal tissue disorganization. Skin structure is compromised and fine lines and wrinkles are more likely to appear. As our skin matures, elasticity continues to decline and deeper wrinkles form. The production of hyaluronic acid slows down, so skin cells are less effective at binding in water and skin is prone to dryness.
· In the deeper layers, the most notable changes are the reduction in size and number of lipid-storing cells. This results in sagging skin and a loss of volume and can lead to deep wrinkles and hollow temples and cheeks.
What are the internal causes of skin aging?
Some of the causes of skin aging are inevitable. As we get older, metabolic processes in our body gradually slow down and so is the efficiency of cell functions.
In young skin, strong connections between the skin layers allow moisture and nutrients to be delivered efficiently to the visible layers. Over time the functionality of these connections slows down and poorer delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin’s surface resulting in duller skin. Genetics plays a key role in how skin ages.
What are the external causes of skin aging?
The external factors affecting the speed with which the skin ages affected by our life choices:
· Smoking: The chemicals and nicotine contained in cigarettes are responsible for an upsurge in the number of damaging free radicals in the skin.
· Tanning: one of the biggest skin mistakes people make.
· Inappropriate skincare: Skin will age more quickly if it is poorly cared for or if you use products that irritate the skin.
How can you care for aging skin and reduce premature skin aging?
We can delay the internal process of aging and reduce premature skin aging.
By exercising we make metabolic processes in our body work more efficiently, which affects every cell in our body, including skin cells.
Eat healthy foods. A healthy diet promotes healthy skin. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Get enough sleep. It’s called beauty rest for a reason. Sleep gives your body time to refresh and renew itself.
Protect your skin from the sun. Sun protection forms the foundation of every anti-aging skin-care plan.
Apply sunscreen every day, regardless of season and outside weather.
Sunglasses help reduce fine lines around our eyes.
A high-quality skincare routine is an essential part of a holistic approach to treating all signs of aging.
A basic skincare routine should consist of three steps: cleanse, moisturize, and sun protection.
Cleanse to remove make-up, dirt, and pollution from the skin. Mild but effective, Herbs and Butters natural Olive Cleanser cleans skin without stripping it off its natural oils.
Moisturize your skin with products rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Herbs and Butters Raspberry Moisturizing cream for dry and mature skin offers deep nourishing with natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids to support the skin’s natural protective mechanism. Supplement your skincare routine with a boost of hydrating hyaluronic acid by including Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Shiitake Extract in your skincare routine. Rich in antioxidant Q10 Serum will be a great addition to a skincare routine for mature skin with compromised barrier.
Skin ages due to a combination of factors, both internal and external. Understanding these factors helps us to care for skin as it ages, reduce the visible signs of skin aging and prevent premature skin aging.
The most important is to keep in mind is that your skin should be healthy at every age and every stage of your life, so take a good care of it.
How do you protect your skin from premature aging?