What happens to our skin as we age?
As time passes our skin undergoes a natural ageing process. The effects of pollution, stress, fatigue and toxins also leave their mark and the skin. Nothing reflects our age more than the state of our skin.
The key to growing old gracefully is through a healthy lifestyle and an awareness of your environment. While many of the changes that come with skin can’t be avoided, there are many factors that can be minimized. First, it helps to have a basic understanding what happens to the skin as it goes through the ageing process.
The skin ages in two key ways: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is genetically predetermined . In our youth we naturally have higher levels of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid causing our skin to have plumpness, elasticity and firmness . As we age through the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s we lose the ability to produce these elements therefore this results in fines lines and wrinkles, deeper skin folds, skin creases, thinning skin, dull complexion, loss of volume and underlying fat.
Extrinsic ageing is directly related to exposure to toxins and environmental elements. Sun exposure causes photo-ageing, which results in lines, wrinkles, age spots, larger pores, uneven skin tone and texture. Lifestyle choices such as smoking causes free radicals and speeds up collagen and elastic breakdown. A healthy and well balanced lifestyle is vital for a health complexion. It intensifies the intrinsic ageing process, causing us to look older that our true age. Sun-related ageing, or “photo ageing” causes fine lines, wrinkles, age spots (due to pigment changes), enlarged pores, broken capillaries, rough, uneven skin tone and texture.
Our lifestyle is another factor in extrinsic ageing and one of the biggest culprit is cigarette smoking. It, causes the formation of skin-killing free radicals (a chemically active atom) and speeds up the breakdown of collagen and elastin. This makes it harder for the skin to repair itself. A healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced diet rich in the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories is vital for a healthy complexion.