As we age, so does our skin. Just like our body, it starts to lose shape. In other words, as the years go by, it stops looking as smooth and plump as it used to. It also becomes transparently thin, revealing the veins underneath and can also take longer to heal.
Our skin ages due to a number of factors such as:
- Genetics – This is the natural or chronological ageing of the skin that everyone experiences.
- Lifestyle and environmental factors – Exposure to the elements such as sunlight and harsh weather. A poor diet, dehydration and a poor skin regime can also make skin age faster.
- Repetitive muscle movements – Consistent frowning, smiling and squinting can make wrinkles appear on the skin prematurely.
As our skin ages, it loses moisture and does not take long to dry out. This is normal but the condition can be exacerbated with UV exposure. Consistent exposure to sunlight can also lead to loss of collagen which can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tone and even sun spots.
How The Skin Ages
To understand how our derma ages, we have to understand what it is made of and how the different components change with time. While there are several layers to our skin, itis mostly comprises three main parts:The Epidermis
This is the outermost layer of our skin and it includes proteins, such as collagen and skin cells that form a natural barrier against the elements.The Dermis
This is the middle layer, which makes up our skin and it comprises hair follicles, blood vessels and proteins, such as elastin and collagen that give our skin its shape. This layer also protects our skin from stress and delivers nourishing nutrients to the epidermis.The Hypodermis
This is the innermost layer of the skin and it comprises blood vessels, sweat glands as well as fat and hair follicles. The hypodermis is responsible for regulating our body temperature and insulating it against the cold.
As we start to age, the skin loses it suppleness as the connective tissue holding the layers together starts to break down. This thins out the skin and makes it sag. The blood vessels under the dermis also become weaker with age, which causes the skin to bruise easily.
During this time, the sweat glands in the hypodermis also stop producing as much oil as it used to. While this may seem to be a relief for people who have oily skin, it can result in chronic dryness and scabbing.
Plus, with time, the hypodermis also starts to lose its natural padding, which prevents the layer from regulating our body temperature. This is why we feel the cold more as we grow older. We just don’t have enough insulation to remain warm. It is also why our skin starts to develop blemishes, tags and warts.
Top Subtle Signs of Skin Ageing
Here are some of the common signs that prove your skin has started to age that you may not notice:Fine Lines
The first signs of aging skin are fine lines and wrinkles that may appear in the form of crow’s feet at the corner of the eyes. These may not be noticeable at first but can become apparent when we hit 30 years of age. However, since everyone ages differently as per their lifestyle choices and diet, you may not see these lines until much later.
With time, those lines deepen to form ‘dynamic’ wrinkles, especially around the forehead. These may be visible when the skin moves as we talk or laugh and disappear if we maintain a poker face. However, as we age, the wrinkles become deeper and refuse to disappear even if there is no expression on the face.Volume Loss
You may not realize your skin losing its suppleness or volume at first but there is a trick you can use. If you notice that your lipstick starts to bleed when you apply it, that means it has lost some volume. With time, the skin on your neck can also start to sag and your cheeks may also deflate. The overall effect is subtle but drastic. It can make you look tired, worn out or even sad even if you feel neither of those things.Loss of Elasticity
As the skin grows older, its structure starts to break down and weaken, which can make it look less firm and supple. It also becomes dry and takes on a parchment-like quality, which youthful skin does not feel like.
Since everyone ages differently and has different skin, how our derma ages and loses its firmness comes down to our lifestyle choices, genetics, diet and how long we are exposed to the elements. However, most people show visible signs of age on their skin after they cross 50 years of age. That is when the collagen in our skin starts to break down fast after it starts to lose potency when we turn 20 years old.
Internal Causes of Ageing Skin
Some skin ageing causes are unstoppable and it has to do with our biological age and how efficient our skin cells are at rejuvenating. This can slow down with the years.
The reason why young skin looks smoother is because the layers still have strong connections between each other, which allows nutrients and moisture to pass through to visible layers. With time, those connections start to weaken, which results in skin that is deprived of nutrients.
Besides weakening connections, reducing estrogen levels can also cause our skin to age faster as the cells are deprived of vital instructions that can trigger their growth and proliferation.
Similarly, time also reduces blood supply to the skin, which, in turn, reduces the amount of nutrients and oxygen it can absorb. That is why ageing skin starts to look duller as the years go by. While there is nothing we can do to prevent skin from ageing naturally, we can control the external factors it is exposed to. Here are some ways you we can ‘slow down time’ for our skin:
- Hydrate: Choose the right skin care products that help to keep your skin well hydrated and moisturised as well as optimise the nutrition, health and look of your skin. It is best to use natural skincare products that will not strip the skin’s national oil and disrupt its delicate balance.
- Prevent: Prevent damage from UV light and pollutants by using products that contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E, mulberry extracts and green tea. Treat your skin with high performance products that contain anti-ageing, antioxidant properties.
- Correct: Enhance collagen production and control the amount of melanin your skin produces with products that contain Vitamin A, C and E. These can make your skin look younger and keep dark spots at bay.
- Protect: The sun plays a major role in prematurely ageing our skin. Ensuring our remain remains safe from UV rays can ensure it remains youthful for years. Use high level SPF (sun protection factor) to protect from sunlight damage and limit your time out in the sun. Sunscreen is best to use on top of an antioxidants to provide double protection against UV damage.
- Renew: Exfoliate your skin regularly to enhance skin cell turnover using skin health products that contain Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA), papaya and pumpkin enzymes.
- Aim for a healthy lifestyle – Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day to keep hydrated and maintain a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy plant fats, anti oxidants and oils. A regular sleep pattern and fitness routine will also work to reduce stress which can otherwise make skin age prematurely.
- Reduce: Reduce or avoid repetitive facial expressions. When we make an expression, we contract the underlying muscles of our face. If you overuse the same muscles for years, those lines can become a permanent part of your skin.
The Efani Co.’s simple anti-ageing skin care routine
It is best to use the Speisialtóir Vitamin C&E serum under the Healthy Glow Face Cream and sunscreen in the morning to protect your skin from free radical damage and maintain moisture during the day. Speisialtóir is a powerful antioxidant for photo protection, brightening complexion, collagen production and reduced dark spot.
Alternatively, you can opt for the Healthy Glow Face Serum under the Healthy Glow cream during the day. Healthy Glow Face Serum and cream are good for maintaining hydration and antioxidants.
In the evening, use the Healthy Glow Face Serum under the Healthy Glow Face Cream. You can use the Healthy Glow Face Oil every second day at night or more regularly when your skin needs extra moisturiser ie. winter time or in air-conditioned environments. The three products work for a healthy glowing complexion.