By Di Morelli
Posted in Tips & Tricks
As more people seek ways to retain a youthful appearance, the topic of aging skin becomes more relevant. According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc. the desire to remain youthful among middle-aged and older adults is driving the growing demand for anti-aging products.
Everyone wants to look 10 years younger.
We know we can’t stop the clock or look like we did when we were 25 years old. Aging is inevitable. But the science of aging skin has given us insights on how to slow down and even reverse some of the skin changes that occur with aging.
What causes aging skin?
There are two causes of aging in the skin: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging.
Intrinsic aging refers to the physiological aging that takes place internally. It is often referred to as chronological aging.
Extrinsic aging refers to aging that is influenced by external factors such as: ultraviolet radiation, cigarette smoke, pollution, etc. This accounts for 90% of the accelerated signs of aging we see on our skin.
Let’s look at these two factors in more depth:
Every person’s skin will eventually begin to age regardless of external influences. Most changes in the skin are a result of shifts in hormones, and messenger molecules that are produced from other glands and organs within the body. As we age, the skin’s functionality slows down.
When decreasing collagen and elastin production slows, the skin starts to lose its firmness. The connective tissues break and the epidermis becomes thinner. This eventually leads to wrinkles and sagging, due to the inability of the skin to snap back into place.
Melanocytes, cells that contain melanin (brown pigment), also decrease with age and the remaining melanocytes become larger. As skin ages, it thins and becomes more transparent.
Skin cell turnover rate slows down, meaning that new cells don’t develop as quickly and the dead skin cells don’t exfoliate as easily. This leads to accumulation of dead cells in the epidermis, giving skin a dull or greyish complexion.
Sebaceous glands also produce less oil as a person ages. This oil is the natural lubricating system for the skin. This decrease in oil production makes it difficult for skin to maintain its natural moisture, which leads to dryness and itchiness.
Extrinsic factors influence aging skin by destroying the skin’s metabolism. Once the healthy cells are damaged, the overall composition of the skin structure is disrupted. Over an extended period of time, these factors result in premature aging of the skin.
Sun exposure is the most common form of extrinsic aging. It is considered to produce 95% of the accelerated aging of the skin. When skin has been damaged by the sun, the term is called photo aging. Photo aging affects the skin’s tone, colour and texture. The skin has the ability to repair itself from mild photo aging damage, but if the damage is too extensive or repetitive, the cells may die.
Another factor is mechanical aging. Facial movements and expressions, such as smiling and frowning, made on a daily basis also contribute to the formation of aging lines on the skin. Continuously moving certain muscles in your face can cause a groove to form under the epidermis. Just like other factors of aging affecting the skin, these grooves eventually become wrinkles due to loss of elasticity.
What can you do?
We’re not saying stop laughing (we would never say that!), however you can mitigate many of the factors that lead to premature aging by protecting skin from unnecessary damage.
One extremely easy and increasingly popular way to prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation is to apply a high quality non comedogenic sunblock every day, like the Di Morelli SPF35. Check out our previous post for tips on maintaining healthy skin during summer.
Also, using serums with antioxidants like our Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye, which helps increase collagen and elastin production, to improve the elasticity and thickness of your skin.