With age, skin begins to show changes. These changes can vary from person to person. Dryness, lines and wrinkles are some common changes in the skin that come with aging. Aging cannot be denied, only accepted.
There are controllable and uncontrollable factors that contribute to skin aging. You can delay the signs of aging by making changes to your lifestyle and following a healthy skincare routine.
Given here are all details about skin aging, including the signs and causative factors. These insights help you understand things you can control and those that are beyond control.
Armed with this knowledge, you can take appropriate and timely measures to manage skin aging.
There are known and unknown factors that cause skin changes as age advances. A knowledge of these causative factors enables you to understand what you can and cannot control. Armed with these insights, you can make better decisions when it comes to delaying the onset of skin aging.
Excess Sun Exposure
Exposure to sun is one of the leading causes of skin aging. Aging of the skin due to overexposure to the sun is referred to as photoaging. Steady exposure to sun brings certain skin fibers, called elastin, in contact with UV rays. This exposure damages the elastin in our skin.
Damage to elastin makes skin saggy and less elastic. The stretching of skin visible in aging people is a result of poor elastin structure. The skin in such people stretches but becomes incapable of snapping back.
The challenge with sun damage is that the effects are not immediately visible. You may be over-exposing yourself to the sun and still may not see any damage to the skin. The damage becomes visible only with age.
It is believed that the disturbance in skin’s blood flow caused due to smoking results in aging skin. Under equal conditions of age, skin complexion and extent of sun exposure, smokers are likely to carry more wrinkles on their skin than people that do not smoke.
Constant smoking accelerates skin aging process, giving you an older look far removed from your actual age. In smokers, wrinkles have a deeper texture. In addition, tobacco makes skin feel rough and gives an unhealthy color to the skin
Decrease in Body Components
Components such as bones and cartilage witness a reduction in strength and structure with age. Bone loss, which usually occurs in the 50s, causes significant skin changes.
An evident aging sign of bone loss is a puckered look around the mouth. Skin around the mouth becomes loose and may
show wrinkles or folds due to bone loss.
Loss of cartilage with age leads to skin changes around the nose. You may witness a droopy nasal tip. The nasal structure, in addition, becomes transparent due to cartilage loss. The bony structures that make up the nasal region, become more visible to the naked eye.
When body weight exceeds its healthy limits, the excess affects the entire body, including the skin.
Skin stretches in an obese individual, altering its original healthy appearance. Skin changes due to obesity include appearance of stretch marks, varicose veins, skin tags and dark patches.
Excess weight leads to excess skin, which develops folds. These folds cause friction when they rub against each other. This stress can cause skin rashes, infections, blisters, irritation and chafing.
Excess weight can also bring changes in the skin in the form of skin conditions. Cellulitis and psoriasis are two such conditions occurring due to obesity. In psoriasis, red patches that are dry and itchy, form on the skin.
Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that is evident in swollen areas that are warm and painful.
Skin Dryness and Itchiness
Dryness and itchiness can be symptoms as well as a cause of aging skin.
Dryness is a common aging sign of the skin. Nearly 85% of senior adults develop itchy skin due to dry indoor air.
Dry skin woes further amplify with decrease of secretions from sweat and oil glands as we age. Use of soaps, perfumes and hot water for bath, further adds to skin’s dryness.
As dry skin gets irritated easily, it tends to itch. Itchy skin can disturb your sleep, cause frustration, and in general affect your daily life. In some people, itchy skin could signal diabetes or an underlying disease related to the kidneys. If you are taking medications, then some of them may aggravate skin itchiness.
As skin starts losing its elasticity with age, facial movements and expressions leave their marks (or lines) on the skin. You may start noticing such lines on the forehead, on the nose or around the mouth.
Another theory states that wrinkles on the skin such as crow’s feet around the tips of the eyes, and frown lines found between the eyebrows, are due to muscle contractions. As age advances, expressions such as squinting frowning and smiling, leave lines on the skin.
Different sleep positions can leave lines or curves on the skin. The creases on either side of the forehead are marks left by sleeping positions. Loss of elasticity with age causes these marks to become visible.
Lines on the cheeks, especially in the center, are not uncommon either, and are a sign of aging skin caused due to sleep positions.
The way you position your head on a pillow determines the positioning of your wrinkles. Different sleeping positions pressurize the face on a daily basis. With age, these lines and wrinkles stamp themselves on the cheeks, chin and forehead.
Constant Weight Loss and Gain
If you gain and lose significant weight repeatedly, then it can cause the skin to age faster than usual.
The reason behind such skin damage is the repeated stretching of skin that occurs in the process of gaining weight and losing it.
Constant stretching can cause the skin to lose its elasticity. With loss of elasticity, your skin ages and starts showing signs of aging.
Gravity plays its role in making changes to your skin too. Loss of elasticity causes parts of the body such as eyebrows, eyelids, cheeks, and the jaw to droop.
Droopy eyelids, hanging jaw (referred to as a double chin), and cheeks that seem to be loosely hanging, are all due to gravity. In some people, aging skin and gravity show changes in the form of stretched earlobes.
Aging skin can show different signs in different people. Common aging signs on skin include freckles, age spots, wrinkles, exaggerated lines on the forehead, and blotches on the skin. In some people, skin complexion can become sallow with advancing age. Sallow skin is an unhealthy brown or yellow complexion.
Aging manifests in the form of skin tags (skin extensions), extremely dry skin, or patches of scaly texture. Bumps of purple or red color may be seen in some people, which are also a sign of aging. These bumps, though unsightly, are usually harmless.
Other ways the skin shows its advancing age, include:
Skin that is rough, dry and itchy. As age advances, the sebaceous glands produce less sebum. This natural oil is essential to keep the skin moist. Without adequate sebum, skin becomes dry and itchy.
Sagging skin. With age, skin loses collagen and elastin, which are responsible for skin elasticity. The result is loose, hanging skin.
Reduced sense of touch. You may not be able to feel heat, cold, vibrations and pressure, as intensely and quickly as you used to.
Leathery skin appearance. A condition called elastosis ensues with age. This is more common in people that are excessively exposed to the sun and the elements. Elastosis reduces elasticity and strength of the skin. The weather-beaten appearance in some people is a result of this change in skin.
Skin becomes more transparent. With age, skin’s outer layer called the epidermis and the inner layer below the epidermis, called the dermis, become thinner. This results in transparent skin.
Skin that is easily bruised. The walls of blood vessels become thinner with age, which makes the skin extremely susceptible to bruises.
Increased fragility. Skin becomes fragile with age because of the flattening of the epidermis-dermis bed. This is the area where the skin’s inner and outer layers intersect. Fragile skin gets hurt easily. It can easily burn and break.
Increased susceptibility to skin lesions. Lesions are areas on the skin that are different from the surrounding skin in color, texture and appearance. With age, lesions such as benign (harmless) tumors can develop.
More prone to weather-based diseases. As age advances, an individual becomes more vulnerable to diseases such as hypothermia in cold weather and heat stroke in summer.
The fat layer beneath the skin (subcutaneous) thins with age. As a result, skin loses its buffer and insulation. This reduces skin’s ability to maintain body temperature, which increases your chances of getting hypothermia.
Another change that occurs in the skin with age is a decrease in the ability of sweat glands to produce sweat. With sweat reduction, your body finds it difficult to keep the body cool. The risk of overheating and developing heat stroke increases as a result.
Reduced wound healing. As skin ages, it loses its capacity to self-repair. Wounds heal slowly. They may take up to 4 times of time than earlier to heal.
Simple steps can help you keep your skin in a healthy state and delay the signs of skin aging.
Reduce your Time in the Sun
It is not possible to entirely reverse the effects of sun damage. But you can delay the onset of aging signs with some protective measures. Keep yourself out of the sun as far as possible.
Avoid going out in the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rays from the sun are at their peak during these hours. The damage to your skin can be more as a result.
If you think you cannot be sunburnt because of cloudy skies, then you are wrong. Sun’s rays can penetrate through the clouds and reach you. Even water activities such as swimming can leave you open to sun damage. Staying in water is no protection against the sun.
If you are going out in the sun, then use sunscreen protection. Use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more, because only such formulation is capable of offering adequate protection from sun.
You can benefit more by applying sunscreen more often, especially if you sweat heavily. Use sunscreen every 2 hours to experience improved skin health.
Reduce the impact of sun damage with heat-protective clothing. You can go with a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, ears, nose, and head. Sunglasses that offer maximum protection of about 99 - 100% from sun’s rays, are ideal for the eyes.
Long-sleeved shirts and long-length clothes such as skirts and pants give greater sun protection. Choose light-colored and lightweight clothes for protection and comfort.
Tanning causes more damage to the skin than you may believe. Stay away from tanning beds and sunlamps for healthy skin aging. Tanning pills are not recommended either.
While other vitamins and nutrients are important and need to be included in your diet, the above nutrients are specifically skin-enriching. So, do not ignore or forget them in your diet.
Each vitamin caters to a specific skin need. Vitamin B and biotin, for example, maintain skin cell health and facilitate production of new skin cells.
Vitamin E and Vitamin C are rich sources of antioxidants. They are crucial to protect your skin from any damage by free radicals. Body metabolism process releases free radicals, which is why these components cannot be prevented. Free radicals can cause your skin to age faster. Vitamin C and E can help keep them in check.
In addition, vitamin C and E protect your skin from damage caused by sun exposure.
Vitamin A helps by promoting skin’s ability to self-repair. Foods rich in vitamin A help maintain the health of skin tissues.
Include foods such as tomatoes (rich in vitamin C and biotin), and carrots (rich in vitamin A and biotin). Include almonds (loads of vitamin E) and green leafy vegetables (rich in Vitamin E) as well. Always ensure that your diet consists of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Maintain Skin Hydration
Water is an essential aspect of skin nutrition. With age, drinking more water becomes more than necessary. As skin becomes drier and thinner with age, sufficient water supply keeps the organ hydrated, moist and healthy.
The age-old rule of drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day is still relevant. Start your day with a glassful of water for healthy and supple skin.
As a leading cause of aging skin, smoking demands attention and action. Stop smoking to preserve your health as well as your skin. Early skin aging signs are so associated with smoking that you will notice changes in skin in smokers that are just in their 20s.
The more tobacco products you use, the higher your risk of early aging signs and other health conditions.
Use a Moisturizer Every Day
There are some healthy skin-grooming habits that you may want to include in your lifestyle to reduce the chances of dry and itchy skin. Using moisturizer on a daily basis is one such habit.
A moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated. Regular use of moisturizer prevents dryness and itchiness of skin arising from pollution and lack of moisture. You can also reduce the onset of wrinkles and aged looks with this skin routine.
You may want to try moisturizers by Wow Skin Science. They have an amazing line of products for every skin type. These products are 100% natural, dermatologically proven, and free of harmful chemicals. They are totally vegan and cruelty-free too.
Anti-aging products are more than numerous in the market. With each product promising results, it can be overwhelming to choose a genuine product. This Recommendation section can help. Listed here are premium products analyzed for several factors, including quality, efficacy and safety.
Vitamin C Serum by Wow Skin Science
You’ll notice a significant difference on your face after using the Vitamin C Serum. No surprise there, for this formulation uses ingredients known to benefit the skin. This serum is packed with 20% vitamin C. It uses an oil-free formula to keep your skin hydrated and supple.
There’s more. The formulation uses hyaluronic acid and Witch Hazel, which are known to address pigmentation issues.
With its power-packed ingredients, this serum cleans pores, clarifies skin, and reduces signs of skin aging brought about by free radical effect.
Additional benefits are that the serum’s paraben and sulfate-free, and uses 100% natural plant actives, and amber glass packaging, which prevents serum contamination.
Body Butter Vitamin E by WOW Skin Science
If you are looking for a product that offers maximum protection fromsun, then you may want to include the Body Butter Vitamin E in your beauty kit.
This product is enriched with Vitamin E, which not only counters the effects of free radicals but also heals skin damaged by sun and pollution. Vitamin E also helps keep the skin moisturized.
Aloe Vera skin extract soothes and relaxes the skin while sweet almond oil helps retain moisture. Shea butter nourishes the skin, keeping the organ healthy and hydrated.
With this Vitamin C formulation, you get to experience supple youthful skin without any side effects. The product is paraben-free, contains natural plant actives and is antioxidant-rich.
If you want to lose weight, then set a healthy goal of losing a pound every week. This is much better than aiming for rapid weight loss. Stay away from binge eating as it can make you gain weight rapidly.
You cannot stop changes that happen to the skin with age. You can however boost your skin health and ensure that it ages only due to natural factors. Healthy skin habits and good skincare products are the way to go, to reduce the impact of aging skin.