Skin Aging Process: Causes, Signs, Tips & Treatment

Aging Skin Process
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Though aging skin is a fact of life, let’s face it, nobody wants that fact spelled out all over their face. Skin is the largest organ of the body and it is where the earliest signs of aging begin to appear. Skin naturally and gradually loses its elasticity, ability to hold and lock in moisture, and produce collagen quickly and in large quantities as you age. The combined effects of this slowdown end up as permanent lines and creases on your face, neck, hands, and elsewhere on your skin.

Aging Skin Contributing Factors

Skin, like any other organ of the body, undergoes a natural course of deterioration. The natural aging process is the primary reason for the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of skin aging. It is, however, not the only cause of aging skin. Other factors like cigarette smoking, exposure to environmental pollution, unprotected sun exposure, chronic physical and psychological stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise all suffer the skin.

Intrinsic Factors of Aging Skin

  • Genetics and hormones. The natural deterioration of the body is a result of decreased* cellular activity and slower rate of cell repair and turnover, including those of skin cells. The DNA divides repeatedly to keep the body functioning optimally. After about 50 replications, however, the DNA cap termed ‘telomeres’ fail to retain their length and become shorter in the process. The shortening of the telomeres compromises the integrity of the DNA.
  • Coupled with hormonal imbalance and general decrease* in hormonal levels, genetics cause skin to dry and age.

  • Oxidative Stress. Skin ages as a result of oxidative stress caused both by environmental stressors and internal body processes. Oxidative stress damages cells, decreases* cellular processes, and causes collagen fibers to break down.
  • Elevated blood sugar levels and glycation. When sugar is introduced in the body, it starts off a series of chemical reactions that eventually end up damaging collagen structures and thus compromising skin health.

Extrinsic factors of Aging Skin

  • Exposure to UV radiation and photoaging. The sun is the single most important factor in sin aging. Although damage may not be immediately apparent, the damage lies underneath the skin, compromising otherwise healthy skin cells.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins. Cigarette smoking and environmental pollution release free radicals that damage healthy skin cells. The cumulative effect results to dry skin, decreased* cellular repair activity, and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Signs of Aging Skin

As you age, many unwanted spots, lines and creases, often caused by accumulated sun exposure over the years, begin to appear. Among the most common signs of skin aging are as follows:

  • Dark spots. Also known as age spots and sun spots are caused by hyperpigmentation due to sun damage.
  • Sagging skin. With age, the body loses more muscles which, in turn, makes skin sag as it cannot attach firmly to fats that have replaced your muscles.
  • Dry, dull, glow-less skin. With age, skin loses its natural ability to capture, lock in, and hold moisture, causing skin to dry out.
  • Lines and wrinkles. Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles may be facilitated by prolonged sun exposure.
  • Patchy skin. As you age, skin slowly loses melanin causing an uneven skin color and texture.
  • Open pores. Without a proper skin care regimen, pores become enlarged, trapping more oil, dust, and dirt in your pores.

How to Take Care of Aging skin

Aging skin deserves special attention.

  • Put on sunscreen religiously and repeatedly throughout the day. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen and with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
  • Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize. Stick to a simple beauty regimen: cleanse-tone-moisturize beauty regimen. Wash your face with a gentle facial wash. Follow up with an organic toner that is laden with natural antioxidants to help your skin fight the skin damaging free radicals.
  • Exfoliate regularly. Exfoliate gently. Exfoliating involves lifting the damaged, old skin and stimulating the production and surfacing of new, younger-looking skin. Younger skin need less frequent exfoliation to avoid damaging delicate skin. Nevertheless once every two weeks of exfoliation rejuvenates skin and gives skin a natural pinkish glow.
  • Use an antioxidant cream or serum. Studies have shown that Vitamins A, C, and E are not only great when eaten but also applied directly on skin.
  • Apply an anti-aging creams that contains retinol or tretinoin. Go for an an anti-wrinkle cream that contains peptides as well.
  • Use an eye cream. Pay special attention to the very delicate and thin skin surrounding your eyes. Use specially formulated eye creams and serums to keep the area supple and wrinkle-free.
  • Get a skin care therapy procedure done. These days, there is a wide menu of skin therapy procedures that you can choose from: laser light therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, injectables, and skin fillers. Find one that suits your skin and your skin issues best.

Anti-aging products and procedures can do little for aging skin when employed in isolation. When combined with a healthy lifestyle, however, positive results are magnified. That cream or serum on your face can only do so much. Only you and your will can truly hold back the years!

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Author

Expert Author : Margaux Diaz (Consumer Health Digest)

Margaux Diaz is an inspirational writer who strongly believes in the power of self-motivation. She believes that every woman and man, no matter what age or race, can be confident but that confidence must be shaped inside and out. Margaux has over a decade of experience researching and writing as a passion. She is a social development worker who spends her free time pondering and writing about life, love, health, relationships, human rights, human potential, the inherent goodness of men and women, and everything else that should matter.