Skin ageing is a complex biological process.
It is caused by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
Tjese can lead to loss of the structural integrity of your skin:
- sallow skin
- crow’s feet
- sagging skin
These are just a few of the things that occur, as an inevitable part of the ageing process.
Some of these factors are out of your control, but some you can control.
Ageing of the skin is not solely dependent on age, for example, your skin age can differ considerably to your actual age.
This is due to several factors which contribute to skin ageing:
Understanding intrinsic & extrinsic ageing
Intrinsic ageing: This is the genetic process our skin goes through as we age; it is the natural ageing or chronologic ageing process the skin goes through.
Extrinsic ageing: These are the factors that, to some degree, we can control. It is associated with the movement of the muscle, nicotine, exposure to solar radiation, lifestyle, stress, alcohol caffeine, lack of sleep, and other health conditions.
This is the natural continual ageing process when our cellular and biological processes start to slow down.
We have little control over the process, which occurs naturally and is affected by the degenerative effects of hormone shifts, free radicals, and our body’s inability to perfectly repair skin damage.
Fibroblasts decrease in your dermis. The tough, fibrous, elastic matrix begins to weaken, causing nearby hydrating molecules to decrease in volume, so there is less water around to keep your collagen and elastin fibres flexible and moist. This drought has a knock-on effect, preventing fresh new cells from developing. This is why, as you age, your skin becomes dehydrated. Our article the clear skin difference looks at this in more detail.
Collagen depletes, and your elastin fibres become less supple; basically, your internal scaffolding starts to become shaky and starts to lose its bounce. Think of all the times you smile, frown and yawn, when you do these lines begin to form.
Fat shrinkage also occurs beneath your face, contributing to deep furrows and wrinkles that we associate with ageing.
You produce less oil as you age, which normally keeps your skin soft and supple. This is due to the reduction of the activity in the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands.
Hormones change causes your skin to become drier, which is why regularly supplementing with linoleic acid will keep it soft and supple.
Cellular turnover slows down with age, causing a build-up of dead cells on the surface of your skin; for this reason, we recommend our clients use gentle exfoliating products as part of their skincare routine.
Your skin becomes paler because the supply of blood vessels starts to diminish as you age. These blood vessels are necessary for transporting nutrients and moisture to the skin and removing cellular waste.
As if these anti-agee factors weren’t enough for your skin to cope with, extrinsic factors also alter the structures of your skin.
Lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking and stress, and external factors from the environment including UVA rays, pollutants, heat and radiation, all adversely affect your skin, augmenting the inherent degradation of your skin’s quality.
- sleep deprivation
- damaging UV rays
- poor nutritional intake
- central heating and air conditioning
One of the first things we discuss with our clients is how damaging environmental factors can be especially the suns UV rays; which can increase oxidation levels in the body, further compounded by dehydration, inflammation and infection.
Though genetically determined, intrinsic ageing is not constant across different individuals; however, the potential components that lead to extrinsic ageing, including nutrition, smoking, solar rays, and so forth are endless. This is why we see such a wide range of visible signs of aged skin, even within genetically similar people of the same age.
Future research is focused on understanding both intrinsic and extrinsic influences on the ageing of the skin within the industry.
Here at the Naked Chemist, we seek to lessen the effects of intrinsic ageing. At the same time, aim to avoid the extrinsic components – with a commitment to accept those factors that cannot be changed and treat the factors that can, whilst educating both our staff and clients with the evidence‐based ‘wisdom’ to know the difference.
For further reading, this article does a great job of covering skin ageing