In the 21st century, aging does not have a good reputation… The skin is the main artifact of the time passing and some people do not hesitate to use surgery or less invasive techniques such as botox, hyaluronic acid, or even the latest fashionable potions to keep it smooth and firm as it was in their 20s.
But before we get to that point, what are the good habits to adopt so that our skin can age, but gently? Natural skin aging, an unavoidable phenomenon, can be accelerated by several factors external to the passing years. Today, we would like to help you recognize the first signs of premature skin aging, prevent it and advise you on the best treatments to counteract this phenomenon.
Skin aging is a natural process. Resulting from internal effects intrinsic to the individual, but also from external factors linked mainly to lifestyle, this unavoidable phenomenon can be mitigated by a global preventive approach.
What is skin aging?
It affects all the structural layers of the skin, from the most superficial, the epidermis, to the deepest, the hypodermis.
In the epidermis, cell renewal, which takes generally 28 days, slows down and the production of lipids, which are necessary for soft, lubricated skin and protected from dehydration, decreases. The skin, therefore, becomes drier and rougher, more sensitive to UV rays, and heals less well.
In the dermis, the skin’s middle layer, collagen, and elastin levels decrease. The blood supply is reduced. This results in less elastic skin, which is more prone to wrinkles and fine lines, but also in a loss of radiance and density, characteristic of young and pink skin.
In the hypodermis, there is an alteration in the size and quantity of fat cells in the fatty tissue. The thermal insulation of the skin decreases. This time, a loss of volume is observed, wrinkles become deeper and cheeks are more hollow.
How to recognize skin aging?
The first and not least signs are the dreaded wrinkles and fine lines. They form on different areas of the face and are the most easily identifiable signs of aging. Fine lines are often the first to appear. These small superficial wrinkles originate at the outer corner of the eye, in the hollow of the cheeks, on the forehead in horizontal lines, or between the eyebrows, the first marks created by repeated expressions.
Deeper wrinkles also form between the nose and the mouth. These are less marked by an expressive face than by the sagging of the skin.
Loss of skin volume is also a good indicator of an altered skin cycle. Not easy to identify, loss of skin volume significantly alters the overall appearance of an individual’s face, unlike wrinkles, fine lines or loss of density explained below. The most visible impact of this sagging of the contours is the change in facial expression;
Finally, the loss of density manifests itself more on the surface by a fragile and thinner skin. Unlike wrinkles and volume loss, density loss is not limited to certain areas but affects the entire face.
What are the external factors that accelerate skin aging?
It is undeniable that an individual’s biological age and genetics will determine certain structural changes in the skin. Tissue irrigation decreases over time, reducing the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the skin’s surface. Ethnicity and skin type affect the rapidity with which signs of aging appear on our skin.
However, there are extrinsic factors that tend to influence the evolution of the skin and its premature aging. In these terms, the sun is enemy number one. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays generates oxidative stress, which is responsible for premature aging of the skin, as well as lesions known as photoaging. Find out more about the sun’s harmful effects in this article. Pollution also plays an important role in early skin aging. In cities, in particular, there is a significant release of free radicals (harmful substances generated by the oxygen we breathe) that are harmful to the skin. The chemicals and nicotine in cigarettes also increase the number of free radicals in the skin. A diet low in antioxidants will increase oxidative stress.
How can the effects of aging on the skin be minimized?
A healthy lifestyle seems to be the key to our troubles. Since oxidative stress is the primary cause of skin aging, a diet rich in antioxidants, sufficient protection from the sun, and stopping smoking will considerably slow down the premature obsolescence of the skin. Finally, a good skincare routine is an essential element in maintaining good epidermal cell development.
As the range is wide and the needs of each individual so specific, do not hesitate to talk to our dermatologists at Alergia Medical Centre so that they can guide you towards the best products for your skin.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice. You must seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health condition.Find out about our dermatologist