Ageing skin is a natural process that reflects the complex biological changes occurring in our bodies over time. It is not just a cosmetic concern, but a topic of scientific interest and research. Understanding the science behind ageing skin can empower individuals with the knowledge to care for their skin effectively as they age – helping you find the right serums, moisturisers, and other skincare products to help keep your skin barrier healthy as you age.
Acclaimed dermatologist, Dr Leslie Baumann MD, states, “As we age, our skin produces less collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and other important components that give our complexion its youthful smoothness, fullness, and radiance. While this happens all over our bodies, the first signs of ageing tend to show up on certain areas before others. Fortunately, the right skincare regimen and treatments can help to keep wrinkles, thinning skin and other telltale signs of ageing at bay in these spots.”
How does my skin change as I age?
As we age, our skin undergoes several changes:
• Elasticity: One of the most noticeable changes is the loss of elasticity. Over time, the production of collagen and elastin – proteins that give skin its firmness and elasticity – decreases. This leads to sagging skin and the development of wrinkles.
• Moisture levels: The skin’s ability to retain moisture also diminishes with age. This is partly due to a decrease in the production of natural oils, making the skin drier and often more prone to itching and irritation.
• Fine lines and wrinkles: The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is a hallmark of ageing skin. These are often more pronounced in areas exposed to repeated facial expressions, like the forehead, and around the eyes and mouth.
How do my genetics and lifestyle age my skin?
• Genetic factors: Your genes play a significant role in determining how your skin ages. This genetic predisposition, often referred to as ‘intrinsic ageing,’ varies from person to person.
• Lifestyle factors: External factors, or ‘extrinsic ageing,’ also significantly impact the skin. Lifestyle choices such as diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption can accelerate the ageing process of the skin.
The impact of sun and environmental factors on my skin ageing
• Sun exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is perhaps the most significant environmental factor affecting the ageing of the skin. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV rays causes photoaging, characterised by a thickening of the outer layer of skin and the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
• Other environmental factors: Pollution, extreme weather, and even stress can contribute to skin ageing. These factors can lead to oxidative stress, which damages the skin cells and accelerates the ageing process.
Ageing skin is a complex interplay of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. While we cannot stop the natural ageing process, understanding these factors enables us to take proactive steps to care for our skin. Regular use of sunscreen, a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and appropriate skincare routines can help maintain healthier, more youthful-looking skin even as we age.Get to know your skin and what it needs to be healthy with our skin analysis tool.