Causes of Skin Aging
Skin is a living organ and it’s the largest human organ.
Our skin undergoes significant changes during a lifetime: from the sensitive skin of a newborn baby, through the teenage years when some are acne-prone, to the fine line and wrinkles of later life. Each stage has its own demands and skin care should reflect these changing needs.
Causes of skin aging
The structure of the skin if changing as we age and fine lines and wrinkles develop. As we get older the substances that are responsible for keeping our skin firm decrease. Those substances include collagen, elastin and Hyaluronic Acid. Those important ingredients are are required to provide tensile strength, elasticity, and hydration to the skin.
Causes of skin aging can be divided in to two groups:
- internal factors (biological skin aging)
- external factors start to affect the way skin looks (environmental factors – for example sun exposure)
When we turn the age of 25 we start loosing to level of collagen in our skin. Approximately 1% annual decline in collagen levels, along with an increasingly disorganised dermal tissue arrangement, causes a loss of skin strength and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Another crucial factor in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles is age-induced dryness. As a result of decreased skin functions, mature skin becomes increasingly dry and may be itchy, sensitive and rough too. The cause of this process is the decreasing amount of Hyaluronic Acid in the skin. As we age, our skin decreases the amount of HA that is produced. Hyaluronic Acid plays an important role in our skin. This is the moisture-binding substance that surrounds the cells giving skin its youthful, smooth appearance. This decline causes skin to lose its full and firm feel and become more susceptible to creasing and deep wrinkles.
Loss of collagen and Hyaluronic Acid contributes to a loss of volume and, as skin matures further, a loss of elasticity.
External factors in premature skin aging
External factors are environmental factors that cause oxidative stress to skin for example over-exposure to sunlight.
Sun exposure accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles more than any other external factor.
The UV radiation that affects our skin is composed of two different types of waves, UVA and UVB. When UV rays hit the skin, they damage its DNA, and cells start to produce melanin in the epidermis to prevent further damage. This is the process that gives you a tanned skin, which is really just your skin attempting to block the radiation from penetrating your skin.
UVB rays are shorter than UVA rays, and are the main culprit behind sunburn. The UVA rays, with their longer wavelength, are responsible for much of the damage we associate with photoageing. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, where they damage the collagen fibers. This damage causes increased production of abnormal elastin. The unusual amounts of elastin result in the production of enzymes called metalloproteinases.
These enzymes, which rebuild damaged collagen, often malfunction and degrade the collagen, resulting in incorrectly rebuilt skin. As this process is repeated with daily UVA exposure, the incorrectly rebuilt skin forms wrinkles, and the depleted collagen results in leathery skin.
Pollution triggers the release of free radicals and accelerates oxidative stress in the skin. Pollution breaks down collagen and oxidises the lipid layer in the skin, which impairs skin-barrier function. Smog particles are generally too large to penetrate the skin, but they can disturb the barrier, resulting in dehydration, sensitivity, uneven skin tone, dullness, acne, and premature ageing.
Oxidative stress is triggered by smoking. Free radicals damage skin’s structure and contribute to general signs of ageing including wrinkles. In addition, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes damage the collagen and elastin and contribute to wrinkles and premature ageing of the skin. Stop smoking to notice a visible difference with your skin’s look. Our skin recovers its elasticity when you stop smoking. It will also be smoother, making it more pleasant to look at and touch. Your skin complexion will become visibly brighter in the first few weeks after you stop smoking. After six months, your skin will regain its original vitality.
You should understand that sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases, and the organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.
The results of poor sleep for your skin are numerous and significant, including:
- skin that ages faster
- skin that doesn’t recover as well from environmental stressors like sun exposure
- less satisfaction with your skin quality
Healthy diet, pack with vibrant foods loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats, water, and essential nutrients, our body will show its appreciation through its largest organ: our skin. Certain foods are rich in antioxidants and can help to prevent premature ageing and slow down skin ageing in general.
What makes skin age faster?