Aging of the Skin – Types, Causes & Preventative Measures

anti aging skin treatments AuroraThe natural skin aging process is a continuous one that normally begins in our mid 20s. Within our skin collagen production slows down and elastin the substance that allows our skin to snap back into place has a bit less spring. Dead skin cells do not shed as quickly and new skin cells do not multiply as often. While the process starts to happen in our mid 20’s the signs may not be visible for years to come. Here are the different types and causes of skin aging as well as some preventative measures.

There are 2 distinct types of aging:

  1. Internal Aging – aging caused by our own genes which we inherit
  2. External Aging – caused by the environment such as exposure to the sun.

The signs of internal aging are:

  1. The loss of underlying fat which thins our face out. It becomes noticeable that the skin is not as firm
  2. The skin thins out and becomes more transparent
  3. Fine wrinkles begin to appear
  4. Our bones start to shrink away from the skin causing it to sag
  5. The loss of collagen causes the skin to dry out and itch
  6. Hair loss
  7. Unwanted hair begins to appear usually in places we don’t want it to 😉
  8. Our nail bed thins and ridges may appear
  9. It is also common for the half-moons in our nails to disappear

The signs of external aging:

  1. Freckles
  2. Age spots
  3. Spider veins
  4. Rough looking skin (almost like leather)
  5. Fine wrinkles
  6. Loose skin
  7. Blotchy looking skin
  8. Skin cancer

The Sun has a huge impact on the aging process. Without proper protection from sun exposure over the years it can cause noticeable changes quickly to the skin.  Aging caused by sun exposure is referred to as ‘photo aging’ The amount of photo aging that happens depends on:

  • A person’s skin colour
  • The amount of long term sun exposure

People with fair skin who have spent extended periods of time in the sun will show signs of photo aging more than people with dark skin. Studies show that repeated exposure breaks down the collagen in the skin and slows down new collagen from forming. The sun also attacks the elastin. A lot of exposure to the sun also weakens the skin’s ability to ‘spring back’ therefore the skin becomes loose and wrinkled much earlier.

While we cannot STOP the aging process, we can certainly slow it down with these steps:

  1. Stop smoking- smoking robs the skin of oxygen that is essential for cell production
  2. Sleep positions – be cautious of the position that your head is in when going to bed. Certain positions can lead to wrinkling.
  3. Eliminating facial expressions. Repetitive facial expressions lead to fine lines and wrinkles. The loss of elasticity stops skin from springing back.

Comprehensive sun protection will aid in preventing premature aging. Follow these 4 steps:

  1. Avoid the use of tanning beds
  2. Stay out of the sun between 10-4 when it is strongest
  3. Wear clothing that helps protect you, a hat and long sleeves
  4. Apply sunscreen year round. Sunscreen should have UVA and UVB protection and have a SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going outside.

Many people are bothered by the appearance of skin aging. Are you one of them? A number of treatments can help. Discuss your needs and expectations with your Aesthetician and she can recommend suitable treatment options. There are so many easy things to add to your daily regime that can significantly help to delay the aging process.

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Keep laughing and smiling…those are the life lines you can wear with pride!!

Until next time,


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