Ageing Skin? Not a problem with a few helpful tips
Lines and wrinkles are perhaps the most commonly thought of signs of ageing. However, facial ageing is not just about changes to the tone and texture of the skin. As we age, the entire shape of the face changes. Therefore, reducing wrinkles and tightening the skin is not enough to restore a more youthful appearance. Facial ageing is a complicated harmony of alterations in skin texture, fat volume, muscle stretch and bone density, all which lead to the hollows, gauntness and sagging we associate with the aged face.
Common age-related skin changes:
- Thinning of the basal cell layer and a slowed rate of cell production thins the epidermis, and often the dermis also becomes thinner. These combined mean skin is more likely to crepe and wrinkle.
- Sagging in older skin is a result of less elastin and collagen production, resulting in sagging and drooping as well as vulnerability to the effects of gravity (jowls, bags, and skin that has yielded).
- Wrinkles resulting from reduced elastin, collagen and skin thinning mean ‘high traffic’ areas of the face (such as the eyes and mouth) are especially prone to lines and wrinkles.
- Age spots appear when the remaining pigment cells (melanocytes) increase and cluster together in certain areas, forming what’s known as age or liver spots. These are commonly on areas that have been exposed to the sun, such as backs of the hands.
- Dryness is a common downfall of older skin, which has fewer sweat and oil glands. This can make the skin more prone to dryness and conditions such as roughness, flaking and itching.
Prevent premature ageing:
You cannot stop your face from ageing entirely, but there are a number of internal and external factors at work, many of which you can influence to keep looking younger for longer.
- DON’T SMOKE OR BE EXPOSED TO SMOKING. It depletes your body’s Vitamin C, which is necessary for younger looking skin, and will increase wrinkling and dryness.
- AVOID UNNECESSARY SUN EXPOSURE. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF15 or higher – preferably 30+ – year round. UV exposure is well known to cause wrinkling, premature ageing and cancer of the skin. You may also develop hyperpigmentation and a dry, leathery complexion.
- EAT WELL. A poor diet is a source of facial (and overall) ageing. Without the proper fuel, your body does not have the nutrients it needs to even function properly, let alone devote to keeping your skin firm, moist and blemish free. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and moderate quantities of good quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates will provide you with plenty of antioxidants that will help to protect your skin and overall health.
- GET MOVING. Exercise tones muscles and helps promote blood flow – necessary for healthy skin and body.
- STRESS LESS. Anyone who’s been through an extremely stressful event knows how it seems to show up all over the body, including on your face in dark circles under your eyes, dull skin and new wrinkles. Managing your stress, along with getting enough sleep, is key to retaining a youthful face.
- DRINK LESS (ALCOHOL). Over time, alcohol can permanently damage blood vessels in the skin, causing you to appear flushed. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, and thus the skin, making it more prone to dryness and wrinkling. So drink more water instead!