THE VISIBLE SIGNS OF SKIN AGEING
There are three main manifestations of general skin ageing. Each one affects the look of the face in a different way.
The first noticeable sign of ageing from 25 on-wards are fine lines and wrinkles. These lines appear on different areas of the face and are the most noticeable signs of the skin ageing. First to appear are the very fine lines. These small, shallow expression lines tend to become noticeable at the outer corners of the eyes. It is no surprise that they are known as laughter lines . Fine lines can also be found on the cheeks and the forehead, the wrinkles become noticeable as horizontal lines, again they are triggered by facial expression and tend to become deeper as time goes by. Smaller, vertical lines between the brows are caused by frowning.
Deeper wrinkles form between the nose and mouth, called nasolabial folds. These are linked to the skin becoming less taut and are often associated with a loss of volume.
Loss of volume
Sometimes difficult to identify, a loss of volume is also recognised by a loss of tautness of the skin, leading to a change in the cartography of the face.The neck area can become quite rough and dry and there can be a lack of glow and bloom to the skin. The diminishing volume can give the face a changed expression and look.
Loss of density
Most common in women of post-menopausal age, a loss of density manifests itself on the surface as the skin becoming fine and delicate. It is often associated with deeper wrinkles and a loss of radiance with a tendency towards duller skin.
INTERNAL CAUSES OF AGING
1. Blood Supply
A poorer blood supply to the skin means the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin’s surface is impeded. A duller skin tone is predominant the rosy glow that is a feature of young skin disappears.
Genetics have a key role in how the skin ages. The skin type we are born with makes a difference to how quickly the signs of ageing appear on the surface of the skin. For example a fair sensitive skin is prone to wrinkles at an earlier age, while Asian skin can be prone to uneven skin tone and wrinkles appear at a later age. Age induced dryness can also be caused by a persons specific genetic make-up.
EXTERNAL CAUSES OF AGING
The external factors affecting the speed with which the skin ages are all due to one process, oxidative stress. This is the release of molecules called free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, in the body. Free Radical Theory of Ageing states that we age due to the accumulation of damage due to free radicals as time goes by. A free radical is a highly volatile atom or molecule that consists of a single unpaired electron in an outer shell. The majority have extensive ability to damage all cell structures including lipids and proteins.
3. Sun Exposure
Allowing the skin to be exposed to pollution, most commonly in cities, can trigger the release of skin damaging free radicals. In addition, pollution worsens the affects of sun exposure accelerating oxidative stress.
The chemicals and nicotine contained in cigarettes are responsible for an upsurge in the amount of free radicals in the skin. Like pollution they intensify the effects of sun exposure, leading to oxidative stress.
Anti-oxidants are molecules with the ability to neutralise the free radicals that damage skin, speeding up skin ageing. A diet lacking in antioxidants will do nothing to help slow down general skin ageing. However, eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can become a key tool in a holistic approach to prevention of the ageing process.
7. Skin Care
Skin that is poorly cared for will age more quickly. Thorough cleansing using products appropriate for skin type together with regular application of skin care products targeted to the skin’s primary concern, can influence the skin to a great extent. Use of effective sun protection when exposed to sunlight is a key part of prevention.