Nothing is permanent and if anything justifies it, solely, is your skin! Ageing is a natural process and is largely controlled by our genes yet catalysed by variegated environmental and internal stressors.
Our lifestyle choices, internal body processes and environment we reside in, play a huge impact on our skin quality.
Irrespective of major external factors influencing the ageing process, it is an inherent cycle that is simply following its natural course. Each year after the age of 20, a person's skin produces roughly 1% less collagen. Thereafter, as people get older, their skin becomes more fragile and wrinkled. Yet again, wrinkles usually appear in places, where smiles have been. So, let’s celebrate this intrinsic event.
What are the signs of ageing?
The skin acts like a projector reflecting progressive indications of ageing. Grey hair, dry skin, wrinkles are all manifestations of the ageing process. While many of us would prefer rewinding the biological clock and avoid blowing out candles every year, it is essential to acknowledge the change and perceive it as growth. Some of the common, easily noticeable ageing signs are as follows-
1. Dry skin
As you age, there is an increased trans-epidermal water loss from the skin, causing dry skin and reduction in barrier function. This leads to premature signs of ageing such as fine lines along with dull and tired appearance.
2. Wrinkles/ fine lines
As we age, the production of collagen reduces, causing skin to lose suppleness. Due to loss of hydration and collagen, fine lines and creases may start to appear on the surface of your skin, especially around the eyes, neck and lip area.
Hyperpigmentation can manifest itself in the form of discoloration or an uneven appearance to the skin tone. It most commonly affects the cheekbones, nose, and forehead area. Scientifically, increased pigmentation is due to alleviated production of melanin which is triggered by sun exposure.
4. Saggy skin
Overall fat loss and age factor are associated with saggy skin. It can be commonly seen around the eyes, neck, underarm and chin area. Scientifically, lack of elasticity causes saggy skin.
What are the major causes of ageing?
Ageing of skin can be caused by a variety of events and actions, all of which can be modified or rectified. Let's go over how ageing might affect you, as well as some simple ways to avoid it.
Stress can take a serious toll on your skin. Recent studies have revealed that stress can hasten the ageing process by reducing the length of each DNA strand. Anxiety, depression and social exclusion all lead to premature ageing and increased wrinkles.
Honestly, stress doesn’t make you older, it simply speeds up the ageing process.
2. Poor diet
A diet packed with saturated fats and trans-fat sprinkled with calories is sure to accelerate your ageing process. Junk food, commonly considered a perfect mood lifter. Well, such mood lifters won’t pay off in the long run. High calorie foods is sure to make you prone to nutrient deficiencies.
3. UV damage
Ageing caused by exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays is called photoaging. UV rays directly target the dermis (middle layer of the skin) that contains collagen and fibres responsible for skin texture, ultimately causing it to crumble. Beware of UV A radiations as it is the main culprit behind premature skin ageing.
Rapid industrialisation and economic growth have increased the release of numbers and types of free radicals in the environment. These radicals have an unfond love to the lipid barrier layer present in our skin. This barrier is responsible for moisture retention which when exposed to free radicals causes oxidative stress and premature ageing.
5. Lifestyle habits
A healthy lifestyle will not only help you look better but will also slow down the overall ageing process. While million reasons account for premature ageing, lets ponder upon a few a habits that need conscious consideration
Lack of sleep
Sleeping is when our body heals from different stressors. It is the time when the blood circulation and oxygen content in your body increases. Simultaneously, collagen production and repair from UV rays also takes place. Lack of sleep takes away this healing time from your body causing it to age faster.
There is no habit, good or bad! It is all about perspective. But if you want a healthy, supple, shining skin, you need to get rid of smoking asap. Cigarettes have a high nicotine content that restrict oxygen supply to the body, causing wrinkles and reduced elasticity.
Alcohol is known to cause overall body dehydration and depletion of Vitamin A, which is a crucial component for healthy skin. It not only leaves a bad hangover but flaky skin and wrinkles become a long run companion.
Beautiful healthy skin requires constant commitment, not a miracle!
7 Easy ways to prevent signs of ageing
Let’s look at some convenient steps to maintain a firmer younger looking skin.
Live, Love, wear sunscreen should be your motto. Owing to extreme sun exposure and blue light from the screens, it has become a pre-requisite to wear sunscreen, both indoors and outdoors. Some pointers to keep in mind, when selecting a sunscreen are
- Choose a broad spectrum, like SPF 50.
- For oily/acne prone skin skin, prefer sunscreens with low penetration filters
- Use water resistant/sweat resistant sunscreen for outdoor activities
- Paraben free and dermatologically tested
2. Good Moisturiser
Investing in a good moisturiser is a must. It not only maintains moisture equilibrium but also repairs your skin from environmental damage. It is the master of all skincare products and should be applied as base cream, every day. Our skin is porous, meaning it tends to absorb moisture after some time. Thus, it is essential to look out for moisturisers that have the following contents
Hyaluronic acid works to hydrate the outer layers of skin, consequently improving the skin's appearance. With topical application, hyaluronic acid gives you a healthier and more supple skin.
3. Omega 3 fatty acid in diet
According to research published by the National Library of Medicine, getting your omega-3s from fish oil supplements or other foods will help maintain a balance between your skin's fatty acid makeup and inflammatory response. To put it another way, the skin remains softer and less reactive! Maintaining adequate fatty acid levels also aids in the reduction of sun damage and the improvement of sensitive skin disorders.
Natural sources of Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in foods like-
- Sea food
- Soybean oil
How does sugar make your skin age faster?
Eat less sugar, you are sweet enough!
Sugary foods play a major role in the ageing process. Research has shown that excessive intake of sugar rich products causes glycation. It is a process where sugar running in your bloodstream binds to proteins, forming free radicals that accumulate and damage the protein structure of your body. This contributes to accelerating the ageing process.
4. Practice yoga and meditation
Yoga glows real. It is a natural process of cleansing your body by releasing stress and detoxifying yourself. Some of the key benefits of practicing yoga and meditation are-
- Better sleep
- Reduced anxiety and stress levels
- Brighter skin tone
5. Retinol based creams
According to the latest research published in the National Library of Medicine, retinol is known to stimulate production of new blood cells in the skin, thereby improving skin tone and texture. It is a transformational element in the skin care industry. It is known to stimulate collagen production and promote younger looking healthier skin. Some of the advantages of using retinol are-
- Excellent skin exfoliant
- Boosts skin cell turnover
- Increases collagen production
- Improves elasticity of the skin
- Reduces the pore size, fine line and wrinkles
What's the best age to start using anti-ageing skin care products?
Everyone has a different skin type and they age differently depending on the lifestyle they choose to pursue. According to experts in the field, the best age to prioritise and invest in a skin care routine is in your mid 20’s. So, if you are turning 25 this year, hint your best friend to gift you a good skin care product.
6. Topical vitamin C
Vitamin C, as a potent antioxidant, neutralises free radicals that cause oxidative stress in the skin and premature ageing. It is also necessary for the creation of collagen in skin cells, which helps to maintain skin texture and postpone the ageing process, when administered topically. Collagen enriched skin is less likely to get wrinkled as compared to thin skin texture. Vitamin C enriched products can help with
- Premature skin ageing
- Boost hydration
- Radiant and even skin tone
7. Medical procedures for fine lines and wrinkles
Dermal fillers, commonly known as injectable implants, are FDA-approved medical interventions for making the face appear fuller and voluminous. You may opt such alternatives but beware of the side effects they might cause like inflamed skin, irritation on the skin, and even excessive swelling on the face. It is always advised to consult your dermatologist before pursuing medical procedures like
Cosmetic filler or derma fillers are small injections that add fullness and volume to the sunken area of your skin. They are highly effective against removal of wrinkles and skin folds.
They are utilised to smooth out wrinkles and revitalise the skin. It entails the application of an acid solution to the injured skin surface to remove it.
Laser therapy works by vaporising the damaged top layer of the skin, resulting in a smoother and brighter skin with fewer wrinkles.
Ageing is bound to happen, yet you can slow down the process by adopting a few lifestyle changes. This includes giving the attention your skin demands in the form of effective hydration, suitable sunscreens, night time repair strategies and a holistic skin care regime. Proper care and maintenance of your skin at an early age will require far less efforts in the years to come.