As the years pass, our bodies begin to age. One of the first places we may notice a change is the skin. In our teens and twenties, skin looks fresh and youthful, but by the time our thirties arrive, fine lines start to develop. During our forties, fifties and sixties, the results of living become more prominent as age spots, deeper wrinkles and sagging skin.
How Our Skin Ages
Your skin has several layers. The epidermis, or outermost layer, protects the deeper layers against damage and helps retain moisture so that skin continues to look revitalized. Through a continuous process called skin renewal, your skin sheds the damaged outer layer of cells and replaces them with new cells.
Beginning in your twenties, the skin renewal rate slows down, which makes skin thinner and more prone to the effects of the sun, environment and other factors. Skin often becomes dull and uneven. During your thirties, collagen and elastin start breaking down, causing fine lines, wrinkles and loose skin. After your thirties, in response to changing hormone levels, the lipids that protect against water loss start to leak so the skin retains less moisture and may look drier. If you take good care of your skin during your teens and twenties, by regularly exfoliating your skin and avoiding overexposure to the sun, you will keep your skin looking healthy and fresh in your thirties.
When you head into your forties and fifties, your skin begins to show more signs of aging. For instance, the effects of habitual facial expressions and long-term sun exposure start to catch up with you. Many people notice that the fine lines around the eyes and mouth deepen and forehead lines and other creases may start to develop. In sun-exposed areas, age spots and other changes in pigmentation often begin to appear.
Factors that Influence Aging in Skin
Genetics can significantly impact how your skin responds to the aging process. Outside influences such as gravity, pollution, cigarette smoke and climate, can also cause your skin to age prematurely.
Skin Care Tips
No one can stop the passage of time, but maintaining a good skin care regimen and taking these precautions can help you look your best at any age:
- Adequately cover your skin while outdoors
- Always use a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF and UVA protection
- Avoid tanning beds
- Do not spend prolonged time in the sun
- Select a moisturizer with SPF coverage