Aging is a normal process of life and the evidence of aging shows on our skin. As we age skin begins to thin, dry and dull due to slow cell turn over. New skin cells do not grow as quickly, resulting in thinning skin. As a result, dead skin cells shed less quickly making the appearance of the skin dull and dry. Collagen and elastin-the system of fibers that make skin firm and elastic-begin to break down, resulting in sagging and wrinkles. Pigmentation is more prominent as we age when melanocytes, (which produce skin pigment) begin to produce irregularly. Research has shown there are two different factors in aging; intrinsic or internal and extrinsic or external.
Intrinsic aging, the natural course of aging, has to do with genes and inheritance. Natural aging begins at birth; however, signs of aging begin to appear on the skin in our mid 20’s. Intrinsic aging includes slower cell turn over, and less collagen production. Elastin begins to break down which acts like a rubber band enabling our skin to stretch and snap back. Visible signs of intrinsic skin aging include fine lines, loss of suppleness, dry and thin skin.
Extrinsic aging are the external factors that age the skin. These include sun exposure, health and diet, gravity, sleeping positions, smoking, drinking and even facial expressions. External factors cause premature aging to the skin and can become visible rather quickly.
While intrinsic factors are mostly uncontrollable, fortunately, extrinsic aging is controllable. Skin aging is a normal process however, premature aging of the skin can be prevented. A healthy lifestyle, yearly physical exams and topical care of the skin can prevent premature aging. A healthy, active life style will create healthy, strong skin from the outside in, preventing premature aging. Physical exams may catch early signs of skin damage that then can be treated. Topical skin care allows the skin to absorb ingredients through topical products that aid in building the epidermis and dermal layers of skin, the skin that is and will become visible. Topical care includes skin care products such as cleansers, moisturizers, serums and sunscreens.
To prevent premature aging is to treat your skin as one of a kind. There are many different skin types, meaning what one person is doing to take care of their skin is not necessarily what you need to be doing to treat your skin. However, the most important products to aid in preventing premature aging are cleansers, exfoliates, moisturizers with hydrators and sunscreens. Cleansers will cleanse the skin clearing excess oil, dirt and debris. Exfoliates will slough off dead skin, deep clean pores and result in smoother more even skin tone. Moisturizers with hydrators will keep the skin supple and moist, while sunscreen will help to protect the skin from sun damage. It is also important to consider skin care products that include essential oils and antioxidants to help fight off free radicals that can further damage skin cells. Always consult a dermatologist before starting any skin care routine.
By Tiffany Oney
Tiffany Oney is a licensed esthetician, professional makeup artist and natural skincare authority. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies California State University, Long Beach and interning with Vivoderm Natural Skincare in Los Angeles, California.