Along with other changes in our body, ageing also brings with it some visible skin changes. Some of these are natural, harmless and unavoidable, while others are painful and can be prevented.
Skin ageing is a complex process, which is influenced by factors such as genetics and exposure to the sun. Apart from these, there are other factors that can influence chronological ageing like hormonal changes [especially in women], reduced cell turnover, decreased fat content, oxygen depletion, abnormal cell formation, and genetically predetermined cell shutdown. All these factors cause cumulative changes in the body.
Wrinkles and lines
With the onset of ageing, appearance of wrinkles is the first most obvious sign that we notice. Watch out for dry rough skin and thin lines around our eyes [called as crow’s feet].
Irregular thickening of the dermis along with decrease in the water-holding capacity of the epidermis also adds to the formation of wrinkles.
Normally, elastin fibres and collagen are responsible for keeping the skin firm. When these fibres weaken, the skin becomes loose and thin. Further, we lose fat and tissue as we age and this makes the skin lifeless and dull, causing it to sag.
The skin produces its own natural oil, which protects it and prevents losing moisture. As we get older, the skin produces less oil, making it fragile and dry, especially in sun-exposed areas. In cold, dry and windy climates it easily becomes flaky and itchy. That is why it needs the greasy protection.
As we age, brown spots begin to appear, also known as freckles, on the back of our hands and other sun-exposed areas like the upper chest and face. These spots are small and light coloured in the initial stages, but eventually become a cosmetic problem—an obvious sign of premature ageing because of ultraviolet damage from sun exposure or from tanning.
Genetics and age are two main factors that contribute to large pores. Usually, those who have a naturally thick and oily skin have larger pores. Sun damage, dirt, bacteria and decreased skin elasticity can also cause the pores to dilate.
Skin redness, broken blood vessels, brown spots, dry patches and hyperpigmentation are all responsible for giving skin a blotchy, uneven look.
Here are some tips for you to stay younger for longer.
One of the leading contributors that roughens skin texture, causes uneven tone and skin cancer is sun damage. Protecting your skin by wearing a sunscreen or moisturiser with an SPF of 28 or more every time you are outside is crucial.
Smoking constricts blood vessels, which decreases blood flow and eventually oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin cells. This causes dull, lifeless skin with brown spots. Smoking also causes premature ageing as it reduces collagen. Thus, for clear and glowing skin, stop smoking.
Using a good anti-ageing moisturiser is an essential part of your daily skincare regimen as this improves the water-holding capacity of the skin.
Retinoic acid, the oxidised form of vitamin A, helps in keeping the skin hydrated. Make sure that you get your daily requirement of vitamin A from foods like cheese, cod liver oil and eggs. You can also apply creams that contain retinoic acid.
You can use cosmetic procedures to correct skin texture. Fine lines and wrinkled skin may be improved by resurfacing with dermatologic surgery, chemical peels, lasers or micro dermabrasion. Chemical peels also help even out pigmentation and improve skin texture.
Superficial and medium-depth chemical peels and microdermabrasion helps in rejuvenating the upper-most layer of the skin. Botox is most useful for treating wrinkles, frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines.
Fillers [like hyaluronic acid] can be used to improve individual lines and furrows, giving the skin a plumper, younger look. Cosmetic facial surgery involves tightening and repositioning facial tissues and altering the structure of the sagging tissues.
Remember, none of these solutions guarantee a youthful appearance, but they can definitely improve the overall appearance of your skin.