What happens to our skin when we age?
Sunlight helps to increase vitamin D levels and ward off seasonal affective disorder. However, soaking up too much is incredibly bad for our skin.
Skin aging signs:
Our skin has two distinct layers. The epidermis makes up the outer barrier of our skin and protects us from environmental insults, such as bacteria and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Meanwhile, the dermis is rich in collagens and other proteins, which are responsible for skin’s strength and elasticity.
Both layers take quite a beating during our lives, and over time, irreparable damage accumulates. But why is skin unable to repair this damage?
A loss of hyaluronic acid content, slower cell turnover and reduction in sebum production on the skin’s surface makes roughness and dryness more likely. As this particular layer of the skin ages it becomes more sensitive to the sun’s rays. Skin is less efficient at healing itself, and a reduced immune function can lead to an increase in skin infections together with slower wound healing.
From about the age of 25, collagen, one of skin’s building blocks decreases by 1% each year. Together with a decline in functional elastin this leads to dermal tissue disorganization. Skin structure is compromised and fine lines and wrinkles are more likely. As our skin matures, elasticity continues to reduce and deeper wrinkles form. The production of hyaluronic acid – plentiful in youthful skin – slows down, so skin cells are less effective at binding in water and skin is prone to dryness. It also becomes weaker and more prone to damage and broken capillaries. Reduced micro-circulation means a less efficient delivery of nutrition and oxygen to the surface, which leads to a decrease in the radiance enjoyed by youthful skin.
In the deeper layers, the most notable changes are the reduction in size and number of lipid-storing cells in the adipose layer. This results in sagging skin and a loss of volume and can lead to deep wrinkles.
Our skin ages for a variety of different reasons. Many of the causes of skin aging are entirely natural and cannot be altered. There are, however, several factors that can cause skin to age prematurely, and these can be influenced. A holistic approach to lifestyle and skincare can help to reduce the visible signs of skin aging and prevent premature skin aging.