We all know that we will age at some time in our lives, it’s inevitable – maybe you have already. But do we really know what to expect and when? From our twenties to our sixties our bodies go through so many changes that affect our skin’s health. As with anything in life, it’s all about preparation. We can educate ourselves and if it concerns us, find out ways in which we can reduce it. Although the concepts we explore in this article seem daunting, we will, over the next several weeks in our anti-ageing series, provide you with ways in which you can slow down the ageing process and prolong your skin’s health and ultimately keep you healthy. After all, as Robert Urich said ‘A healthy outside starts from the inside.’
Your twenties are known as the best years of your life.
But for your skin, this is where all the hard work starts. By your mid-twenties, your skin’s structural proteins start to decrease leading to saggy skin. The rate of new cells being produced by your skin is slowing down, meaning that your skin can no longer rejuvenate itself. This causes the collagen, which keeps your skin firm, and the elastin, which gives skin flexibility, to become weaker. For most twenty-year-olds, the biggest concern is all about acne caused by those sleepless nights fuelled on alcohol, and stress from work deadlines. The key thing to remember whilst in your twenties is ‘what you do now will determine what your skin will look like in the future’. So, whether it’s a pack of fags on your Friday night out on the town or spending hours in the sun, everything has an effect on your skin’s structure that makes it weaker by the day. Dermatologists can’t stress enough about the importance of taking care of your skin during your twenties. They recommend that you wear sunscreen all year round to protect it from sun damage that will cause your skin to look more aged than it is. So if you don’t take care now, when you’re 40 your sun damaged skin will make you look significantly older – and who wants that.
In your thirties, all those habits from your twenties start to break out.
The mixture of booze and fags has now turned into wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. While all those hours of laying out in the sun have turned into brown patches across your forehead, cheeks and chin. Your oestrogen levels have started to dip causing that skin structure of yours to become weaker. This means that you will have to tackle dryness and redness, as you skin cells can no longer help tolerate inflammation. Dermatologists suggest that you should cut back on alcohol and sugar during your thirties; our bodies can no longer recover as quickly as it once could in our twenties, meaning we should have at least three alcohol free days to allow our bodies to rejuvenate to allow our skin to breathe. Sugar contains glycation, which has an ageing effect on the skin meaning it only causes more damage. Your skin also becomes thinner due to the loss of collagen and elastin. This means your complexion starts to look dull as the elastin is responsible for flushing out all the toxins.
By your forties, your oestrogen levels have plummeted causing your skin to loose firmness, elasticity and moisture.
Our faces start to deflate around our mid face, temples and the front of the ears. Next, it’s the mouth, chin and around the jaw line. A lack of soft tissue support makes the nose dip and causes the upper lip to sink downwards creating the wrinkles around the brow area. Oestrogen-related bone loss can affect your facial structure leaving you with sunken eyes and drooping skin. The lymphatic system, which is responsible for flushing out toxins in your skin, will slow down and create puffiness around the eyes and cheeks. We are also more affected by free radicals, such as pollution, as the sebum production decreases meaning there is less protection. You may also notice that your skin turns grey or yellow due to too much sun exposure. This is because our cells pigments multiple when they are exposed to too much sun and gives our skin an uneven appearance.
Your fifties are the years where the oestrogen has left your body, due to menopause, and testosterone comes in.
Age spots start to cover your arms, face and hands caused by cells producing pigment in the absence of sun. Blood vessels damaged by the sun will also start to show. Within the first five years of menopause, you’ll lose a third of collagen, and 30% of moisture. Skin becomes loose and dehydrated making wrinkles are more noticeable. The loss of elasticity results in hooded and wrinkled eyelids as elastin and collagen become unsupportive to skin cells.
In your sixties, your hormone levels start to return to normal but the skin continues to lose tone.
The skin’s circulation has slowed right down making skin appear dull with thin lips and more wrinkles around the mouth. This is due to the decrease of blood vessels in the face meaning there is less blood flow and allows skin to become increasingly thinner.
Aging is inevitable. Though it’s our hormones and habits which causes the onset of wrinkles and age spots. Although arguably we can’t change our bodies, we can change our lifestyle habits to slow down the pace of aging and aid our bodies in areas where it begins to fail. Of course, the earlier we begin looking after ourselves, the better our bodies will fair in ageing, but it’s never too late to make changes. Next week we’ll be looking at ways in which you can you can make changes at whatever age or stage in life you’re in.