What Happens to Our Skin as We Age?

Posted on Aug 5 2020 - 9:00am by Ashlea Curley

Ageing is inevitable. But do we really know what to expect and when? From our twenties and beyond, our bodies and skin go through so many changes, all of which affect our skin’s health. Lifestyle factors such as environment, diet and habits can affect how quickly this happens. But there are ways you can help to slow down the aging process and prolong your skin’s health and vitality. In this piece we look at behaviours you can expect from your skin from your 20s through to your 60s and some steps you can take to take good care of your skin.

Your twenties are known as the best years of your life

20 year old

What typically happens to your skin in your 20s

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.

Biggest skin issues for 20 year olds…

For most twenty-year-olds, the biggest concern is acne caused by hormones, diet, 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.

How to take care of your skin in your 20s

Dermatologists can’t stress enough about the importance of taking care of your skin during your twenties. They recommend that you wear sunscreen 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

30 year old woman

What typically happens to your skin in your 30s

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 could have to tackle dryness and redness, as you skin cells can no longer help tolerate inflammation.

As collagen and elastin continues to deplete, our skin becomes thinner causing your complexion to look dull. You may start to notice that your skin isn’t as firm particularly around the chin, cheeks and eyes.

How to take care of your skin in your 30s

Dermatologists suggest that you should cut back on alcohol and sugar during your thirties. As our bodies can no longer recover as quickly as it once could in our twenties, we should try to have at least three alcohol free days to allow our bodies to rejuvenate and allow our skin to breathe. As for sugar, as it contains glycation which has an ageing effect on the skin, causing early damage so is advisable to cut down where you can. When it comes to your skincare regime, introduce anti-aging products to help target problem skin, ensure you wear sunscreen everyday and introduce a massage technique to your cleansing ritual to help firm up skin.

By your forties, your oestrogen levels have plummeted causing your skin to loose firmness, elasticity and moisture

What happens to skin in your 40s

What typically happens to your skin in your 40s

In your 40s, elastin and collagen continues to deplete and we can experience hormonal changes which can lead to noticeable changes in our skin. As you begin to lose fat and tissue in the face, you may notice that you lose some of the fullness around your cheeks, temples and followed by your mouth, chin and jawline. 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 and you may notice an uneven appearance in your skin.

How to take care of your skin in your 40s

We’d recommend conducting a mini facial massage as and when you’re applying product to your skin. Be it first thing in the morning, last thing at night, topping up your sunscreen during the day, or a combination. This will really help to firm skin which may look more dropping.

As for skincare products, you may notice your skin becomes drier so a product with hyaluronic acid to help boost and maintain moisture levels will be helpful. In addition, you should be regularly using a retinol based product (otherwise known as Vitamin A), which in addition to boosting antioxidant levels, helps to revitalise skin to reveal fresher, younger cells and skin.

Your fifties are the years where the oestrogen has left your body, due to menopause

What happens to your skin in your 50s

What typically happens to your skin in your 50s

If you’ve had overexposure to the sun, this will show up most in your 50s, with age spots starting to cover your arms, face and hands caused by cells producing pigment in the absence of sun (though can occur earlier if the damage is severe). Additionally, 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 more noticeable. The loss of elasticity results in hooded and wrinkled eyelids as elastin and collagen become unsupportive to skin cells.

How to take care of your skin in your 50s

Continuing with a facial message routine and targeted products will help to skin perkier. You may need additional targeted products to tackle any concerns. Lifestyle factors will increasingly affect the quality of your skin so if you’re overly concerned, look at making adjustments here. Try altering your diet, supplementing, avoid too much sun exposure and continue with an exercise regime.

In your sixties, your hormone levels start to return to normal but the skin continues to lose tone

What happens to your skin in your 60s

What typically happens to your skin in your 60s

The skin’s circulation has slowed right down making skin appear dull. You may notice thinner lips and more wrinkles around the mouth. This is due to the decrease of blood flow, causing the skin to become increasingly thinner.

How to take care of your skin in your 60s

Moisture is key, so ensuring the products you use helps to boost moisture is important. So, avoid cleansers or soaps that strip and dry out the skin. A little extra care of your skin will help too, using a soft cloth, warm instead of hot water, and patting your skin dry will all help to protect your skin too. Additionally, our skin is also much more sensitive to the sun and any exposure can cause a little more damage so be sure to always wear a high factor.

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