Skin ages in two distinct ways, through environmental exposure (extrinsic aging and inherited genes (intrinsic aging)). The natural means of aging, referred to as intrinsic aging, begins in the mid-’20s and depreciates continuously throughout one’s life. The skin slowly shows the consequences of aging on skin as collagen production decelerates and elastin loses its stretch. The skin presents the effects of aging gradually and permanently. The skin restores at a slower speed, and new skin cell turnover is reduced, causing the skin to discard old cells at a reduced rate.
As people age, they start noticing how the aging process has transformed their skin. Intrinsic aging is illustrated by the growth of wrinkles and fine lines, dry or ditchyry skin, drooping skin from loss of bone mass, loss of underlying fat producing hollowed-out eye sockets and cheeks, transparent or thin skin, development of varicose and spider veins, and the decrease in sweat gland production that influences the skin’s cooling process.
The sun is deadly. Most of the most devastating effects on the skin are caused by Ultraviolet Rays from sun exposure. Smoking, facial expressions, wind, gravity, heat, and even the sleep position all contribute to the extrinsic aging process. Up to 80% of all aging may be due to susceptibility to the sun.
Wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher will reduce the sun’s harmful effects on the skin’s collagen and elastin cells. The sun’s rays contribute to rough skin, freckles, loose skin, spider veins on the face, a blotchy complexion, and rough, red patches on the skin called actinic keratoses. And, of course, the dangerous skin cancer.
Dermatologists use the word ‘Photoaging’ to illustrate the damage to the skin caused by the sun. Photoaging happens over time and alters depending on individual skin color and exposure amount to harmful UV rays. Elastin and collagen production are stunted with sun exposure, causing the skin to lose its capacity to repair itself and become loose, leathery, and wrinkled.
Can a person reverse the aging process and win the battle against time to bring back young skin? Unfortunately, no, but as ‘character’ lines are developed on the body and face, showing the world the process of life and aging, it is achievable to take preventative measures to reduce the harmful effects on the skin.
A proper diet full of rich, antioxidant fruits and vegetables, drinking a gallon of water a day, and staying out of the sun are all simple means with assured results. In the chemical realm, the possibilities are limitless and vast, either through miracle drugs or plastic surgery, many of which are unsubstantiated. Exfoliating with a gentle scrub, washing with mild soap, and moisturizing frequently will maintain healthy skin.
Once the skin has aged enough, Vitamin A becomes depleted in the epidermal tissues and epithelial cells, causing permanent and deep wrinkles. Many skin care products use a synthetic form of Vitamin A to copy collagen production and reproduce and replace dead skin cells to give a reprieve (temporary) from the unavoidable aging process.