What are the causes of ageing skin? If that is a question you are asking yourself, we’ve got all of the answers you need. Ageing effects on the skin may be coming from internal or external factors, and depending on the source, may be premature.
1. Intrinsic Ageing
Intrinsic ageing is inevitable, as cells and tissues change and degenerate over time. As a continuous process, intrinsic ageing cannot be prevented, but it is thought to make up only a small percentage of visible ageing effects on the skin. More commonly, extrinsic factors are causes of ageing skin.
2. Sun Exposure
One of the main causes of ageing skin is UV damage resulting from excess sun exposure. When out in the sun without spf protection you may experience a sunburn – but the damage does not end there. The sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing photo-damage at the lowest layers. This damage may not be visible for some time. Once the damages of excessive sun exposure become apparent on the skin, you may experience signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, broken capillaries, sun spots, and uneven texture. Generally, skin tones between 1 and 3 on the Fitzpatrick scale are most susceptible to photoageing.
Smoking also causes ageing skin, as the toxins damage collagen and elastin fibres within the dermis. Though this process eventually happens anyway, smokers are likely to prematurely experience wrinkles, narrowed blood vessels and pigmentation. A smoker aged in their 40’s can have the same skin condition as a non-smoker in their 60s. If you have a pre-existing condition affecting the skin, smoking can also cause aggravation and worsen symptoms.
Not having a balanced, nutritious diet is thought to contribute to ageing effects on the skin. Having a poor diet too high in fats, for example, increases inflammation within the body and causes oxidative stress to cells. A diet high in sugars can also negatively affect the appearance of the skin. Sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin proteins, inhibiting the ability to keep skin firm, and contributing to causes of ageing skin.
5. Facial Expressions
Facial expressions are also causes of ageing skin. As you use your facial muscles everyday, the continual movement can leave behind a visible mark in the form of a wrinkle. As facial movement and expressions become repeated, a groove forms within the skin. The collagen degradation process and the skin becoming less elastic means it does not bounce back to how it once was. Therefore, the groove becomes permanently visible.
Though you may not consider it, gravity is also one of the causes of ageing skin. While youthful skin is able to bounce back from the pressure of gravity, ageing or damaged skin is not. Gravity contributes to drooping eyelids and cheeks, particularly on the lower face.
Find out how to prevent ageing effects on the skin in our next blog.