Sunday, March 09, 2014
As we age our skin is exposed to sun, harsh weather, and bad habits. But we can take steps to help our skin stay supple and fresh-looking.How your skin ages will depend on number of factors: your lifestyle, diet, heredity, and other personal habits. For instance, smoking can produce free radicals, once-healthy oxygen molecules that are now overactive and unstable. Free radicals damage cells, leading to, among other things, premature wrinkles. There are other reasons, too. Primary factors contributing to wrinkled, spotted skin include normal aging, exposure to the sun (photoaging), and loss of fatty tissue between the skin and muscle. Other factors that contribute to aging of the skin include stress, gravity, daily facial movement, obesity and even sleep position.
Skin Changes With Age
As we grow older, changes like these naturally occur: Skin becomes rougher. Skin develops lesions such as benign tumors. Skin becomes slack. (it loses the elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin with age causes the skin to hang loosely. Skin becomes more transparent. This is caused by thinning of the epidermis (surface layer of the skin). Skin becomes more fragile. This is caused by a flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis (layer of skin under the epidermis) come together. Skin becomes more easily bruised. This is due to thinner blood vessel walls . Changes below the skin also become evident as we age. They include: Loss of fat below the skin in the cheeks, temples, chin, nose, and eye area may result in loosening skin, sunken eyes, and a "skeletal" appearance. Bone loss, mostly around the mouth and chin, may become evident after age 60 and cause puckering of the skin around the mouth. Cartilage loss in the nose causes drooping of the nasal tip and accentuation of the bony structures in the nose.
Sun and Your Skin
Exposure to sunlight is the single biggest culprit in aging skin. Over time, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light damages certain fibers in the skin called elastin. The breakdown of elastin fibers causes the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to snap back after stretching The skin also bruises and tears more easily and takes longer to heal. So while sun damage may not show when you're young, it will later in life. Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can sometimes repair itself. So, it's never too late to begin protecting yourself from sun exposure however, you can delay changes associated with aging by staying out of the sun , covering up, wearing a hat, and making a habit of using sunscreen. Other Skin Changes Gravity, facial movement, and sleep position are the secondary factors that contribute to changes in the skin. When the skin loses its elasticity, gravity causes drooping of the eyebrows and eyelids, looseness and fullness under the cheeks and jaw (jowls and "double chin"), and longer ear lobes.
Other Skin Changes
Facial movement lines become more visible after the skin starts losing its elasticity (usually as people reach their 30s and 40s). Lines may appear horizontally on the forehead, vertically on the skin above the root of the nose, or as small curved lines on the temples, upper cheeks, and around the mouth. Sleep creases result from the way the head is positioned on the pillow and may become more visible after the skin starts losing its elasticity. Sleep creases are commonly located on the side of the forehead, starting above the eyebrows to the hairline near the temples, as well as on the middle of the cheeks. Sleeping on your back may improve these sleep creases or prevent them from becoming worse. Smokers tend to have more wrinkles than nonsmokers of the same age, complexion, and history of sun exposure. Dry skin and itching is common in later life.
About 85% of older people develop "winter itch," because overheated indoor air is dry. The loss of oil glands as we age may also worsen dry skin. Anything that further dries the skin (such as overuse of soaps or hot baths) will make the problem worse. If your skin is very dry and itchy.
Good nutrition and plenty of water are also helpful. Dehydration increases the risk of skin injury. Sometimes minor nutritional deficiencies can cause rashes, skin lesions and other skin changes, even if you have no other symptoms.
Keep skin moist with plenty of moisturizers. Avoid using soaps that are heavily perfumed, and loaded with chemicals, go for more natural, creamy liquid type facial soaps that are gentle and non drying to skin, or pure gentle cleansing oils that contain essential fatty acids and plenty of Vitamin E. Go for facial serums with active ingredients like DMAE, Natural Alpha Hydroxy, and or Phyto Nutrients. If you use facial scrubs use it gently and limit its use to once weekly.