As we age, the skin suffers natural wear-and-tear, just like the rest of our bodies. But much of what we think of as natural aging is in fact due to bad diet, bad skin habits, sun exposure and other factors. That means it can be avoided -- and it's never too late to start.
Normal Aging of Skin: Collagen, Elastin, and Sagging Skin
Underlying our skin is a mesh of collagen and elastin fibres. Collagen and Elastin are proteins that keep skin flexible, firm and toned. When skin is stretched, this protein matrix enables is to contract back into shape.
However, as we age, this fibre network weakens, and because the skin loses its support structure, it begins to sag. Other unavoidable forces contribute to aging skin, as well:
- Skin becomes thinner with age.
- We lose the subcutaneous fat under our skin as we age. This is the reason that the plump smoothness of our skin as children is replaced by a rougher texture.
- Gravity tugs on weakened skin, creating the under eye bags, chin jowls or "chicken fat" under the arms.
- Our genes also contributes to the aging process. Therefore some skins look 50 at 80 and unfortunately the reverse in others.
Unfortunately there's little we can do about gravity and genetics - however there are ways that we can improve our skins tone and possibly delay or rebuild collagen and elastin matrices.
Preventable Aging of Skin:
In fact, most of the skin changes associated with aging are avoidable. And most of them are due to one cause: sun damage.
When the ultraviolet rays from the sun, specifically the UVA rays penetrate into the skin, they damage the elastic fibres that keep skin firm. This allows wrinkles to develop.
Sunlight is also responsible for age spots or "liver spots" on the hands, face, and other sun-exposed areas.
Wrinkles, their depth and how prominent they are, are largely dependent on a person's lifetime sun exposure. While we can't go back and undo the sun damage of the past, we can stop the damage that's happening now:
- Stop intentionally sunbathing. Any suntan means skin damage has occurred.
- Wear a hat with a brim.
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when its rays are the strongest.
- Use a good moisturiser and always wear sunscreen. Choose a product with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or greater. The hands and face are the most frequently exposed -- cover them.
Smoking damages the skin and causes wrinkles. Decreased blood flow to the face, and damage from toxic chemicals in smoke are the cause of the damage. Hence wrinkles occur sooner and run deeper in people who smoke.
In addition, smokers tend to squint to keep smoke from their eyes, which can cause wrinkles in a particular pattern. This pattern of wrinkling is called “smokers face.”
Features of “smokers face” are crow's feet around the eyes and droopy skin around the eyelids. Protecting you your youthful looks is another good reason to quit smoking.
Excessive Drinking and Your Skin
Excessive alcohol (more than one drink a day for women, two for men) is bad for skin, and your health in general. People who drink heavily tend to not eat a healthy diet -- depriving skin of the nutrients it needs to prevent aging.
The Diet and Skin Connection
Skin is constantly fighting a battle with the sun, and constantly repairing and regenerating itself. Your skin needs the right nutrition to stay young and healthy looking. If you're eating lots of junk food, you're feeding your skin junk, too.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and E, as well as vitamin A and the B vitamin biotin, are particularly important for healthy skin. You'll get all of these nutrients, and more, by eating five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Tomatoes, citrus, green leafy vegetables, and carrots are a good place to start.
Natural, Organic & Effective Skincare Products
Products that are natural, organic - free of toxins and designed to be effective is the best thing you can give to your skin. The Organic Apoteke range is natural, organic and effective - along with being alcohol and cruelty free. Our small, simple range of products are designed to give your skin exactly what it needs.
Our parents gave us many gifts. Whether your skin genes were good or not, you can take action to keep the skin you have looking fresh, healthy and young.