The Complete Guide to Skin Ageing: Causes, Signs, Prevention, and Treatment
As we age our skin also ages. At times, our skin undergoes premature ageing leading to the development of wrinkles, age spots, unevenness and drying of skin. This comprehensive guide contains information about skin ageing, signs and causes of skin ageing, types of skin ageing, preventive tips, supplements and treatments for skin ageing. Read till the end to know the best supplements for glowy and youthful skin.
What is Skin Ageing?
Skin ageing is a biological process caused by a combination of intrinsic factors: genetics, cellular metabolism, hormones and metabolic processes and extrinsic factors: chronic light exposure, pollution, chemical toxins, etc. These factors lead to changes in skin both structurally and physiologically.
What exactly does skin ageing entail?
As your skin ages, it becomes thinner, losing its fat content, and smoothness it once had. Skin ageing processes are typically classified as intrinsic or extrinsic.
It is a genetically determined process of ageing that occurs naturally. It is determined by a person’s genetic clock and the degenerative effects of free radicals in our body. In the mid-20s it begins which includes slow production of collagen and elastin. It is typical for our faces to lose a few of their young fullness as we age. Our skin grows thinner and drier as we age. Signs of intrinsic ageing include thinning, cracking, sagging, and the appearance of wrinkles on the skin.
Our environment and lifestyle decisions might trigger premature ageing of our skin. Extrinsic ageing is the medical word for this form of ageing. We can reduce the impact of this form of ageing on our skin by taking certain preventive measures. Extrinsic ageing is caused by persistent UV (ultraviolet) radiation exposure, smoking, and other pollutants, and it occurs in addition to the intrinsic ageing process.
What are the Signs of Skin Ageing?
The skin is the largest organ and the most visible organ of the body. Thus prone to the visibility of the initial signs of ageing. The skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer connected by connective tissues: collagen and elastin. Loss of fat in the subcutaneous layer and thinning of the epidermis, and dermis layer lead to skin ageing. A few signs are given below:
The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is the first symptom of ageing. At the corners of the eyes, little wrinkles called crow's feet start developing around 30. The forehead also begins to get wrinkles over time. Our skin responds to facial expressions, and as we age, these wrinkles deepen and become more visible, especially between the brows, where frowning lines appear.
It is a part of natural ageing. The two proteins collagen and elastin are responsible for the skin’s firmness and are present in the middle layer of the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps retain moisture and elasticity of the skin. As we age, the production of these proteins decreases making the skin appear loose and saggy.
Dry skin has little or no moisture content. Because of low humidity, ageing, harsh soaps, and dehydration, our skin loses its moisture barrier. This results in scaling, itching, rough texture, flaking, peeling, cracking, fine lines and deep cracks. Consult a dermatologist if you have dry skin for a long time.
types: whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are small bumps sticking out of the skin caused by inflamed oil glands. Blackheads are small bumps that appear on the skin due to clogged hair follicles. Excess sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells get trapped in the skin causing the pores to grow. Genetics, elasticity, thick hair follicles and sun damage cause enlarged pores.
Uneven skin tone
The major causes of uneven skin tone are discolouration due to sunspots, melasma, a hormone related to hyperpigmentation and darkening of the skin due to scars, acne or any injury. Particles or soot in pollution cause dark spots mainly on the face.
Bruises and cuts
The skin layers consist of blood vessels that break easily with age causing bleeding and bruises on the skin. The subcutaneous layer present in the skin becomes thin due to the loss of fat layers which help in protecting the blood vessels from injury. Cuts are breaks or openings in the skin that can be deep or smooth. Thinning of the skin and decreased collagen production make the skin cut. Deep cuts result in scars. Scars often leave behind damaged tissue which is hard to regenerate and leads to wrinkled appearance.
Causes of Skin Ageing
Skin gets exposed to various environmental factors such as pollution, UV radiation etc. which cause psoriasis, atopic dermatitis-condition that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin, skin cancer etc.,
UV Radiation is produced by the sun and overexposure leads to premature skin ageing and cancer. UVA causes wrinkles, tanning, and skin burns. UVB damages the outermost layer of skin and causes spots, tanning, blisters and sunburns—Elastin fibres present in our skin breakdown leading to sagging, and skin stretching. UVC causes skin burns and reduces its elasticity leading to skin cancer.
Constant pressure and physiological stress increase cortisol levels which stimulate oxidative stress in the skin cells. During this imbalance of ROS and antioxidants takes place, causing skin cell damage. More stress leads to high cell damage resulting in premature skin ageing. A person at the age of 40 can have white hair and wrinkled skin making him/her look 50!
During menopause estrogen levels in our body drop which affects collagen production. With less collagen production the skin becomes thin and the development of wrinkles, fine lines etc. takes place.
When you smoke, tobacco produces nicotine in your body, triggering the production of MMPs-matrix metalloproteases which break down collagen resulting in sagging, and wrinkled skin. The vasoconstrictive effect- narrowing of blood vessels, reduces the transport of blood and oxygen to the skin. Crow’s feet are a characteristic skin ageing feature in smokers.
Good nutrition is the key to optimal health and well-being. A high sugary and carbohydrate diet causes oxidative stress leading to skin ageing. Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking dries the skin resulting in reduced collagen production.
Less quality sleep leads to reduced elasticity of the skin and makes you look older. The pituitary gland produces somatotropin while sleeping which repairs the skin cells. With less sleep less somatotrophin is produced leading to no cell repair and bad skin. Dark circles caused due to pigmentation under the eyes. They may look black, brown or purple based on skin colour. They are caused by lack of sleep, allergies, ageing, smoking, overexposure to sun etc.
The dirt, dust and smoke of particular matter, soot and nitrogen dioxide present in air pollution get trapped inside our skin leading to clogged pores, acne, wrinkles, age spots etc. The smog particles present smoke penetrate the skin destroying the skin barrier and causing a dull, uneven, and dehydrated appearance of the skin.
How to prevent skin ageing?
There are various factors which cause the skin ageing. As we age our skin becomes thin, and dry and wrinkles start appearing. Our lifestyle choices and improper skin care, nutrition etc. also lead to premature ageing. Some preventative measures are given below:
Protect your skin from the sun
The sun is responsible for UV radiation. It emits three types of UV radiation: UVA and UVB, UVC. UVA causes wrinkles and sagging. UVBs are carcinogenic and cause skin cancer. UVCs cause severe burns on the skin and eye injuries. The use of SPF-Sun Protection Factor blocks UV rays from entering the skin.
There are various types of sunscreen: water-resistant, spray and broadspectrum. Broad spectrum screen blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is always a smart choice. Moisturiser or makeup with SPF 15 is required for low sun exposure. For high exposure, SPF 50 is good as it will protect your skin from around 98% of UVB rays.
Use self-tanner instead of UV tanning
A self-tanner is used to produce temporary staining of the skin. It consists of an active agent dihydroxyacetone which interacts with the outer layer of the skin to produce a tan. We tend to age our skin every time we try UV tanning. This is true whether we receive our tan from the sun, a tanning bed, or another type of indoor tanning equipment. All generate damaging UV rays that damage our skin. This leads to premature ageing and finding out if it has any potential health risks
Limit alcohol and smoking
Excessive alcohol consumption dehydrates skin and reduces collagen levels leading to wrinkles, and puffy, red faces. Redwine is rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals present in the skin. Nicotine present in tobacco is a chemical that is toxic to our cells. It forms dark spots leading to dull, pigmented skin and accelerates the ageing process, resulting in premature wrinkles and dull complexion. Quitting smoking is a better choice for skin health and overall well-being.
Consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, proteins etc., is essential for individuals to promote healthy skin. Good nutrition slows down ageing and promotes youthful skin. Include antioxidants like vitamins C and E that protect skin cells from free radicals. Stay hydrated to maintain skin moisture. Foods such as mango, avocado, blackberries, black currants etc., contain vitamins C and E which are good for health.
Exercise as much as possible
Exercises like squats, burpees, and running increase blood flow, which means more oxygen is transported to the muscle cells. This circulation promotes collagen production preventing saggy skin. When we sweat, the body removes toxins in our body leading to healthy skin.
Use skincare tailored for your skin
The first step is cleansing your skin. Cleansing is a regime to remove makeup or any skincare product. Use a gentle cleanser to protect your skin barrier. For bacterial acne, cleansers with pH 5.5 are good. For oily skin use glycolic acid, for dry skin use an oil cleanser and for combined skin use a non-foaming cleanser. Use a moisturiser to avoid skin problems like developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Apply sunscreen at the time of going out to prevent skin damage from UV rays.
Skin Ageing Supplements and their benefits
Skin ageing supplements promote healthier and youthful skin. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc benefit the skin. These supplements reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Here are some potential anti-ageing supplements for skin which increase collagen production, prevent skin damage, etc.
Collagen is responsible for maintaining the structure, elasticity, and firmness of the skin.
Increased collagen reduces wrinkles and the sagging appearance of skin. Foods like berries, fish, meat etc., are rich in collagen.
Turmeric, or "haldi," has been a tradition in skincare, cherished for generations due to its enduring benefits for skin health. Curcumin is an active compound present in turmeric known for its strong antioxidant properties that neutralise free radicals which damage the skin cells. It also shows anti-inflammatory effects.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which fights free radicals present in the skin and protects skin from UV rays and pollution. It also reduces wrinkles, maintains skin elasticity, fades pigmentation and gives glowy skin. Food like oranges, strawberries, bell peppers etc., are rich in antioxidants. There are vitamin C supplements which can help you get your daily intake.
It has Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC) an antioxidant and contains vitamin B2, and vitamin A which improve the texture and tighten the skin. It has increased collagen and elastin fibre content by suppressing collagen-degrading enzyme MMP-3 production. It also reduces the puffiness of skin and dark circles.
Niacinamide is vitamin B3. It is obtained from poultry and meat. It is used to treat skin issues like acne, rosacea, ageing skin, and skin discolouration, diminishes dullness etc., Use it twice a day to see the results. NMN is easily absorbed into our body and increases cellular energy production and repair of skin cells. It reduces inflammation, fights against oxidative stress, stimulates collagen production, prevents age spots, supports healthy ageing, helps DNA repair, helps the circadian rhythm cycle and tightens the skin.
Trans-resveratrol is a polyphenol and an antioxidant found in red grapes, and berries etc., It fights free radicals and reduces acne, wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. It increases collagen levels in the skin helps plump skin and prevents sagging.
Skin health bundle
Our skin health bundle consists of Ca-AKG, Senevit and Spermidine. Ca-AKG supports cellular metabolism and energy production, promoting youthful skin. It reduces wrinkles by boosting collagen through the prolidase activation pathway.
SeneVit contains fisetin which helps in eliminating senescent cells in the skin and quercetin, a flavanol that inhibits MMPs which are responsible for wrinkles, and COX-2 associated with skin inflammation and redness. Spermidine is a polyamine present in wheat germ, soybeans etc. It induces autophagy in skin cells leading to cellular renewal and removal of dead skin. It protects the skin from oxidative stress and prevents wrinkles and fine lines.
There are certain skin ageing treatments which remove wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. A few are given below:
Botox therapy and Dermal Fillers
Botox injections reduce crow’s feet and frown lines by tightening the muscles in the eyes and eyebrows areas and this effect lasts 3-4 months. On the other hand, fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid gel, and fat are used by doctors to fill out wrinkles and lines in the skin. These fillers can be used on lips, face and hands with immediate results. Fat injections last for 1-3 years.
Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
Dermabrasion is a treatment that treats wrinkles and age spots by using a rotating brush to remove the outer skin layer. This process gives smoother and new skin that will appear red or pink for a few weeks. On the other hand, microdermabrasion is similar to dermabrasion but involves a machine that sprays tiny particles onto the skin and removes the top layer of the skin. It takes multiple sessions to get the desired results.
Chemical peels and Nonablative skin rejuvenation
Chemical peels are chemical solutions to remove layers of skin revealing new skin underneath. AHA and BHA alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid remove dead skin cells, smoothen the skin and improve skin texture. There is an intensive chemical peel which includes phenol chemical peel. This peel is harsh on the skin but an effective remedy to remove scars, damaged skin, and precancerous growth etc.,
These treatments are used to remove wrinkles and age spots for a radiant complexion. It takes about a week and redness is common. Depending on the results you can decide how many sessions need it. To see results you should take several sessions or months to see full effects.
Fractional laser skin resurfacing
A special laser is used to treat narrow columns of skin. The laser destroys deep layers of skin and stimulates new skin growth. The destroyed skin peels away giving a smooth skin. It helps to remove fine lines and wrinkles. It takes time to heal and several treatments for the results.
Skin ageing is a process influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors which result in wrinkles, saggy skin, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation. This makes you appear older than you are. Preventing skin ageing requires lifestyle changes like a balanced diet, exercise, limited alcohol, no smoking, and a dedicated skincare regime.
Supplements like spermidine, green tea, trans-resveratrol etc., enhance skin health by reducing wrinkles and increasing elasticity. Treatments like dermal fillers, botox injections, chemical peels etc., can be used to treat wrinkles, fine lines and agespots.
The road to radiant, healthy skin is ultimately a good one. You can look and feel your best by making decisions that put skin health and self-care first. You can also confidently embrace the beauty of every age and stage of life.
1) What is the main cause of ageing skin?
Exposure to sunlight is the main cause of skin ageing as it consists of UV rays. 90% of visible changes on your skin such as wrinkles, and age spots are caused by UV radiation.
2) Is it possible to reverse skin ageing?
It's not possible to reverse skin ageing completely, but there are techniques and treatments like dermal fillers, laser therapy, chemical peels, botox, and microneedling.
3) What are the 4 types of skin ageing?
The 4 types of skin ageing are intrinsic, extrinsic, hormonal, and catabolic ageing. Intrinsic skin ageing is a process of chronologically ageing. Extrinsic skin ageing is caused by exposure of the skin to ultraviolet light. Hormonal skin ageing is caused by an imbalance in hormones such as estrogen. Catabolic skin ageing is caused by chronic diseases such as cancer, hypothyroidism etc.,
4) What role does genetics play in skin ageing?
Genetics plays an important role in skin ageing. Intrinsic ageing, skin type, inherited conditions like eczema, psoriasis etc., and skin pigmentation are caused by heredity.
5) Can a healthy lifestyle slow down skin ageing?
Yes, adopting a healthy lifestyle does slow down ageing. Eating healthy foods like fresh fruits, and vegetables, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and skin care can help with skin ageing.
6) Are there any side effects associated with skin ageing supplements?
It is crucial to be aware of side effects caused by skin ageing supplements, even though they are frequently used to provide healthy skin and reduce skin ageing. Some people may experience adverse effects such as digestive problems, allergic reactions, discolouration etc.,