What Happens to Your Skin as You Age

It’s one of the unavoidable facts of life: your skin changes with age. But just because getting older changes your skin doesn’t mean you can’t reduce the impact of those changes and even maintain a youthful glow well past young adulthood. In order to delay it, you need to understand exactly what happens to your skin as you age.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are two types of basic skin aging. The first is known as intrinsic aging and is the stuff you don’t really have control over. For instance, your skin becomes drier and thinner over time. The effects of this intrinsic aging are largely determined by your genes.

On the other hand, there is extrinsic aging, which is premature or excessive aging due to environment and lifestyle factors, such as smoking or repeated sun damage. Extrinsic aging generally magnifies and accelerates the intrinsic that’s already happening.

Intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors often occur together and can be easy to mix up. For that reason, it’s important to follow good overall skin-health practices in order to reduce the effects of extrinsic aging.

Here are some of the most common age-related skin changes, along with some ways you can deal with them.

Rougher Skin

Research published in the journal Skin Research and Technology suggests your skin becomes significantly rougher with age. To keep your skin soft and supple, you need to be taking good care of it. Make sure you’re exfoliating regularly to slough away dry, rough, or dead skin. Getting rid of any rough skin with an exfoliant will help show the soft, new skin underneath.

Once you’ve exfoliated, use a moisturizer to reduce any age-related skin roughness. Choose a moisturizer that’s comfortable and which doesn’t cause a burning or stinging sensation, as this indicates skin irritation and therefore potential skin damage.

Wrinkles

Wrinkles are one of the classic ways in which your skin changes with age and are perhaps the change you’re most eager to avoid. Wrinkles occur for a variety of reasons, including a natural loss of skin elasticity and facial fat as you age.

Genetics play a major role in how much someone’s skin is likely to wrinkle, but sun exposure is considered an enormous risk factor, particularly for people with lighter skin tones. One study published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology came to the incredible conclusion that UV exposure could be responsible for up to 80 percent of visible facial aging signs.

For dealing with wrinkles that are already there, a noninvasive treatment like TempSure™ Envi may be a solution. Using radio frequency, this treatment minimizes the appearance of wrinkles, tightening the skin through soft-tissue coagulation.

To prevent wrinkles in the first place, wear a wide-brimmed hat and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, even on days when it isn’t sunny or when you’re inside a lot.

Blotches and Discoloration

Blotches and discoloration of the skin are often a major side effect of smoking, as well as regular UV damage to the face. Interestingly enough, though, according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, traffic-related air pollution could also cause skin blotches and discoloration of the face.

Prevention is vital when it comes to facial blotches and discolorations, since treating these issues once they’ve occurred is tricky.

Avoid damage to your face from excess UV exposure and avoid skin-dulling habits like smoking. Living in the countryside, away from areas of major air pollution and/or investing in a high-quality air filter for your home may also help brighten your skin.

Now that you understand how these factors age your skin, you’ll be able to avoid damage-causing factors and keep your skin looking beautiful and young for years to come.

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