Looking 20 At 50, Is It Possible? Skin Care Basics
Posted On: - 2009-08-19 05:08:46
Who doesn't want to look young? Women are ready to shell out huge sums of money to camouflage their age and hide their flaws at 50 so that they can flaunt younger looking skin like they had in their 20s. But is it really possible to reverse the aging process and get back to your prime years? Let us understand some basics.
Aging – A Natural Process
Aging is an irreversible process. However, it is not age that bothers women as much as the visible effects of aging. The truth is that the health of our skin plays a critical role in how old we look and feel. Skin, the largest organ of our body is the first to exhibit any signs of aging and therefore needs to be taken very good care of.
Structure of the Skin
Our skin is comprised of multiple layers of which the main ones are – Epidermis, Dermis and the Tissue Layer.
This is the outerrmost layer of the skin that contains pigment producing cells called Melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for our skin color. People with less melanin are fair whereas people with more melanin are comparatively darker. In the basal cell layer of the epidermis, new epidermal cells are produced which gradually give rise to stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin). This is where the dead skin cells are shed off.
The dermis layer lies beneath the epidermis and contains blood and lymph vessels, nerves, sweat glands and oil glands. The dermis layer is comprised of about 95 percent collagen and 3 percent elastin. While collagen supports the structure of the skin, elastin allows it to stretch and strain without getting ruptured. Both of them together provide support to the epidermis.
This is the deepest layer of the skin and contains a layer of fatty tissues that provides skin structure.
Symptoms of Aging Skin
Here are some of the common symptoms of aging:
Wrinkles & Fine Lines – As we age, the cell production slows down and the dermis layer becomes thinner and thinner. This gives rise to the development of wrinkles and fine lines on the face.
Sagging Skin – The elastin fibers within the skin cells that are responsible for the suppleness as well as collagen fibers begin to deplete as we age. As a result, the skin yields to the forces of gravity and begins to sag.
Age Spots – The melanocytes contained in the epidermis increase in certain areas that are exposed to sunlight and cluster together to form small brown spots known as sun spots or age spots.
Excessive Dryness – Older skin has fewer sweat glands and oil glands and thus the skin loses its ability to hydrate itself. As a result it becomes dry, rough and itchy.
Causes of Aging and Premature Aging
Prolonged and Unprotected Sun Exposure
Unprotected sun exposure is the prime reason for premature aging of the skin. The sun emits harmful UV rays that penetrate through the skin surface and break down the collagen and elastin fibers within. They also stimulate increased production of melanin and lead to the development of age spots. In due course, it also leads to wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Therefore, make sure you always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 while venturing out in the sun.
Nicotine from cigarettes narrows the blood vessels and prevents the healthy circulation of blood in the upper layer of the skin. Moreover, smoking also destroys the collagen and elastin fibers within the skin cells and deteriorates the skin quality. As a result, wrinkles are formed and your complexion becomes dull and lifeless.
The solution is to quit smoking altogether.
Pollution and Environmental Stressors
Pollution often wrecks havoc on the skin. During the course of the day, the skin pres can get accumulated with dirt, debris, pollutants and other toxins. As a result, the pores get blocked and wreck havoc on the skin.
To avoid this, make sure you keep your skin clean at all times. Wash your face with a cleanser twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
Dr. Syrett is a renowned skin care expert and professional physician. she has a passionate interest in the study and effectiveness of skin care products and has written several articles concerning them. she has also reviewed many Obagi products in addition to other famous skin care brands.