What Happens as My Skin Gets Older?
Are you wondering what will happen to your skin as you get older? There is no doubt that there is a huge difference between younger skin and old skin with young skin being smooth and healthy compared to dry and rough old skin. What really happens to skin can be seen deep down in the skin tissues.
The skin is a special organ and is actually the largest one of all. It has a variety of functions and possibly the most important of all is protecting the body. The skin protects the body from extremes in temperature, from the dangers of microorganisms and from the effects of pollution in the environment. And as a person ages, the skin gradually loses this function. Here’s what happens to skin as you get older.
What happens to skin as you age?
Different people age quite differently and changes are due to many factors like diet, genetics, lifestyle and personal habits. Aging of the skin could also be due to environmental forces such as pollution and exposure to the sun. Other less known factors that could affect the skin are regular facial movement, the pull of gravity, obesity and sleep position. Understanding these factors can help predict their effect in aging or premature aging of the skin.
It is also important to note that skin changes due to aging are natural. You can only prevent skin damage to a certain level.
Skin loses its flexibility
Skin becomes rougher and becomes slack. As we grow older, elastin is loss in the skin and this leads to sagging. This change in skin tissue is evident in the neck, the skin surrounding the eyes and skin along the jaw line. Hanging or sagging of the skin is also very obvious in the upper arm, breasts and the thighs.
Skin starts to look and feel dry
Hyaluronic acid present in young skin diminishes in aging skin. Hyaluronic acid is important in keeping skin moisturized and therefore aging skin could be dry, inside and out. Dryness also contributes to poor elasticity and vulnerability to bruises. Along with dry skin, accompanying itching develops in dry skin. Around 80 to 85 percent of elderly develop severe itching called “winter itch” and this gets pronounced as air, even indoor air, becomes drier. Other factors like hot baths, the use of soaps and medications can lead to further itching and dryness.
Skin starts to develop discoloration
Aging skin becomes more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun as melanin production starts to dwindle. The harmful UV rays of the sun are also responsible for the development of benign tumors, age spots and other skin blemishes.
Skin’s ability to rejuvenate stops
Bruises and cuts become harder to heal as skin ages. Skin becomes more fragile too and these are due to flattening of the epidermis and the dermis. Because of this, along with other medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions, bruises become harder and harder to heal.
Skin becomes vulnerable to signs of aging
As the skin ages it becomes more and more vulnerable to aging signs like wrinkle and fine lines formation, discoloration, sagging and more. Take note that all these happen despite extreme care and maintenance.
Skin starts to sag
Sagging of the skin is inevitable. Hormones like estrogen play a huge role in collagen formation and with the absence of this hormone as a person ages, there will be nothing to hold the skin from sagging and hanging.
Changes happen deep down the skin
Deep down the skin, massive changes also happen. Fat underneath the skin become thinner and this leads to the loosening of the skin along the cheeks, temples, nose, chin and eye area. A person may look skeletal in appearance as a result of this condition. Deeper than the subcutaneous tissues are bones and cartilage which also suffer as a result of aging. There is bone loss along the mouth and the chin is seen in people during their 60s. There is also cartilage loss along the nose as the nasal tip drops and the bony structures of the nose become more prominent.
Skin changes due to sun exposure
The ultraviolet rays of the sun or UV light damages the elastin in the skin and the breakdown of this major component in the skin leads to the development of sagging skin, stretching and the loss of flexibility. Your skin may have sun damage early in life but these will eventually surface later in life.
Skin changes due to other factors
Sleep position, facial movement and gravity also play a huge role in skin aging. Gravity also pulls sagging skin making it more prominent along the eyebrows and eyelids, the ear lobes and under the jaw and cheeks. Facial movement also affect skin causing movement lines to be visible along the forehead, upper cheeks, temples and around the mouth. Finally, the position in which a person sleeps may also influence skin aging. The way a person positions his head on his pillow and his usual sleep position causes sleep creases. These creases are seen along the forehead, above the eyebrow and the middle of the cheeks. Sleeping on the back can help prevent sleep lines from developing.
Skin changes due to aging start from the inside out. Skin develops dryness, loss of flexibility, discoloration and sagging. Skin also tends to become more vulnerable to bruises and cuts as the epidermis and dermis fuse together and weaken. There are many factors responsible for skin aging including genetics, environmental factors, lifestyle factors, diet and personal habits. Sun exposure, sleep position, facial movements and the pull of gravity also affects the skin’s response to aging.
Aging is inevitable however its effects can be prolonged. Living healthy, eating right, living an active lifestyle and making good health choices are vital in prolonging the effects of aging. Using anti-aging skin care products are also a part of curbing aging however; if you have sensitive skin then you must consult your dermatologist or specialist to find out the best skin care option that will work for you.
Do you have techniques on how to stop aging? Let us know from the comments section below. If you like this article, share it to someone who needs aging skin care tips today.