Skin Aging Factors

There are factors in your world that cause accelerated aging of the skin. You can break down these factors into three main groupings: physiological aging, biological aging, and environmental aging.

Physiological aging

Physiological aging is the result of constant muscle movements. When repeated day after day, year after year these constant muscle movements result in line and wrinkle formation. Although it is unrealistic to avoid some wrinkle causing movements such as smiling and frowning, the following actions should be avoided to help prevent premature signs of mechanical aging:

  • Squinting – wear sunglasses when outside; if you wear glasses or contacts, wear them on a regular basis to avoid squinting for better vision.
  • Sleeping on your stomach.
  • Over-scrubbing with hot water.
  • Dieters dilemma - weight fluctuation within a year’s cycle
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Insufficient amount of sleep

Biological skin aging

Biological aging is the result of mostly genetically determined changes that occur naturally over time within your body. Biological aging occurs as a result of natural changes within the body that manifest themselves in outward signs on the skin. Some of these changes are genetically determined and cannot be stopped. However, some of the factors contributing to biological aging can be controlled. A healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits may help decrease the intensity and delay the onset of many changes that are a result of biological aging.

Environmental skin aging

Environmental skin aging is caused by external sources in the environment. It occurs as a result of daily exposure to free radicals from a variety of sources: the sun's ultraviolet rays, pollution, smoke, harsh weather, and external stress. These stressors generate free radicals that damage lipids, proteins, and DNA, all of which limit the ability of cells to function and cripple the integrity of overall cell composition.

Sun exposure is the primary environmental factor leading to damaged skin. The damage to skin components caused by both prolonged and incidental sun exposure is called photoaging. Photoaging damages collagen, elastin, melanocytes, and the moisture barrier, resulting in wrinkles, sagging, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and a rough, dry skin texture.

Pollution also damages skin by increasing free radical production and increasing the effects of UV radiation. Harsh weather (dry air, wind, and cold) depletes skin of essential moisture, resulting in a rough texture and fine, dry lines. Cigarette smoke increases free radical production and may decrease collagen and elastin production. Cigarettes also significantly decrease the supply of oxygen to skin cells.

Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.