It’s inevitable that skin ages. Everyone has to go through the aging process, but there are some things you can do to make sure your skin is minimally impacted. Some factors that cause skin to age are out of your control, but many skin care products are being developed to replace the essential substances that skin loses as it gets older. Plus, by being mindful of your lifestyle and habits, you can greatly control the external factors that often cause a dramatic effect on the appearance and health of skin.
This article will discuss:
Skin ages due to a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which are explained further below. Together, the decrease of skin strengthening elements and an accumulation of external damage cause skin to lose its youthful appearance.
Aging skin frequently exhibits:
- Uneven tone
- Lines and wrinkles
- Brown spots
- Thin skin
Intrinsic aging factors are out of your control. These factors are natural parts of the aging process. The body’s natural production of substances that protect the skin decreases naturally as you age at a rate that is largely determined by genetics.
Some intrinsic aging factors include:
- Collagen production decreases by about 1% every year after the age of 20. Elastin production also decreases. Collagen and elastin are essential proteins in connective tissue, which keeps skin tight, smooth, and elastic.
- Fewer glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are formed. GAGs, or interstitial fluid, are one component responsible for keeping the skin hydrated. They do this by maintaining the the balance between collagen and elastin fibers and making sure that there is enough space between them to retain moisture. One GAG is hyalunoric acid, which is found as a moisturizing agent in many of Dr. Pericone‘s products.
- Sweat and oil glands function less frequently. These glands are another hydration source for the skin. Because its natural defenses have decreased, the skin becomes less hydrated and is more susceptible to damage.
- Acetylcholine production decreases. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals to the muscles to contract. These contractions cause muscle tone, which in turn maintain skin tone. As acetylcholine decreases, so does muscle tone. The decrease in muscle tone is part of the reason why skin sags as you get older.
Extrinsic aging factors, though, can be greatly diminished by being conscientious about your lifestyle and habits.
Some of these extrinsic or environmental factors that cause skin to age are:
- UV damage from the sun. Unprotected skin that is exposed to the sun can become damaged by UV rays, which produce free radicals. UV rays also damage collagen and impair the skin’s natural ability to rebuild collagen. UV rays cause differing amounts of damage depending on skin type and the amount of skin exposure. For example, people with fair skin have more signs of sun damage than those with darker skin tones.
- Pollution. Pollution causes the depletion of the ozone layer, allowing more intense UV rays to come in contact with the skin.
- Tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. Not only is tobacco use harmful to your overall health, but it causes premature aging and wrinkling.
- Repetitive facial expressions. Every time you contort your face into a different expression, a small groove forms under the skin. When you repeat the same facial expression, the groove becomes deeper. Combined with a loss of elastin as you age, this groove can turn into a wrinkle. Laugh lines are the most common of these expression lines; it’s hard to avoid getting some wrinkles from automatic reactions like laughing.
- Sleep lines. When you lay your head down to rest, generally it ends up in the same position each night. Eventually, lines appear where your skin comes in contact with your pillow. For women who typically sleep on their sides, these creases appear on the cheeks. For men who most often sleep face down, the lines appear on the forehead.
Although intrinsic aging factors are unavoidable and some extrinsic factors, like the formation of laugh lines, are too difficult to moderate, there are plenty of other steps you can take to reduce the impact of extrinsic aging factors:
- Use sunscreen every day. It should be at least SPF 15, and if you plan to be in the sun for an extended period of time, use a higher SPF.
- Avoid deliberate tanning and tanning beds. Wear protective clothing when you know you will be exposed to the sun for a long period of time.
- Maintain a good diet and exercise routine. By keeping your body healthy, it will be better able to fight off free radical damage and other stressors that eventually take a toll on skin.
- Get into a good skin care routine. Keeping the skin clean and moisturized helps to prevent enlarged pores, acne, and dryness, all of which can contribute into damaging skin. Add Perricone’s Face Finishing Moisturizer into your daily routine to help diminish signs of aging.
- Combat free radicals by using products and eating foods that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which cause a chain reaction of damaged cells.
Dr. Perricone’s line includes many products designed specially to meet the needs of aging skin. Among these include Cold Plasma Perricone, for example, that combats signs of aging including firmness, elasticity and fine lines. His anti-aging treatments include face lift effect creams, firming moisturizers, and nutrient rich topical creams.
For example, High Potency Amine Complex Face Lift is designed with DMAE, vitamin C ester, pycnogenols, and sodium hyaluronate, all of which address at least one intrinsic aging factor:
- DMAE boosts the production of acetylcholine and is an antioxidant.
- Vitamin C ester is a powerful antioxidant and reduces redness and inflammation while making the skin more radiant.
- Pycnogenols block enzymes that degrade collagen and connective tissue while also reducing inflammation and maintaining healthy blood vessels.
- Sodium hyaluronate is a GAG that moisturizes the skin and keeps collagen and elastin in a healthy environment.
Adding products to your skin care routine that include ingredients that address intrinsic aging factors is a good way to combat signs of aging that otherwise are out of your control. Combining these products with a lifestyle that keeps skin health in mind is an easy way to prevent skin damage.