Sun Damaged and Mature Skin

During youth, skin is firm, supple and toned.  It does a great job of stretching and retaining moisture. The dermis layer of the skin has an elastic quality thanks to fibres called elastin that keep the skin looking and feeling young. Another protein in the dermis called collagen is present more in youth and does a great job in preventing wrinkles and lines.

However, over time, the dermis begins to lose both collagen and elastin, therefore reducing the skin’s ability to absorb, retain and transport moisture to the other layers of the skin. The ‘fat’ in the subcutaneous layer that gives the skin its plump appearance also begins to disappear. This causes the epidermis to sag and thus, wrinkles form. There’s not a magic age for this to happen when everyone suddenly gets wrinkles. Some people in their 20s have little lines around their eyes from squinting or spending too much time in the sun.

Some people are quite lucky and may not have lines or wrinkles appear until their 60’s, this may be for several reasons, either very good genes and they’ve taken very good care of their skin, perhaps had oily skin for most of their lives or have made good lifestyle choices. We will all be effected by what is known as intrinsic ageing or extrinsic ageing.

Here are some useful tips  to prevent reduce skin ageing at an early age:

  • Avoid spending too much time in the direct sun, especially during the hours when the sun’s rays are harshest between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Sunblock helps, but it doesn’t block out all the damaging UV rays that cause the skin to damage. Still, if you are outside, be sure to wear a sunblock with sun protection factor SPF 15 or higher and reapply often every 2 to 3 hours. Always reapply after swimming or playing sports that cause you to perspire!
  • Invest in some good hats
  • Avoid tanning booths. The UV light from tanning booths is just as damaging as the sun’s – and sometimes worse
  • Do not smoke! Smoking robs your skin of precious moisture and causes premature skin ageing. Most heavy smokers are terribly lined, more so women
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Regularly moisturize your skin, especially during colder months when the air is drier
  • Eat a pure diet high in fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and oily fish. Try going vegan a few days a week, cut sugar and processed food, limit caffeine intake and soft drinks. Not only will your skin bloom but your health may too