What’s Aging You?

aging

69 year-old truck driver whose left side of the face was exposed to the sun for 28 years.

 

By at least our 30’s, if not sooner, many of us start reaching for products that can help delay the aging effect.  While aging is a natural part of life, if you’re seeing signs of premature wrinkles, take a look at this fact.  85% of skin aging is caused by how you live (i.e. sun exposure, pollution, unhealthy lifestyle). 

Aging can be classified into two types: intrinsic and extrinsic.  Intrinsic aging reflects genetic background and the passage of time; in other words, elements that are beyond our control.  Extrinsic aging (considered to be preventable) is brought about by environmental or external factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and UV exposure.

Do you know which factor is responsible for expediting the aging process?

If you guessed the sun, you are correct (and have been reading my posts)!

By now you know the danger of excessive and unprotected UV exposure (skin cancer), but it also leads to photo-aging– a term used to describe the characteristic changes of  sun induced skin.

photo-age

Extrinsic, left; Intrinsic , right.

The image above depicts photo-aged skin (left) and chronological aged skin (right).  See the dramatic difference?

Let’s take a look at how structurally these two pictures differ.

Protected From UV Damage and Extrinsic Elements

When age is caused by intrinsic forces, the skin has a thinned, smooth, clear, almost transparent apperance.  There is also fine wrinkling, inelastic, saggy skin, increased dryness, slight flakiness, loss of underlying fat resulting in hollow cheeks and eye socket and a slowing of collagen and elastin production

Exposed To UV Damage and Other Extrinsic Elements 

Aging caused by this will culminate in a thickened epidermis resulting in rough, leathery skin, telangiectasia (dilated blood vessels), yellow, sallow coloration and age spots.  There is an increased risk of skin cancer and a degradation of collagen and elastin.

As you can see, how you will age is contingent on several factors, most of which are preventable.  Sunscreen is and will continue to be one of the most powerful products in your skin care arsenal.  The best news, it’s also the most cost effective!