Ageing - What does it mean for your skin?

Sanctum Health

Age is a funny old thing (if you’ll excuse the pun). With age comes wisdom, confidence, experience; but, age also comes with some physical changes that aren’t so endearing. Ageing can have a dramatic effect on your skin, but there are things you can do to help. First, though, it’s important to understand how your skin works, and what changes ageing can bring.

Beauty is only skin deep?

Let’s start with the basics. Your skin has three main layers; epidermis, dermis and a subcutaneous layer. Your epidermis is the skin you see - full of cells, proteins and blood vessels; this layer protects you from the elements and helps keep moisture and warmth inside your body. Your dermis and subcutaneous skin lay beneath your epidermis and house more blood vessels, sweat and oil glands, nerves and hair follicles.

The passage of time

As you age, there are a number of ways your skin will change. For starters, your epidermis will begin to thin out, and your pigment cells will reduce in size - with the remaining pigment increasing in size. What does this mean for your appearance? Paler, more transparent skin, and an increased likelihood of age spots, particularly in sun-exposed areas.

Beware the sun!

Sun damage really is the most prevalent cause of premature ageing, and even in the UK where the sunshine rarely feels particularly strong, it’s actually vital that you’re protecting your skin each and every day. You should be using a hydrating facial moisturiser with SPF 30+, even if you wear makeup with additional SPF protection. Also use SPF protection on your hands and forearms - key ageing areas due to prolonged exposure.

Stretching it out

Now, let’s talk elasticity. Collagen fibres nestle within your skin structure to provide support whilst elastin fibres are there to provide flexibility and support. Ageing, as well as genetic factors and life events like swift weight loss/gain or pregnancy, can put the elasticity of your body under strain. Over time (from as early as your mid-20s)  you’ll begin to produce less collagen and you body’s elastin begins to lose its durable strength. The result? Loose, sagging skin, wrinkles and folds.

Fighting for time

Whilst there are no miracle cures for the ageing process (yet!), one of the keys to fighting Father Time is hydration. Drinking plenty of water and gentle exfoliation twice a week are simple but effective ways of staying hydrated and keeping your skin cells in tip-top condition. Investing in products containing hyaluronic acid and aloe vera is a good place to start when it comes to combating ageing. Hyaluronic acid offers incredibly deep hydration, and aloe vera combines natural healing properties with great hydration.

Supply and demand

Taking a supplement of 100% pure collagen can also help benefit your skin as well as promoting healthy joints. Whilst collagen supplements won’t directly replace lost collagen, it is claimed that these supplements can help stimulate production.  As you get older it’s also beneficial to take a daily supplement of vitamins and minerals designed for yout sex and age range, and of course maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle!