Learning why wrinkles form, which fine lines you can’t control, and morePosted on September 1, 2021 Written by: 100% PURE ®
Traditional media has been telling us for decades that aging is something to be avoided at all costs. But here’s the thing about aging: it’s going to happen. And what’s even more important to remember: it’s completely normal. If you allow it, aging can be a beautiful process.
At the forefront of aging is our skin. How does our skin age, and why? We’re covering the hush-hush conversations on aging in regards to fine lines, wrinkles, and what we can – and cannot – control.
First, let’s talk about the basics. Our skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.
The epidermis is a layer of keratin that makes up the skin’s outer layer, and it’s where dead skin cells are shed and where melanin forms.
Directly beneath is the dermis, comprised of elastin, collagen fibers, fats, elastin, and blood vessels. The dermis is the layer that keeps your skin elastic and plump, and it supports the epidermis and protects the layer underneath.
Below the dermis is the subcutaneous layer, which is made of fat, and it keeps our internal organs warm and safe.
Our skin has two primary forms of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. We’ll get into extrinsic aging later; first, let’s talk about intrinsic aging.
Intrinsic aging is the skin naturally aging with time. In other words, it’s how your skin ages when no additional actions are involved, like smoking or sun tanning.
Intrinsic aging occurs around our 20’s, when collagen production begins to gradually slow down by about 1% each year. Additionally, collagen and elastin fibers thicken and clump together, causing the skin to loosen and sag. The skin’s natural sloughing process decreases, which causes dead skin cells to accumulate more quickly.
In our 30’s, our skin’s natural moisturizing process begins to slow down, causing the skin to become thinner as fat cells start to shrink. In our 40’s, collagen production begins to stop altogether, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. In our 50’s, the sebaceous glands shrink in size, causing the skin to become more dry, prone to damage, and more sensitive.
Before we go into depth on the causes of fine lines and wrinkles, let’s talk about the difference between dynamic and static wrinkles.
Dynamic wrinkles occur due to our faces’ muscle movements. One type you’ll recognize are “laugh lines”, which appear as fine lines in the corner of the mouth and the outer eyes.
Our skin forms dynamic wrinkles when the skin over our facial muscles contracts. While the skin snaps back when we’re young, it begins to lose this ability as collagen production decreases.
On the other hand, Static wrinkles are wrinkles that are caused by gravity’s pull as our fat and collagen decrease. Static wrinkles occur regardless of the face’s muscle movements.
When we talk about the aging process, fine lines and wrinkles tend to first come to mind. So how do they happen in the first place?
A few different factors can cause fine lines and wrinkles, but let’s talk about how it occurs with aging. Over time, the cells in our skin divide more slowly, and the dermis begins to thin.
As we mentioned before, the dermis is where collagen and elastin fibers are produced, and is where our skin gets its firmness and elasticity. As the dermis weakens, collagen and elastin loosen, leading to depressions on the skin’s surface.
While the natural aging process is undoubtedly a cause of fine lines and wrinkles, other factors may hasten it. The good news is, these are factors we can control.
Now let’s talk about extrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging is caused by the environmental factors we expose our skin to like cigarette smoke, pollution, sun damage, and free radical damage.
The skin experiences sun damage when UVA light penetrates all of the skin’s layers, and UVB light hits the skin’s outer layer. Sun damage from the UV rays causes the epidermis to form a thickened outer layer, sunspots, freckles, and even precancerous cells, known as actinic keratosis.
For the most part, sun damage is entirely preventable. For starters, a hat never hurts! No matter your age, make sure to minimize your exposure to the sun whenever possible and to wear sunscreen daily.
Free radicals also cause fine lines and wrinkles. Free radicals are unstable hydrogen molecules with an unpaired electron. Free radicals will look for electrons to bond with, and this includes the molecules in our skin. This exposure to free radicals causes what’s known as oxidative stress, and it has an effect similar to rusting metal or an apple turning brown.
Luckily, there are ways we can minimize free radicals, especially with the help of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, and are found in plant-based foods like berries, cloves, green tea, and cacao.
To prevent the onset of free radical damage, make sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants every day – both on your skin and in your body. This can include eating antioxidant-rich foods or drinking green tea. You can also incorporate antioxidants into your skin care routine with ingredients like Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), acai extract, vitamin C, and red raspberry extract.
We’re all bound to age with every passing day, and we have the power to do it gracefully. With a healthy lifestyle that incorporates plenty of nutrients and self-care, we can feel and look our best at any age.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.