The skin is one of the most vital organs of the body. It acts as a barrier to protect the organs from the outside environment. It is the first line of defense for the body against environmental pathogens and toxins. Skin is a very elastic organ that has the ability to stretch as one moves and grows. Different layers of the skin have different types of cells. Though the skin cells on the outer part of the skin – the epidermis are constantly being sloughed off and replaced with new cells, the skin cells under the epidermis are more permanent. These layers of the skin, called the dermis and epidermis, are constituted of elastic connective tissues, fibers, blood vessels and different components that can stretch or contract depending on how they are treated.
It is important to feed the skin well from the inside to help keep it looking, working and feeling good. Antioxidant-rich foods, well-balanced diet and a low stress environment are vital in having good skin health.
As one ages, there is loss of the elastic tissue – elastin and collagen in the layers of the skin. Aging is a slow process and the signs begin to appear gradually. Aging is influenced by many factors – genetics, ethnicity, sun exposure, lifestyle and skin care. The skin cell turnover reduces drastically, resulting in dullness, dryness as well as fine lines and wrinkles with age. The noticeable skin changes with age are :
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Prominent fine lines
- Thinning of the muscle and fat
- Fragile and easily bruised
Exposure to sunlight is the single largest reason in aging of skin. With the harsh ultraviolet (UV) light, elastin in the skin is damaged and this breakdown of elastin fibers cause the skin to sag, stretch and lose its innate ability to snap back after stretching. The skin also bruises and breaks more easily, taking longer to heal.
Anti-aging recommendations for 40s:
- Vitamin C
- Sunscreen with SPF 50
- Eye cream
The signs of aging start to become apparent in 30s and 40s. The appearance of discolouration, wrinkles, sagging, deeper smile lines and reduction of collagen production is seen. At this point, it is advisable to start a good skin care routine. By 40s, the lymphatic system starts to slow down. As the lymphatic system functions to get rid of toxins from the body, one may notice more puffiness around the eyes and cheeks, which could be due to accumulation of toxins in the body. Topical creams and ointments containing retinoids and vitamin C have shown positive results for anti-aging treatment. Retinoids like tretinoin are used to stimulate collagen production, prevent and treat existing wrinkles. However, they can lead to photosensitivity, so using a high SPF (SPF 50) sun screen is mandatory. The best topical ingredients for this age focus on repairing DNA damage and increase collagen production. Topical Vitamin C also promotes collagen synthesis, reduces the damage caused by UV rays. The antioxidant powerhouse help in reducing hyperpigmentation, acne scars and sun spots.
There are noticeable changes in and around the eyes. Many women complaint of drooping and puffy upper and lower eyelids and under eye sagging. Choosing a good eye cream will address to this age related change and prevent further wrinkles and sagging
Anti-aging recommendations for 50s :
- Face serums
This is the age where menopause kicks in and further amplifies the signs of aging in women. Change in the estrogen levels causes dry skin. Loss of collagen can lead to sagged skin especially around the jaw and under the eyes. Years of sun exposure and UV light reappear as rough skin texture and sun spots. Including moisturiser and topical treatments like retinoids and vitamin C should be a part of the normal skin care routine. This helps in softening dry and rough skin. Sunscreens with SPF 50 goes without saying after the age of 30 for all women. It is a good time to switch from gel based moisturizer to cream based ones to provide a heavy coverage. Hyaluronic acid is another skin hydrator that binds water and keeps the skin looking dewy and supple. It is a constituent in many skin care products. Most of the face serums contain anti-aging ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, retinoids. These help repair skin by speeding cell turnover, preventing the breakdown of collagen and stimulating new growth of skin-firming protein.
Some may even opt for cosmetic procedures like micro-needling or laser treatment for acne scarring and pigmentation. Micro-needling causes small micro-injuries to the skin which stimulates the skin repair system and gives a boost of collagen production.
Anti-aging recommendations for 60s and more :
On entering 60s, the most new and noticeable change in the skin is thinning of skin. Topical treatments continue to do the work in fighting fine lines and hyperpigmentation and improve firmness and texture. The skin produces less sebum, causing frequent drying of the skin. An antioxidant rich skin care routine is required to help fight the free radicals caused by age related stress in the body. Use of sunscreen with a SPF of 50 is indispensable throughout the aging process and even in the 60s. It is also important to note that manually scrubbing the face and exfoliating can make the skin further fragile and sensitive, which becomes impossible to reverse. With dropping estrogen levels, there is further loss of collagen, bone depletion and sagging, causing fine lines to appear more firmly etched than before.
Drinking plenty of water daily, is very important for the overall health. It helps in hydrating form within and help the skin hold on to more moisture.
Anti-aging essentials at any age :
With the advancement in science and technology, there are many topical treatments and formulations available, along with minimally invasive procedures to fight the signs of aging. The most effective way to reduce and tackle the signs of aging is preventing sun damage.
Healthy lifestyle habits like preventing smoking, consuming a well-balanced antioxidant rich diet, limiting consumption of processed and packaged food with sugar and chemical additives, good hydration and moderate physical activity, getting adequate sleep helps to improve the skin’s regeneration and healing process, and makes it age slower and better. Always consult a board-certified dermatologist or expert before choosing any minimally invasive procedures like botox and fillers.