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What Causes Aging Skin ~ How To Slow Down The Process

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soft soothe skin: What Causes Aging Skin ~ How To Slow Down The Process


What Causes Aging Skin ~ How To Slow Down The Process

 Your Skin And It's Aging Process

All About Your Skin
Your Skin is the body’s largest and most vulnerable organ. Quite literally, it is the dividing line between you and the outside world. Your skin is the body’s primary line of defense against external injury, ultraviolet light, microorganisms, and environmental pollutants. Your skin also helps regulate body temperature and moisture loss. In fact, skin is about 20% water. This moisture is critical to healthy skin. It helps keep surface cells supple, plump, firm, and youthful looking. The ability of skin cells to properly regulate the loss of moisture from the skin is a key indicator of skin health. Another essential for optimum skin health and youthful appearance is sebum — the blend of natural oils produced by the skin’s
sebaceous glands.

When natural skin moisture and sebum production are in healthy balance, a hydrolipid (water and- oil) film is formed over the skin’s surface, helping to keep skin soft, smooth, and supple. This oil/moisture balance also maintains a slightly acidic pH, which helps discourage harmful bacterial growth.

When youthful skin is functioning at its best, healthy skin cells are created in the basal layer and rise through the epidermis to the surface strateum corneum rapidly — there’s a complete turnover about every 28 days. A cushion of fat above the facial muscles pads the bony structure of the face to create rounded contours, while collagen and elastin fibers in the deeper layers of the skin provide firmness and resilience.

When we’re young, our skin has the ability to resist and repair most of the damage caused by sun exposure and free radicals that attack skin cells and alter cells’ genetic material. But this damage is cumulative, and even in our 20s, our skin begins to show the signs of “battle fatigue.” When we’re young, our skin has the ability to resist and repair most of the damage caused by sun exposure and free radicals that attack skin cells and alter cells’ genetic material. But this damage is cumulative, and even in our 20s, our skin begins to show the signs of “battle fatigue.”

What Causes Your Skin To Age

Our skin ages in two ways: through the accumulated physical changes normally associated with the passage of time (chronological aging), and through the accumulated damage caused by exposure to environmental pollutants and UV radiation (accelerated aging):

To prove this to yourself, take a look at the skin on some part of your body that rarely sees the light of day. Compared to your face or hands, skin that hasn’t been exposed to the elements will remain clear and rosy, smooth and unwrinkled, soft and resilient. The dry, wrinkled and papery or the deeply wrinkled, discolored and leathery look is the result of accelerated aging.

And then there is a 'gene pool'. The hand that are ancestors dealt us.

Chronological Aging Decade by decade, our skin records the passage of time
20 TO 30 Skin changes and damage may begin to accumulate, but don’t show yet. Your twenties could be considered “the age of prevention,” when most skin care issues start with lack of care. Forgetting to wash your face before bed can lead to clogged pores, whiteheads and blackheads. Squinting in the sun and not using moisturizers can contribute to fine dry lines around the eyes. Too little sleep, too much alcohol, and smoking can dull skin. Getting a serious sunburn now can set the stage for skin cancers of all types, including melanoma.

30 TO 40 The decade of laugh lines, crow’s feet, and the beginning of a double-chin. The underlying factor is the gradual breaking down of skin-firming collagen and elastin. As a result, skin becomes less elastic and begins to lose its firm, supple texture. The sebaceous glands usually become less active and produce less sebum. Poorly lubricated skin may not retain moisture as efficiently, so our skin may become more dry. Cell turnover rate is slowing; dead cells on the skin’s surface begin to dull the complexion. Even in your 30’s, brown spots and uneven color blotches can appear on your skin.

40 TO 50 By 50, cell turnover takes twice as long as it did at age 20. As old skin cells stay on the surface longer, they mask natural skin color and radiance, looking dull and dry and accentuating the bags, sags, lines and wrinkles created by underlying loss of collagen and elastin. This loss of underlying structure also contributes to thinning of the epidermis, which can cause skin to look crepey or papery, and lead to drooping eyelids or neck wattles. Pigmentation in surface skin levels becomes uneven, creating shadows, blotches, dark circles under eyes, and age spots on the face and the back of hands.

50 TO 60 Your face is now mature. The fat padding beneath the skin has diminished so your face shows more of its angles and hollows. As muscle fibers weaken, the fat that remains under the eyes forms bags. Facial bones begin to shrink, causing all-around sagging. Oil production decreases after menopause, resulting in significant dryness. As cell turnover rate continues to slow, skin becomes thinner and more prone to wrinkling and drooping. Years of sun exposure or hormonal changes may lead to patchiness or unevenness in skin tone.

60+ Poor circulation — a common problem at this stage of life — can help rob your skin of its rosy glow. Increasingly thinner and drier skin is also more vulnerable to environmental stressors and can become more sensitive and more prone to irritation.

Accelerated Aging ~ Our skin is left to defend itself on it's own?

                                                                 ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION
Ultraviolet rays are the element of sunlight that most seriously affect the skin and can even cause permanent damage. When UVA radiation reaches the skin, it penetrates the epidermis, disrupting and damaging the underlying dermal collagen and elastin structure which support the youthful firmness and elasticity of skin. This damage causes a photoaging effect on the skin’s surface texture and appearance, contributing to premature wrinkling. UVB rays don’t penetrate as deeply, but they are the cause of sunburn and are now believed to be a major contributing factor in solar induced skin cancer.

The earth’s stratospheric ozone layer limits the amount of UV radiation that reaches us. Recently, however, scientists warn that the earth’s protective ozone layer is being depleted, allowing higher levels of UV radiation to reach the earth’s surface…and your skin. The annual average amount of UVB radiation has been steadily increasing by 3 to 5% per decade…and it is estimated that each 1% increase in UV could mean a 2% increase in skin cancer.

These statistics partly reflect the fact that we enjoy suntanning. However, studies show that most sun exposure takes place during such ordinary activities as walking to your car. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can still cause damage. What’s more, we don’t have to be standing in the sun for UV radiation to reach our skin. Ambient UVA light even reaches us indoors. It shines through glass or plastic windows and skylights. It’s reflected inside our homes, offices, and public buildings. Computer screens, halogen, and fluorescent lights emit low levels of UVA radiation, adding to our cumulative UVA exposure day after day, year after year.

When oxygen molecules lose one or more electrons they become unstable particles known as free radicals. Once one free radical is created, it seeks to restore molecular balance by taking an electron from another molecule, creating a new free radical in the process. As each newly generated free radical looks for a replacement electron, a chain reaction is triggered, creating many different forms of free radicals that each possess different skin-damaging potential. learn more

Modern life has increased our exposure to free radicals to an incredible degree. For example, if you are standing on a street corner when a bus or truck billowing fumes goes by, you may be exposed to more exhaust pollutants in that single moment than your grandparents were in their entire lifetimes. Airplanes also churn out engine exhaust. Industrial and agricultural pollutants are carried on every breeze; materials inside buildings emit chemical fumes. Tobacco smoke is
everywhere. Even the tap water you use to wash your face can trigger damaging free radical reactions when it touches your skin.
In the skin, free radical damage can weaken and destroy the fibroblasts that help provide structure to the skin, and can impair the ability of skin cells to perform basic functions as well as interfere with their natural immune system. Free radicals also stimulate the production of enzymes which destroy skin collagen. The extremely damaging hydroxyl radical is generated when the iron in tap water reacts with hydrogen peroxide naturally found in skin tissues. If this chain of damaging oxidation isn’t broken, it can significantly compromise the integrity of your living cells, attacking and damaging not only the existing cell and its functions, but even damaging the genetic material that are responsible for the production of future cells.

There are the problems we are born with…and then there are those we create for ourselves. When it comes to determining things like sun sensitivity and skin type, our genes make a lot of decisions for us. But DNA doesn’t hold all the cards.

Skin care research suggests that even how our skin behaves — acting more oily or more dry, for example — may stem more from what we’re DOING to our skin than from its internal programming. Working too hard to moisturize dry skin with heavy occlusive creams can cause clogged pores and trigger irritation. On the other hand, scrubbing oily skin with stripping soaps can provoke sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and create even more of a slick.

You have the power to change any number of habits — from that fondness for greasy potato chips to the way you clean your face — that will affect the look of your skin. Even the way you feel about yourself can have an impact on your complexion.

D. Ross Curington
Health and Wellness Coach

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