Let's talk skin aging: the causes and how to treat it

There are ways to combat premature skin aging. Here are some of them.

Aging is one of the major nemeses of skincare. There’s practically no escape from it. Dehydrated, dull skin leads to fine lines and wrinkles, and these can start showing as early as your mid-20s.

So, let’s talk about skin aging prevention! Taking care of your skin can help slow down premature skin aging and allow it to stay plump and youthful for longer.

This infographic will touch on skin aging and what you can do to slow the hands of time.

Infographic version of the article Let's talk skin aging: the causes and how to treat it

Skin aging is characterized by wrinkling and a rough, textured appearance. This process is accompanied by structural and functional changes in the body’s tissues.

These changes diminish the skin’s strength and elasticity, producing a weather-beaten appearance typical to those who spend a lot of time outdoors. With aging, the outer skin layer becomes thinner and paler. Pigmented spots may also appear in sun-exposed areas.

Lesser moisture is also an indication of aging skin. Since oil glands produce less oil as we age, this can make it harder to keep the skin moist, resulting in itchiness and dryness. Warts, patches, and other blemishes also become more common as we grow older.

What Causes Skin Aging?

Different factors affect how the skin ages. Here are some of them:

1. Sun exposure

Exposure to the sun ravages the skin, causing wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation. It’s also called photoaging, which results from repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

While you can’t avoid natural skin aging, photoaging accelerates the process. When the sun’s UV light hits the skin, it damages the fibers called elastin. As these strands break down, the surface begins to sag, creating wrinkles and fine lines.

2. Diet

A high-fat diet is known to cause inflammatory damage. Some studies have also shown a close association between sugar and skin aging. Frequent consumption of barbecued fried foods, for instance, leads to the accumulation of harmful free radicals that wreak havoc on the skin.

3. Poor sleeping habits

Sleep deprivation has also been associated with increased signs of skin aging, such as fine lines, uneven pigmentation, and reduced elasticity. Sleep facilitates the production of collagen, an essential protein that prevents the skin from sagging. If you don’t catch enough Zs, your body will produce less of this hormone, making you more prone to wrinkles.

4. High stress levels

Stress triggers an inflammatory response in the body. It causes changes to the proteins in the skin, reducing its elasticity and moisture. In turn, wrinkles form, accelerating the aging process.

5. Facial movements

Wrinkles result in repeated facial movements, such as smiling and squinting. Every time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface. As you age, the skin loses its flexibility and can no longer spring back in place, rendering the lines permanent.

6. Smoking

Studies have shown that chemicals in cigarettes contribute to premature aging. Nicotine, in particular, tightens the blood vessels, restricting the flow of nutrients to skin cells. Some toxins in cigarette smoke also damage collagen and elastin, causing the skin to lose its firmness and elasticity. This makes smokers more prone to wrinkles than non-smokers.

7. Excessive alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol intake dehydrates your skin, accelerating the aging process. Over time, this dryness can cause the skin to lose its shape and sag eventually. One study has shown that heavy alcohol consumption is linked with increased upper facial lines, under-eye puffiness, and mid-face volume loss.

8. Environmental pollutants

Your skin is subjected to toxins as you come in direct contact with the air around you. These harmful particles serve as carriers for metals and organic chemicals that are capable of damaging your skin. Research has shown that air pollution, in particular, triggers the development of pigment spots and wrinkles, causing premature aging.

Slowing Down Skin Aging

Skin aging is a fact of life—but premature skin aging is something you can prevent. Here are tips and techniques that can help combat premature skin aging.

1. Use sun protection

Since the sun’s UV rays are the number one culprit of premature aging, protecting your skin from it is essential. Whether running errands or spending a day at the beach, be sure to use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. You can also bring a wide-brimmed hat with you, as it helps cover your face and neck.

2. Prioritize a hydrating skincare regimen

Having a hydrating skincare routine will enable your skin to look youthful and plump at all times. In particular, moisturizing can help make fine lines less visible.  Various skincare products offer moisturizing benefits—lotions, creams, gels, and oils help rejuvenate the skin, keeping it plump and hydrated.

The king of hydration in skincare is definitely hyaluronic acid! The L’Oreal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum and HA Cream help keep the skin moisturized. Due to its capacity to retain water, this hydrating hero fills in already-present fine lines, reducing their loose appearance. It also contains ingredients that prevent fine lines, helping to slow the aging process.

3. Stop using products that give you a reaction

Your skin barrier serves as a protective coating that locks moisture in. When you use a product that’s too harsh, the layer breaks, causing the water to evaporate and irritants to get in. The result? A red, rashy, irritated, and dry face. Therefore, it’s essential to read the labels carefully to know if certain products contain ingredients that may damage your skin. This may include fragrances like alcohols and linalool, preservatives like formaldehyde, and metals and rubber. Do a patch test before incorporating any new skincare products into your routine.

4. Develop a better sleep routine

Science says that you can actually have better skin with sleep. A study found that people who slept seven to nine hours a night had more hydrated skin that could heal itself better after being exposed to UV light than those who had just five hours or less.

By improving your sleeping habits, you’re not only taking care of your skin, but you’re also paving the way for a healthier body.

5. Stay hydrated

By hydrating, you put back in enough liquid needed by your skin to stay nourished. Note that dry skin shrinks plump cells, resulting in fine lines. For most people, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated.  Using moisturizing creams and lotions is also another way to hydrate your skin. These products contain substances that lock moisture in to keep your skin rejuvenated.

6. Get active

When you exercise, blood is pumped throughout your body, resulting in improved circulation. In turn, your skin cells become nourished. Increased blood flow also helps carry away free radicals from working cells, keeping your skin healthy.

7. Eat a healthy meal

Antioxidant-rich foods are known to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Fruits, vegetables, berries, and nuts are skin-friendly options, as they provide some nutrients needed by your body to fight harmful pollutants.

8. Drink in moderation

Since alcohol dehydrates the entire body, including the skin, limit your drinks to a moderate amount. With continuous heavy drinking, you increase the chances of skin dullness and dehydration. On the contrary, if you consume less, your body repairs your skin to retain moisture better.

9. Avoid smoking

Smoking changes the skin in ways that can add years to your looks. It impacts your fertility and affects the strength of your heart, lungs, and bones. When you avoid smoking, you improve blood flow, allowing your skin to receive more oxygen and nutrients. As a result, you get a healthier complexion.

10. Learn how to manage stress

When you are stressed, your body releases more cortisol, which stimulates oil production in your skin glands. This leads to clogged pores, which can trigger acne. Learning how to manage stress will help alleviate the damage it can cause to your skin. It also allows you to regain control of your life, helping you be more productive.

The Holistic Benefits of Healthy Skin

Keeping your skin healthy helps protect your body against cellular damage, not to mention giving you that glow and radiance. With a proper skincare regimen, you can look your best no matter what the situation is.

Remember that taking care of your skin is the best investment towards preventing the effects of premature skin aging. Browse for more  on the L’Oreal Paris website.

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