As we grow older, one of the key places we visibly witness a change is in our skin, but what actually happens during this process? There are a huge amount of changes that take place, that we detail below.
Loss Of Flexibility
Elastin is a protein found in connective tissues, just like collagen, which is highly elastic and allows your skin tissue to keep its shape after it has been stretched. Unfortunately, as we age, elastin production slows down, meaning that smooth skin starts to break down appear more ‘saggy’. A famous analogy is to imagine a rubber hand, after you’ve stretched it a number of times it doesn’t bounce back to its shape as well. Well this will be the same with your skin. This can be especially noticeable on your neck, around the eyes and on your jaw line.
Skin Becomes Rougher
Another frustrating thing that happens as we age is cell renewal slows down quite rapidly, which will lead to much rougher skin. Phosphatidylcholine has a huge role in our body, however the numbers decrease as we grow older, which not only effects skin cells but also can affect fat digestion and air memory.
As well as elastin, your body also produces collagen at a lower rate as you grow older and while the reduced level will create sagging and wrinkles, this can actually feel like the skin has become rougher.
It Starts To Dry Out
The predominant reason for skin losing moisture is down to the reduction of hyaluronic acid in your skin over time, which is crucial in retaining water. The actual amount of water it can hold is phenomenal, known to be around six litres of water in just one gram of hyaluronic acid. This is also why hyaluronic acid based repair creams are such top sellers within the skincare industry.
You will also sweat a lot less than when you are younger. Yes, this might sound like a blessing in disguise, I mean nobody wants sweat patches or body odour, but sweat has an important role in keeping the body cool and healing wounds. The lack of sweat is down to aged skin, therefore this is an important consideration, while the best way you can tackle this is by protecting yourself from sun damage.
The Skin Cannot Fight Infection As Well
The entire body is more susceptible to illnesses as we grow older, but the skin is a clear area of concern as we age. There are a number of reasons for this, such as the skin thinning, the sweat glands decreasing and increased entry of pathogens into the skin. You will also tend to see a decreased blood flow, meaning it takes longer for healing to occur. Pathogens (basically a germ) will have increased opportunities to enter broken skin.
Skin Becomes More Transparent
We’ve previously mentioned the thinning of the epidermis, which is the outer surface layer of the skin. Well the result of this is a more transparent appearance. This is largely due to the lower production of collagen, however once again protection from sun damage is critical. With thinner skin also means blood vessels will be more visible.
Also known as age spots, are dark areas on your skin, often in areas exposed to the sun. For this reason, you may suffer from these more if you’ve been regularly exposed to the harmful rays of the sun through your lifetime.