05 Oct What Actually Happens To Your Skin As You Age?
Ageing is a fact of life.
Looking your age is not.
Here at The Attic Spa, we love this saying. It promotes our spa’s vision – to teach people about the best ways to take care of their bodies, and to show that no matter your age, you can still look and feel amazing in the skin you’re in.
Of course, certain signs of ageing are inevitable. We might wish those grey hairs away and miss our fit teenage physiques, but it’s not always possible to retain that glowing youth you had back in your 20s.
No matter what stage in life you’re at, your skin is constantly changing and adapting. And for anybody already noticing a wrinkle or two (or five!) on their face or neck, you’ll notice just how subtly these changes can come about. So what actually happens to your skin as you age, and more importantly – what can you do to combat this? Today we break down the main causes of skin ageing and how you can look after your skin the way it looks after you.
The greatest single factor of ageing is sun exposure. And whilst we all love to come back from our holidays with a glowing tan, the effects of sun damage last a lifetime. With extended exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV), this light breaks down the fibres in the skin called elastin. Without elastin, our skin is no longer capable of staying tight and toned, and takes much longer to heal. This process is known as elastosis. Over time, you’ll see the effects of sun damage long after the damage has actually been done.
Sunlight can also trigger noncancerous skin growths (keratoacanthomas), pigment changes such as liver spots and is even directly linked to certain cancers. You’ll never be able to avoid the sun entirely (nor would you want to), but it’s never too late to start protecting your skin. By limiting your time in the sun and using a sun cream with a high SPF, you can prevent any further damage being done. Avoid sunburn wherever you can, and cover up at peak times.
Aside from UV exposure, personal habits play a big part in how quickly our skin ages. Unfortunately it’s usually the pastimes that we all enjoy that can wreak havoc on your forehead, cheeks and chin! If you’re partial to a glass (ahem, bottle) of wine in the evenings and enjoy a cigarette or twenty, then you’re not doing your skin any favours. Smokers tend to find themselves with more wrinkles than non-smokers due to the constant drags and repetitive motion of drawing on a cigarette. Likewise, regular alcohol consumption is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Alcohol is a toxin, and therefore contributes to poor liver function, reduced immunity and cell damage – none of which does your skin any favours. Ever wondered why your skin looks so dull after a heavy night? This is because alcohol is also a diuretic, meaning that you lose water from your body more quickly and become dehydrated. When skin is hydrated, lines and wrinkles (even the deeper ones) appear diminished, so it’s no wonder that they reappear after one too many G&Ts.
But how do you change this? Test yourself. Try Stoptober this month (or indeed, any month) and see if you notice a change in your skin’s appearance. Sometimes the smallest of changes can make the biggest of differences to your face and body.
Yes, really! Unlike smoking or alcohol, there isn’t much we can do about the effects that gravity have on our skin. As your face loses its elasticity, gravity causes your eyebrows and eyelids to droop, as well as loosening the cheeks and neck. It even lengthens your earlobes.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring component of the skin which plays an important role in retaining moisture – making your skin look plumper, firmer and brighter. As we age, we stop producing so much of this acid, which is why it features heavily in our non-surgical treatments. And given that one molecule alone can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, it’s easy to see why. Just one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to SIX litres of water. The best way to replace your skin’s source of hyaluronic acid is to have it injected, but even sourcing serums and creams that contain it as an ingredient can improve the appearance of your skin.
Looking to combat the effects of ageing? Get in touch with us at The Attic Spa and see how our treatments can help!