Common Skincare Concern Series: Aging Skin

Aging is a natural part of life. As we age, our skin undergoes changes that alter the skin’s appearance. While you can’t reverse all of these age-related skin changes, you can slow the aging process by making lifestyle changes that promote healthy skin.

Common Skincare Concern Series: Aging Skin

Causes of Aging Skin

Age-related skin changes are due to:

  • Intrinsic factors: genetically programmed, natural changes in your skin that begin in your 20s and become more noticeable as you get older. Intrinsic aging results from the passage of time and is the slow, irreversible process of tissue degeneration.
  • Extrinsic factors: environmental wear and tear on your skin. Extrinsic aging is often referred to as photo-aging since sun exposure is the primary culprit.

Both intrinsic and extrinsic aging have been linked to free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that damage cells and extracellular matrix, including collagen.

Skin Changes That Occur With Aging : Intrinsic factors

Decreased collagen and elastin. Your skin’s extracellular matrix declines by approximately 1 percent per year due to:

  • Breakdown in collagen and elastin
  • Slower production of new collagen and elastin

Reduced collagen and elastin result in:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Loss of skin elasticity, leading to sagging skin

Skin thickness decreases. Both the dermis and epidermis lose about 6 percent of their thickness every 10 years. Thinner skin is more vulnerable to injuries and damage.

Reduced oil gland activity, which impairs the skin’s ability to stay moisturized, leading to dry skin.

Slowed exfoliation, leading to rougher skin.

Decline in skin cell turnover and regeneration in response to injury, leading to slower wound healing.

Decreased ability to fight free radicals that damage cells and inhibit collagen.

Extrinsic Factors:

Several controllable factors and behaviors contribute to aging skin:

Sun exposure. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight is the No. 1 reason the skin ages, accounting for about 90 percent of the symptoms of premature skin aging.

UV rays:

  • Damage collagen and elastin
  • Break down collagen
  • Slow the production of new collagen
  • Deplete antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, impairing the skin’s ability to protect against free radicals

Damage to collagen and elastin causes wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, sagging skin, easier tearing/bruising and longer skin healing time. Other signs of photo-aging include skin roughness, pigmentation (darker, tanned skin) and couperose (pink complexion).

Smoking is second to sun exposure in causing wrinkles and dry skin. The nicotine in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels, restricting blood flow to the skin and decreasing your skin’s supply of oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Toxins in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin. Smoking can produce free radicals, depleting your body of vitamin C and causing premature wrinkles.

Chronic stress. Stress hormones increase free radicals, dehydrate the body and thin the skin. Stress also interferes with your skin’s ability to replenish itself and impairs your body’s ability to fight free radicals and bacteria.

Alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol decreases vitamin A, the antioxidant that protects your skin from damaging free radicals. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels in the skin, causing a blotchy, uneven appearance that can become permanent with further alcohol intake.

Unhealthy diet. A diet lacking in nutrients important for skin health contributes to unhealthy looking skin. Optimal skin health requires:

  • Antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C and E) found in fruits and vegetables protect your skin from damaging free radicals.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like tuna and salmon provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to your skin and body.
  • Limited sugar intake. Consuming too much sugar over time leads to glycation, a process that ages skin prematurely. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) damage collagen fibers, causing them to lose elasticity and become rigid. These collagen abnormalities result in skin changes such as thinning, discoloration, loss of elasticity and tendency to rashes and infections.

How SkinPen and Skinfuse can help

The SkinPen micro-needling procedure improves the appearance of fine lines by stimulating your body’s natural production of new, healthy collagen and elastin. SkinPen’s procedure can be tailored to your skin’s needs. SkinPen has minimal side effects, so it’s appropriate for most skin types.

The SkinFuse micro-needling protocol delivers the nutrients your skin needs post SkinPen procedure.

The SkinFuse products in the Post Procedure Kit:

  • Contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients (Surge 1 Collagen Boost, Rescue Calming Complex, Fortify Vita C Serum)
  • Assist in your skin’s natural ability to produce collagen (Surge 1 Collagen Boost, Reclaim Hydrating Support)
  • Hydrate your skin (Rescue Calming Complex, Reclaim Hydrating Support)
  • Protect your skin from UV damage (Shield Zinc Oxide 21%)