Modern Australian

Aging Gracefully: Our Skin’s Timeline


As we age, our bodies are continually changing. Our skin becomes thinner and less elastic. It can look less plump and the skin tone becomes less smooth. Veins and bones become easier to see, and cuts and bumps may take longer to heal, so it is important to know how anti-aging creams work.. The sun can lead to wrinkles, dryness, age spots, and even cancer over time. Older people may bruise more easily, and it can take longer for bruises to heal. The skin our biggest organ and our first line of defence for our immune system, it protects us from a plethora of external factors including the weather and infections. 

Crow's feet, sagging skin, dark/sunspots, wrinkles, fine lines, and dull skin begin to appear as we progress through our life cycle. Today, more and more anti aging skincare products are being marketed to younger age groups because prevention is key when it comes to your skin, by the time you start seeing fine lines your anti aging skincare routine is now about minimising their appearance! Skin specialists and dermatologists say it over and over again: to avoid wrinkles, the best thing you can do is start fighting them before they appear. 

Start sooner rather than later

So, if you are in your 20s, your anti aging routine and products should be focused on prevention, once you are in your 40s you should be thinking about correction. Remember, that the concept of ‘anti aging’ isn’t about staying young, rather it is about being and looking like the freshest version of yourself.

The central component of any anti aging skin care regime is counteracting the effects of external factors like pollution and UV rays. Supporting your skin as it loses its capacity to produce collagen, oil, and sweat will help it age gracefully (think fewer wrinkles!), and your skin will remain firmer over a longer period of time.

What causes aging skin?

Aging in your skin is a result intrinsic and exogenous wear. The first refers to the natural rate at which your body's cells renew themselves, while the second is damage from external sources. 

As skin ages, it becomes less elastic, less firm, and starts to lose its smooth and even tone. What begins as fine lines often gives way to deeper ones. The surface of the skin might become rough and dry, the outer layer begins to thin, revealing the small blood vessels beneath it. Constant and regular exposure to the sun will cause freckles, sunspots, and pigmentation changes.

How our skin ages by decade

20s

The cells that make up the surface of your skin reach their peak around the age of 20. As your cells age, they produce less hyaluronic acid, which makes cells less effective at absorbing water and binding it. This results in the skin becoming dry and damaged, with visible capillaries. 

From the age of 25, the amount of collagen production in the skin reduces by 1% each year, which means deeper wrinkles form and elasticity will continue to decline. Reduced micro-circulation can lead to a likelihood of skin dullness due to the increasing inefficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the surface of the skin. 

Getting into the habit of a skin care routine in your 20s will lay a foundation for years to come (sunscreen is vital here) to help fortify your skin. Use a separate sunscreen (one that isn’t part of makeup) with a minimum SPF of 30 every day. Adding more potent active ingredients to your routine should begin in your late 20s, such as an AHA/BHA serum or a retinol to fight off dullness and to gently exfoliate your skin.

30s

Now your skin has completely left the puberty phase (which can go into your late 20s). Your 30s are when early signs of aging first start to appear, as well as the first effects of sun damage from your teenage years and into your 20s. By this time, the accumulation of exogenous wear from oxidants like pollution and UV rays creates stress on the skin that can lead to early skin aging. 

During this decade you will see some early wrinkles like the vertical lines between our eyebrows, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet, and a loss of volume in the cheeks. Your skin's repair system slows down, making it duller, and decreased collagen production results in a loss in firmness.

You may have to add to or adjust your regular anti aging skincare routine, such as using a more potent prescription-only retinol (or a peptide-based serum) to help with fine lines and skin firmness. Once prevention is no longer an option, over the counter creams or serums will not give you optimum results. 

Consulting a dermatologist or a telemedicine prescription skincare provider can help you reap the benefits and efficacy of powerful anti aging treatments. Online doctors provide a one-on-one video consultation, followed by custom blended serum or cream base that has been tailored to your skin delivered to your door.

40s

In our 40s see drastic changes in skin firmness, a loss of volume and elasticity, pronounced wrinkles and sun damage that can develop into melasma. At this age, people often begin aesthetic treatments and make changes to their lifestyle to support their chosen treatments and therapies. This includes filler to replace lost volume, and chemical peels to target melasma, sun damage, and uneven tone or texture. 

For moisture retention, we recommend adding more hyaluronic acid to your routine (both day and night), a rich night cream that contains glycerin, ceramides, and fatty lipids to encourage skin barrier repair.

50s 

Declining levels of oestrogen and increased levels of androgens makes skin thinner and less elastic. Dryness and acne can also resurface due to hormonal fluctuations. Excess pigment and signs of sun damage (i.e., brown spots and photo aging) become more prominent. Microneedling at this age helps encourage collagen production in the face. 

60s and beyond

For those of us in the 60s+ age range, combatting a lack of hydration and poor moisture retention are the main concerns. It is never too late to help your skin with anti aging treatments. A simple routine complemented by laser treatments once or twice a year will go a long way in terms of skin maintenance.

Relationships takes effort

Your skin is no different, listen to its needs! What is important is feeling good in your skin and knowing that you are working to support and protect your skin as it ages, helping it be the best it can be for the rest of your life. So, look after your birthday suit, you only have one.

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