Causes of Aging Skins

  • August 19, 2013

Research shows that there are, in fact, two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging. The other type of aging is known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to the sun's rays.

I'm going to discuss Extrinsic Aging in this post because there are more products and treatments available today that can help keep our skin looking younger than ever before.

Extrinsic Aging

A number of extrinsic, or external, factors often act together with the normal aging process to prematurely age our skin. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure. Other external factors that prematurely age our skin are repetitive facial expressions, gravity, sleeping positions, and smoking.

The Sun - Sun exposure is by far the most aging and damaging thing we can do to our skin. Without protection from the sun's rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin), and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure.

Photoaging is the term dermatologists use to describe this type of aging caused by exposure to the sun's rays. The amount of photoaging that develops depends on: 1) a person's skin color and 2) their history of long-term or intense sun exposure. People with fair skin who have a history of sun exposure develop more signs of photoaging than those with dark skin.

Photoaging occurs over a period of years, with repeated exposure to the sun. Damage occurs when the skin loses the ability to repair itself. Repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the building of new collagen. Sun-weakened skin ceases to spring back much earlier than skin protected from UV rays. Skin also becomes loose, wrinkled, and leathery much earlier with unprotected exposure to sunlight.

While it may seem that the signs of photoaging appear overnight, they actually lie invisible beneath the surface of the skin for years. UV photography enables us to see the damage accumulating beneath the surface of the skin years before the signs of photoaging appear.

The proper use of Sunscreen all year, such as Epionce Ultra Shield Lotion, in either 50 SPF or 30 SPF can minimize sun damage to your skin and offers excellent protection. You can pick up some Epionce Sunscreen when you visit the clinic or you can order online on Epionce's Website; be sure and use Caddell's Code - 20110906 to receive special offers and discounts from Epionce.

Facial Expressions - If you perform facial exercises to maintain a youthful-looking appearance, it is time to stop. Repetitive facial movements actually lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time we use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin, which is why we see lines form with each facial expression. As skin ages and loses its elasticity, the skin stops springing back to its line-free state, and these grooves become permanently etched on the face as fine lines and wrinkles.

Gravity. Gravity constantly pulls on our bodies. Changes related to gravity become more pronounced as we age. In our 50s, when the skin's elasticity declines dramatically, the effects of gravity become evident. Gravity causes the tip of the nose to droop, the ears to elongate, the eyelids to fall, jowls to form, and the upper lip to disappear while the lower lip becomes more pronounced.

Sleeping Positions. Resting your face on the pillow in the same way every night for years on end also leads to wrinkles. Called sleep lines, these wrinkles eventually become etched on the surface of the skin and no longer disappear when the head is not resting on the pillow. Women, who tend to sleep on their sides, are most likely to see these lines appear on their chin and cheeks. Men tend to notice these lines on the forehead since they usually sleep with the face pressed face down on the pillow. People who sleep on their backs do not develop these wrinkles since their skin does not lie crumpled against the pillow.

Smoking - Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging. A person who smokes 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of 10 years is statistically more likely to develop deeply wrinkled, leathery skin than a nonsmoker. People who smoke for a number of years tend to develop an unhealthy yellowish hue to their complexion. Additionally, facial wrinkling, while not yet visible, can be seen under a microscope in smokers as young as 20.

These signs can be greatly diminished, and in some cases avoided, by stopping smoking. Even people who have smoked for many years, or smoked heavily at a younger age, show less facial wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.

For Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin

While you cannot stop or even slow down the intrinsic aging process, you can prevent signs of premature aging by protecting your skin from the sun, quitting smoking, and eliminating facial exercises.

The specialists at Caddell's Laser Clinic recommend comprehensive sun protection to prevent premature aging caused by the sun. Comprehensive sun protection includes:

  • Avoiding deliberate tanning, including use of indoor tanning devices.
  • Staying out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., when the sun's rays are the strongest.
  • Wearing protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves, when outdoors during the day.
  • Applying sunscreen such as Epionce Ultra Shield Lotion year round. Sunscreen should be broad spectrum (offers UVA and UVB protection) and have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going outdoors to all skin that will be exposed. It should be reapplied after sweating or being in water.

Treatment - If you are bothered by visible signs of aging, a number of treatments are available. Fractional CO2 Laser treatments are considered to be the anitaging breakthrough of the decade, according to Web MD. Caddell's offers Fractional CO 2 Laser treatments and now is the time to start thinking about this treatment for the holidays. Micro-Dermabrasion,  chemical peeling and some topical treatments can restore skin, giving it a smoother and refreshed appearance. 

Contact Caddell's to see what options are right for you so you too can once again have younger looking skin.

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