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Causes of Aging Skin

Aging Skin

  • As a part of the intrinsic aging process, skin tightening abilities provided by elastin and collagen fibers begin to diminish in the 20s
  • Extrinsic aging is anything to do with outside forces causing the skin to age, and includes the negative effects of sun damaged skin. A good skin moisturizer can help reduce the dryness that causes some wrinkles and lines to appear so deep
  • Skin care vitamin C helps the skin maintain essential moisture and a vibrant glowing appearance

Aging is a natural process that levels the playing field when it comes to men and women. Skin responds to two different processes of aging the moment you are born. Research states that these two distinct processes are: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic aging is said to be hereditary. It is directly related to the genes passed down generation to generation. This is considered to be the natural aging process. Beginning in the 20’s normal skin starts to slow down in the production of collagen and elastin resulting in the skin being less elastic. The shedding of dead skin cells and the turnover of new skin cells decreases. However, where this aging is occurring, the outward visible signs of aging will not start to show for many years. The outside visible signs are usually presented as wrinkles, transparent and thinning skin, shrinkage in the bones causing skin to sag, dry itchy skin, unwanted hair, graying hair and the inability to sweat sufficiently to cool off the skin. Your inherited genes control how fast these “signs” will start, but each person is different and family traits play a large role.

Extrinsic aging is caused by the outside factors including environment and individual habits. When the intrinsic factors and the extrinsic factors work together against the skin, premature aging is the result. Skin type and pigment plays a significant role as does exposure to the outside elements. The most common culprit of extrinsic aging is exposure to the sun.

Overexposure to the Sun

Everyone loves to go to the beach or participate in outside events during hot weather. However, sun tanning effects on skin can be very harmful and surely accelerate skin aging. The UVB and UVA rays have a major impact on the skin. This results in wrinkles and skin age spots (freckles). These spots start off as freckles and then turn into brown patches. This makes the skin dry and promotes wrinkles to appear. Too much exposure to the harmful rays may lead to skin cancer. It is very important to be aware of how long your skin is exposed when outdoors. Of course, there are many lotions and ointments to protect yourself from UVB and UVA rays and, therefore, avoid sun damage. But, be sure to consult your dermatologist before using one. These sunscreens should be broad spectrum and have a SPF15 or above in order to maximize protection.

Cold Weather

Extreme low temperatures and strong winds can cause skin dryness and eventually lead to accelerated aging. Using your favorite moisturizer and proper clothing during harsh cold environments is very important. Many households like to crank up the heat on cold nights, but this also leads to dry skin. Therefore, the use of moisturizers outside and inside is a good preventative measure for dry skin. Irritable skin problems may appear more pronounced in cold weather and are quite common affecting anyone at any age.


“Cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health”. This is a known fact and it includes the skin. Cigarette smoking causes chemical changes in the body which contribute to accelerated aging. Extended smoking contributes to deep wrinkles, leather-like skin, and a depletion in the level of Vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C is an important ingredient in keeping the skin moist and vibrant. These conditions apply to those exposed to second-hand smoke as well. The chemicals in smoke are notorious for constricting blood vessels which decreases the amount of oxygen available to all cells.

No exercise

A lack of exercise puts your body at risk for severe health issues and researchers have discovered that sedentary older adults are at higher risk for dementia. Exercise is not only important for your mind and body but also for your skin. Exercise and activity help in toning the skin, muscles and in getting sedentary blood flowing. Many exercise programs like walking, biking, swimming and yoga, to name a few, would result in healthier, more radiant skin. Exercise should definitely be a part of any anti-aging program. Not only will you feel better by bringing a new energy to your body, it will also make you smile and look younger.


Alcohol can have a huge impact on the skin. Bloodflow near the skin’s surface is increased due to alcohol dilating the small blood vessels in the skin. With time, this can damage your blood vessels permanently making the skin appear blotchy and flushed. Alcohol also depletes the body of Vitamin A, an important anti-oxidant. Excessive intake of alcohol causes malnutrition, craving of starchy foods, and affects personal grooming and skin care. Drinking alcohol can also worsen skin disorders that may already exist such as acne rosacea.

Stress and Anxiety

A stressful situation means worrying and this usually brings about a frowning face. Where there is a frown there is a wrinkled forehead. Anyone who told you your face would stick in a “frowning” position is partially right. This is due to the muscles in the skin of the face that in time actually conform to that repeated movement. Try to control your stress levels as this can badly affect your mind, body and skin. By finding ways to reduce your stress level, this will help you release stress expressions during the day. The more anti-aging programs you take part in such as meditation, yoga and exercise, the healthier your outlook will be and your skin will look younger as well.

Sleep Problems

A bad night’s sleep shows on your face. Excessive lack of sleep means your skin is affected as well. Your face is one of the first places lack of sleep shows up. Dark circles under eyes, wrinkles and sagging skin all are sure signs that you are not getting the proper rest your body needs to rejuvanate itself each night. An average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Without proper rest, not only is the skin affected, but also factors such as memory loss, negative thinking, and depression can result. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine means reducing caffeine intake, avoiding food at least 2 hours before bedtime and trying to go to bed at the same time each night.

While aging is purely natural, there are many things you can do to look great and prevent “unnecessary aging”. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise routine, and taking good care in your anti-aging regimen will help you to stay looking younger longer and feeling better no matter what your age.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

2 Responses to “Causes of Aging Skin”

  1. 1
    Jamison Says:
    I knew that not exercising would come back and bite me! I'm starting to exercise now and I am seeing a constant improvement in my skin.
  2. 2
    Jill Says:
    I had no idea that sleeping issues could cause such havoc on the skin. I drink a lot of water and wear sunscreen when I'm out, but now I know that sleep is just as important. Thanks for the advice.