We know that our skin is constantly ageing daily yet we only think about it when the signs of ageing appear. Ageing is a natural process during which our skin’s cell renewal process and collagen production slow down, weakening the internal support structure and natural protection barrier of the skin. This deterioration of our skin’s processes, when combined with environmental and lifestyle factors, like pollution, can cause the signs of ageing to appear prematurely.
But the signs of ageing don’t appear out of nowhere. Even before they become visible on the outside, they are already affecting the skin deep inside, as early as our 20s.
How does our skin show the signs of ageing? In our 20s
The first signs of ageing appear around our eyes in the form of crow’s feet and drooping upper eyelids that make eyes appear smaller. Fine lines also begin to form around the nose and the upper lip begins to sink.
Another sign of ageing is linked to lack of sun protection. Skipping sunscreen in our 20s accelerates sun damage from deep inside, resulting in the formation of dark spots on the outside.
Continued exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays (photo-exposure) causes melanin overproduction deep inside the skin. This results in hyperpigmentation, which makes our skin take on a darkened, uneven tone, which explains the dark circles under our eyes.
In our 30s
The next signs of ageing that appear are the fine, vertical lines that develop from our facial expressions. These get deeper with age.
Frown lines between our eyebrows start to appear. Laugh lines around the nose and mouth are more pronounced, partly due to gravity. Our skin begins to lose volume and elasticity, and these lines become more defined. The upper lip also continues to decrease in thickness.
From 40 onwards
In our 40s, our skin continues to lose volume and elasticity, causing our facial lines and folds to sag even more. A loosing jawline also causes a change in the overall appearance of our faces, making the face look more drawn. This is an advanced sign of ageing skin.
The way our skin ages depends on the lifespan of our skin cells is written in our DNA. But up to 50% of our ageing process is caused by environmental factors like sun damage and smoking.
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