Aging of the skin can be put into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging happens naturally over time and is determined by a person’s genetics. Mild facial wrinkling, expression lines, and dry, sensitive skin are likely a result of intrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging is a result of external factors like unprotected sun exposure, smoking, alcohol use, pollution and other lifestyle choices. Extrinsic factors are thought to be responsible for 85% of visible aging and are highly avoidable. Sun exposure is the leading cause of extrinsic aging; the suns damaging rays breakdown the skins support structure, leading to discoloration of the skin, wrinkles, sagging and, in some cases even cancer. When treating visible facial aging, it is important to use products that not only treat existing conditions, but also protect the skin from future damage.
Here’s what is happening as we age:
1. Collagen and elastin break down and their production decreases
2. Fine lines and wrinkles appear due to a lack of collagen and elastin support
3. Cell turnover rates and hydrating components decrease, leading to dry, flaky skin
4. Sun-induced skin discolorations often occur