Ageing of the skin can be divided into two broad categories, either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic ageing of the skin is genetically determined and typically begins around the age of 30-35 years old and there is not a lot we can do about it! Extrinsic ageing however is a result of the exposure of our skin to the environment and how we look after it.
What is ageing?
The most common cause of premature ageing is due to sunlight exposure and the most important message that we can give as a skin clinic is to use a high factor sun protection that will protect against both UVA and UVB radiation. Although the classical SPF rating on our sun creams is important, it only relates to blocking the sun’s UVB radiation which is what causes sun burn, however UVA is the important factor when we look at ageing of the skin. UVA is present all year round, penetrates clouds, glass and even thin clothing. It is important that you use a product all year round with good UVA and UVB protection.
Sun damage is responsible for the breakdown of collagen and other skin proteins as well as causing pigment changes (age spots), uneven skin tone and spider veins. Extrinsic ageing is also caused by smoking, alcohol, poor general health, poor sleep, medical conditions and not looking after your skin. Despite this, there are many cosmetic treatments available for reversing the signs of ageing, they can improve skin texture, replace lost volume, remove lines and wrinkles, help stimulate your own natural healing processes, encourage collagen production and give your skin a healthy glow.