When we are young, we do not know enough to treasure the natural asset that is our skin. This brings to mind that old saying “beauty is wasted on the young.” The outermost tissue on the body is protective in nature, and it is also something that, once we are older, we may start to mourn. Youthful skin looks supple and taught, even in tone and texture. Why? Because it is supported by a sea of collagen.
Collagen is a vital chemical in the body, not only for our skin, but also for our teeth, ligaments, bones, and more. There is no way to “put collagen in;” it must be synthesized from within. You may see topical products that market themselves for collagen, but the truth is that collagen particles are simply too large to penetrate the epidermis.
It isn’t only collagen that holds up our skin. Elastin and collagen work hand in hand, one maintaining firmness, and the other supporting elasticity. There are also amino sugars called as Glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs, that keep the space between collagen and elastin fibers plump with moisture.
The Consequence of Aging
With age, we notice unwanted changes in the skin. These changes come from two factors:
- Intrinsic Aging is something over which we have no control. We may suffer very little from intrinsic aging if we are a winner in the genetic lottery, but most of us are not so lucky. The skin actually begins to age in our 20s, when the production of collagen decreases by 1% each year from here on out. Along with a drop in collagen comes the depletion of elastin and GAGs. This may seem very concerning. Would you be surprised to know, though, that this is not the primary reason we get wrinkles?
- Extrinsic Aging can be a bit of good news. We can control this process, which means we have substantial control over the development of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and other concerns. As you can guess, extrinsic aging is an external event. It is related to exposure. Exposure to the sun or other UV light, to chemicals, smoke, pollution, and more. When this type of aging breaks down connective tissues, we notice freckles, spots, thickening, rough texture, and more. The more we are exposed, the worse our skin looks.
There are so many ways to pamper the skin as it ages. Obviously, taking good care to avoid sun exposure and other external factors is advantageous. Professional care can also help. Call Fante Eye & Face Centre to see how.