Skin through the Ages

From the day we are born aging begins. The rate at which the skin ages is determined by two main components, the first is dependent upon chronology and genetics and the second component is based upon the environment, a very large factor that we often tend to overlook in our youth. Chronological ageing can be broken into five main groups, each showing the ever changing landscape of the skin.

Phase One, 10 -20 years: Puberty generally occurs earlier in girls than in boys. Early onset of menses in girls can be an indication for a faster rate of ageing. Changes in skin colour and tone in juvenile skin can be seen through these years, along with a change in the oil flow, often creating some form of acne. Through this age of increased oil flow, often harsh alkaline products are used in an attempt to dry out the oil. This may result in the reverse happening where the oil flow is increased due to the fact that oil is a protective medium for the skin to help prevent bacteria from entering. A pH balanced cleansing and rebalancing home care programme is recommended to keep the skin healthy and to prevent premature aging.
Phase Two, 21 -35 years: During this stage, skin changes are subtle, appearing mainly on the face, neck and hands. Cell turnover slows down, the second layer of the skin, the dermis, begins to lose some bounce and volume, collagen fibres aren’t as efficiently meshed, and the environmental damage of the harsh Australian sun appear with the start of hyperpigmentation and fine lines. Cleansing, exfoliation, hydration and sun protection are very important in order to slow down the environmental as well as chronological aging.
Phase Three, 36-50 years: During this stage, ageing of the skin will often appear to be more evident in women than in men largely due to the hormonal changes the body is going through. The evenness of the skin tone is changing as the desquamation of the skin slows down, the skin is appearing to be a little looser with more prominent lines both from the environment and chronological aging, sebum production slows resulting in dryer skin, dilated capillaries may appear due to a weaker dermis and pigmentation is now quite evident. Often anti wrinkle injections are considered at this time, along with volumizing injections and IPL treatments for the brown and red discolouration.
Phase Four, 51-65 years: This stage of the aging of the skin and body has often been called the fixation period because the physical and mental changes that occur can result in a definite older appearance. Other visible signs of ageing in the skin are a thin texture, the skin is loose, cell renewal is slower resulting in slow healing, circulation is impaired, skin colour changes becoming more yellow or grey, along with more evident brown hyperpigmentation, structural proteins make skin less elastic and less firm, for women decreasing estrogen and therefore an imbalance with androgens may lead to breakouts, and the neck can take on the turkey appearance for both men and women. A healthy lifestyle and a prescribed home care regime which will include the use of gauze and toning lotion –this increases the circulation and desquamation process resulting in a brighter colour and tone of the skin- along with both at home and in clinic skin needling routine will stimulate the collagen and elastin production resulting in a decrease of fine lines and wrinkles that may have been created from our harsh environment.
Phase Five, 66years and older: The skin from now on usually has little or no oil flow and zero natural moisture levels resulting in extremely dry and fragile skin. Genetic disposition to certain problems becomes evident, such as bags under the eyes, along with increased pigmentation and wrinkles both from the sun and from something as simple as sleeping style ie sleeping on your side- the side which is the preferable will have deeper skin corrugations than the other, answer, sleep on your back. Precancerous lesions are often more evident and the skin becomes droopier, which may be from a combination of skull changes and loss of elasticity.
Our skin is the first thing the world sees and we want it to look the best it can possibly be each and every day. Teaching children from a young age about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how to follow a good homecare routine will definitely assist with a more radiant and vibrant skin that does not give away our actual chronological age. There are many tools at our disposal to assist with this such as fractional laser, IPL, peeling treatments, radio frequency and skin needling. My aesthetic teacher said to me over 35 years ago “if you had 1 and only 1dress for your whole life that was to take you to the beach, parties, balls and the football, you would take care of it lovingly as it has to be the best for each of these occasions”. Be the best, the healthiest and happiest you can be and your skin will stand you in good stead.