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Why Does Skin Age? Exploring the Science Behind Aging Skin

As we age, our skin undergoes a variety of changes that can lead to wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of ageing. While some of these changes are simply the result of the natural ageing process, others may be caused by external factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and poor diet. Understanding why our skin ages can help us take steps to slow down the process and keep our skin looking healthy and youthful for longer.

Skin ages in two ways one is called chronological – which just means we get older as we go along the path of life. We have no control over that. The other way our skin ages is through photodamage, which is exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

One of the key factors that contribute to skin ageing is a loss of collagen and elastin, two proteins that are essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. As we age, our bodies produce less of these proteins, which can cause our skin to become thinner, less supple, and more prone to wrinkles and sagging. Additionally, exposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause damage to collagen and elastin fibres, further accelerating the ageing process.

Other factors that can contribute to skin ageing include changes in hormone levels, dehydration, and a decrease in the production of natural oils. While we can’t stop the ageing process altogether, there are steps we can take to slow it down and keep our skin looking healthy and youthful. By protecting our skin from the sun, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding smoking and other harmful habits, we can help keep our skin looking its best for years to come.

Factors That Contribute to Skin Aging

Internal Factors

Our skin naturally ages over time due to intrinsic factors, which are internal and uncontrollable. These factors include:

  • Genetics: Our genes play a role in how our skin ages. If our parents or grandparents had premature ageing, we may be more prone to it as well.
  • Hormones: As we age, our hormone levels decrease, leading to a loss of elasticity and firmness in our skin.
  • Natural cell regeneration: As we get older, our skin cells regenerate more slowly, leading to a thinner epidermis and a decrease in collagen and elastin production.
  • Natural Levels Of Melanin: The more pigmentation your skin has the less likely it is to show the visible signs of ageing.

External Factors

External factors mean things outside of you. These are some of the worst culprits when it comes to skin ageing. fibresageingThey include:

Sun exposureSmoking can cause wrinkles and premature ageing due to the chemicals in cigarettes that damage collagen and elastin fibresageing.
SmokingSmoking can cause wrinkles and premature ageing due to the chemicals in cigarettes that damage collagen and elastin fibre ageing.
PollutionAir pollution can lead to oxidative stress, which can damage skin cells and accelerate the ageing process.
Poor dietA diet lacking in nutrients can lead to a decrease in collagen and elastin production, leading to sagging and wrinkles.
StressChronic stress can lead to inflammation, which can damage skin cells and lead to premature ageing.

While we can’t control internal factors, we can take steps to minimize the effects of external factors.

 Protecting our skin from the sun is one of the most important steps you can take to limit ageing. Always wear an SPF 30+. 

Quit smoking, your body lungs skin and future generations will thank you for it.

Eating a healthy diet, I know I know it is so boring to be told again that a diet high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, avocados and minimal sugar is your best defence against so many things. But that’s because it is! 

By the way fat in your diet is really good for the skin. Sugar is really bad for your skin because it causes inflammation.

So up your olive oil and avocado intake and skip the ‘low fat’ sugar-laden alternatives.

 Managing stress. Your state of mind is not only important for your skin it’s also important for your mental health, physical health and happiness. Science has so much research detailing the damaging effects that stress has on us. 

Reducing stressful factors in your life can start simply. A regular skincare routine where you focus for a few minutes totally on yourself. Taking the time to cleanse and nurture your skin for a few minutes morning and night can help set you up for the and as a signal to your body at the end of the day that its time to unwind. Try not to watch screens just focus on being gentle with your skin and yourself. Take some deep breaths and let yourself really feel your skin, without judgement. Just enjoy the practice of being with yourself.

 Use skincare products that contain antioxidants. These can help protect the barrier of your skin from the onslaught of daily life and help keep your skin renewing itself faster. New skin looks and feels fresh. plump and healthy.

All of these external factors can help slow down the ageing process of our skin.

Effects of Skin Aging on Appearance and Health


Skin ageing can have a significant impact on one’s appearance. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner, and drier. This can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, sagging and hyperpigmentation.  Additionally, age spots, dark circles, and under-eye bags can become more prominent.

One of the most visible signs of skin ageing is the loss of collagen, a protein that gives skin its firmness and elasticity. As collagen production decreases, the skin becomes less able to support itself and that is how wrinkles and sagging start to appear.

 Sun exposure rapidly accelerates skin ageing, causing uneven skin tone, rough patches, and hyperpigmentation.


While the effects of skin ageing on appearance are often the most noticeable, skin ageing can also have health implications. As the skin thins, it becomes more vulnerable to cuts, bruises, and other injuries. Additionally, dry skin can become itchy and uncomfortable, and may even crack and bleed.

Another potential health concern related to skin ageing is the increased risk of skin cancer. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause DNA damage in skin cells, leading to mutations that can result in skin cancer. As we age, our skin becomes less able to repair this damage, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Finally, skin ageing can impact overall skin health. As the skin loses moisture and becomes drier, it can become more prone to infections and other skin conditions. Additionally, changes in the skin’s pH balance and oil production can exacerbate existing skin conditions, such as acne or rosacea.

Prevention and Treatment of Skin Aging

Lifestyle Changes

One of the most effective ways to prevent premature skin ageing is to make lifestyle changes. These changes include:

  • Protecting your skin from the sun by wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen with at least SPF 30
  • Quitting smoking, as it can cause wrinkles and damage to collagen and elastin in the skin
  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish and good fats.
  • Reducing stress through exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques
  • Getting enough sleep, as lack of sleep can lead to dull, tired-looking skin

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments can help reduce the signs of ageing by improving skin texture, tone, and hydration. These treatments include:

  • Retinoids, which increase collagen production and can reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), can exfoliate the skin and improve texture and tone
  • Moisturizers, can hydrate the skin and improve its overall appearance

Procedural Treatments

Procedural treatments can provide more dramatic results for ageing skin. These treatments include:

  • Chemical peels, can improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Laser resurfacing, can improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots
  • Botox can temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles by relaxing the muscles that cause them
  • Dermal fillers, can restore volume to the face and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

These procedures are not cheap and the results will vary depending on the practitioner performing the treatment. We strongly advise you to seek out reputable providers of these treatments and do your research. Very often the cheapest option is cheap for a reason and you don’t want to risk damaging your skin more than helping it.


  • Wear sunscreen
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a diet as low in sugar as you can and up your good fats like avocado, olive oil and fish.
  • Try to reduce stress in your life.
  • Use products that contain anti-oxidants.
  • Stop binging Netflix and go to bed