Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
3023 Hamaker Court
Fairfax, VA 22031
Understanding the Skin Aging Process 4 Things Your Can Do To Slow It Down
Our skin is the largest organ of our body and it provides a strong barrier to protect us from outside elements. The body systems that make up our outermost layer are incredibly complex. Part of providing professional medical grade skin care services is understanding the aging process, as well as the effects of sun exposure, hormones, and other influencing factors affect the skin’s health and appearance.
Aging of the skin can be slowed down with lifestyle changes that promote good health and diligent skin care habits. The natural aging process is affected by both internal and external factors which both show up visibly with the same results, yet the external aging factors are the ones that we have the most control over.
Internal & External Factors
The natural aging process of the skin, such as slowed collagen and elastin production, slowed exfoliation, decreased cellular regeneration, loss of underlying fat, and thinning and sagging, normally starts subtly in the 20’s and becomes more noticeable as we age. While there is not much we can do to stop gravity and the normal physical changes in the skin, our lifestyle choices can speed up this process and affect the skin, making it appear older than it really is.
External aging, often referred to as photo-aging, is predominantly caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure over long periods of time. UV rays break down collagen and elastin and slow the production of new collagen, which aids in skin repair and gives skin its strength. Above all, sun exposure is the number one reason the skin ages.
4 Things you can do today to
slow down the aging process
Sleep on your back Repeated facial expressions lead to fine lines and wrinkles and as the skin loses elasticity, the skin doesn’t spring back to its original state. Sleeping on your back minimizes the occurrence of these types of wrinkles.
Do not smoke Smoking cigarettes speeds up the aging process significantly for many reasons. Repeated facial movements from smoking can cause mouth and lip wrinkles. On a more serious level, chemicals from cigarettes are absorbed into the bloodstream, constricting tiny blood vessels, which results in less oxygen and nutrients reaching the skin. The supply of collagen is broken down in smokers, slowing the skin’s repair and renewal process and resulting in wrinkles, loss of elasticity and dryness.
Limit alcohol consumption Alcohol consumption deteriorates the skin-protecting, antioxidant Vitamin A supply in the skin. Alcohol causes dilation of the blood vessels in the skin, contributing to a blotchy, uneven look which may become permanent with excessive drinking. Alcohol can also lead to liver damage which results in a dull complexion.
Eat a healthy diet A poor diet lacking protective, antioxidant vitamins found in fruits and vegetables leads to unhealthy-looking skin. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like tuna and salmon, give antioxidants and anti-inflammatory protection for the skin and body. On the other hand, too much sugar consumption over long periods of time has been shown to age skin prematurely due to a process in the body called glycation. The products of glycation harm the good collagen in the skin, leading to wrinkles and loss of elasticity.