Aging skin is probably the only skin condition that neither of us can avoid. We all grow old, and so does our skin. And sadly, it will definitely show. Maybe this is why this has sparked so much interest for dermatologists as well as your everyday average person walking down the street – in short, everyone.
Over the years, countless medications, treatments, and products have been developed, that aim to halt or at least slow down the skin’s aging process. Nowadays, people are living longer and more active lifestyles compared to past generations. For today’s generation, you have to feel good to look good, in as much as you have to look good to feel good.
According to dermatologists and skin experts, the process of skin aging has two factors that usually work together in this life long skin drama anthology. There’s natural aging due to the constant, unavoidable increase in chronological age, and then there’s solar aging, which is mainly due to the harsh effects of the sun.
Natural aging is the cause of a number of environmental and genetic factors. As the skin ages, the cell movement from its basal layer (or the innermost layer) of the epidermis, to the stratum corneum (or the outermost layer) becomes slower. In other words, cells that replace old or damaged skin tissue on the surface gets there at a slower rate, thus cells are shed more slowly. The skin surface therefore becomes rougher, with a visibly uneven texture. This in turn tends to make the skin look dull, dry and wrinkled. Also, as a result of this, the epidermis becomes thinner and the skin becomes more fragile.
Dr. Alison Meynard, leading dermatologist at the Facial Care Center states “…the deterioration of the skin can also be attributed to some genetic influences. Some factors in natural skin aging, such as the speed of deterioration, can be determined by an individual’s genetic make up. Medical research is constantly being done to find new ways of improving the skin ageing process depending on a person’s genetic history. “
Solar aging on the other hand, is brought about by the harsh effects of the sun. Sunlight is also a cause of significant skin damage and it is unfortunate that the results of this are not immediately noticeable. Sun-loving people who bask in golden rays on the beach on a regular basis actually expose their skin to the harmful ultraviolet radiation of the sun.
Scientists state that even during cloudy weather, ultraviolet rays from the sun are still able to penetrate and damage the skin and that tanning beds are of no alternative either because they’ll do just as much damage.
So does this mean our sunbathing days are over? Not by a long shot. Skin experts say that we just need to minimize sun exposure, especially during summer. And when we do go out, it is important to always have the necessary (and the right) protection from the heat. The selection of the right sun screen and / or sun block depends on its ability to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB radiation. In addition, products with SPF or Sun Protection Factor must have a value of 15 at the very least, and applied 30 minutes before going out under the sun. For long walks in the heat, make sure to reapply this protection every two hours.