The Culprits of Premature Aging and the Secret to Effectively Retard Premature Aging of Our Skin

Thursday 24 November 2011

"You look much younger than your age!" 

Aren't you delighted when somebody tells you this? Indeed, looking young always is everybody's aspiration. We don't really mind growing old so long as we're able to preserve our youthful looks. And that explains why there are such extensive research into creating products that can effectively retard premature aging of our skin.

For people aspiring to look young and radiant for years to come, "anti-aging" is obviously the most crucial part in their skin-care regimen. It is a misleading notion that only those who have already reached a certain age start to worry about this problem. The increasingly deteriorating condition of environmental pollution, improper living habits, mental stress, exposure to excessive UV rays etc., are causing our skin to age at a faster rate, and younger age.

Our Skin's Functions

  1. Protection: an anatomical barrier from pathogens and damage between the internal and external environment of our body.
  2. Sensation: our skin contains a variety of nerve endings that react to heat and cold, touch, pressure, vibration, and tissue injury.
  3. Heat regulation: dilated blood vessels increase heat loss, while constricted vessels reduce blood flow to the skin and conserve heat.
  4. Control of evaporation: the skin provides a relatively dry and semi-impermeable barrier to fluid loss. Loss of this function contributes to the massive fluid loss in burns.
  5. Aesthetics and communication: people see our skin and can assess our mood, physical state and attractiveness.
  6. Storage and synthesis: acts as a storage center for lipids and water, as well as a means of synthesis of vitamin D under the sun.
  7. Excretion: sweating is one of the ways to regulate our body temperature. 
  8. Absorption: the cells comprising the outermost 0.25–0.40 mm of the skin are "almost exclusively supplied by external oxygen". In addition, medicine can be administered through the skin, by ointments or by means of adhesive patch, such as the nicotine patch. 
  9. Water resistance: the skin acts as a water resistant barrier so essential nutrients aren't washed out of the body.

The first sign of aging is not the emergence of crow's feet at the corners of our eyes. In fact, the manifestation of skin aging strikes earlier and takes many forms:
  • loss of skin lustre
  • appearance of brown spots
  • sagging skin
  • declining skin elasticity
  • surfacing of fine lines
  • more pronounced wrinkles
  • slackening of the skin tissues
  • diminishing contrast of facial contours
  • flabby neck etc.

Prime Culprits Behind Premature Aging of the Skin

1) Improper Cleansing

Excessive cleansing is perhaps the least suspected cause of aging pores. Excessive cleansing can do more harm than good, including disturbing the moisture-retention balance in the skin. It actually strips away the moisture on our skin, and may result in our skin secreting more oil. Wrong skincare products may contain strong surfactants, mineral oil, artificial perfume and steroids. If improper skincare products are used, it will cause facial pores to become dehydrated and enlarged, and may lead to severe skin problem in the future. The recommended approach is to use a cleanser that gives adequate cleansing, is mildly acidic and does not over stimulate our skin.

2) Ultraviolet Rays

UV rays are universally known as being the leading cause of aging skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes sunburn and suntan. Other problems attributed to UV rays include formation of pigmentation on our skin and damage to our DNA, leading to declining immunity and dwindling health of our skin.

3) Water Deficiency

Water is the foundation on which the fitness of our skin lies. Our skin cells are bound to each other by water. In the event of water deficiency, our dermal cellular framework will become dry and collapse, resulting in an uneven surface of our skin and reduced skin elasticity.

4) Build-up of Aged Cutins

When skin cells grow old, they are gradually pushed outward to the outermost layer of our skin, where they become aged cutins, and are supposed to shed off naturally. However, many factors affect the normal shedding of aged cutins, including:
  • premature aging of our skin
  • incomplete cleansing
  • prolonged exposure to direct sunlight
  • undue sebaceous secretion
  • irregular hours between work and rest
  • fluctuations in climate.
Over time, the build-up of aged cutins will start to clog our pores and our skin forms blackheads. It will disrupt our skin's ability to absorb moisture and nutrients, and we will have dull and uneven skin tone, as well as unable to generate new skin cells.

In conclusion..

The stability and intactness of the DNA in a dermal cell is a prerequisite for youthful skin. This ensures the normal functions of the cell and contributes to the production of proteins for youthful skin. As such, the earlier we establish a skin-care regimen that pays due attention to anti-aging, the better our chances to sustain our youthful looks.

If you are looking for a skin-care product that effectively retards premature aging, check out these posts:

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