What Makes Your Skin Age?

The only thing as certain as death and taxes is the reality of your skin changing and degrading as you age. Healthy habits and Shion’s anti-aging skincare products can help delay the process and allow you to enjoy healthy, glowing skin for longer, while minimizing the inevitable effects of aging on your skin, but eventually, time will have its way with your skin. But why? What exactly makes our skin age, and what can we do with the knowledge to improve our own skin and stay looking younger, longer? At Shion, we’re passionate about studying and treating skin to help people around the world enjoy the healthy, smooth skin they’ve always wanted. Today, we’ll discuss how skin ages and the factors that contribute to skin wrinkling and weakening over time so you can better understand what is and isn’t in your control with regards to controlling your skin’s aging. If you want to improve the look and feel of your skin, boost your skincare routine with our anti-aging skincare products and collagen-boosting drinks and read on to learn about what makes your skin age!

Skin Basics

Before we dive into the details of how and why your skin ages, let’s first run through the basic layers of your skin. Your skin is composed of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

The epidermis is the surface layer of your skin and is characterized by being rich in keratin, which provides your skin toughness and resistance to water. The epidermis is the layer of skin where dead skin cells are shed and where melanin is found. Melanin is a dark pigment that most famously contributes to the color of your skin: “white” races such as Caucasians and Hispanics have substantially less melanin in their epidermis layer than “black” races such as Africans and Indians. The difference between the “races” of humanity are less than skin-deep, they’re only surface-deep.

The second layer of your skin, underneath the epidermis, is the dermis. The dermis is a much thicker layer of skin and is composed of nerves, fats, blood vessels, elastin and collagen fibers. Collagen aids in the production of new, youthful skin cells to replace the ones that die and fall off the body naturally. Both elastin and collagen provide elasticity to your skin and are the main components of your skin that keep it smooth and youthful when operating at their best. This layer of skin is the one that is damaged when you are injured by minor cuts and scrapes.

The subcutaneous layer of your skin is composed of fats and functions to hold your internal organs in place and keep you warm. In essence, it’s your body’s insulation layer.

Types Of Skin Aging

Now that we’ve reviewed the layers of your skin and how each functions, let’s talk about how and why your skin ages! There are two primary types of skin aging: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic Skin Aging

Intrinsic aging is the name scientists have for the natural aging process that occurs over time, regardless of external factors. When it comes to intrinsic aging, the only hope for your skin is that your genetics are wired for your skin to age slightly less quickly than the average person’s. But really, there’s not much that can be done to combat intrinsic aging.

Starting in your twenties, your dermis will begin to produce about one percent less collagen each year. Your collagen and elastin fibers will grow thicker, more clumped and looser. In noticeable terms, your skin will slowly begin to grow more brittle and less elastic, which will eventually lead into wrinkling and sagging. However, you may be able to fight collagen depletion with our MK Collagen Booster Drink!

Also in your twenties, your skin’s natural exfoliation process will slow by as much as 28 percent, resulting in dead skin cells accumulating and sticking together for longer periods of time than before.

Starting in your thirties, the natural moisture transfer between your dermis and epidermis slows, and fat cells in the dermis begin to shrink. In noticeable terms, this could make your skin look thinner and duller than before.

In your forties, your body stops producing collagen naturally, and your collagen and elastin fibers continue to thicken, stiffen and clump together, increasing the loss of elasticity that began in your twenties and start the formation of wrinkles and aging lines.

The final changes set in beginning in your fifties. Skin becomes drier and is more easily bruised, damaged and broken because your oil glands have shrunk. For women, menopause causes a decrease in their body’s estrogen levels, leading to drier, thinner skin that is more sensitive and less toned than before.

Extrinsic Skin Aging

The other type of aging is extrinsic aging, the kind that you can control with healthy habits and a solid anti-aging skincare routine! Extrinsic damage is the result of damage to your skin through environmental factors (read: sun damage!) and damage done to other parts of the body that can affect the skin. Extrinsic aging can appear through a thickening of the outermost layer of your epidermis, precancerous changes, skin cancer, the formation of freckles or sunspots, and huge losses of collagen, elastin and other chemicals essential to your skin’s health and youthful appearance. Extrinsic skin aging makes your skin become rough, uneven in tone and more wrinkled.

The cause of these extrinsic chemical changes are free radicals, electron-hungry molecules and atoms. Environmental factors like pollution, smoking and UV damage from the sun all generate free radicals. Antioxidants and vitamins C and E can help protect you from free radicals, but they cannot prevent free radicals that make into your body from causing damage.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes damage to your DNA and molecules and contributes significantly to the generation of free radicals. Since your skin is the barrier protecting from your body, it takes the brunt of UV damage from the sun to protect your body, making the sun perhaps the biggest factor in the acceleration of your body’s natural wrinkling and aging. In fact, tans are the result of a defense mechanism: your skin attempts to protect itself from sun damage by producing more melanin.

In conclusion, some of your skin’s aging is just an unfortunate part of life and cannot be controlled. You can, however, minimize the impact of extrinsic aging on your body and ensure that your skin’s wrinkling is a battle with time alone by adopting healthy habits, limiting your unprotected exposure to the sun, and using Shion’s anti-aging skincare products to further protect and enrich your skin. If you’d like to learn more, check out some of our other blogs on habits and foods to avoid for healthier skin, and visit our online store to check out our anti-aging skincare remedies, including our revolutionary MK Collagen Booster drink. Take the time to care for your skin today, and enjoy the benefits for years to come!