On August 12th it’s International Youth Day, a day that aims to promote ways to engage with the world’s youth. In celebration of this fantastic awareness day, we’re going to take a look at our skin; explain how it changes and offer you a few tips on how to keep it looking youthful!
Aging is a fact of life, it’s biologically inevitable, but there are tips and tricks we can do to protect our skin. Firstly, it’s important to understand the skin’s structure and how it actually works: Human skin is made up of three layers:
The Epidermis - This is what you see in the mirror and it includes many layers, but it’s the tough outermost portion that works to shed off dead skin. Melanin, which is dark pigment formed by cells is also found in the epidermis, and the more melanin you have, the darker your skin.
The Dermis - The dermis is thicker than the epidermis, and contains far more important components like sweat glands, fat, vessels and blood vessels, as well as collagen to provide elasticity for the skin.
A Subcutaneous layer - This is the deepest layer and is mainly made up of fat to keep us warm.
So now we understand the basic structure of our skin, how does it change as we age? The skin’s ability to regenerate and renew is remarkable, skin cells are constantly forming and making their way to the top of the epidermis but with age, this slows down significantly. As the years go by this also brings a loss of collagen and elastin, which unfortunately means loss of elasticity, a clear sign of advanced age.
With a combination of elasticity loss, the natural pull of gravity and the epidermis losing lipids (which work to keep skin moisturised), the result is sagging, dry and thinning skin and wrinkles. This will of course happen over time, but here’s a little breakdown of how skin changes over time:
Skin in your 20’s:
How you care for you skin in your 20’s will determine the skin you are left with in your thirties, forties and so on, which is why it’s so important to wear a SPF all year round. During this decade your skin has great collagen support, which leaves your skin looking supple with a radiant glow.
Skin in your 30’s:
This is when your lifestyle choices and habits in your previous years start to show. Fine lines and wrinkles will begin to appear, especially around the eyes and mouth, and this is purely down to the rate of new cells being produced. Everything is beginning to slow down!
Tip: Invest in a good eye cream to combat the signs of early ageing and to keep dark circles at bay. A night serum containing retinol will even skin tone and boost cell turnover.
Skin in your 40’s:
You lymphatic system starts to slow down, which makes it harder for the body to rid toxins, resulting in puffiness around the eye and cheek area. Sun damage in the form of blotchiness, red spots and discolouration will begin to form, while collagen and elasticity continues to slow down.
Tip: Invest in a rich moisturiser and massage your skin to help move lymphatic fluid. Never wear too much foundation, as it will simply sit in your creases, making wrinkles more obvious, so try switching to a tinted moisturiser or BB cream, for a much lighter formulation.
Skin in your 50’s:
During this decade your skin has 30% less natural moisture, so skin will be drier, thinner, tighter and pigmentation and age spots will appear too.
Tip: Once a month book to have a facial to give your skin a youth boost. A good facial will cleanse, smooth and hydrate while tackling lines, pigmentation and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking refreshed and healthy. When it comes to your make-up, choose matt products, as shimmery bronzers and highlighters will only highlight your wrinkles.
Skin in your 60’s and above:
Your skin circulation would have slowed down incredibly, resulting in a dull appearance as well as thinning lips and further wrinkles around the mouth.
Tip: Keep active! Regular exercise increases circulation in the skin and body, which will boost vibrancy. When it comes to you skincare at this age, try using a cleansing milk, as they are ultra-hydrating and rich in texture and ingredients.