How does our skin change as we age?
It is said that ageing is a fact of life but looking your age is not. So how do you make sure you age fabulously- by having a good understanding of how your skin changes and what you can do about it. As they say, forewarned is forearmed!
So let's break down the changes that happen in your skin and how you can address them with each decade of life:
Teens and 20s
In these two decades of our lives, it's all about acne, awareness and education. Our bodies undergo significant hormonal changes. These internal changes, along with external factors like our environment and food habits (in terms of junk food), can start causing changes around the eyes or face, which become visible in our 30s.
This is when we lay the foundation of good habits like keeping ourselves hydrated and consistently using umbrellas, hats, or caps to minimise sun damage to the skin. It is essential to use an excellent sunscreen, a good medicated cleanser to keep away the grease (the oil on the skin), and, if there are any breakouts or acne, to treat it with the help of a specialist. It's critical to get proper treatment for acne rather than waste time and money on off-the-shelf creams or home remedies. Acne treatment is complex. It needs adequate body analysis to understand the hormonal imbalances and therapy through a combination of oral and topical medical-grade agents to give long term results.
So if we want to delay pigmentation, slow our ageing and other changes to the skin due to sun damage and hormonal changes, and reduce the chances of scars due to acne, then we have to start as early as possible.
The 30s is when the earliest signs of ageing are seen. These signs are subtle and can be in the form of very fine lines and soft wrinkles, especially around the eyes. One can start experiencing patchy pigmentation. Skin hydration issues become evident, and the outer layer of the skin may start looking a little thickened. The skin may become oily and open pores could become a problem. Breakouts from acne may happen during this decade too.
This is a perfect time to start a suitable protocol based skincare regime that includes a good cleanser, a good exfoliator, an oil control solution, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. If there are additional issues present, then, of course, different skincare products can be added. In addition, there can be an increase in stress in life due to parenthood and career demands. Stress causes free radical production, so management of stress, a good diet, good hydration, and skin protection with good sunscreen are some of the key points we have to take care of in the 30s.
The 40s and 50s:
Whatever we have harboured in our 20s and 30s starts showing up in our 40s and 50s as wrinkles, lines, folds, uneven pigmentation, oily, dull and thicker-looking skin. Some amount of sagging may start. In addition to skin changes, structural changes like tear-trough deformities may become prominent, creating under-eye hollowness. There could be bags and puffiness around the eyes and drooping of eyebrows. Overall, our skin starts looking less vibrant, tired and aged at this stage.
Beyond 50 further exacerbates all of the issues we have spoken about so far. Skin is thick, pigmented, dull, oily, saggy, non-breathing, and dry. Signs of ageing are more prominent, where everything is sagging, and deep folds, wrinkles and lines become a regular part of the face.
So, how do you tackle all these signs of ageing in your 40s and beyond:
An extensive protocol-based medical-grade skincare regime is a must. This provides a strong foundation upon which all other treatments are built.
A combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures is generally advised to help restore youth in the skin and the face. Examples include:
Droopy eyelid correction,
Eye bag correction,
Chin lengthening and augmentation
Cheek augmentation or the malar augmentation
Periocular rejuvenation using botox, fillers, profhilo and threads
Laser treatments and,
a regular set of chemical peels
If there are things which cannot be treated, patients are encouraged to embrace them or, if they insist, conceal them using makeup and other such tricks because there's only so much that can be done.
So there you have it, taking care of our skin needs to start as early as possible. No amount of surgical or non-surgical treatment will look good or work unless the base quality of your skin is high. So if you could tell start doing one thing today to reduce the signs of ageing, it is to begin a medical-grade protocol based skincare programme.