Skin is your largest organ.
It’s main function is to protect you from your environment. It’s your shield, and it takes on a lot of damage from time and life, which appears to us as the signs of aging.
Women begin to show signs of aging in their mid-twenties; men about five years later, because they have thicker skin. Regardless, aging eventually catches us all.
How Aging Affects Your Skin
Have you ever noticed that the exposed skin on your face, neck, arms and hands looks very different than skin that’s usually covered? That’s because there are two dimensions of aging.
Genetics, skin type, susceptibility to sickness and disease, and the natural slow down of cell turnover all affect how quickly you age and what that aging looks like on you. We can’t do much about this.
These are factors that you can control, but left unaddressed rapidly accelerate aging and rob you of your youthful appearance.
These include sun exposure, smoking, poor dietary habits (especially eating too much sugar), and excess alcohol consumption.
Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, aging affects the skin in a few fundamental ways.
The Appearance of Aging is Primarily a Result of a Loss of Volume and Elasticity, Dehydration, and Pigmentation.
Loss of Volume and Elasticity
Many biological factors affect skin volume and elasticity, but we’re going to focus on two big ones: Collagen and Elastin.
Collagen and Elastin are both proteins.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is primarily structural. It’s found in connective tissues such as muscle, tendons, bones, blood vessels, and skin. It’s what gives your skin strength and shape.
Elastin is also in connective tissues and has the actual property of being elastic. Elastin has been compared to a rubber band; it’s what allows your body’s tissues, especially skin, to “snap back” to its original shape after being stretched or contracted.
Together they provide your skin shape, firmness and resilience.
Over time these proteins deteriorate and your body replenishes them at a diminishing rate.
Your skin loses volume and tone, causing it to loosen and soften, become thinner and more fragile, and gradually lose the ability to heal itself.
To us this looks like sagginess, fine lines and wrinkles, crepiness, and tiredness. Sharp facial features, such as strong cheekbones, diminish and the eyes appear sunken in.
Factors that Accelerate the Loss of Volume and Elasticity
- UV rays stimulate the enzymes responsible for collagen and elastin breakdown.
- Smoking constricts the blood vessels, which decreases blood supply to your skin inhibiting its ability to heal and dehydrating it.
- Diet (especially sugar)
- Poor nutrition and sugar cause inflammation that age the skin and slow its ability to heal.
Proper hydration allows your skin to hold adequate amounts of water, which is important because water makes up about 75% of your skin’s weight.
Water is essential to proper skin function and health.
It lubricates tissues, like collagen and elastin, to support proper movement and skin function. It plumps your skin, making it thicker so it’s better capable of protecting your body. Water facilitates movement of blood and nutrients into your skin that sustain it and help it recover when damaged, and facilitates the movement of damaging toxins out of your skin.
Water is the “glue” that holds your skin together.
Dehydration, then, causes your skin to become dry, less flexible, and increasingly prone to damage, breakdown, and infection. So dehydrated skin is more prone to sagging and wrinkling.
There are many substances in your skin responsible for hydration, such as Hyaluronic Acid. These hydrating substances naturally diminish as you age.
Factors that Accelerate Dehydration
- UV rays evaporate water from your skin (sweat), drying you out.
- Excess Alcohol Consumption
- Alcohol dehydrates your skin and causes some people to have a flushing reaction. Repeated flushing can result in tiny broken blood vessels that show up as splotchy red patches on your face.
Pigmentation is the color of your skin.
Pigmentation is largely determined by a substance in your skin called melanin. Melanin naturally declines by 6% to 8% per decade after 30, causing your skin to become lighter (hypopigmentation).
As melanin decreases your skin loses its ability to protect against UV exposure, causing your skin to darken (hyperpigmentation).
Aging also makes us susceptible to Melasma, which is characterized by brown or tan patches on the face. This is caused by a change in hormone levels, and is most common in pregnant women. Melasma is sometimes known as “pregnancy mask”.
Trauma to the skin such as bug bites and acne also causes changes in pigmentation. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and results in dark spots that remain long after the initial inflammation has healed.
Blood vessels and veins near are skin get damaged over time, usually from inflammation caused by improper diet, alcohol consumption, and UV exposure. These broken vessels lead to redness and splotchyness in the skin.
Additionally (yes, there’s more), aging reduces the number and functionality of immune cells in your skin (called Langerhans cells), which may account for the heightened incidence of lesions in aging skin such as keratoses and skin tags.
Factors that Accelerate Changes in Skin Pigmentation
- Sun exposure is the #1 cause of hyperpigmentation, or brown spots. Surprisingly, most sun damage occurs during day to day activities like driving, or walking to and from buildings.
- Toxins cause a breakdown of elastin that contributes to a yellow color in skin. It also reduces circulation and increases inflammation, both of which lead to redness and increased chance of skin lesions.
- Alcohol is also an inflammatory agent that increases redness in skin. Some people may experience “flushing” while drinking, that when repeated over time leads to splotchyness. Alcohol also dehydrates your skin, making it more susceptible to UV rays that cause hyperpigmentation.
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Non-Surgical Treatments to Reverse Skin Damage and Maintain Youthful Skin
Our primary goal is to develop a treatment plan that will reverse any damage that’s already been done, then help you maintain a youthful appearance once skin is where you want it.
We’ll also teach you how to care for your skin to prevent further damage, at least as much as possible.
The most popular cosmetic treatment for a reason, Botox relaxes targeted muscles to immediately reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help prevent formation of new ones.
Pair microneedling with platelet-rich plasma to generate new, tighter, smoother skin.
CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
Use light energy to remove damaged upper layers of your skin and promote new collagen to dramatically tighten and smooth your skin.
This Intense Pulse Light laser is the ultimate weapon against pigmentation. It can erase age spots, sun spots, sun damage, freckles, irregular pigmentation and light brown spots. It also improves fine wrinkles, large pores, rosacea and dilated capillaries, and even tightens the skin.
Our #1 Aesthetician Service! Dermaplaning is an advanced exfoliation technique that uses a very thin blade to gently remove the outer layers of skin and unwanted facial hair – a process that stimulates collagen production to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
This combination of care treatments for the face that includes steam, exfoliation, extraction, masks, peels, and even massage. A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.
Chemical peels chemically exfoliate your skin to remove layers of dead skin and open the skin to oxygen that helps clear your skin's complexion by reducing pigment, regenerate new tissue, and remove fine lines and wrinkles.
Physically abrates the surface of the skin to remove dead skin and open up pores and oxygenate your skin.
Lamprobe is a non-invasive procedure that uses vaporization to treat (remove) minor skin abnormalities such as skin tags or keratoses.