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Skin ageing: Can you really deage your skin?

Written by: Kiara Lipschitz

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Time to read 10 min

Keywords: skin ageing, ageing prevention, anti-wrinkle, wrinkles, photoageing, acne, wrinkles, niacinamide, retinol, retinoids, niacinamide, hyperpigmentation, saggy skin, elasticity, intrinsic ageing, extrinsic ageing, collagen

Skin ageing: Can you really deage your skin?

Skin ageing is a complex biological process influenced by a combination of endogenous or intrinsic(factors that originate internally) and exogenous or extrinsic factors (external factors that aren’t genetically determined).


Because of the fact that skin health and beauty is considered one of the principal factors representing overall “well-being” and the perception of “health” in humans, several anti-ageing strategies have been developed during the last years.


Let’s delve into the essence of ageing, the most current practices to prevent it’s appearance, including cosmetological strategies, topical and systemic therapeutic products and invasive procedures.

skin ageing, ageing prevention, anti-wrinkle, wrinkles, photoageing, acne, wrinkles, niacinamide, retinol, retinoids, niacinamide, hyperpigmentation, saggy skin, elasticity, intrinsic ageing, extrinsic ageing, collagen

Female MOT Test

1.1. What is skin ageing?


The process of skin ageing is a multifaceted biological phenomenon influenced by a blend of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.


Intrinsic ageing, also known as endogenous ageing, is dictated by our genetics, cellular metabolism, and various hormonal and metabolic processes.


This natural ageing process is inevitable and typically results in gradual changes such as skin thinning, loss of elasticity, and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.


On the other hand, extrinsic ageing, also referred to as exogenous ageing, is influenced by external factors such as chronic sun exposure, smoking, and exposure to chemicals and toxins.


These factors can accelerate the skin ageing process, leading to more pronounced wrinkles, discoloration, and skin roughness.


In addition to intrinsic and extrinsic ageing, the skin's ageing process is also affected by specific internal and external factors.


Internally, the level of pigmentation in the skin, variations in skin thickness, and hormonal changes can influence the pace of ageing.


For instance, darker skin, which contains more pigment and intracellular fat, tends to age slower.


Externally, exposure to solar radiation, environmental pollution, smoking, and even repetitive facial expressions can accelerate skin ageing.


UV radiation, in particular, creates reactive oxygen species or free radicals that damage the body’s cells, leading to deep wrinkles.


Intrinsic ageing, also known as natural or biological ageing, is a process that we all undergo, regardless of our lifestyle or environment.


It's largely influenced by genetics, cellular metabolism, and hormonal changes.


This type of ageing can lead to a gradual loss of skin elasticity, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and changes in skin texture and hydration.


On the other hand, extrinsic ageing is influenced by external factors such as sun exposure, pollution, smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise.


These factors can accelerate the ageing process, leading to skin discolouration, wrinkles, and thinning of the skin.


Research shows that extrinsic factors contribute to the majority of skin ageing, suggesting that it's within our control to slow down this process. As much as 80% of facial ageing is attributed to extrinsic factors.

"In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years."

Abraham Lincoln

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1.2. Why does skin ageing occur?


Our skin undergoes a natural ageing process caused by various mechanisms, like the chaotic reactions of free radicals, the slowing down of our cell cycle, and even the "sugary messes" formed by excess glucose attaching to our proteins (glycation).


Factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental exposure play significant roles in skin ageing.


For instance, genetics determine the natural ageing process, including the loss of fat below the skin, leading to a leaner look, loosening skin, and sunken eyes.


Lifestyle choices such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep can also contribute to skin damage.


A lack of proteins and certain oils can reduce the production of collagen and elastin, leading to skin damage such as sunken and sagging skin.


Chronic sleep loss can result in inadequate cellular repair and regeneration, causing dehydrated skin and an altered pH.


Environmental exposure, particularly to the sun, is another major factor. Sun exposure is the single biggest culprit in skin ageing, leading to wrinkled skin.


These factors not only directly affect skin health but also have indirect effects on overall health and wellness.


For example, lack of exercise can result in obesity and higher rates of cardiovascular disease, which ultimately adversely affect skin health

Women's Health

1.3. What happens when the skin ages and signs of the ageing skin


As we age, our skin's collagen production naturally decreases, leading to signs of ageing such as wrinkles and loss of elasticity.


Starting from our 20s, these essential proteins and collagen that keep our skin firm and youthful begin to deplete.


Collagen depletion is influenced by several factors including genetics, environmental exposure, and lifestyle choices.


For instance, a diet lacking in essential nutrients like amino acids, Vitamin C, and antioxidants can hinder collagen production.


One of the most noticeable changes thereof is the thinning of the skin. The skin becomes thinner due to a decrease in the production of cells in the basal cell layer of the epidermis. This thinning of the skin can lead to a more transparent appearance, making veins, bones, and tendons more visible.


Additionally, the skin's reduced elasticity and collagen levels contribute to the formation of wrinkles, particularly in high-traffic areas of the face such as around the eyes and mouth.


Ageing skin is also more prone to dryness, damage, and bruising. While these changes are a natural part of ageing, certain practices can help manage them. 

skin ageing, ageing prevention, anti-wrinkle, wrinkles, photoageing, acne, wrinkles, niacinamide, retinol, retinoids, niacinamide, hyperpigmentation, saggy skin, elasticity, intrinsic ageing, extrinsic ageing, collagen

1.4. Can skin ageing be reversed?


Think of ageing like a big puzzle, where each piece represents an organ, tissue, or cell in your body. As we get older, each piece starts ageing in its own unique way, like at different speeds and in different directions.


Our skin is like the biggest, most visible piece of that puzzle. While things like heart or brain ageing might happen more internally, our skin shows the outward signs of time passing first.


Wrinkles, lines, and changes in texture all become like little flags waving, saying "Hey, this person is getting older!"


Even though skin ageing is inevitable, it's still just one part of the bigger ageing picture. Your skin is a castle wall protecting you from invaders like dryness, germs, and even sunburn. This "wall" is your skin barrier, and keeping it healthy may help delay the early onset of ageing symptoms.


Daily skincare can actually improve your skin barrier, making it smoother, more elastic, and even temporarily younger-looking.


Wrinkles happen when the "bricks" of your skin wall, like collagen and elastin, break down. Scientists are still working on ways to directly replace these "bricks," but some products can actually encourage your skin to make more of them.

Further Readings

Are Gen Z Having Less SeX?

1.5. What is photoaging and when does it occur?


Photoaging refers to the premature ageing of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, primarily from the sun but also from artificial UV sources.


This long-term exposure results in significant changes to the skin such as rough patches, loss of skin tone, and pigmentation changes including freckles, age spots, and melasma.


This degradation of collagen contributes to the formation of wrinkles and loss of skin firmness associated with photoaging.


Therefore, understanding and recognising the signs of photoaging is crucial for early intervention and treatment.

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1.6. What race has the worst skin


A 10-year study in a paediatric dermatology clinic revealed how the most common skin conditions varied between different racial groups. Overall, acne, dermatitis, and warts topped the list, but there were interesting differences:


  • Caucasian children: Most commonly saw for acne, warts, and dermatitis.

  • African American children: Dermatitis, acne, and fungal infections (dermatophytosis) were the top concerns.

  • Asian children: Dermatitis, acne, and warts dominated their clinic visits.


While acne remained a major issue for all groups, racial disparities existed in the frequency of other conditions. 

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2. Can I prevent skin ageing?


2.1. Ageing prevention techniques


The pursuit of a youthful appearance hinges not only on genetic predisposition but also on our daily habits and lifestyle choices. Dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommend several key strategies to combat premature skin ageing and maintain a radiant complexion.


Prioritise Sun Protection:

  • Seek shade: Utilise environmental barriers like shade whenever possible.

  • Embrace sun-protective attire: Opt for lightweight, long-sleeved clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-protective sunglasses.

  • Sunscreen as a daily essential: Apply a broad-spectrum, SPF 30+ sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin every day, regardless of weather conditions.


Embrace Healthy Habits:

  • Smoking cessation: Refrain from smoking, as it demonstrably accelerates the ageing process, manifesting as wrinkles and a sallow complexion.

  • Minimise repetitive facial expressions: These expressions, over time, can lead to the formation of permanent lines. Consider wearing sunglasses to reduce squinting.

  • Dietary considerations: Incorporate a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which may offer protection against age-related skin damage. Conversely, limit sugary and refined carbohydrate intake, as these have been linked to accelerated ageing.

  • Moderate alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption dehydrates and damages the skin, contributing to a prematurely aged appearance.


Gentle Skincare Regimen:

  • Avoid harsh scrubbing: Use gentle cleansing techniques to remove dirt and makeup without irritating the skin, as irritation can exacerbate ageing.

  • Post-sweat cleansing: Following periods of heavy sweating, particularly while wearing headwear, cleanse the face promptly to prevent irritation.

  • Daily moisturisation: Regularly apply a facial moisturiser to trap water in the skin, promoting a plump and youthful appearance.

  • Discontinue irritating products: If a skincare product causes stinging or burning, stop using it immediately, as it is likely irritating the skin and potentially accelerating ageing.

2.2. Ageing prevention products 


Retinol, a type of retinoid, is a vitamin-A based ingredient found in many over-the-counter skincare products.


It's primarily used for rejuvenating the skin and addressing mild skin concerns like unevenskin tone, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation


Retinol works by increasing skin cell production, which can help treat conditions like acne by preventing clogged pores and promotingthicker skin.


It can also be beneficial for psoriasis, a skin disorder characterised by rapid skin cell growth and inflammation, by slowing down this overgrowth. 


While retinol is a well-known ingredient for addressing hyperpigmentationniacinamide is another potent compound that has been gaining popularity in the skincare industry. 


Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, has been proven to be an effective skin lightening agent


According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, niacinamide works by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to keratinocytes, which canhelp reduce hyperpigmentation


This makes it a great alternative for those who find retinol too harsh for their skin. 


However, as with any skincare product, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating niacinamide into your regimen.


Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of natural and synthetic ingredients that, when properly formulated, can exfoliate theuppermost layers of skin. This can result in smoother, brighter skin with more even tone. 


AHAs are primarily used to enhance skin texture and reduce the signs of ageing, but they can also help with pigmentation andsun-damaged skin


Glycolic acid and lactic acid are the most common and effective types of AHAs


Glycolic acid, derived from sugar cane, has the smallest molecular size and can penetrate the skin deeply and easily, making it very effective for treating fine lines, acne,blackheads, dullness, and oiliness


However, AHAs can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun, so it's crucial to use sunscreen when using AHA-based products. It's also recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating AHAs into your skincare routine.


Treatments like microneedling, also known as 'collagen induction therapy', can trigger the skin to reorganise its old cells and producemore new collagen


Laser treatments can target multiple skin issues at different depths, including collagen loss, resulting in firmer skin, smaller pores, andimproved texture

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3. Check your skin age


Ever wondered what your skin is truly saying about its age and needs? MirrorMirror, powered by cutting-edge AI, takes the guesswork out of skincare!


Unveil Your Skin's Story:

  1. Snap a Selfie: Start by taking a simple selfie with your smartphone. Our AI will analyse your image, revealing your perceived skin age and pinpointing areas with potential for improvement.

  2. Personalise Your Journey: Take it a step further by answering our quick skin questionnaire. This allows us to create a personalised dashboard with tailored recommendations for skincare products, lifestyle adjustments, and more, based on your unique skin and goals.

  3. Embrace Progress: Put our recommendations into action and track your skin's transformation! Upload up to 5 selfies per week to see how your skin progresses. Use our handy tools to identify areas of improvement and focus on areas that need extra attention.

Empowering You Through Understanding:

At MirrorMirror, we believe true skincare starts with a deeper understanding of your skin. Our state-of-the-art technology empowers you to:

  • Gain valuable insights into your skin's age and condition.

  • Receive personalised recommendations tailored to your unique needs.

  • Actively track progress and celebrate improvements.

  • Be proactive in achieving your ideal complexion.

Ready to unlock the secrets to your skin's health? Upload your photo today and embark on your personalised skincare journey with MirrorMirror!


Visit our page to start your skin analysis now!

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