Everything You Need to Know About Skin and Aging: Part 1
A Decline in Skin Thickness and Elasticity
Elasticity and Thickness
Two aspects of skin that are hit hard by aging are elasticity and thickness. Elasticity refers to the skin’s ability to “bounce back” to its original shape. It’s critical to preventing wrinkles and keeping that firm, supple look. With age, the elastin fibers in your skin become damaged and begin breaking down. This can lead to a loss of elasticity.
Skin also becomes thinner as we age. Things like sun exposure and genetics contribute to the problem. The body’s naturally declining collagen levels also play a role. Thinning skin, diminishing connective tissue strength, and elastin breakdown all mean that gravity begins taking a more obvious toll. Wrinkles, drooping, and sagging, especially in areas like the eyelids and jowls, become more noticeable.
What Can You Do?
While nothing can stop it completely, protecting your skin from UV damage goes a long way toward helping prevent both thinning and a loss of elasticity. Use sunblock, stay away from tanning beds, and cover up when you can. Smoking prematurely ages skin and worsens these issues, as does drinking too much (alcohol is dehydrating!). You can also eat healthier. Good nutrition increases your skin’s ability to repair itself. Here are a few of our favorite skin-happy foods:
- Brussels sprouts
- Whole grains
A Targeted Approach
For an outside-in approach, start with retinoids. Like the well-known retinol, retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that have been shown to stimulate collagen production, visibly smooth skin texture, and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. However, they’re typically more stable than retinol, which degrades easily when exposed to light or air.
Just be aware that retinoids (including retinol) can be irritating to the skin, so you may want to find a gentle version. The retinol-compound in SuddenlySmooth Gentle RetinAll™ hydrates as it works. This means you get the power of its potent 2% retinol-compound, without the harshness. Plus, it’s combined with Epidermal Cushioning Technology™, which adds extra skin-comforting benefits. For more on retinol, check out our retinol primer. Click here for Part 2 in our mature skin series.