ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Top Five Causes of Premature Skin Ageing

Updated on September 27, 2017

No one wants to wake up in the morning and ask themselves:

'Who is that person in the mirror with the dull skin and the wrinkly face?'

In order to avoid this daunting question, we have to be aware of the processes that rapidly change our appearance and cause us to age prematurely. Luckily, with enough knowledge and will power, we can learn to age gracefully and stave off a lot of the consequences of ageing - it is very possible to delay ageing in a significant way and one can see this in elderly people who have taken care of themselves in an active way.

So let’s get to it and identify the main causes of premature skin ageing!

There are two main types of skin ageing: chronological and photo-ageing.

1. Chronological ageing, is the ageing process, that develops over the passage of time. It takes place in our internal organs and is influenced by our genetics, hormonal changes, and metabolic processes.

In addition to that, there are various factors, such as free radicals, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol and skin dehydration, that might significantly accelerate the ageing process, including skin ageing.

2. Photo-ageing is premature ageing of the skin, caused by repeat exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun or from artificial UV sources.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the main reasons for premature skin ageing.

Free radical: an atom or group of atoms that has one or more unpaired electrons. These electrons attach themselves to other cells in the body, breaking them and altering their chemical structure resulting in cell oxidation. This then manifests itself in visible and invisible signs of ageing. Free radicals can even damage our cellular DNA and due to the fundamental function it plays in all organisms, this can lead to endlessly varying problems in our bodies.

Free radicals

Free radicals are either produced in the body due to natural biological processes, for instance, breathing (yikes!), or introduced externally from the environment around us.

Environmental factors - stimulants of free-radical production:

  • Sun radiation (UVB/UVA)
  • Unmanageable levels of stress
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme weather
  • Air pollution
  • Toxins
  • Lack of sleep/Irregular sleep pattern
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical exhaustion

The skin is particularly susceptible to free radicals because they break down the collagen molecules of the skin and restructure them in a way that make them lose the skin's elasticity and tautness.

This results in the texture of the skin becoming dry and wrinkly, which is when we say the skin has 'aged'. In truth, however, the skin has simply been damaged by the free radicals - this damage can of course occur at any age.

Collagen is a type of protein fibre found abundantly throughout our body. It provides strength and cushioning to many different areas of the body, including the skin. More specifically, collagen is found in our various types of connective tissue such as cartilage, tendons, bones, and ligaments.

Smoking

Smoking dehydrates the skin at a deep level and deprives it of essential nutrients and oxygen, all of which causes premature ageing. More than that, smoking alters the skin DNA repair process, leading to the breakdown of collagen (the main structural protein of the skin) and damage the elasticity of the skin tissue (elastin fibre). All of the above results in premature lines around the mouth and wrinkles around the eyes.

Some researchers claim that even passive smoking is very damaging for your skin since it also reduces the blood flow to the skin and depletes the supply of oxygen and vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the formation of collagen.

Harsh weather

In extreme weather conditions cell renewal process slows down, as a result the skin becomes thicker and less vibrant.

If you are living in a harsh climate, you might have noticed that the tone and texture of your skin visibly changes in the winter months. This is also due to a decline in the production of elastin, collagen and also natural skin oils, called lipids.

Exposure to the sun

Let us start with a harrowing fact: sun exposure accounts for up to 70% of skin ageing!

I am afraid it’s all a bit of BIG bad news for all of you sun-worshippers out there. But since (in our enlightened age) we moved away from the notion that ‘ignorance is bliss’, we are entitled to know the true facts about the sun and its damaging effects on our health, and first and foremost, on our skin.

The sun radiates two types of ultraviolet radiation (electromagnetic waves) which are called ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). They have different wavelengths and as such their effects on our bodies are different. This is because the length of an electromagnetic wave determines what it will pass through or what it will collide with and have an effect on.

In short, UVB rays cause you to tan and burn, and stimulate the production of Vitamin D. UVA rays go deeper into the skin and though without visual signs, have adverse effects on our bodies. Both types - UVA and UVB - are responsible for ageing of the skin.

A tan is the body’s response to the sun damage to our skin. The really bad news is that the damage takes place at the DNA level and it all adds up over the years and causes premature skin ageing, wrinkles, sun spots, hyper-pigmentation, the degradation of the elastic tissue of the skin (elastosis) and much more serious consequences, including skin cancer.

In my next Hub I will explore the various practices that one can acquire in order to have young and healthy looking skin at any age.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)