Your age may be ‘just a number’ but when it comes to your skin, it’s the largest organ of the body that gets the first hit when we talk about early signs of aging.
Wrinkles, sagging skin, pigmentation, are some of the early signs of aging. While these are indeed evidence of your growing age, they certainly don’t need to show up when you are, say, barely in your 30s! But factors like pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle contribute to premature aging of the skin. Consult online with dermatologists at mfine and get it resolved.
Why you should be taking good care of your skin from the beginning?
Your skin does a lot of things for you. Primarily, it is divided into three layers that contain a protein called collagen within their connective tissues and provide elastin fibers to the skin to keep it supple. These layers protect you from the environment, control your body temperature, and maintain the right fluid and electrolyte balance.
Epidermis: The outermost layer of your skin that contains proteins, pigment, and skin cells.
Dermis: The middle layer of your skin that contains oil glands, hair follicles, nerves, blood vessels, and supplies essential nutrients to the epidermis.
Hypodermis: The innermost layer of skin containing fats, sweat glands, some blood vessels, and hair follicles.
What causes premature aging of the skin?
How your skin looks and feels is affected by a number of factors. While some factors like genetic make-up or autoimmune diseases are out of your control, there are factors you can have some control over, to ensure your skin is healthy.
The environment is all contaminated! According to WHO, India houses 13 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world! Out of all types of pollution, air pollution causes maximum damage to your skin.
Effects of air pollution on your skin
- Common air pollutants like dust, smoke, gas emissions from paints, are tiny enough to enter the pores of your skin and make it extra-sensitive.
- Other air pollutants like ultraviolet radiation, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and cigarette smoke can induce oxidative stress on your skin, obstructing the balance between the antioxidants and free radicals in your body, furthering skin damage.
Similarly, water pollution too causes significant damage to your skin.
Effects of water pollution on your skin
The chlorine content in tap waters, which is used to treat drinking water, is a harmful toxin when used in large amounts, causing skin agitation.
These pollutants enter your skin’s deepest layers and enhance premature aging signs in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and increased skin sensitivity.
A healthy lifestyle accounts for healthy skin. These factors in your lifestyle can cause premature aging and damage to your skin:
Stress causes a chemical response in the body that leads to sensitization of the skin, making it more reactive, exacerbating existing conditions like eczema and rosacea and also causing breakouts.
Not getting enough sleep makes your skin dull and also leads to the secretion of cortisol: known as the stress hormone linked to acne breakouts, inflammation, and skin allergies.
Alcohol and smoking
Too much of alcohol consumption leads to dehydration of the skin, making it flaky and dull. Smoking results in the production of certain chemicals in the body that decrease oxygen flow in the blood, leading to premature aging of the skin.
Prolonged exposure to the sun
Avoid stepping out in the sun during the peak heat hours, between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as it can cause skin discoloration and wrinkles. Wearing sunscreen is important to protect yourself from direct exposure to the sun and harmful ultraviolet radiations. In fact, the color of your clothing also plays an important role in determining how much heat will be absorbed into your skin.
If you eat foods that contain refined sugar, unhealthy fats, artificial additives, and drink little to no water on a daily basis, chances are rife that your skin will suffer because of the loss of elasticity.
Age-associated skin problems
With premature aging of the skin, the outermost layer of the skin becomes thinner and damages to the inner layers are more intense, causing a number of skin problems:
Pigmentation: The natural color of your skin comes from a pigment called melanin. Premature aging of skin affects the melanin production, resulting in discoloration in the skin.
Age spots: Age spots are brown and gray pigmented spots in the skin, mainly on the face, chest, and neck, caused by sun damage.
Keratosis: These are non-cancerous skin growths mainly on the face, nape of the neck, upper-chest, scalp, forearms, and the back of the hands, caused by prolonged sun exposure.
Wrinkles and fine lines: These are creases on the skin caused by ultraviolet radiation that obstructs the collagen production in the skin, making it lose its elasticity.
Skin injury: Dehydration and skin-thinning make the skin more prone to injury and prolong the healing process.
What can you do to prevent premature aging of your skin?
By making a few lifestyle changes and taking some necessary precautions, you can slow down premature aging of your skin:
Include yoga, meditation, and physical workout in your daily routine. These activities produce happy hormones in the body that help in reducing your stress, helping your skin look calm and radiant.
Make sunscreen your best buddy
Summers or winters, sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more should always adorn your skin.
Maintain a healthy diet & moisturize!
Have fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, make sure you drink at least three to four liters of water every day to keep your skin well-hydrated.
Moisturized skin heals faster than dry and dehydrated skin. So, keep a good moisturizer handy!
For healthy skincare, it’s always better to consult a doctor who can guide you with a perfect skincare regimen. Download the mfine app and begin your online consultation with top dermatologists right away.