How Your Skin Changes as You Age

It’s true that skin care is basically a never ending process; if you want your skin to stay smooth and unblemished, you have to take care of it, and keep taking care of it. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, as it can be quite enjoyable to keep pampering yourself indefinitely to keep your skin feeling great, but it does mean you need to be aware of concerns that can come up in your routine overtime, and specifically, you need to be aware of how your skin changes as you age, so you can be informed and expect these changes, which will allow you to seamlessly continue your skin care in a way that lets you age gracefully and comfortably, so you can be happy and content in your own skin. To that end, Vine Vera is here to discuss these various age-related changes and what you need to know about them to keep your skin care regimen up to par for the rest of your life.

Woman applying anti-aging cream.

Thinning
There are several layers to your skin, the epidermis (the top layer, which is what you see and the first line of defense for your body against outside forces like sunlight), dermis (the middle layer, which contains the nerve endings that allow you to feel, among other things), and subcutaneous fat (the bottom layer, composed of the fat that’s right under your skin; it’s responsible for holding your skin to your muscles and bones). As you age, you retain all three layers of your skin, and yet the total thickness decreases. This is because the epidermis—the top layer—thins as you age. This thinning lowers the overall elasticity of your skin, which makes it more likely to wrinkle. Because of this, supplementing your collagen production becomes more and more important as you age. Beginning to use collagen-boosting products earlier, rather than later, in your life is recommended so that your skin is prepared to maintain itself as the epidermis thickens.

Woman applying sunscreen.

Decreased Pigmentation
Your skin also tends to lose color as you age, because the amount of pigment-containing skin cells—called melanocytes—and their ratio to the rest of your skin cells, decreases. The overall effect of this is that your skin tone will gradually lighten over the course of your life. This has not only aesthetic, but also health implications; melanocytes are part of your body’s protection system against damage from ultraviolet radiation, meaning that protecting yourself from the sun becomes more and more important as you get older. Remember, always use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when you’ll be exposed to sun (sunlight through the windows counts too!). Start early in life, keep it up, and reapply every few hours, and you’ll be golden. If you find that your skin gets especially sensitive to sun in later life, you can up the ante and get a higher SPF than you normally would; you can find sunscreen up to SPF 50 and beyond.

Woman applying a face mask.

Loss of Subcutaneous Fat
Your epidermis isn’t the only layer of skin that thins throughout life; you’re also liable to lose subcutaneous fat over the years. While this may sound like a good thing, remember that some fat is good, and necessary both for your survival and looking good. If you don’t have enough subcutaneous fat gluing your skin to your muscle, it will droop and sag. Once again, the answer is to boost your collagen production; look for ingredients like retinol and certain algae extracts that trigger your body’s natural collagen-producing qualities.