Why does skin wrinkle with age ?

Skin is altered over time, as a result of ageing, hormonal changes and lifestyle. Collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels decrease. The skin’s density changes, and its hydration weakens.

Without proper care, wrinkles can form quickly. However, you can choose an anti-wrinkle cream suited to your skin to limit their appearance.

A quick biology lesson to help you understand your skin

Skin is the human body’s largest organ. It is made up of three layers of tissue: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis.

The epidermis provides a visual indicator of the skin’s state of health, but the ageing process actually takes place in the dermis. The hypodermis contains subcutaneous fat, nerves and blood vessels.

When the dermis is young and healthy, it produces a lot of collagen and elastin. Those two proteins provide its structure, resistance and suppleness. This layer also contains hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for skin density.

But, over the course of a lifetime, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production gradually diminishes, which is why wrinkles appear with age.

The different types of facial wrinkles

Depending on their size, furrows in the skin are defined as either wrinkles or fine lines. Those wrinkles, which are linked to the skin’s gradual loss of elasticity due to ageing, can be divided into two categories: expression wrinkles and age wrinkles.

Expression, or dynamic, wrinkles

Expression wrinkles are associated with repetitive facial movements. Over time, the skin’s tissues become marked by folds, and wrinkles appear.

The main expression wrinkles are:

  • horizontal forehead furrows
  • frown lines
  • crow’s feet (around the eyes).

Ageing, or static, wrinkles

Age wrinkles are a result of the skin loosening, due to ageing. The cells are replaced less quickly and not as well, and the skin loses some of its tone and hydration.

The main age wrinkles are:

  • bitterness folds
  • nasolabial folds
  • perioral lines (vertical lip lines)
  • neck and chest wrinkles.

The appearance of wrinkles: An unwavering process

The skin’s structure changes over a lifetime. Its elasticity, firmness and resistance decline, leading to the appearance of lines and discolorations.

Little by little, the skin begins to require special treatments like argan oil, to limit any damage.

Dermal tissue in a young face is dense. The dermis is rich in collagen and elastin. Its cells are self-repairing, which keeps the skin firm and smooth.

Beginning at the age of 30 though, and again at menopause, collagen and elastin generation is dampened. The dermal tissue then gradually loses its density, allowing deeper wrinkles to appear.

As the skin advances in age, it also produces less hyaluronic acid. In young skin, that substance naturally surrounds and stores water in the cells of the dermis.

When the skin ages, its production slows, causing a dry epidermis, a sign of dehydration. This process marks skin that was already dry or sensitive faster than other skin types.

Skin ageing: Genetic and individual factors

Just like gradual hair loss, the loss of firmness in the skin is unavoidable, due to the ageing of the dermis and epidermis. This natural process stems primarily from our biological clocks.

Although it is the main cause of wrinkles, other factors also affect the ageing of the skin. You should know that you can change those factors to prevent the early onset of signs of ageing.

Internal causes of skin ageing

A person’s biological clock affects the structure of their skin. Each passing year further slows the cell renewal process.

This is compounded by hormonal changes, particularly those associated with menopause. At that age, collagen production drops rapidly, leaving the skin loose and fragile.

External causes of skin ageing

Although the sun is natural, it is still the leading cause of premature ageing of the skin.

Without appropriate protection from the sun, unsuitable exposure to the sun can cause UV rays to penetrate deep into the skin. There, they can produce free radicals with disastrous effects like wrinkles, discolorations, altered DNA and cancer.

Pollution, stress and poor nutrition can also engender oxidative damage and the release of free radicals. As a result, the skin’s structure is weakened, and its ageing is accelerated.

Lastly, certain habits can also speed up the appearance of signs of skin ageing. While getting enough sleep and hydration is essential to healthy skin, tobacco is the greatest source of harm. It can have significant effects on the skin’s beauty (and on the hair, for that matter):

  • damage to collagen and elastin
  • alteration of skin microcirculation
  • imbalance in the acid mantle.

In addition, smokers’ skin is easily recognisable for its texture and appearance.

Limiting the appearance of wrinkles: Tips for your routine

Some product labels argue that wrinkles can disappear, but nothing could be less certain.

While certain creams can lessen wrinkles on the face, the best strategy is to adopt a skin care routine which can delay their onset.

Dermatological tips:

  • Avoid tobacco and its ageing effects
  • Apply sun cream or sunscreen to your face and body before any exposure
  • Adopt a diet rich in vitamins A, C and E and in omega-3
  • Drink 1.5 litres of water each day
  • Moisturise your skin with a product
  • Engage in physical activity
  • Get enough sleep.

Choosing a face care product to limit wrinkles

With age, the skin loses some of its essential components. This means you will want to find a skin care routine which can provide outside sources for those components.

The beauty products (creams and oils) considered to be the best for the skin on your face are:

  • ceramides, which strengthen the skin’s barrier
  • vitamin C, whose antioxidants provide protection against free radicals
  • nucleic acids, which improve the skin’s hydration
  • retinol and AHAs, which stimulate the cellular regeneration of the epidermis, the eyes and the hair
  • resveratrol and vitamin B3, which repair the skin’s cells that have been damaged by age or by external aggressors.

The ageing of the skin on your face is part of a natural process. With age, the cells do not regenerate as well. The signs of age inevitably set in.

However, with appropriate creams and treatments, you can obstruct the appearance of the fine lines and wrinkles that are characteristic of mature skin.