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How and Why Skin Ages
Your skin is an organ that reflects your internal well being externally.

Can you imagine the day when your skin wrinkles and become soft and saggy? For as long as one can remember, it has always been the pursuit of many to keep their youthful looks and body. Man and woman has always been relentless in their pursue of longetivity and youth vigour. When it's gone, it's gone and nothing, short of miraculous reconstruction, can we get back that youthful, supple and sparkling skin.

That relentless pursuit has not changed. Now more than ever, methods, techniques and treatments meant to retain that “youthful glow” proliferate everywhere. As it is the most telltale sign of getting old, anti-aging goods and services account for billions of dollars spent in the hopes of delaying the onset of skin aging.

Unfortunately, many have been and are misinformed on how and why the skin ages misleading these same people into buying products that only offer short-lived, if not unsuccessful and disappointing, results.

It is therefore only smart to know just how the skin develops over time. In understanding the hows and whys of aging skin, the correct habits and treatments can then be developed to retain as much one’s youthful looks for as long a time as possible.

First off, there are two types of aging for the skin. There is the intrinsic (internal) aging, which is caused by factors within one’s own body, such as genes and body condition; and extrinsic (external) aging, which is caused by factors outside one’s body, such as sunlight and lifestyle.

Skin Care Secrets Guide

How and Why Skin Ages
Know Your Own Skin Type
Treating Oily Skin
Treating Dry Skin
Double Whammy - Combination Skin
How to Protect Your Skin
The Sun and Your Skin
Skin Creams and Wrinkles
Good Nutrition and Your Complexion
How Free Radicals Damage Skin Cells
Vitamin C and Skin Care
Is Dermabrasion Right for Your Skin
Chemical Skin Peels
Skin Care from the Inside Out
Facelifts and Other Skin Procedures

Intrinsic (internal) aging
Aging is a natural process and our genes determine how one goes through that process. For some, aging can set on earlier or later than most. On average, signs of skin aging begin to appear in the mid-20s.

As one grows older, the skin’s ability to snap back to shape (elasticity) starts to decrease. That is because skin cells do not regenerate as fast as they used to - resulting to tougher, older skin. Although internal aging begins in one’s 20s, the typical signs of wrinkles and sagging skin do not appear for until about a couple of decades more.
Other signs that indicate skin aging are thinning, loss of firmness, dryness, and reduction of sweat production that prevents proper cooling of the body.

Extrinsic (external) aging
Factors outside one’s own genes accelerate skin aging. Lifestyles and habits carry more impact of why aging skin occurs more prematurely in one’s lifetime.

Sun exposure
With the present condition our atmosphere is in, harmful rays from the sun pass through in ever increasing amounts causing damage to the skin and hampering its ability to repair itself. Over a period of time, a few minutes a day of exposure to ultraviolet rays results in changes to the skin (freckles, age spots, rough skin). An even graver symptom would be the onset of skin cancer. Dermatologists call this effect photo aging in reference to the sun’s rays that reduce the production of collagen responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity.

One’s susceptibility to photo aging is determined by the amount of pigment in the skin as well as the frequency and duration one spends under the sun’s rays. Given these factors, fair-skinned individuals and those who spend long periods under the sun stand to have more pronounced effects of photo aging compared to those who are darker-skinned and spend more time in the shade.

Facial Exercises
Ironically, the routine once prescribed to prevent facial wrinkles is actually one of the causes of that very thing one aims to avoid. Facial exercises cause the muscles on the face to fold and crease the skin. As the skin’s elasticity decreases, the skin starts to take on the creases more permanently causing deep wrinkles on the face.

Cigarette smoking does not only cause harm to the body internally but externally as well. This is most pronounced with the condition of the skin. Nicotine intake causes changes in the body that speeds up the break down of skin cells, among other harmful effects.
It is a common finding that individuals who’ve been smokers for at least a decade look comparably older than those who do not smoke. In addition to wrinkles, yellowish discoloration of the skin has been observed in smokers. However, the good news is that those who have given up smoking show improvements in their skin condition shortly after quitting.

The signs of skin aging will inevitably show up on everyone at one point or the other. All sorts of products and treatments can be availed of but it is only meant to delay the outward symptoms.

Perhaps the best solution is to understand the aging process and not view it as a disease, but rather see it as another stage of development the body undergoes - a solution that requires no prescription and is free of charge.

Know Your Own Skin Type
As it is with everything else, knowing the condition of the different parts of your body is the first step in caring for it. Skin is no different. Knowing your skin type is the beginning of giving your skin the proper treatment to maintain good skin tone and condition.
Your skin type is a general description of how your skin feels and behaves. The most common types used for commercial products are normal, oily, dry and combination skin. Other categories include blemish-prone, sensitive and sun-damaged skin.

Convenient as these skin type categories are in choosing products, it is not exactly the best way to know and understand your skin on a level that will really help it. This is perhaps the reason why, even though the “right” products have been used for your designated skin type, you still experience either dryness, oiliness, acne and other problems.

Why is this so? First of all, you have to remember, like any part of your body, you skin is never the same all throughout. It goes through all sorts of conditions depending on several factors, some of which include your genes, your lifestyle and habits. Add to this the fact that the problems you are experiencing may not be simply the result of lack of care. There are cases when skin diseases are the reasons.

So from here on end, it will be good for you to forget what beauty magazines, cosmetic salespeople, and aestheticians tell you about the four skin types. It’s about time you go beneath the surface and really know what your skin is about.

First off, know the factors that Influence your skin type. This can get tricky since almost everything can influence your skin and the condition it’s in. Just looking and feeling your face is not enough to determine your skin type. To get an effective evaluation of your skin, consider the following.

The first set of factors affecting your skin are those within your own body. Hormonal changes brought on by your body’s development influence your skin to a huge extent. For women, the menstrual cycle can cause drastic changes on the skin. The same goes for periods of pregnancy and menopause. Men are also subject to these influences, especially in the puberty stage as hormones causes the body to develop.

Your genes also influence the propensity to acquire a certain skin condition that is characteristic of your parents’ own skin types. However, as their skin is also influenced by different factors, your skin and theirs may not necessarily be the same.

Lifestyles and habits also affect your skin and while these may seem external to your body, the way you conduct daily activities such as diet, exercise, smoking and drinking habits influence your body and therefore your skin as well.

Other influences affecting your skin lie outside your body such as weather and climate as well as your skin-care regimen of choice. The climates of areas you spend prolonged periods in influence how your body reacts. Cold climates tend to cause dry skin and flaking where as humid areas cause excessive sweating and oil production.

The skin care products you choose also affect your skin condition. Using creams or moisturizers that have too much emollients will cause your skin to be oily whereas strong cleansers and exfoliates result in dry, sensitive skin.

Now that you know what influences your skin, it is time to know what condition it is in.
First of all, don’t evaluate your skin right after you’ve washed your face. This is because your skin is reacting to the water and cleansers you’ve put on it. Wait four to five hours after you’ve washed. This will give your skin time to recover from the cleansing and allow it to resume its “normal” activity. Also try to do this on a day you had not worn any makeup or put on creams so a more accurate evaluation can be made.

Take a piece of facial tissue and press it on different areas of your face. Hold the tissue against the light and if blotches can be seen, then you have oily skin. This is the reason why you should carry out this assessment when you are not wearing makeup or moisturizers since the oil may be caused by these substances.

If the general area of your face appears dry, feels tight and can see patches of skin flakes, then you are dealing with dry skin. On the other hand, if you observe that some areas are both dry and oily then you have combination skin.

Now that you know the degree of oiliness or dryness your skin has right now, you need to know whether or not your skin is suffering from some form of skin disease.

Are there areas of redness around your nose and cheeks with red bumps and blemishes but aren’t pimples? Do you see fine lines of capillaries on the surface that are sensitive to the touch? If yes, you may have rosacea. Patches of irritated, dry, red to white scaly and crusty skin around the hairline, nose, eyes and cheeks may be caused by a skin disorder called psoriasis. In both cases you will need to consult with a dermatologist. .

With these evaluations, you develop a more effective skin care routine that will help maintain your skin’s health. But remember that your skin type won’t remain constant for long even with the right choice and use of products. As your own body undergoes development, your skin type will change as well. It is recommended that you perform this simple assessment every 4 to 6 months.

As you can see, proper and dutiful care of skin is worth more than any amount of facial cream or cleanser that you will ever need to apply.


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DISCLAIMER: Information on this website is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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