Why does the skin age?

Tobacco reduces blood supply to skin cells, promoting premature aging.

The skin ages, mainly because the cells present stop doing their job properly. “The first effect that occurs, as a consequence, is the lack of production of collagen and other proteins (elastin and hyaluronic acid) that make up the main structure of the skin. All this will lead to a progressive loss of elasticity and luminosity ”, clarifies Javier Pedraz, dermatologist at the Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital. The main external factor that causes skin aging is sun exposure.

In fact, it causes more signs of aging than the passage of time itself. Other factors involved can be stress, diet and pollution.

Genetics influence all aspects of the body, including skin aging. In this case, given that there are external factors of great importance that also contribute -cited above-, genetics plays a secondary role, which does not mean that it has no influence ”, Pedraz continues.

Food, alcohol and tobacco.

A healthy and balanced diet is essential for healthy and youthful skin. The foods most recommended for this, according to the specialist in Dermatology, are water (or infusions), peppers (vitamins C and B6 and carotenes), nuts (vitamin E), blue Fish (omega 3 fatty acid) and chocolate (flavonoids and antioxidants).

Alcohol and tobacco are also harmful to the skin. Alcoholic beverages dehydrate the skin, leaving it more exposed to possible external aggressions. Tobacco reduces blood supply to skin cells, promoting premature aging.
“Both habits are discouraged, in general, and also for people who want to have healthy skin”, Pedraz emphasizes.

Do oily skin tend to age later than dry skin?

“It is not exactly like that, but it is true that oily skin tends to form fewer wrinkles than dry skin. Wrinkles are one of the many signs of aging, but there are others, such as flaccidity and loss of luminosity, which can appear in both types of skin ”, Pedraz responds.

When there is a marked weight loss

Weight loss, especially if it is pronounced, can contribute to more certain wrinkles due to the fact that fat is also lost from the skin, which also contributes (to a lesser extent than collagen or hyaluronic acid) to give consistency and volume to the skin. Therefore, by having less amount of fat, we lose volume in certain areas of the skin, which marks the wrinkles to a greater extent.

Moisturizing and anti-wrinkle creams

Moisturizing and anti-wrinkle creams play a very important role in avoiding skin aging, as Pedraz points out. Hydration of the skin is essential to prevent water loss and exposure to external factors that can easily damage it.

Anti-wrinkle creams are fundamentally preventive (to avoid the formation of wrinkles) rather than treatment (to eliminate the already established wrinkle). “The main topical compound that has shown an anti-wrinkle effect is retinoic acid ”, indicates the dermatologist.

Guidelines to keep skin young for as long as possible
In Pedraz’s words, the fundamental guidelines to prolong the youth of the skin are:

Avoid, as far as possible, sun exposure and if we are going to expose ourselves to the sun, do so with adequate protection.

Do not consume alcohol or tobacco.

Maintain a balanced diet.

Moisturize the skin daily.

Try to control skin exposure to highly polluted environments.

Try to avoid stress.