One of the hardest working organs in the body is the skin. While the most commonly known function is its protective barrier role, the skin offers other functions as well that include: defence against foreign substances from entering the body, secretion of sweat that helps in getting rid of damaging substances from the body and the ability to adapt to body temperature.
The NHS lists a number of causes that relate to ageing skin. The list includes the effects of alcohol, over the top sun exposure and the link between decreased collagen production and smoking. These and other factors have a direct bearing on the changes that take place in the skin and which contribute to an older-looking appearance.
Over time the skin is subject to change. This change is part of a natural process that cannot be stopped, although there are interventions available (cosmetic procedures and skincare products such as cosmeceuticals) that can help repair and slow down this process of change. A consultation at a skin clinic in London can identify the best treatments to counteract the tell-tale signs of time on the skin. The demand for non-surgical cosmetic enhancements in the UK is on the rise. Research statistics indicate that more than 50 per cent of the female demographic, aged 16 to 29, have had, or will opt for non-surgical cosmetic enhancements.
What happens to the skin on the outside
Highly visible changes take place on the surface of the skin and are easily identified. This is the increase in the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and fine lines, as well as a decline in skin texture – loss of moisture results in skin looking dry and tired. Skin also begins to lose fat pads with ageing, culminating in volume loss which results in a sunken look.
Other changes include:
· The skin’s surface layer loses density when the blood vessel walls become narrower and skin appears more transparent.
· The skin becomes more fragile and bruising may become a common occurrence.
· Pore size becomes more prominent.
What happens to the skin from the inside
On another level, underneath the exterior layer of skin, change is also noted. Due to the progression of time, skin loses or sees a decrease, in key chemicals that help to keep skin looking healthy and youthful. The loss of chemicals, such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastic fibres, aids in the deterioration of the condition of the skin. In time there is an increase in damaging free radicals that are said to be responsible for the appearance of wrinkles.
Additional changes include:
· Loss of bone density about the area of the mouth increases the likelihood of a puckered appearance.
· Loss of moisture can promote the skin’s vulnerability to developing infections and lengthen the time it takes for wounds to heal.
· Reduction in elasticity prompts the forces of gravity to cause the sagging of facial features such as the eyebrows and eyelids and including the cheeks and chin areas. The aesthetics industry has developed an assortment of non-surgical treatments to remedy undesirable skin changes brought on by time and lifestyle choices. Speak to a knowledgeable aesthetic practitioner at The Cosmetic Skin Clinic about how to address and help improve unwelcome wrinkles, volume loss or improve skin tone.