Friday, September 26, 2008

Know the difference: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Aging

Understanding how your skin ages can help you become better prepared for the years to come. Intrinsic aging is inevitable; its the normal kind of aging that results in wrinkles, loss of moisture and dull, sagging skin. Loss of subcutaneous fat underneath deeper layers of skin means your cheeks become thinner and less full. Less estrogen means moisture loss in the skin. And decreased circulation means oxygen and other nutrients have a harder time reaching the skin. Finally, cellular turnover means that collagen and elastin are replenished less often, leading to less skin elasticity. If you seem to be aging faster than your friends, you can most likely blame genetics; short of high-quality skincare products and treatments, there isn't a lot you can do about intrinsic aging.

Then, extrinsic aging. This is where multiple factors come into play: UV rays, facial expressions, cigarette smoking, and overall lifestyle habits like how much sleep you get and how stressful your lifestyle is. This is where learning about how the skin ages, and what positive changes you can make to impact your lifestyle, can drastically change how your skin ages. Photoaging may be common, but that doesn't mean it has to be natural; sunscreen and smart sun sense can make a world of difference in avoiding sun spots and UV damage. And smokers as young as 20 may start to notice the effects of their daily cigarette breaks, so take care of yourself early on.

1 comment:

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