Skin aging – Causes, Signs & Prevention

What is Skin Aging?

Skin aging of is a process which leads to loss of elasticity of the skin accompanied by the appearance of wrinkles.
Premature skin aging of the face can be due to genetic disorders, severe burns, excessive exposure to the sun [5], dehydration [6], stress [7], accumulation of toxins [8] in the body, diseases of the nervous system [9],, hereditary diseases [10], drastic cosmetics [11], etc.

Skin aging is a process that can not be prevented, but premature aging and signals on the skin can be avoided to a large extent.
Signs of premature aging take away from the charm and youth of the skin. Wrinkles, old spots, loose skin and gray hair are the greatest enemies of the youth’s appearance and radiance.

Nobody wants these signs to appear earlier than expected. Proper skin care, healthy lifestyle, healthy sleep from 6 to 8 hours a day and adherence to a healthy diet is a good way to look good.

Process and symptoms of skin aging

People over the age of 25 usually start noticing the first symptoms of skin aging. On the surface of the skin begin to emerge the first visible signs of the process including the occurrence of first fine lines (they first appear around the mouth and the eyes), which over time develop into deeper lines and wrinkles, a decrease of volume-giving cells and loss of density.

Skin aging is due to a combination of different factors.

Luckily, not all of them are unavoidable, some can be influenced we can control them to some extent by a holistic approach to prevention. Understanding the internal and external factors that affect the structure and function of the skin helps the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles.

A proper treatment and a healthy routine will do the trick while making your skin look healthier and younger.

Luckily, not all of them are unavoidable, some can be influenced we can control them to some extent by a holistic approach of prevention. Understanding of internal and external factors that affect the structure and function of the skin helps the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles. A proper treatment and a healthy routine will do the trick while making your skin look healthier and younger.

Signs and symptoms

Visible signs of skin aging

Aging skin has three main symptoms. Each of them affects the appearance of the person in different ways.


After the 25th year, the first visible signs of aging are fine lines and wrinkles. They appear in different areas of the face and can be easily noticed. Fine lines are the first to appear.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles Source:

These small, shallow wrinkles are usually formed around the outer corners of the eyes. There are known as “laugh lines”. Fine lines may also appear on the cheeks.

Forehead wrinkles appear as horizontal lines caused by facial mimics. Over time they become deeper. Smaller vertical lines between the eyebrows, also known as frown lines, are caused by the overuse of the muscles causing a frown (whether it be from frowning or just thinking).

Deeper wrinkles between the nose and mouth forming nasolabial folds, which are related to sagging of skin and loss of volume.

Loss of volume

Sometimes it is difficult to identify the volume loss, which is also known as sagging skin, violation of facial contour or chicken skin.

Unlike the loss of density and wrinkles, loss of volume is a visible change in the overall expressiveness of the face in a way that is difficult to describe.

In general, the allocated facial contour and volume discounts give the face a negative, sad or stressed appearance. This, in turn, leads to a misperception of our mood or expression.

Luckily, there are techniques which can slow down the process of skin sagging. All you need todo in order to lift your face are these facial massage techniques and the rest is the natural beauty with these easy to follow simple instructions to guide you through step by step.

Loss of density

The loss of density is most common in women in the age after menopause and is in the form of a thin and weak skin.

Unlike wrinkles and volume loss, loss of density affects the skin of the whole person rather than specific areas.

The loss of density is often associated with the appearance of deeper wrinkles, loss of radiance and a tendency towards more pale and tired appearance.


Skin aging is due to a combination of internal and external factors. Understanding these factors helps to create a holistic approach and prevention.

Skin aging can occur at any layer of the skin

Signs of aging appear on the skin surface as a result of changes in its layers.


The slower renewal of cells as well as the reduced production of lipids predisposes the skin to the drying and roughening. Aging makes the epidermis become more sensitive to UV rays.

Natural protective functions of the skin are decreased, which may lead to an increase of skin infections and slower healing of the wounds.


After the 25th year the content of one of the main “building materials” of the skin – collagen decreases by about 1% each year. The reduced content of both elastin and collagen leads to disorganization of the connective tissue.

The skin structure is affected and the skin becomes more prone to the formation of wrinkles. Decreased elasticity also makes the skin more susceptible to damage and broken capillaries.

The supply of nutrients and oxygen to the surface layer is inefficient because of the reduced blood flow. This also reduces the rosy appearance which is very typical for young skin.

Subcutaneous Layer

The major change in the deeper skin layers is the reduced size and number of fat cells. This change has a multiplier effect on the loss of volume and, after a while, leads to deep wrinkles, sunken cheeks, and impaired regenerative function.

Aging causes changes in all layers of the skin, affecting both its form and substances constituted.

Internal causes of skin aging

Some causes of aging skin are inevitable and cannot be prevented. Our biological age determined structural changes in the skin and the performance of the functions of the cells slows down with every year.

The weaker blood flow to the skin leads to the difficult supply of its surface layer with nutrients and oxygen. This usually causes pale, tired complexion.

Our genes play a key role in the way our skin changes with age. Our ethnic origin and skin type we are born with, determine at what stage there will appear the first signs of aging.

The lighter and sensitive skin, for example, the more prone to formation of wrinkles at a young age, while the occurrence of uneven complexion and wrinkles in the skin of Asian type occurs at a later stage in life.

Drying of the skin due to aging may also be influenced by the specific genetically determined complexion of the skin.

External causes of skin aging

All external factors affecting the rate of aging of the skin are due to a basic process – oxidative stress.

The process consists in the release of molecules in the body called free radicals or reactive oxygen species. According to the theory of aging free radicals are caused by the accumulation of damage caused by free radicals while we age.

The free radical is the highly unstable atom or molecule that consists of a single unpaired electron [1]. Most free radicals are capable of damaging all cellular structures, including lipids and proteins.

Under normal circumstances, free radicals are captured and disposed of protective antioxidant in the skin, molecules that have the ability to neutralize them.

However, over time the skin’s ability to neutralize free radicals decreases dramatically. As a result, it causes damage to all components of skin cells. A number of factors related to our lifestyles predispose and enhance the oxidative stress levels.

  • Sunlight

The main external factor which is responsible for skin aging is the exposure to sunlight. The damage to the skin caused by prolonged or daily exposure to UV rays is called photoaging. The visible consequence of photoaging is uneven pigmentation.

The ultraviolet rays have the strongest impact on the skin – 95% of these are UVA rays and only 5% UVB. The main difference between the two types is the wavelength.

UVB rays reach only the surface of the skin and they cause the bronze tan, but also the sunburn. The effect of UVA rays is invisible and slow, but much more damaging to the skin.

Because of the greater wavelength, they penetrate deep into the dermis and cause irreparable damage – destroying collagen and elastin, leading to cell changes.

All this, however, becomes slow and imperceptible, and in years to come, you will notice the consequences – wrinkles, pigment spots, and in some cases even cancer.

  • Contamination

Environmental pollution [2], especially in big cities, can trigger the production of skin-damaging free radicals. In addition, pollution worsens the harmful effects of the sun, enhancing oxidative stress levels.

In addition, pollution worsens the harmful effects of the sun, enhancing the oxidative stress levels.

  • Smoking 

Smoking [3] greatly accelerates the aging process, reduces the elasticity of the skin and causes grayish tan.

Quitting helps improve the appearance of the skin, as it ceases the effects of available smoking chemicals and nicotine.

Chemical and nicotine contained in cigarettes are responsible for the increasing amount of free radicals in the skin. They intensify the harmful effects of the sun, leading to oxidative stress.

  • Nutrition

The foods [12] you consume can be a powerful tool for improving your appearance. Do not select foods based on how many calories they contain and how they will affect your weight. It is more important to learn to look at food as a means by which you can improve your health and at the same time the type of your hair,

It is more important to learn to look at food as a means by which you can improve your health and at the same time the type of your hair, skin, and nails.

The nourishment [4] of the body starts mostly from within with the right food.

Antioxidants are molecules that have the ability to neutralize free radicals which are responsible for the damage to the skin as well as the acceleration of the aging process. A diet which is deprived of antioxidants helps to slow the process.

However, the diet that includes more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can become a key instrument for the comprehensive approach to prevention of aging.

A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides the intake of antioxidants that help to limit the harmful effects of free radicals on the skin.

It is better that your diet is balanced and diversified, as some foods are known for high antioxidants levels.

Particular foods even have protective skin properties: carrots, apricots and other orange and yellow colored fruits and vegetables, blueberries, green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, beans, fish ( especially salmon) and nuts.

Of course, there are some foods which should be avoided. It was found that a diet too high in fat and carbohydrates stimulates the aging process.

  • Improper care

If proper care is not provided, the skin is more prone to premature aging. Thorough cleaning with products suitable for the type of skin with regular use care products tailored to specific skin condition can greatly affect the aging process.

The application of effective sun protection, when exposed to sunlight, is a key part of prevention.

  • Ignoring the aging process

Understanding the aging process of the skin helps us make informed decisions on what measures to take. The reduction of the visible signs of aging and the prevention of further skin aging can be achieved through a holistic approach. It includes a tailored change your lifestyle and the care for the skin.

  • Lifestyle

Knowing that oxidative stress is the main cause of skin aging, all changes in lifestyle should aim at its maximum limitation.

  • Skincare

The appropriate regimen for skin care is an essential part of the holistic approach to treating all signs of skin aging: loss of volume, loss of density, wrinkles and related skin conditions such as dryness caused by aging or premature aging for the more sensitive skin types.

If your skin is healthy, a proper care will ensure the preservation of its better condition. If not, consistent care regimen can help improve the condition. The daily routine of your skin care should include three steps: cleaning, care, and sun protection.

Cleaning removes the trapped dirt, dead skin cells, waste by-products, makeup, sebum, chemicals and other debris congested in the pores. This is extremely important because all of these factors cause oxidative stress.

Proper caring also restores the hydration of the skin. You should use products designed for your skin specific needs.

Treating it with the appropriate products and their active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, a glycoside-saponin or coenzyme Q10, can significantly improve its appearance.

Protecting skin from UV rays is the most important step for prevention of further damage. The product with a sun protection factor (SPF) should be selected according to the type and condition of your skin.

Microdermabrasion for skin aging

As one of the most effective methods to exfoliate and increase blood circulation to the face I recommend microdermabrasion. You can buy a microdermabrasion machine for home use and perform this procedure weekly. Microdermabrasion procedures will make your skin look much healthier and younger.

How can I prevent my skin from aging?

Read Monika Hristova’s answer to How can I prevent my skin from aging? on Quora

What are some home remedies for laugh lines removal?

Read Monika Hristova’s answer to What are some home remedies for laugh lines removal? on Quora


    Free radicals and aging of the skin.
    Skin Contamination
    Tobacco smoke causes premature skin aging.
    Original Research Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make A Difference
    Aging, sun damage, and sunscreens.
    Don’t Dry Out Make Sure You Drink Enough Water
    Stress and Your Skin
    Cutaneous Toxicity: Toxic Effects On Skin
    Aging changes in organs – tissue – cells
    Biology of Aging; GENETICS: Is aging in our genes?
    4 Ways Make-Up Ages Your Skin By ANDREA MIRANDA, CBS Houston
    Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging
Skin Aging - Causes, Signs, Prevention
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Skin aging of is a process which leads to loss of elasticity of the skin accompanied by the appearance of wrinkles.
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About the author

Monika Hristova

Monika is the Editor-in-Chief at SkinPractice. She is a skin care addict and researcher, who feels strongly about helping people with different dermatology conditions from alopecia to warts.

You can read her recommendations and advice both here at SkinPractice or at Quora where she answers skincare-related questions frequently and is the most viewed author in the Skincare category with more than 3 million views or follow her on LinkedIn.

She is also a certified skin care specialist with certification from the Medical College in Sofia.

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