How fast will I age?
Updated: Apr 13
That is the big question, how fast will I age and when will it start to happen?
Now more than ever we are becoming more savvy in taking care of our skin, and more concerned with preventing the aging process. Its no longer taboo to want to have your face age as slowly as your body, we also recognize that how well we take care of our skin and how we invest in it will reflect how good it looks and how slowly it will age.
But first lets talk about the main causes of aging.. and heres a hint its not all genetics, and that deep forehead line your dad has doesn’t mean you will to have it too.
Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Aging
Skin aging is caused by two distinct processes: Intrinsic and Extrinsic aging.
Intrinsic aging, aka chronological aging, as you probably have guessed has to do with internal factors. It’s a degenerative process that over time, simply put, will make your cells lose their power to rejuvenate and regenerate. The result?? Skin that looses elasticity and develops signs of aging. The speed of this process is something you inherit and therefore varies from person to person.
Now how much will you actually inherit?? Heres the shocking part! It ranges from only 10- 20%. So this ones on you and the way you choose to live, you can’t blame your dad, mom or grandparent.
So how fast and hard you age is only determined by 10-20% of your inherited genes.
When does this aging process typically start to show and how does it show?
Intrinsic aging, or your natural aging process, begins appearing in your mid-20's and consists of:
thinning of the epidermis due to loss of collagen
destruction of collagen fibers- we loose 1% per year
epidermal and dermal atrophy (wasting)
a reduced number of fibroblast cells (they create collagen and elastin)
thickening of the elastic network of fibers
a loss in water content
diminished functioning of sweat and oil glands
The primary features associated with intrinsic skin aging include:
Thin and sagging skin
Loss of underlying fat
Reduction in bone mass
In our twenties
The skin’s exfoliation process decreases by 28% as well, causing dead skin cells to accumulate and stick together for longer periods of time.
In our thirties
The transfer of moisture from the dermis to the epidermis is slowed and fat cells start to shrink. These effects make the skin look dull and thin.
In our forties
Collagen is no longer produced. The collagen and elastin fibres break, thicken, stiffen, clump together, and lose their elasticity. This results in wrinkles and aging lines.
Finally, in our fifties +
The skin becomes dry and is easily bruised, damaged, or broken because the sebaceous (oil) glands have decreased in size. In women, menopause causes a decrease in estrogen levels, leaving the skin drier, thinner, more sensitive and less toned.
While intrinsic aging is unavoidable (so yes lets blame a family member here, and no you can stop it), extrinsic aging is more easily preventable. It is caused by multiple external factors that accelerate the aging process, including lifestyle choices like smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise, diet, as well as environmental stressors like pollution, blue light radiation and UV exposure. These sources expose the skin to free radicals and oxidative stress which contribute to inflamaging- a process whereby chronic inflammation brought on by external stressors causes the skin to age prematurely.
Its important to point out that the most significant factor that will cause premature aging is sun exposure. You can see it yourself by comparing areas of your body that have been regularly exposed to the sun with areas that are protected from sunlight. So when we are always nagging about sunscreen and sun protection this is why!
This photo demonstrates intrinsic vs extrinsic aging.
In 2012 the New England Journal of Medicine published this photo. This 65 year old man had been a delivery truck driver for 28 years. You can see the advanced aging (extrinsic aging) on the left side (driving side) of his face from UV exposure versus the right side of his face (natural intrinsic aging process) , which was better protected.
The primary features associated with extrinsic skin aging include:
Pigment changes and raised lesions
Laxity (loose skin)
Abnormal blood vessels and spider veins
Skin tumors (benign and malignant)
Sebaceous (oil) gland lesions/growths
Atrophy (flattening of the epidermis and a loss of underlying dermis or subcutaneous fat)
So the hard truth…. the amount of lines, wrinkles, sun spots, uneven tone and texture has to do with the decisions you make each day. The good news? Your in control of how fast this happens and you can change this!
And wait theres more good news…… Protective actions for preventing extrinsic aging will also, to some degree, help you slow down the intrinsic aging. So what does this include?
The right lifestyle, diet, and better yet skincare products, laser treatments, botox, fillers and all the fun stuff we offer at Skin Worthy have been found through clinical studies to alter certain gene expression, slow the aging process and boost collagen which affect the way we age internally.
What will the future me look like??
As explained, what your skin will look like and how the aging process will affect you is really up to you! What causes wrinkles and other signs of aging are not that much about your genetics, but much more in your lifestyle, your choice of skincare and protection, and your environment.
We cannot control time, but what we can control is how fast we will age. We cannot get eternal youth, but we can make sure we age slowly and that we look our best no matter what age we are. At Skin Worthy we are big believers that its not all about anti-aging, changing how you look, but instead its about opening your eyes to the possibilities of your skin’s potential , educating you on what is happening in your body and helping you make the right choices for you.
Can't wait to chat and teach you more when we meet!