Facial aging is a gradual, individualized process that includes changes in fat, muscle, and bone. We can control some factors which impact the aging process, but much of this process is hereditary.
What is skin turgor? Skin turgor is the skin’s elasticity, or the ability of the skin to change shape and return to normal. As we age, our skin turgor decreases
We have three layers of skin, the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermis is the raincoat of our body, it provides a waterproof barrier and contributes to skin tone. The dermis lies below the epidermis, it contains nerve endings, blood vessels, sweat glands, collagen, and hair follicles. The hypodermis is our fat layer which lies below the dermis. As we age, the dermis becomes thinner which leads to wrinkling and sagging of the skin. This is a result of the skin producing less of two essential skin proteins, elastin, and collagen, which keep our skin firm, supple and resilient. Elastin provides elasticity to our skin, while collagen provides structure and support.
Superficial fat pads in our face provide us with volume and a youthful appearance in our face. As we age, our fad pads shrink, separate, and migrate. Fat pad migration results in the descent of tissues and is evident by volume loss in the face, particularly around our eyes and throughout our cheeks. In addition, this results in the enhancement of jowls, nasolabial folds (smile lines), and marionette lines.
As we age, our skin cell turnover rate slows down which results in a buildup of skin cells at the surface that are not receiving a proper amount of hydration or blood flow. The blood vessels within the dermis become more fragile and narrow, as well as have plaque buildup, which leads to poor circulation. With hydration and blood flow to the face decreasing with age, the skin becomes less elastic, which results in dry facial skin, pigmentation changes, thickening, and wrinkles.
Our skin naturally ages chronologically, but sun exposure is responsible for a majority of the visible aging of our skin. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun degrade our collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles, pigmentation changes, sun spots, reduced elasticity, and skin thickening. This is why it is important to apply SPF to the skin throughout the year.