By Carla Oates
When it comes to ageing, our skin is often one of the first places to illustrate the signs and symptoms of this natural biological process. And it’s only natural that for most of us, we want to ensure our skin (as well as our bodies!) remains as healthy as possible, for as long as possible, so as to minimise the effects of premature ageing in particular.
But given that the beauty industry is dedicated in large part to the concept of ‘anti-ageing’ and how to treat common ageing skin concerns, when we look in the mirror it can be tricky not to see any skin changes or visible signs of ageing (hello broken blood vessels!) reflected back at us as a negative. In reality, however, ageing is perfectly natural, perfectly normal and a beautiful part of getting older—and to take care of our skin is just one way we can embrace ageing and all that it entails.
Below, we delve into some of the most common ageing skin concerns, as well as how you can help to combat them…
Often dullness can be hard to articulate—but it’s also one of the most common early signs of ageing and is characterised by a general absence of that lovely youthful ‘glowiness’ or dewiness we all are guilty of taking for granted. Usually dull skin is caused by a natural decline in skin cell turnover, as well as a lack of adequate moisture and hydration.
From the age of about 25, our bodies' natural production of collagen and elastin (the proteins that keep our skin looking plump, smooth and firm) naturally starts to decline. And this is why sagging or drooping of the skin is more likely to occur—especially around the jawline and under the eyes in older people.
Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Again, fine lines and wrinkles is typical of the ageing process and is often due to the natural decline in collagen and elastin—but as we age, our skin also tends to become thinner, which means the areas of our face which are most charismatic (around the eyes and mouth), are also where fine lines and wrinkles tend to appear first. A lack of adequate hydration in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) can also be a contributing factor and equate to reduced skin elasticity.
Age Spots &/or Pigmentation
Unfortunately for some, dark spots and an increase in hyperpigmentation is common with age—whether you are someone guilty of spending a lot of time in the sun sans SPF, or not. While everyone’s skin tone and type is different (and genetics can play a role in your susceptibility to developing pigmentation and skin cancers), research shows that our skin’s melanocytes (aka the skin cells that contain pigment, or melanin) increase and cluster with each passing decade. Naturally, this is generally most noticeable in areas of the face (or the backs of the hands) where skin has been exposed to more sunlight, so it’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen!
As we age, we also have fewer sweat glands and oil glands, meaning that our skin’s natural protective barrier can become compromised or irritated more easily. This results in dryness, rough skin and an increased susceptibility to itchy skin, sensitivity, rashes and inflammation.
How To Care For Your Skin—At Any Age
When it comes to taking care of our skin—at any age—the key is consistency. While we also each have different skin types and specific skin concerns we want to target, there are a few simple tips that can be of benefit to us all when it comes to reducing the signs of premature ageing, as well as treating any existing skin issues we’re keen to combat:
- Wear Sunscreen: For many of us who grew up in the decades before ‘sun smart’ was even a thing, we are certainly paying for the tanning choices we made during adolescence. But while sun damage is something that occurs over time, it’s never too late to start considering sun protection and wearing sunscreen! Sun exposure and ultraviolet rays are known to accelerate skin ageing—contributing to dark spots, hyperpigmentation as well as fine lines and wrinkles—so before you consider your makeup each day, ensure you’re applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) and where possible, stay in the shade and wear a hat when outdoors.
- Maintain Moisture: As dryness is a common symptom of ageing skin, maintaining adequate moisture levels is key. However dryness and dehydration are often used interchangeably (read more about the difference here) but simply put, dryness is related to a lack of lipids and dehydration is a lack of water. Your skin can be suffering from both, but dryness tends to occur with age as the integrity of the skin barrier is compromised. Therefore, including lots of healthy skin-loving and moisturising fats in your diet is key, as is selecting topical skincare that helps to bolster your skin’s natural defences and lock in moisture. Hyaluronic acid is one ingredient that is common in skincare targeted at maintaining moisture but our GLOW F.A.C.E Intensive Rejuvenating Oil is also a great option for all skin types (including ageing!) as it is rich in an abundance of plant lipids, vegan squalene from fatty acid-rich olives as well as prebiotics and postbiotics to balance and protect the skin microbiome.
- Consider Inner Beauty: Beauty begins in the belly®, after all, so it makes sense to nourish and feed your skin from within. And this is true, no matter your age! Our range of bio-fermented beauty powders and elixirs are all designed to help nourish your skin from the inside out, but if you’re unsure where to start, consider GLOW Inner Beauty Essential the foundation of your inner beauty routine. Containing 200% of your RDI of vitamin C—which is essential for collagen production—as well as up to 20% of your RDI of provitamin A which assists with cellular turnover—and prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics to nurture your digestive wellbeing (for more glowing skin!), it’s the simplest way to care for your skin, gut health and wellbeing every single day.
- Be Gentle: Given older skin is naturally thinner, it’s important to consider your topical skincare routine and keep things simple. This is especially true if you suffer from skin sensivity or inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis (or even adult acne!), as while it may be tempting to exfoliate away any roughness, this can actually exacerbate the issue and further damage your skin’s gentle barrier. You might find that products that contain chemicals, soaps or common skin irritants and perfumes are no longer suitable—so opt for Certified Organic, natural, PH-balanced skincare where possible.
- Consider Your Lifestyle: No matter how well you take care of your skin on the outside, if you’re not considering your lifestyle practices and how they contribute to your health and wellbeing, it may all be for nothing. Glowing skin requires lots of sleep, low levels of stress as well as avoiding things like smoking—which exacerbates skin wrinkles and dullness dramatically!