Skin ageing and its causes

Skin ageing is increasingly becoming a more coommon concern even in the younger age group of people. Stressful lifestyle due to lack of adequate sleep, faulty eating habits, smoking and alcohol consumption on a regular basis along with exposure to ultraviolet radiation of sunlight, leads to early appearance of ageing signs.

Ageing signs include pigmentation, which causes uneven skin tone, freckles, melasma and age spots, fine lines around the eyes called as crow’s feet, deep wrinkles on the forehead and brow area and laugh lines. The person tends to appear much older than their biological age. Early greying of hair also adds to the ageing effect.

We will now analyse how most common factors causes skin ageing.

  1. Sleep deprivation: Long working hours have become the norm for most professional working class. Computer use is mandatory but it causes havoc to your skin when used execessively. Puffiness, fine lines and dark circles are very common in those who stay up late night, either working or idling away sleep time on social media. Whatever may be the reason for you to stay up, if you are not getting enough sleep, then the harm done is more than ageing. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which gets released in excess amounts when the body and mind are sleep deprived. Getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is mandatory for good health, which reflects in the form of glowing skin.
  2. Diet: I have writtten a separate blog on diet alone. The saying that, ‘We are, what we eat’ cannot be more apt than in the case of diet and skin relationship. A healthy diet comprising of proper proportions of complex carbs, proteins and fats is absolutely essential for a healthy body. If there is any nutrient deficiency, then the first signs almost always appear on the skin. Consuming fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds on a daily basis is a must. Avoidance of junk food, which is mostly processed ready to eat, will keep excess body fat away and ageing signs can be halted significantly.  Vitamin E, C and B complex are essential for building healthy skin cells, the lack of which, will result in collagen breakdown, pigmentation and dull skin. The loss of lustre in hair and nails also is attributed to nutrient deficiency. Excess consumption of sugar and dairy products are also detrimental to your health, specially skin. Keep your diet  diet as raw and simple as possible, so that all nutrients are preserved and you get the best of nature. Go vegatarian for short periods of time, which will help in detox of your body and skin.
  3. Water:  Drinking excess water is unnecessary and harmful, but not drinking enough water also leads to early ageing signs, by causing dehydration. Drink 8-12 glasses of water daily. Depending on your lifestyle, body type and weight, you will need to decide how much water to consume. A good indicator is the color of your urine. If its almost white or a very light yellow, then it means that you are drinking optimum amount of water.
  4. Smoking and alcohol consumption: Nicotine literally breaks down the collagen and elastic fibers in the skin, leading to all possible signs of ageing. Regular intake of alcohol causes dehydration and robs your body of essential nutrients too. Limit your alcohol consumption to as less as possible. An entire blog needs to be elaborated on smoking and alcohol, so I shall write on it seperately.
  5. Unprotected sun exposure: The ultraviolet radiation of sunlight is a major factor, leading to pigmentation in the form of age spots, freckles, melasma and general tanning of the face. The skin appears blotchy and dull. Breakdown of collagen leads to appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Application of a good quality sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 is mandatory, half hour before stepping out in the sun. Avoid strolling in the afternoon heat between 12:00-5:00, when the harsh rays of the sun are at its peak.

While ageing is inevitable and the mortal body will age, no matter what we do or don’t do, we can at least try to age gracefully. Regular practice of yoga with meditation also helps to keep the body and mind fit. It helps to destress us and boosts our immunity. If you do not like yoga then light exercise or a brisk walk of 30 minutes is also very beneficial. Breaking a sweat on a daily basis will help to increase the blood circulation in the face, which will help you look younger for longer. Use of good quality skin care products also help to repair daily damage that happens to the skin. Anti ageing skin treatments do help tremendously to reverse the signs of ageing, but ultimately its your lifestyle, which will help you maintain the results. Ultimately, it all comes down to a healthy lifestyle, which will help you not only to look apt for your age, but will also keep you active.

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