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How our skin changes with age - plus aging skin tips

michelle-kemp

Written byMichelle Kemp

A mother, daughter and grandmother smiling together

Understanding why our skin changes as we age can be great for knowing how to best care for your skin and help it look and feel the best it possibly can!

Our skin is constantly renewing and changing as we age, and this is down to a few different factors...

Dehydration

When we are dehydrated, any fine lines we have become more pronounced. Unfortunately, as we age, it gets harder to keep our skin hydrated.

There are some things you can do to maximize your skin hydration as you age, like:

  • Drinking enough water – very important!
  • Using skincare products including hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea, ceramides, and panthenol
  • Avoid hot baths and showers
  • Give yourself an extra pamper with night creams / face masks
  • Always use SPF sunscreen
  • Use an air humidifier
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies to get all the nutrients our skin needs

10 best vitamins for healthy skin

10 best vitamins for healthy skin

Here is our guide to the 10 essential nutrients for healthy skin that looks and feels good.

Pigmentation

Pigmentation spots or changing skin tones can be an even bigger skin ager than wrinkles! But our skin becomes more susceptible to these changes as we age.

Collagen production

Collagen is the ‘structural support system of our joints, skin and tendons. However, as we age, our bodies’ collagen production starts to slow down, which is why our skin appears less plump and firm, and looser and wrinkled.

Summary

  • Skin is just another thing that changes as we age, due to factors like dehydration, pigmentation, collagen production and even diet

8 changes that happen to ageing skin?

Mature skin characteristic changes include:

  1. Elasticity of skin / loose face skin

The loss of elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin can cause the skin to hang loosely and not ‘ping back’ like it used to. This lack of skin elasticity tends to be most noticeable on the face and neck but occurs all over the body.1

  1. Skin firmness and thickness

As skin ages, it becomes thinner and more fragile. This is because the outer skin layer gets thinner, although the number of cell layers remains the same.

  1. Skin transparency

Our skin can look paler and more transparent as we get older due to a decrease in pigment-containing cells (melanocytes).

  1. ‘Leathery’ skin

The leather-like skin you see on some older people is due to changes in connective tissue, called elastosis.

You see it most often on people who spend a lot of time outdoors, like farmers and tradespeople, or sun-tan fans!

  1. Age spots

Age spots, aka liver spots, are pigmented spots that occur on mostly older skin due to sun-exposed areas.

  1. Dry, itchy skin

The sebaceous glands in our skin that produce oil (sebum) to keep our skin moisturised get a little lazy as we get older. This happens mostly in women, especially after the menopause.

It can make it hard to keep the skin hydrated and instead make it dry and itchy.

  1. Skin growths

Skin tags, brown rough patches, warts and other skin blemishes are much more common in older people.

  1. Less insulating

As we get older, the fatty layer of our skin thins, leading to a lack of padding and insulation. This can increase your risk of skin injury and cause you to feel colder than usual.

Summary

  • Loss of elasticity, transparency, and a leathery look are all signs of ageing skin

Does makeup age your skin?

Good makeup with skin-friendly ingredients is not likely to age your skin – as long as you remember to take it off each and every night of course.

As long as you cleanse your skin gently after wearing makeup all day, wearing makeup should not cause you to age prematurely.

Just make sure not to over cleanse to the point of irritating your skin.

What else ages our skin?

There are lots of other lifestyle factors that can accelerate premature skin ageing, like:           

  • Smoking - as it contributes to wrinkles and a sallow, dull complexion.
  • Pulling repetitive facial expressions - if you forever have raised eyebrows or squint a lot in the sun, this can contribute to deeper wrinkles. A pair of sunglasses should help your squinting habits!
  • Unhealthy diets - a diet full of sugar and other refined carbohydrates can contribute to premature ageing. Try swapping sugary snacks for fruits and vegetables to help your skin health, rather than hinder it.
  • Too much alcohol - your skin has its own kind of hangover too! Alcohol dehydrates the skin, which can make us look older over time.
  • Lack of exercise - moderate exercise has been found to improve circulation, which could help support the skin.2

Last updated: 25 April 2022

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