The natural aging process begins in your mid-20s when production of collagen and elastin begins to reduce, and the speed at which the skin produces new skin cells to replace the dead cells slows down.
Aging is not necessarily determined by genetics alone. If your mother aged gracefully, it will not guarantee you will too. A lot depends on your lifestyle.
- Photoaging: caused from exposure to the sun, is one of the primary causes for premature aging. If you spend lots of time in the sun and don’t use sunscreen, wrinkles will start appearing sooner.
- Smoking creates deep creases around the lips as well as an ashy tone caused by deprivation of oxygen to the skin and destruction of collagen and elastin.
- Dehydration: not getting adequate water intake and instead drinking too many caffeinated products or soda can severely dehydrate the skin. Drinking lots of water everyday helps skin to maintain proper moisture balance and for your body to maintain essential functions.
- Consuming too much alcohol: by drinking in excess, the capillaries in your skin can become dilated producing red blotchy areas or a yellow hue. It can also lead to deprivation of Vitamin A in the body which is essential for regeneration of skin cells and exerting antioxidants that protect the skin.
- Diet: More and more studies are connecting that you really are what you eat. Your skin needs proper vitamins and minerals in the form of well-balanced nutrition to fight free radicals and produce healthy new skin cells.
- Pollution combined with UV rays can generate free radicals that can harm the skin more easily as you age because the production of certain coenzymes like NADH and NADPH are reduced and it slows down the rate at which the skin can repair itself. This leads to dryness, wrinkles, age spots and sagging.
What most experts agree with however, is eating a diet rich in antioxidants, regular exercise, meditation and a disciplined skincare regime work effectively in slowing down the aging process.