Premature aging of the skin: much is heard about it, but few people actually know what it is. In short, it is the accelerated wear and tear of the skin, which can occur even in youth due to a series of factors, such as exposure to solar radiation and pollution. Due to the premature aging of the skin, it is possible to notice the appearance of wrinklesfine lines and other signs of aging before you even hit your 50s.
Although aging is a natural process of the body, we have the option of reaching the best age with strong, protected and healthy skin, without having to go through facial aging ahead of time. Care for Life invited dermatologist Betina Stefanello to better clarify the subject and explain the possible causes and symptoms and explain how we can prevent the signs of premature aging. Check out!
What is Premature Aging?
To begin with, before explaining the causes, treatments and prevention methods, it is important to clarify what premature aging is. According to the doctor. Betina, “premature aging is when the skin, at an early stage, begins to show symptoms of aging, such as lack of vigor, dryness, wrinkles, lines of expression and stains”. All these signs are manifested early, that is, at an age when, normally, other people of the same age group do not present such characteristics in the same intensity. It is worth noting that the early aging process of the face can vary from person to person, as these changes seen in the skin depend on genetics (20%) and lifestyle habits (80%).
What causes premature aging of the skin?
We can divide the lifestyle habits that cause premature aging of the skin into two. The first is glycation: aging due to the consumption of carbohydrates, which bind to collagen and make it stiff, causing it to lose its function. Collagen is a very important protein for the skin, being essential to keep it firm and elastic. Without the work of collagen, the skin loses these characteristics, becoming flaccid.
The other group of lifestyle habits that lead to premature aging of the face are those that cause an increase in the amount of free radicals on body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that degrade collagen fibers and accelerate sagging in the face. Some factors associated with its increase are:
- Excess solar radiation: the sun helps to age the skin prematurely. UV radiation promotes increased production of free radicals. With this, there is an increase in the degradation of collagen and elastin fibers, which causes the appearance of expression lines and sagging.
- Pollution: pollution triggers inflammatory processes that cause the first signs of aging, such as sagging, wrinkles and spots.
- Smoking: according to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD)the act of smoking can cause the appearance of wrinkles that are caused by repetitive movements.
- Alcohol consumption: Excess alcoholic beverages can stimulate the production of free radicals, which come into contact with healthy cells in the body and damage their structure, causing premature aging of the skin.
- Stress: Increased cortisol (stress hormone) causes greater skin inflammation and reduces collagen production, facilitating the appearance of fine wrinkles, blemishes and sagging.
- Bad eating habits: a diet based on saturated fats and industrialized foods can cause an increase in free radicals, in addition to excess sugar, which also favors premature aging of the skin through glycation.
All these factors generate oxidation of cells. This process causes cell damage, decreases the production of collagen and elastic fibers, delays cell renewal and stimulates melanin production, producing blemishes and irregularities on the skin and anticipating the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.
What are the symptoms of premature skin aging?
Among the most common symptoms of premature aging of the skin, we can observe:
- Fine wrinkles on the forehead;
- wrinkles around the eyes (chicken feet);
- wrinkles around the lips (Chinese mustache);
- expression lines;
- excess sagging;
- spots on the skin;
- deep dark circles.
The appearance of blemishes on the skin tends to happen more quickly because of the accumulation of sun exposure over the years – they are spots of darker tones, generally in areas that are more frequently exposed.
How to prevent premature aging of the skin?
There is no youth formula, but the best way to avoid the signs of aging on the face is to prevent the factors mentioned above. After 25 yearswe should start skin care with a good skincare routine and some dermatological procedures.
- Use sunscreen: this is the greatest care to prevent premature aging of the skin. Sunscreen helps form a barrier against solar radiationwhose effects on the skin are dryness, burns, blemishes and the degradation of collagen and elastin (which leave the saggy skin and with wrinkles).
- bet on antioxidants: they are essential to reduce the formation of free radicals. In this case, it is recommended to look for dermocosmetic products with vitamin E and vitamin C, resveratrol and ferulic acid.
- Include products with retinol: this active, powerful to prevent premature aging, helps to remove dead cells from the skin so that other actives can penetrate better. Not to mention that the substance stimulates the formation of new collagen.
- Bet on botulinum toxin: the application of botulinum toxin helps to prevent and treat wrinkles and expression lines caused by premature aging of the skin.
According to the doctor. Betina, skincare is essential to prevent skin aging: “It will act globally with the use of antioxidants, which act by preventing free radicals, with renewers, which increase the production of collagen and elastin fibers, and moisturizers, which will keep the skin barrier intact”.
There is nothing that can be done about the genetic factor, but it is possible to act on external aggressive factors with some changes in habits. “Avoiding exposure to solar radiation without protection, controlling stress, performing physical exercises, having a good diet and stopping with cigarette addictions and drink”, are some important measures mentioned by the doctor.
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