Factors causing skin aging can be divided into two groups: internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous).

Genes play a crucial role in the internal causes of skin aging. Not only skin type can be congenital, but also quality and resistance of the connective tissues. This is genetically transmitted and cannot be changed. Symptoms of congenital weakness of the connective tissues: cellulite, rosacea, varicose veins, etc. If a propensity to such changes is hereditary, it is necessary from a young age to start avoiding anything that can weaken the connective tissues. Unfortunately, we cannot change heredity. But there are many other factors of aging which we can resist.

As for lifestyle – it is, of course, impossible to subordinate it to beauty interests completely. However, it is important to know what causes damages to the skin and, if possible, limit those harmful effects.

The most significant factor of aging  – prolonged stress. This happens for two reasons: constant tension causes cramps of the facial muscles. Elastic fibers stretch more than necessary. In addition, adrenaline – the stress hormone – constricts the blood vessels and it particularly affects the thin capillaries of the  surface layer of the skin. In case of prolonged stress skin doesn’t get enough nutrition and oxygen. Second stress hormone – cortisone – is an antagonist to adrenaline. It halts the process of cell division and the formation of collagen fibers. If your professional or family life does not give you the opportunity to avoid stress, you should at least learn some relaxation exercises.

Smoking is particularly conductive to the appearance of early wrinkles. Free radicals are to blame. A huge amount of these aggressive particles is released with each puff that goes to the lungs. They attack the fatty cell walls and alter the genetic information in the cell nuclei, which entails a deterioration of the newly formed cells. Furthermore, nicotine constricts blood vessels. This impairs blood flow to the skin and it not only looks faded and weak – it really is! If the skin gets poor nutrition, it stops getting materials necessary for cell regeneration. First of all lack of vitamins is obvious, because the body uses most of them to neutralize free radicals. Smokers seriously lack vitamin C, which is essential for the formation of dermal collagen. If you are unable to break the habit of smoking, at least supply your body with an abundant amount of vitamins. Especially important are vitamins A, E and C, as well as beta-carotene pro vitamin.  

Alcohol harms the skin because it dehydrates the tissues and takes valuable minerals. Alcohol also dilates blood vessels, which contributes to the development of rosacea (red vein lines) . And, finally, regular alcohol consumption overloads the liver and it has an immediate effect on the skin.

Coffee and tea don’t have such a tangible and harmful effect but, nonetheless, if they are consumed in large quantities – the liver gets overloaded, which impairs metabolism and energy provision for the body, and prevents the release of toxins through the skin.

Ultraviolet light plays a major role among all external factors. Even normal daylight (and even the light of halogen lamps!) contains ultraviolet – although it is ultraviolet A from the long wavelength part of the spectrum. Both types of ultraviolet radiation provoke biochemical processes in the connective tissues, in which free radicals and certain enzymes are liberated, attacking collagen and elastic fibers and destroying them. Due to this destruction, skin’s elasticity and its ability to retain moisture weaken. Therefore, dermatologists talk about “light aging”, as opposed to “biological aging”. A good day cream with light filters will help to prevent light aging of the skin.

The formation of free radicals and hidden skin irritations are also caused by environment pollution – toxic fumes and other harmful substances. If you have to be in such conditions constantly – it can seriously speed up the skin aging process. You can use the following as an “antidote”: a good day cream and, if possible, exercise outdoors as much as possible.

And, of course, a healthy diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise slow the aging process significantly. However, it is impossible to eliminate wrinkles that you already have by eating properly, sleeping well and exercising. But a healthy way of life will delay the onset of new signs of aging and will give you a more youthful appearance in general.

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