While life is full of many uncertainties, one thing is for sure: we’re all going to get older.
Yes, ageing is inevitable, and whether you decide to let go and embrace it, try and prolong it for as long as humanly possible or avoid it completely (cosmetic surgeons can do wonderful things…), it’s good to prepare yourself by knowing exactly what happens to your skin as you get older.
1. Skin gets drier as we age
This is very common, and while it’s a problem for most, people with oily skin may celebrate. Drier skin is caused by exposure to the elements and the shutdown of various oil or sweat glands. Make sure you switch your moisturiser for something that’s rich enough for your skin.
2. It can bruise easily
You may notice way more bruises than ever before, but do not stress! This is because your skin becomes thinner as you get older, leaving less ‘material’ to absorb the impact of a bump and offering less support around your blood vessels.
3. It loses elasticity
We produce less elastin and collagen – the proteins that promote elasticity – as we get older, and because of this your skin starts becoming less smooth and less tight.
4. Skin starts to sag
You may have noticed this already – especially around your face, neck, décolleté and even your breasts. This is caused by the loss of elastin and collagen together with the fact that you lose the fatty deposits that perk up the skin, allowing gravity to take its course and cause drooping.
5. You get wrinkles
Because your skin gets drier and loses elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles start to form, first where your smile and frown lines are, and then more around the rest of your face and skin. What can we say, ageing isn’t for the faint of heart?
6. Your skin starts taking longer to heal
Bruises, scratches, blemishes and marks may not heal and disappear as quickly as they once did. The healing process is actually quite a lengthy one, and this all slows down as you get older since the skin is thinner and your blood vessels aren’t as rich in nutrients as they once were.
7. It can begin to lose sensation
This one can often cause some stress and concern, but when you get older, the number of nerve endings in your skin decreases. This shouldn’t cause total numbness, but you may be less sensitive to certain sensations.
8. You get bags under your eyes
If you’re lucky, they won’t be too pronounced or darker, but because the skin under your eyes is already the thinnest, it is the most affected by all the delightful things that come along with ageing.
9. You start to see dark spots
Often referred to as age spots, this is caused by sun exposure and is a form of pigmentation. Using a good SPF, limiting time in the sun and the use of good creams can assist with this one.
10. You become more comfortable in it!
While all of the above may sound scary and totally unglamorous, the good news is you probably won’t care! By this stage, you’re comfortable with who you are and how you look, and ageing only adds more character and beauty. Here’s to being older and wiser together!
Tamlyn Cumings – All4Women
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