Do You Have Mature Skin?
Do you have Mature Skin?
Well, that depends on a few things.
Having your skin classified, for lack of a better word, as mature has more to do with the condition of your skin than your age.
What is Considered Mature Skin?
Many think a person's age determines whether or not they have mature skin.
There are 35 year olds with mature skin as there are 70 year olds with mature skin.
Having mature skin has less to do with your biological age and more to do with the actual condition of your skin.
Things that can play into the age of your skin are things like your genetics, your lifestyle, environmental exposure, your skin type, and any skin conditions you have.
Just as you can have a 35 year old with old looking skin, conversely you can have a 60 year old, with beautiful, youthful looking skin.
Some of these things you're in control of, while others you are not.
Main Characteristics of Mature Skin
The main characteristics of mature skin, at any biological age, are:
loss of collagen
loss of elastin
pronounced expression lines
uneven skin tone
What are Collagen and Elastin?
Collagen is a protein that is part of your connective tissues. Your body produces this protein naturally.
"Collagen is composed of three chains of proteins twisted around one another in a helical shape. In contrast to collagen, elastin is a much more 'stretchy' protein found in connective tissue. It has a lot more give but not as much strength as collagen." (Source: Study.com)
Collagen is the the most abundant protein in your body. It literally provides your skin with structure.
Collagen makes your skin look smooth and healthy!
Elastin is another important protein in your connective tissues. Your body also produces this protein naturally.
"Elastin is highly elastic and present in connective tissue allowing many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin helps skin to return to its original position when it is poked or pinched." (Source: Wikipedia)
What Type of Damage Causes a Loss of Collagen & Elastin?
Your skin can lose collagen and elastin due to UV exposure (sun damage), pollution, smoking, too much sugar, caffeine, and good old fashioned aging.
All of these factors can produce free radicals in your skin cells. Free radicals break down both collagen and elastin fibers.
When you're young, say under 35, your body naturally fights off these free radicals and continues to produce optimal levels of collagen and elastin to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
But, as you continue to be exposed to things that damage your skin. And, as you age, your collagen and elastin production slows down.
Signs You Have Mature Skin
When your skin looses collagen and elastin it looses its firmness, elasticity, and protection from stressors.
The epidermal literally thins and your skin becomes more fragile and prone to damage.
That's when repetitive motions, such as frowning and squinting, start to cause fine lines and wrinkles.
Because the skin doesn't have enough collagen to fill these spaces, the creases become permanent wrinkles.
You'll notice you skin also starts to sag in places like your eyelids, under your eyes, and your cheeks and jowls.
Your skin may look uneven and splotchy.
Things like sun spots or age spots will appear, as well as hyperpigmentation.
With the loss of elastin comes your skin's inability to bounce back like it once did.
These are all signs of mature skin, regardless of your age.
Is There Anything You Can Do?
There are things you can do to help stimulate your body's collagen and elastin production and to protect what you still have.
Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid are the essential building blocks of your skin.
Foods to Include
These foods help to increase collagen production: tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, liver & cod liver oil.
These fruits and vegetables can help boost your body's collagen production: bell peppers, all sorts of berries: (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), mango, kiwi, pineapple, guava, beans, leafy greens like swiss chard, kale, & spinach and these citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes.
Some other collagen boosting foods include: bone broth, garlic, beans, and egg whites.
Foods to Avoid
We already know the 3 to avoid: caffeine, sugar and carbohydrates. They can cause inflammation and damage your skin's collagen and elastin.
Personally, acing those completely is not going to happen for me.
I try to indulge in moderation. And nothing, nothing, is getting me to give up my morning (or Friday Night Movie Night) coffee!
Sun Protection - Now more than ever it's imperative that you protect your skin with sun screen.
And don't forget your lips! I use the Blistex FIve Star Lip Protector.
Sun damage is the biggest contributor to mature skin!
Some of the products I've incorporated into both my morning skincare routine and my evening skincare routines are: Tretinoin (Retin-A), CoenzymeQ10, Vitamin C Serum, Matrixyl 3000 Serum, Matrixyl Synthe'6 Serum, Hyaluronic Acid, and Moisturizers with Ceramides and Peptides.
These products help to stimulate collagen and elastin production, repair free radial damage, soften fine lines and wrinkles, lighten age spots, sun spots, and hyperpigementation, and prevent further damage. But that is only if I continue to protect my skin from the sun!
There are also Anti-Aging Devices you can use to help firm-up your skin.
And lastly, you can always have an in-office laser treatment or chemical peel performed on heavily damaged areas of your skin.
If you're like me, and worshiped the sun as a kid or young adult, you more than likely had mature skin at a young age.
As you age, your skin is going to naturally continue to lose both collagen and elastin.
While you can't go back and completely reverse choices you made when you were younger, or completely restore your skin to it's once youthful appearance, there are things you can do now to protect your skin from further damage and to help stimulate collagen and elastin production while repairing some of the damage that has occurred.
No matter what your biological age, mature skin can happen at any age.
Thankfully, once we known better, we can do better.
While I'm trying to hold back the hands of time, because of my mistakes and my experience, I'm able to guide my young daughter into making better skincare choices now for her future skin! Mistakes she won't have to make because I already have.
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