As the body ages, the appearance and characteristics of the skin change. Visible aging of the skin starts around the age of 25, as the natural regenerative processes begin to slow down.
The skin replaces old cells more slowly and there is a lower turnover of the surface skin and slower wound healing.
After the age of 45, a thinning of the skin begins, partially due to hormonal changes. The thinning makes the skin more fragile and vulnerable to damage by abrasion and more sensitive to irritating environmental factors and allergens.
The coils of collagen and elastin suffer cuts and cross linking damage and as a result the skin loses much of its strength and elasticity.
The moisture holding proteoglycans and GAG's decrease in abundance, making the skin become dryer and looser.
The skin loses fat, so it looks less plump and smooth. The number of blood vessels decreases and the skin loses its youthful colour and glow.
While all these changes are taking place, gravity is also at work, pulling the skin, causing it so sag. Wrinkles around the eyes are a characteristic sign of skin damage. The skin tends to heal more slowly and minor blemishes develop.
In addition this aging process can be accelerated by factors such as extremes of cold or heat, excessive sun, psychological stress, smoking and improper nutrition. The effects of photo damage caused by UV radiation can be seen by comparing skin in areas exposed to the sun to areas usually covered.
During aging the oil producing glands become less active and the skin becomes dryer. It becomes more sensitive to the use of harsh soaps and disinfectants which more easily damage the skin. We have natural oil covering our skin, named sebum, which is produced by glands in the skin. When the oil is removed by frequent use of drying agents, such as soap, the skin becomes dry which can lead to cracking and flaking.