Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and your skin's anatomy reveals a lot about you to the rest of the world.
As a person ages, noticeable changes take place in the face. In fact, that's often the first sign of aging that people notice. Some of these changes include:
- The skin begins to sag as muscle tone gradually decreases.
- The skin appears thinner and more translucent as the outer skin layers lose fat.
- Aging skin becomes dry.
- Aging produces changes in the skin's connective tissues. These changes reduce the strength and elasticity of the skin, and this leads to wrinkles and skin lines.
- Sun damaged skin is more susceptible to these changes, and often appears to age faster than skin that has been protected from the sun.
The skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and the subcutaneous fat layer.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin (the part we see). The epidermis itself is made up of layers:
- The stratum corneum is the top layer of the epidermis. The cells located in this layer are dead, contain a lot of keratin, and are arranged in overlapping layers that impart a tough and waterproof character to the skin's surface. The dead skin cells in this layer are continually being shed. This is balanced by new skin cells produced in the basal cell layer.
- When the new skin cells are ready, they start moving toward the top of your epidermis from the basal cell layer. As newer cells continue to move up, older cells near the top die and rise to the surface of your skin. These old cells are tough and strong, just right for covering your body and protecting it. But they only stick around for a little while. Soon they'll flake off and be replaced by new cells.
Also in the basal cell layer are cells called melanocytes that produce melanin. Melanin is a pigment that is absorbed into the dividing skin cells to help protect them against damage from sunlight (ultraviolet light).
- The next layer down is the dermis. It lies below the epidermis. The dermis contains nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands, and sweat glands. It also contains a variable amount of fat, collagen, and elastin fibers which provide strength and flexibility to the skin.
- The innermost layer of the skin structure is the subcutaneous fat layer, and its thickness varies in different regions of the body. The fat stored in this layer represents an energy source for the body and helps to insulate the body against changes in the outside temperature. Also, hair starts in this layer. Each hair grows out of a tiny tube in the skin called a follicle. Every follicle has its roots in the subcutaneous layer and continues up through the dermis and epidermis.
There are two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging. The other type of aging is known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to the sun's rays.
Intrinsic aging, also known as the natural aging process, is a continuous process that normally begins in our mid-20s. Within the skin, collagen and elastin production slows, thus reducing the skin's strength and elasticity. Dead skin cells do not shed as quickly, and turnover of new skin cells may decrease slightly. While these changes usually begin in our 20s, the signs of intrinsic aging are typically not visible for decades. The signs of intrinsic aging of the skin are:
- Fine wrinkles and skin lines.
- Furrows in the brow or forehead.
- Tiny lines around the eyes.
- Deep creases along the sides of the nose to the mouth.
- Loose skin along the jaw line.
- Thin and transparent skin.
- Loss of underlying fat, leading to hollowed cheeks and eye sockets.
- Bones shrink away from the skin due to bone loss, which causes sagging skin.
- Dry skin that may itch.
Not everyone ages in the same way or at the same rate. Genes control how quickly the normal aging process unfolds in each of us; thus, some of us will age more ""gracefully"" than others.
A number of extrinsic, or external factors act together with the normal aging process to change the appearance of our skin. Some of the most important external aging factors are caused by:
- The Sun. Without protection from the sun's rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin), and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure.
- Gravity. Gravity constantly pulls at the skin, causing it to sag. Changes related to gravity become more pronounced as we age. In our 50s, when the skin's elasticity declines dramatically, the effects of gravity become evident. Gravity causes the tip of the nose to droop, the ears to elongate, the eyelids to fall, jowls to form, and the upper lip to disappear while the lower lip becomes more pronounced. Wrinkles around the eyes are a characteristic signs of skin damage.
- Smoking. Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging. People who smoke 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of ten years, are more likely to develop deeply wrinkled leathery skin than a nonsmoker. It also has been shown that people who smoke for a number of years tend to develop an unhealthy yellowish hue to their complexion.
- Exposure to cold weather. Cold winds and low temperatures contribute to aging skin by making skin dry, so if you venture out in the cold make sure to use a good moisturizer.
- Facial Expressions. Repetitive facial movements actually lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time we use a facial muscle a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin, which is why we see lines form with each facial expression. As skin ages and loses its elasticity, the skin stops springing back to its line-free state, and these grooves become permanently etched on the face as fine lines and wrinkles.
Aging is an irreversible process. We all have to grow old and endure the changes that go hand-in-hand with aging. The most obvious signs of aging occur on our faces…wrinkles, skin lines, and dry skin. While these skin changes cannot be delayed forever, they can be minimized and reduced with the help of effective Anti-Wrinkle Creams, Gels, and Serums.
According to a study by the University of Michigan Health System, preparations containing Retinol improve the appearance of skin that has become wrinkled through the normal aging process, not just skin that has been damaged by exposure to the sun. Wrinkles, roughness, and overall aging severity were all reduced with the use of Retinol preparations.
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A which is a fundamental building block of skin, hair, and nails. Retinol is one of the most effective topical skin care treatments available due to its ability to penetrate the epidermis of the skin and to aid in repairing age- damaged skin.
When anti-oxidant vitamins are added to Retinol facial preparations, skin texture and firmness improve, and wrinkles and skin lines begin to fade. The most effective of these anti-oxidant vitamins are:
- Vitamin C is referred to as ascorbic acid. It is essential, and our bodies do not manufacture it. It is required for the synthesis of collagen, the intercellular cement which holds tissues together.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells from free radicals which can cause skin damage and wrinkles. When Vitamin E is added to skin care products, it helps skin look younger and more vibrant. Vitamin E is also vital in protecting skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution, drugs, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals.
The following skin care products help to minimize and reduce wrinkles and fine skin lines, making our face look and feel younger:
Retinol Day Cream with SPF 20 Sun Protection is a rich and luxurious moisturizing cream. It contains 400,000 I.U.'s of Vitamin A that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also fortified with Vitamin E and Chitosan (a humectant that holds moisture in the skin). The Day Cream protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun while it softens wrinkled areas and provides a more youthful appearance. Formulated for all skin types.
- Retinol Night Cream contains 400,000 I.U.'s of Vitamin A to smooth the skin's surface and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, this cream is fortified with Vitamin E and Chitosan (a humectant that holds moisture in the skin). These ingredients will moisturize and help improve elasticity, making your skin look younger, smoother, and more supple. Use Daily. Formulated for all skin types.
- Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Facial Serum is formulated to restore your youthful appearance by minimizing the visible signs of aging. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will be noticeably diminished within 2 weeks with daily use. 500,000 I.U.'s of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, E, Beta-Carotene and Bioflavonoids, along with the deep penetrating qualities of Retinol Polypeptides makes your skin appear smoother. Use in conjunction with Day Cream and Night Cream.
Retinol Eye Gel helps to reduce the visible signs of aging around the eyes. This luxurious moisturizer is fortified with Vitamin A and suspended in a quick penetrating, cool moisturizing gel. Retinol Eye Gel smoothes the eye area and reduces the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. Revitalizes, tones, and smoothes the delicate sensitive skin around the eye area. Vitamins C and E added as anti-oxidants. Convenient spatula included for easy application.
Click here to view all of our fine Anti-Aging Skin Preparations.
Good skin care plays an important role in keeping the skin looking young. Here are some good common sense tips that can help you minimize the signs of aging:
- Protect your skin from the sun. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the natural aging process of your skin, causing wrinkles and rough, blotchy skin. Protect your skin — and prevent future wrinkles — by limiting the time you spend in the sun and by wearing protective clothing and hats. Also, use sunscreen when outdoors, even in winter.
- Choose products with built-in sunscreen. When selecting skin-care products, choose those with a built-in sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, such as Retinol Day Cream.
- Use moisturizers. Dry skin turns plump skin cells into shriveled ones, thus creating fine lines and wrinkles long before your time. Though moisturizers can't prevent wrinkles, they can temporarily mask tiny lines and creases. All of our Anti-Aging products contain effective moisturizers.
- Don't smoke. Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. It also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.