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Skin Aging Process

There are two primary causes of skin aging. One is intrinsic aging caused by factors within the body, such as genes and our body condition.

The other one is extrinsic aging caused by those factors which are outside our body, such as environment and lifestyle.

How does blood cells contribute to skin aging?

In an infant and a child, the blood cells will be strong and resilient and will also help in the formation of many new cells. Even in adulthood, blood cells are very active and help in the formation of new cells in the body.

But as you age, the ability of our body to produce new cells starts to diminish and death of the live cells occurs. This is when aging steps in.

When and why does intrinsic aging start?

The inception of skin aging depends on our genes and can begin to appear around the age of 20.

With its inception the skin's ability to retain its elasticity starts to decrease. This is because the skin cells dont regenerate as quickly as they used to resulting in skin aging. Although internal skin aging begins around age 20, typical signs such as wrinkles and sagging skin dont appear until about age 40.

What are the factor responsible for extrinsic aging?

The external factors responsible for aging are:

* lifestyle

* habits

* quality, quantity and the type of food we consume

* the environment we live in.

Prolonged sun exposure can damage the skin.The damaged environment around us and harmful sun rays cause damage to the skin and hamper its ability to heal itself.

What is photo aging and what are its effects on the skin?

The exposure to ultraviolet radiations for a period of time, can result in freckles, age spots and rough skin.

This effect is called photo aging. The sun's rays reduce the ability to produce collagen, which is responsible for maintaining the elasticity of skin.

How does exposure to smoke effect skin?

Cigarette smoking not only causes internal damage to the body, but also external.

Nicotine intake produces body changes which accelerate the breakdown of skin cells among other adverse effects.

What are the preconditions to follow before assessing your skin type?

Wash your face and wait until four or five hours after having washed it, as it gives skin time to recover from the cleaning and resume its normal activity.

Also dont use makeup or creams to make the assessment more accurate.

What is the process to follow for assessing the skin type?

Take a tissue four or five hours after having washed the skin and press it on different areas of your face, keep it against the light and if the spots can be seen, you have oily skin.

If the general area of your face is dry, tight and you can see small flakes on your skin, then it is dry. On the other hand, if you notice that some areas are dry and others are oily then you have mixed skin.

What is the purpose of assessing our skin type?

By identifying our skin type, we can pick out the appropriate products to fulfill skin care needs. One can also understand what needs to be done on a daily basis to ensure their skin as healthy as possible.

Awareness of our skin type enables us to take steps towards minimising the effects of skin aging to the extent possible.

Can our skin type change with time?

Skin type doesnt remain constant for a long time, even with proper choice and use of products. As times passes, due to body changes, your skin type will also change.

Environment and lifestyle could be the major causes of skin type change.

It is recommended to evaluate skin type every 4-6 months.

Why does our skin type change from time to time?

Skin type may change due to any of the following reasons:

* Medication

* Extreme stress

* Hormonal shifts due to pregnancy or menopause

* Change in Skin care products

How to take care of normal skin?

If your skin is oily in the "T zone" and your nose while dry and taut on the cheeks, it is considered normal. It's also considered normal if it changes with seasons (dryer in winter, oilier in summer). Normal skins can also be 'Normal-To's' as in normal to oily or normal to dry.

Normal skin regime would be washing face with cleansers that are designed for normal/normal-to skin type. Wipe with an alcohol free, hydrating toner all over the face. Apply moisturizer more frequently to dry skin.

How to take care of dry skin?

If your skin has a strong tendency toward dehydration, lacks oil, and has few breakouts if any at all, it is considered dry.

In more extreme cases, dry skin lacks elasticity and can be extremely sensitive to the sun, wind, and cold temperatures.

Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry. Use toner to help with that tight and flaky feeling of dehydration. Avoid toners and makeup that contain alcohol as alcohol-based products have a drying effect on skin. Use a cream-based lotion to hydrate your skin and keep it rejuvenated.

How to take care of oily skin?

If your skin is oily, it usually has a lot of shine to it very soon after cleansing and the pores are generally slightly enlarged.

It is more prone to pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads than other skin types and is coarser in texture.

Your skin tends to attract more dirt than dry skin, so wash your face twice a day with a gentle non-foaming cleanser and warm water. Use an alcohol-free, hydrating toner to help remove additional residue. Oil blotting sheets through out the day can help control shine, and it takes as little as 3 minutes after lunch. Although your skin's oily, you still must moisturize it with a light moisturizer daily, or your skin will become dry underneath and overcompensate by producing more oil.

Using oil as a pre-cleanser to a foam cleanse can also help, as oily skin can be your skin's way of protecting itself against being stripped of its natural oils by harsh cleansers.

How to take care of combination skin?

Combination skin is comprised of two extreme skin types on one face. These situations occur when there is acne and a lot of oil in one area when the rest of the skin is generally dry (no oil).

Two common examples are dry skin with papular and pustular acne on the cheeks or a normal skin with inflamed papular and pustular acne in the chin and mouth area.

It is good for combination skin people to have a cleanser with a bit of clay so the clay will soak up the oils.

Gel cleansers are more for oily skin types and cream cleansers are more for dry skin. For combination skin, It is recommended using foam or cream cleansers. In the morning use a foaming cleanser, at night use a cream cleanser or the same cleanser. Also, use an alcohol-free toner on the oily parts of your face. Make sure your cleanser is oil-free too.

In the morning, use a moisturizer or sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. At night, use a night cream or moisturizer without a SPF. Make sure your moisturizer is oil-free and light weight.

How to take care of sensitive skin?

With whatever skin type if your skin has allergic reactions to beauty products and is usually sensitive to the sun, wind, and cold weather, it is sensitive.

Sensitivity can show up in rash, redness, inflammation, acne, and dilated capillaries. One with sensitive skin should look for cleansers, toners, makeup, and moisturizers that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.

Cleanse, tone and moisturize with gentle products everyday. The idea for your skin is to always choose products with a soothing benefit. Some common ingredients to look for are: chamomile, azulene, bisabolol, allantoin, lavender, camphor, calamine, rosemary, thyme, aloe vera, coconut oil etc.

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