Millions of people, especially women, spend lots of money each year to counteract the effects of aging, most especially on the face. But what causes premature aging? According to researchers, about 40% aging-related changes are due to non-genetic factors and can be attributed to environmental factors. Researchers have identified several factors that cause the skin on the face to age faster and these include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Being heavier
- History of skin cancer
- Not using sunscreen
- Air pollution
In this post, we discuss two of these factors.
According to study by researchers at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, long-term exposure to the sun without sunscreen causes physical and structural changes to the skin, the so-called skin photodamage. This kind of damage to the skin differs from natural skin aging. While natural aging of the skin produces fine wrinkles and skin growth, photodamage of the skin is characterized by coarsely wrinkled skin, spots of extra or lost pigmentation and dilated blood vessels. The findings are based on a study conducted on 65 pairs of twins who participated at the 2002 annual Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.
According to the authors:
“The Twins Days Festival provides a rare opportunity to study a large number of twin pairs to control for genetic susceptibility. Among the most important results is that a history of skin cancer and photodamage are highly associated in a population that shares genetic commonalities. The relationships found between smoking, weight, sunscreen use, skin cancer and photodamage in these twin pairs may help to motivate the reduction of risky behaviors.”
In a video clip, CBS 2 reports on the effects of air pollution on the skin particularly the face. People living in big cities like New York are especially exposed to high levels of air pollution. Air pollution causes premature aging as dirt and dust build up on the uncovered part of the body, most especially the face. This build up creates some sort of barrier on the face skin, reducing the effects of moisturizers and face creams. The dirt build up also causes structural damage to the skin cells which then interferes with skin’s ability to regulate moisture. In addition, it depletes vitamin E in the skin, the vitamin that helps prevent lines and wrinkles.