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Understanding the Aging Process from a Facial Plastic Surgeon

Emotional wrinkles

No matter how hard we try, no one has been able to completely stop the aging process. However, knowing the fundamentals of the aging process as well as what you can do to slow it down will help give you an edge when it comes to looking younger.

Natural Processes

There are several factors out of our control—called intrinsic factors—that negatively affect our rate of skin aging. Most of these intrinsic factors emerge from the body’s inability to operate as efficiently as it did when it was younger; the body begins deteriorating as early as age twenty-five, and there’s nothing we can do to change that. The most prominent changes deal with the skin losing elasticity, collagen, and hydration. Over time, these changes lead to symptoms such as wrinkles, reduction of muscle mass and skin thickness, and increased fragility of blood vessels. As we age, the body is unable to keep up its level of cellular regeneration, which in turn makes all of these issues worse.

In Our Control

Fortunately, there are many factors—called extrinsic factors—we can control when it comes to the aging process. The biggest factor is the amount of sun exposure we experience, as it is the number one cause for enhanced skin aging. Other factors in our control include sleep position—lying on your stomach can push your facial muscles and cause wrinkles—and overall amount of sleep. The use of constant facial expressions can also cause wrinkles on the face over time. Other habits that can affect our aging process include diet and smoking, both of which have a major impact behind sun exposure.

Slowing Down the Process

This all may sound dire, but you can change your lifestyle or habits to improve the extrinsic side of the aging process. Some of these actions include:

•    Maintaining a healthy diet
•    Getting enough sleep
•    Sleeping on your back
•    Drinking water and staying hydrated
•    Using moisturizer on your skin
•    Refraining from smoking
•    Limiting sun exposure
•    Not holding constant facial expressions
•    Exercising regularly
•    Limiting alcohol intake

By following this guide and understanding which factors negatively affect your skin’s aging process, you can make the process slower and maintain a youthful appearance.