Skin ageing: Signs, causes and best solutions

Posted by Invity on 27th Mar 2024

Skin ageing: Signs, causes and best solutions

Most of us are concerned about our skin ageing. That’s not really surprising as our face is the first thing people notice about us. And a huge amount of money, research and time is spent on trying to prevent or address these signs, which include skin that looks wrinkly, leathery, saggy, marked and aged well before its time.

The first, most critical thing to understand is that while ageing is inevitable (at least for now), how our skin ages – and how fast – depends on many factors. In fact, scientific research and dermatological studies show that only 10-20% of skin ageing is down to internal factors like our genes and hormones.

Think about this: that means 80-90% of skin ageing is caused by external influences like environmental and lifestyle factors. This means much of it is preventable through lifestyle tweaks and the best moisturizing cream for aging skin.

So, what are our biggest skin ageing concerns? And what can we do about them?

Top Skin Ageing Concerns

20s Young skins are usually smooth, even in tone and texture and feel firm and springy, because we have plenty of collagen. This is as good as it gets for skin. From there, how we age is due to how we care for ourselves, to a large extent, and prevention is always the best option.

30s For most of us, our thirties is when we start seeing the first signs of ageing, usually fine lines around the eyes, as we start producing less collagen and elastin, plus the quality of what we produce starts deteriorating. These proteins are essential for maintaining its structure, firmness and elasticity. Other first signs include uneven pigmentation and loss of radiance.

40+ As we creep into our forties and beyond, those fine lines may deepen into wrinkles, hyperpigmentation becomes more noticeable, and the texture starts to change with a loss of volume and sagging.

Luckily for us, this trajectory can be avoided or, at least, delayed. If we work to preserve the quality of our collagen and elastin and stimulate new production, we can mitigate the following signs:

1. Wrinkles and Fine Lines

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that wrinkles were the primary ageing concern reported by women, with over 60% expressing dissatisfaction with their wrinkles.

Besides natural ageing and loss of collagen and elastin, these lines and creases are caused by repeated facial expressions (like smiling and frowning), sleep lines, sun exposure, and glycation. Imagine a piece of paper that's been folded and unfolded multiple times – it will start to show creases and lines.

2. Loss of Firmness, Elasticity and Volume

Again, the degradation of collagen and elastin in our skin causes sagging and volume loss. It’s best to focus on preserving and boosting our collagen capital rather than correcting loss of collagen.

3. Glycation: The Silent Culprit

Glycation is a natural process where sugar molecules in our blood attach themselves to proteins. Unfortunately, this includes those that give your skin its firmness and elasticity.

It forms new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These stiffen collagen and elastin, damaging them by making them less flexible, causing loss of firmness as well as wrinkle formation. Imagine sugar coating a piece of toast – it changes the texture and makes it less springy.

4. Dehydration

Dehydration affects most of us because of ageing, how we treat our skin, and harsh environmental factors.

Water evaporates naturally from the skin's surface into the environment in a process called transepidermal water loss (TEWL). But when our skin’s natural barrier, which helps to retain moisture and protect against external threats, becomes compromised, TEWL increases, and our skin becomes dehydrated, less able to do its job properly, and more prone to damage.

5. Dry Skin and Loss of Nourishment

Dry skin is caused by a lack of lipids (oils and fats) in our skin. It’s something we’re born with, or our skin loses its ability to nourish itself – when women go through menopause, for instance.

To stay healthy and strong, our skin needs a variety of nutrients to function optimally. These include essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, among others.

When it loses its ability to retain moisture and absorb nutrients, dryness, dullness, and a lack of vitality ensue. External factors such as exposure to pollution, UV radiation, and harsh skincare products can further deplete its nourishment reserves.

6. Age Spots

Many studies have shown that age spots, aka liver spots or sunspots, are a major concern for women of all ages, ethnicities and nationalities. Despite their name, age spots are a form of hyperpigmentation that can develop at any age, but they become more common as we get older. These flat, brown, or darkly pigmented patches typically appear on areas of the skin exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, arms, and shoulders.

These spots are caused by an overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for giving our skin its colour. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun triggers the production of melanin in certain areas, leading to their formation. Our hormones can also trigger them, which is why they appear in young women.

7. Dullness and Lack of Radiance

All of the factors mentioned above can lead to skin that looks dull and coarse, and which lacks that inner glow we call radiance. Radiance is one of the hallmarks of young and healthy skin, and it’s something we all want to achieve.


How Can We Prevent or Mitigate Skin Ageing?

Here’s where a multi-pronged approach works best. We need to make some tweaks to our lifestyle habits, and choose the right youth-activating skincare.

Lifestyle Tweaks

Some of our less-healthy habits can counteract the good things we do. Chief among them is sun worship. Too much sun can leave our skin looking aged well before its time.

Unfortunately, living hard – in the form of smoking, drinking, regular late nights and stress – are also not good for our skin (not to mention the rest of us!)

Someone who neglects their skin and spends a lot of time in the sun will find themselves with leathery and saggy skin, deep lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, they will need an intensive treatment plan with highly active treatments  to repair some of the damage. However, the results will be harder to achieve than for someone who has maintained their skin from an early age. So we repeat, better to avoid this than repair.

The good news, as with any investment, is that it's never too late to start sensible sun care habits: protect your skin from UV radiation by wearing sunscreen daily, seek shade during peak sun hours, and wear protective clothing, such as hats and long sleeves.

Smoking is one of the harder habits to quit, but your skin and health will repay you for the rest of your life.

Needless to say, you’ll see a huge difference to your health and your skin if you swap out a diet of processed foods that are high in bad fats and sugar for a nutritious, balanced diet, boosted by good nutritional supplements. And a regular exercise regime, reducing or managing stress and getting good quality sleep every night are the other X factors to consider.

Good skincare habits

If you’re serious about looking after your skin, you need to start as young as possible, and that means using good quality anti-ageing skin care routine. Preventative measures yield better results on how your skin ages in the long run, and they make things more cost-effective.

Your must-haves: 

1. A good cleanse, tone, moisturise and protect routine with an effective cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin barrier, good hydration, SPF 50+ sun protection 

2. Specialist skin treatments that activate the youth factors in your skin. 

How do you know it’s the right stuff?

Look for active cosmeceutical skin care. These ranges are manufactured with the ‘right’ skin care ingredients, such as antioxidants, which fight free-radical activity in the skin to maintain cellular health and activity. They also use these ingredients at the right levels, combined with a cocktail of other ingredients that boost their effects.

For instance, firming products (usually used at night) contain proven collagen-stimulating ingredients that not only preserve the quality of the collagen you have in your skin (its capital), they boost the production of new collagen.

The gold standard is still retinol, a form of vitamin A. It not only stimulates skin-plumping collagen, it also helps minimise pigmentation and it is a great antioxidant. Other great collagen champions include vitamin C, growth factors, glycolic acid, certain antioxidants and certain peptides.

Invity’s All-in-One Response: Best Moisturizing Cream for Aging Skin

Youth Activating Cream Concentrate is a holistic, luxurious skin treatment meticulously crafted to tackle the visible signs of ageing head-on. It's a multi-action powerhouse armed with a formidable array of scientifically proven ingredients that address the 7 skin-ageing concerns above.

Invity Youth Activating Skin Concentrate

What does it do?

Diminishing wrinkles: Formulated with NAD, retinol alternatives and other plant actives, it helps to reduce visible wrinkles and fine lines. NAD also helps to promote cell turnover, fading dark spots and revealing brighter, more youthful-looking skin.

Advanced anti-glycation effect: Fuelled by a potent combination of Fucoidan, Natinol, and other plant actives, it shields the skin from the ravages of glycation, restoring its youthful firmness and suppleness.

Quenching thirsty skin: Effective moisture retention is paramount in the battle against premature ageing. Enriched with plant actives that fortify the skin's natural barrier, it reduces TEWL while enhancing hydration. 

The result? Skin that feels plump, supple, and irresistibly smooth, with a newfound resilience.

Intense nourishment: This is non-negotiable if you’re battling with naturally dry skin or the hormonal shifts of menopause, not to mention the rigours of winter weather or a harsh or challenging climate.

Youth Activating Cream Concentrate is a lifeline for dry, depleted skin. It offers intense relief with a rich blend of emollients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and skin-replenishing ingredients. This helps restore comfort, strength and balance to even the most dry, irritated and parched complexion.

Fading dark or age spots: Cream Concentrate uses retinol-alternative bakuchiol to help target hyperpigmentation and promote skin renewal that helps fade existing age spots and prevent new ones from forming.

Radiance revival: Sallow, dull and lacklustre skin is supported by NAD and plant actives that promote skin regeneration and brightness from within, so skin looks luminous and refreshed.

Your Next Read

Ageless Skin: Unlock the Secrets

Skin Ageing Is Not a Life Sentence

With a few lifestyle tweaks and choosing skincare that targets glycation, lines and wrinkles, TEWL, dark spots, loss of firmness, nourishment and lack of radiance, you can defy the effects of time and maintain a youthful and radiant complexion for years to come.