The Harley Medical Group

How your skin ages

Ageing is a natural process which we all go through over time. Often, the first signs of ageing can be noticed in the condition of your skin. You may start to see a few fine lines and wrinkles developing around your eyes, or the corners of your mouth; you may also notice a change in the elasticity of your skin, and the feel of it. All of these are indications that your skin is ageing.

In addition to the natural changes you see in your skin as you get older, there are many other factors which can cause skin to age faster. Let’s take a look at these before examining the ways in which you can help to reduce the impact of ageing.

Factors which contribute to premature skin ageing

  • Stress

You may well be aware that excessive amounts of stress can have a lasting impact on your looks, but scientists are currently researching whether or not ongoing stress can actually speed up the ageing process.

So far, they’ve discovered that work-related stress can cause cellular damage, which may explain why those who suffer extreme stress at work often appear to age faster. It isn’t just your skin which is affected by ongoing stress – studies have shown that even the anticipation of stress can lead to an increased risk of developing age-related disorders, such as dementia.

  • UV exposure

Regular and prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays is widely known to accelerate your skin’s ageing process, in addition to many other skin changes, including sun spots and sun damage.

The two types of ultraviolet radiation damage skin in different ways. UVB radiation is what usually causes sunburn and varies in intensity throughout the day, being the strongest between 10am and 2pm. It is responsible for damaging your epidermis (outer layer of skin). UVA on the other hand, contributes to major skin damage as it can penetrate the skin on a deeper level than UVB and damages the skin cells faster.

Both types of radiation can cause wrinkles, ageing skin disorders, and in the worst cases, cancer. This is because UVA and UVB cause the skin’s collagen to break down faster than the normal ageing process, which leads to the formation of abnormal elastin. When this is produced on a large scale (due to continual excessive sun exposure) it causes wrinkles to develop.

UV exposure can also lead to texture changes in your skin: it is common for your skin to become thinner when exposed to sunlight, which can lead to the development of fine wrinkles and skin tearing.

  • Smoking

Although many people associate smoking with cancer and lung disease, studies have shown that it can also contribute to premature skin ageing.

Nicotine and the other chemicals found in cigarettes have a damaging effect on your skin’s elastin and collagen, which leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles.

It also causes your blood vessels to narrow, reducing the supply of blood to your skin, making it appear dull and sallow. If you smoke habitually, you may also notice small vertical lines developing around your mouth.

  • Alcohol, sugar and caffeine

Everyone looks forward to a glass of wine every now and again; or how about that afternoon pick-me-up chocolate bar? Or your daily morning cup of coffee? It turns out that our favourite things can have a negative impact on our skin.

Alcohol and caffeine are known diuretics, which cause loss of water, leading to dry-looking skin. The preservatives found in high calorie food have the same effect and that is one reason why it is so important to stay hydrated.

It is recommended to drink up to eight glasses of water each day but if your intake of alcohol, caffeine and sugar is high, you should be drinking even more water to replace what will be lost. It may also be wise to cut down your daily intake to help protect your skin on a long-term basis.

How to mitigate skin ageing

Establish an anti-ageing skincare routine

It is vital to adhere to a daily skincare routine, not just to help prevent early ageing, but also to ensure that your skin remains healthy. Here at The Harley Medical Group, we offer a number of skincare products which can help slow down the ageing process. To learn about our skincare products visit our shop

Investigate Non Surgical anti-ageing treatments

You may be thinking, “It’s all well and good trying to prevent premature skin ageing, but what about those of us who already suffer from it?” If this is you, there’s no need to worry, as we also offer a number of Non Surgical solutions to help treat those early signs of ageing.

Upon booking your free consultation, we’ll use our computerised skin analysis tool to identify where the problem areas are and come to a mutually agreed decision about which treatment will be best suited to your skin.

  • Line & Wrinkle treatment

If the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is starting to bother you then you may be interested in a course of Botox. This can help to reduce the appearance of any lines and wrinkles which have already formed, while relaxing your muscles at the same time, to help prevent the formation of future lines and deep wrinkles.

This minimally invasive treatment requires no recovery time, meaning you can resume your normal activities straightaway following treatment. The most common treatment areas are: forehead, frown lines between the eyebrows, and crows’ feet.

  • Dermal Fillers

Over time, your skin becomes thinner and less elasticated, due to a reduction in the amount of collagen and elastin produced. Dermal Fillers can help to restore lost volume by filling lines and wrinkles, and are particularly effective for achieving fuller lips and enhanced cheeks.

The amount of filler used will vary from patient to patient to allow you to tailor the treatment to your needs. Again there is no recovery time necessary after treatment so you are free to resume your normal activities.

  • Medical Microdermabrasion

Suitable for all skin types, this treatment helps to remove the damaged outer layer of skin and encourages cellular renewal to leave you with improved elasticity and overall texture.

It differs from standard Microdermabrasion treatments in that it uses medical grade crystals for better control of the treatment and to allow it to be tailored according to your skin type.

Medical Microdermabrasion is a useful treatment for fine lines, scars and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and superficial age spots. Results are instantly visible – you’ll also notice that your skin is able to absorb anti-ageing and acne creams more easily.

  • Agera Skin Peels

An excessive build-up of dead skin cells can make your skin look dull, but our Agera Skin Peels offer a pain free solution, helping your skin to appear brighter, plumper and smoother.

They are suitable for many skin types as they come in four different strengths and work deep within the skin to help stimulate the formation of elastin and collagen, which encourages cell renewal.

Skin Peels can be used to effectively treat sun damage and fine lines, along with a whole host of other skin problems. For optimum results, many patients choose to combine an Agera Skin Peel with a course of Medical Microdermabrasion.

  • Obagi Blue Skin Peel

This rejuvenation treatment works by removing the damaged outer layer of skin, which is then replaced by healthy new cells, improving your skin’s overall appearance. Obagi Blue Skin Peel is FDA approved (US Food and Drug Administration) and can be used on the face, neck, chest, hands, back, arms and legs to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and loss of firmness.

Anti-ageing Cosmetic Surgery procedures

You may also choose to reverse the common signs of ageing with the help of Cosmetic Surgery. This offers longer lasting, more permanent results than Non Surgical treatments, with many patients noticing increased levels of self-confidence and self-esteem, in addition to a more youthful look.

Here are some of the Cosmetic Surgical procedures which can help turn back the clock.

  • Facelift

Medically known as Rhytidectomy, Facelift surgery is one of the most commonly requested anti-ageing procedures to help remove or reduce the loose skin around the eyes, mouth and jaw line.

It reduces lines and wrinkles and leaves the patient with smoother and more youthful looking skin. Many people decide to combine Facelift surgery with a Neck Lift to give an overall more rejuvenated appearance.

  • Blepharoplasty

Having excess loose skin around your eyes can make you look older than you are. Blepharoplasty, or Eye Bag Removal surgery, can help by restoring youthfulness to your face and reducing the tired-eyes look. It involves removing the excess skin and fatty tissue that sits above and below the eye, and can help to smooth any wrinkles around the corners of your eye.

  • Brow lift

As we get older, it is common for the skin above our eyes to begin to droop, which has an ageing effect on the face. One way to combat this is to undergo a Brow Lift procedure; this helps to lift the drooping skin and opens up the area around the eye, leaving a more youthful appearance.

The Harley Medical Group has years of experience in helping to reverse the common signs of skin ageing. We understand that the effects of ageing can have a negative impact on your self-confidence and we’re here to lend a helping hand.

Book your free consultation with us now – we’ll listen to your concerns and give you advice on the best treatments or procedures for you.

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