What makes baby’s skin so smooth and supple? Why doesn’t youthful skin last?
If you want to know why our skin ages, part of the answer lies in the natural degeneration of skin cells. Here’s a quick look at what happens:
Every cell ages and eventually reaches the end of its lifecycle when it can no longer be repaired. In the skin, dead cells are pushed to the top layer where they can provide protection for newer, more delicate skin and then sloughed away. When skin cell turnover—the production of new skin cells to take the dead cells’ places—happens at a healthy rate, your skin looks healthy and radiant. But cell turnover slows down as you age, too, leaving the visible signs of aging skin: fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, etc.
The reason and mechanics involved in skin cell aging is not completely understood, but research is showing that cell aging may be linked to the shortening of telomeres—caps at the end of chromosomes. When telomeres degenerate, it makes gene mutations during cell replication more likely, thereby rendering the cell disabled or no longer viable (dead).
Until the exact mechanism by which skin cells age is discovered, the simple passage of time will result in skin cells dying and cell turnover rates falling. However, there are factors that can exacerbate skin cell aging and make the visible effects of aging more noticeable, such as:
Fortunately, there are also lifestyle changes you can make to slow down the aging process and the development of lines, wrinkles, etc. For more youthful looking skin: