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What Causes Skin to Age?

Aging is an inevitable biological process but thankfully there are some measures that can be taken to minimise the potential changes our skin will succumb to. Understanding the skin and its greatest offenders can help you take some control over the aging process.   Skin Layers:   Epidermis: The outermost layer of the skin is called the epidermis (stratum corneum) and is about as thick as a sheet of paper! It is avascular-has no arteries, veins or capillaries but is nourished by the dermis via the lymph. The most bottom layer of the epidermis is referred to as the basal layer which is responsible for continual skin cell renewal and maintaining the epidermis. Skin cell renewal occurs every 15-30 days. New cells develop in the basal layer and make their way up to the stratum corneum. Eventually these cells die and slough off and are replaced by new cells. As we age this process slows down. The epidermis is your skins first line of defence and contains many barrier properties. The cells that comprise the epidermis are coated with ‘humectants’ chemicals that keep the cells moist and flexible and they are cushioned by lipids or special fats to help control moisture loss. The epidermis is also covered by sebum which is produced in the sebaceous glands and primarily keeps the skin lubricated to prevent dryness and keep it looking healthy. An over production of sebum can lead to problems and ‘oily’ skin as we know it. The epidermis is also host to melanocytes which produce melanin and give your skin it’s colour. Sunlight stimulates the production of melanin and...