As the aging process begins, the structure of skin starts to change. These changes are reflected outwardly in texture and appearance.
Due to depleting levels of the natural substances that give skin its firm and youthful appearance, fine lines and wrinkles may appear. As the internal structure weakens further, it may also lead to a loss of skin volume or a loss of density. Furthermore, the skin may become more sensitive.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
HOW TO RECOGNISE SENSITIVE AGING SKIN
Facial skin which is sensitive can have various signs and symptoms. It can be accompanied by itching, tightness or rashes.
Moreover, starting at the age of 25, the first signs of aging become noticeable on the surface. Most visually visible are fine lines and wrinkles, a loss of volume and a loss of density. However, not all the changes can be seen. In the case of sensitive, aging skin, the most noticeable difference is in the way the skin feels.
Skin aging affects different skin layers
After the age of 25, the annual decrease in collagen and the decline in elastin leads to dermal tissue disorganization.
The reduction of lipid-storing cells can result in wrinkles for example around nose and mouth.
1. Epidermal layers
A slower cell turnover and reduction in lipid production on the skin’s surface means roughness and dryness are more likely. As this particular layer of the skin ages, it becomes more sensitive to UV light. The skin is less efficient at healing itself, and a reduction in immune function can lead to an increase in skin infections, together with slower wound healing. The skin may become less resilient and feel irritated more frequently.
2. Dermal layers
After the age of 25, there is a 1% annual decrease in collagen, one of the ‘building blocks’ of the skin. Together with a decline in elastin, this leads to dermal tissue disorganization. The structure of the skin is compromised, and wrinkles are more likely. Elasticity is reduced, making the skin more prone to damage and broken capillaries. Reduced blood flow means a less efficient delivery of nutrition and oxygen to the surface. This leads to a decrease in the rosy glow enjoyed by a youthful skin.
How sensitive, aging skin feels and looks
The skin on the face is particularly thin and delicate, which makes it more prone to damage and irritation from external factors. Natural, inevitable aging processes result in a reduced capability for the skin to regulate moisture, regenerate and protect itself. This is the case when the skin’s barrier function is compromised and is exacerbated by naturally depleting levels of substances like Hyaluronic Acid, which hydrates the skin’s layers.
We hear about “sensitive skin” so often that it is almost difficult to define what it is. Indeed, there is no good consensus among experts on what defines “sensitive skin” – and while people with certain skin conditions such as eczema are affected, the problem affects many others with no pathological skin condition as well.
Skin that is sensitive and experiencing premature aging can experience the following symptoms:
- Dryness and a rough texture.
- Fine lines and wrinkles.
- A feeling of tightness.
- Increased sensitivity to external factors
Various symptoms, such as redness, dryness, tightness and sensitivity to external factors can be indicators for sensitive skin. Such as:
- reacts negatively (e.g.rashes, redness) to cosmetic topical products, or
- has an exaggerated reaction (i.e more than what we would expect compared to the normal population) cosmetic treatments such as laser resurfacing
CAUSES & TRIGGERS
WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVE AGEING SKIN?
Healthy skin contains natural substances at levels that keep it functioning well. As general skin aging occurs, changes to the levels of these substances cause changes to the way it looks and feels. One of these substances, Coenzyme Q10, works to energize skin cells to improve their regenerative function, so they can repair and rebuild themselves more efficiently.
A deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 leads to a reduced cell regeneration capacity, meaning skin becomes more susceptible to the damage caused by oxidative stress. This can result in the sensitive skin which shows signs of premature aging such as fine lines and wrinkles and a dry surface texture.
WHAT ELSE AFFECTS SENSITIVE AGEING SKIN?
Aside from the inevitable aging processes that occur within the skin, including the decline in cellular energy as skin ages, some additional factors can contribute to a sensitive, aging skin.
Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the biological pathways that accelerate the skin aging process. It occurs when certain lifestyle factors and exposure to specific substances result in the creation of free-radicals – volatile molecules that attack the internal cellular structure of skin, making it weaker and more likely to display visible signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, a loss of volume and a loss of density.
A stressful and hectic lifestyle can trigger oxidative stress.
Lifestyle factors which may contribute to oxidative stress may be:
Unprotected exposure to UV light is the primary cause of skin aging. As well as accelerating the breakdown of collagen, which gives skin its structure, UV exposure can cause inflammation and sunburn, which may also make skin more sensitive.
Nicotine and the toxic chemicals present in cigarettes affect the health of cells and make it harder for them to function efficiently.
TACKLING SENSITIVE AGEING SKIN
As well as avoiding the outlined lifestyle factors, there are some active ingredients that have been proven to reduce the signs of sensitive, aging skin.
Coenzyme Q10 is a substance found naturally in the body that helps cells convert nutrients into energy. Skincare products that include Coenzyme Q10 work to energize cells recharging their regenerative potential to make them stronger and function more efficiently.
They also have potent antioxidant qualities, which give the ability to neutralize free radicals caused by external environmental factors. These factors, such as UV and pollution, contribute to the collagen and elastin breakdown responsible for the first signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic Acid is a substance created from the skin. One of its primary functions is to retain moisture, and it can bind up to 30 times its molecular weight in water. As we age, the skin’s natural ability to produce Hyaluronic Acid depletes and wrinkles start to form and deepen. Products such as the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler range that include Hyaluronic Acid may help to soothe the dryness often associated with sensitive, aging skin.
Ceramides are naturally present in the skin’s uppermost layers. They are a type of lipid that forms part of the skin’s essential barrier responsible for keeping moisture in and irritants out. In dry skin conditions, a deficiency of ceramides often exists. Including ceramides in skin care products may help to strengthen the skin’s barrier function, soothe skin dryness and prevent irritation.
Sensitive skin needs special care which should be highly tolerable and does not irritate skin. The Eucerin Q10 ACTIVE range shows good skin tolerability even on the very sensitive skin and due to the Coenzyme Q10 has additional anti-ageing properties.
DPL Treatment For Sensitive Skin
What is Intense Pulsed Light (DPL)?
DPL devices use multiple wavelengths of light to treat sun-induced changes on the face, including brown pigmentation, age spots, and broken blood vessels. DPL is also used to deal with the facial changes of rosacea, including redness and broken blood vessels. DPL may be utilized for these changes on the hands, neck, and chest as well. It is safe, non-invasive and is tailored to the individual patient’s skin.
The result is various depending on each specific case.
How DPL (IPL) Works
A broad spectrum of light is transmitted through a small, smooth, transparent handpiece which is gently placed over the skin. Cut-off filters in the handpiece change the wavelength range allowing it to be optimized for different applications and skin types. The light penetrates the tissue and is absorbed by either the blood when treating vascular lesions or the melanin when treating pigmented lesions damaging them. The body’s natural processes then remove the injured tissue giving the skin a more even and youthful appearance.
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