The Secrets to Ageing Gracefully!
Dr. Madhur Kelkar-Kulkarni

Dr. Madhur Kelkar-Kulkarni

Jul 08Hair and Skin Care

The Secrets to Ageing Gracefully!

This blog has been compiled by Komal Adhlaka, a content writer for Proactive For Her.

How your skin ages with time depends a lot on factors. The external factors causing the skin to age could be sun, harsh weather, bad habits, etc. while the internal factors could be your lifestyle, diet, heredity, and other personal habits.

Primary factors which contribute to wrinkled, spotted skin include normal ageing, exposure to the sun (photoaging), pollution, and loss of fatty tissues between your skin and muscle. Other factors which people usually ignore that contribute to the ageing of the skin include stress, obesity, and workload etc.

You should know: Smoking produces free radicals meaning that once-healthy oxygen molecules that are now overactive, leading to premature wrinkles amongst others.

As you age, the following changes may be natural and visible:

  • Skin becomes rough and may develop lesions (like benign tumours etc.)
  • The epidermis or the surface layer of the skin becomes thin, causing it to become more transparent.
  • The loss of the elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin as you age causes it to hang loosely, often known as slacking.
  • More bruises begin to appear on the skin caused due to thinning of the blood vessel walls.
  • Skin becomes more fragile due to the flattening of the area where the epidermis and the layer beneath called dermis to come together.
  • Fat loss below the skin in the cheeks, chin, nose, and under-eye area may result in loosening skin, puffy eyes, and a "skeletal" appearance.
  • The nasal tip may droop and the nose may look bonier due to cartilage loss with age.
  • Bone loss, mostly around the mouth and chin, may become evident in women above 60 years of age.

What causes the skin to sag as you age?

Loss of collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the bones, joints, and tendons of the body. It is responsible for keeping the skin youthful by providing structure to the dermis which is the thickest layer of the skin. Collagen is naturally lost as you age. This also leads to the loss of elastin, another protein that keeps the skin firm and tight.

Loose skin from weight loss

Loose skin is a common phenomenon post weight loss. This is because skin expands as the body gains weight. If a person has had a certain weight more than the normal body weight for a long time, it can damage the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers which affect its ability to be back in shape after weight loss. This also happens during pregnancy, when the skin expands over the abdomen.

Prolonged sun exposure

Sun exposure, especially exposure to ultraviolet rays, is responsible for 80 per cent of the visible facial aging signs including wrinkles, vascular disorders, and sagging skin. Prolonged sun exposure leads to:

  • Premature sagging of the skin
  • Thinning of the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis)
  • Damage to skin’s elastin
  • You should know: Besides the sun, free radicals like toxins, pollutants, too much oily food, etc can also damage the collagen and elastin fibres of the skin.

How to Slow the Aging Process?

  1. Firming creams- Skin firming creams can provide subtle differences in tightening up loose skin while also minimizing the appearance of cellulite, over time. You must choose one that contains these anti-ageing ingredients: retinoids and collagen. Use the cream daily, and maintain a healthy skin routine, such as regularly wearing sunscreen and having a nighttime skincare regime to follow.
  2. Facial exercises- Facial exercises tone and tighten the muscles of the face using different techniques. For example, jawline exercises reduce the appearance of a double chin. You may also use a jade roller to assist your facial exercises to get more effective results. Jade roller may encourage lymphatic drainage, stimulate circulation and relax facial muscles.
  3. Supplements- A couple of supplements may help slow down ageing. Collagen peptides - replenish the broken collagen in the body. You can take it in many forms, including a collagen drink. Vitamin C - supplement repairs damaged skin cells, protects the skin from free radicals, and even assists in collagen production.
  4. Sunscreen- Wear a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 and says "broad-spectrum" on the label. That means it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays which are extremely harsh on the skin. To get UVA protection, check the ingredients list for avobenzone, Mexoryl, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide. Reapply the sunscreen every one to three hours, depending on the amount of direct sun exposure you get. Don’t forget your neck, hands, and arms while applying the sunscreen.
  5. No-tan- Tanning is one of the biggest skin mistakes that younger women make. Too much sun exposure may also cause skin discolouration and damage to elastin and collagen. If you like a tanned skin texture, rather use sunless tanners which come in sprays, gels, creams, lotions, and wipes. They don't protect you. Hence, You will still need to wear sunscreen even while using sun tanners.
  6. Sunglasses- Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun and also the delicate skin surrounding them.
  7. No smoking- Smoking speeds up the breakdown of collagen and constricts blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Smokers are more likely to have wrinkles early.
  8. Limiting alcohol consumption- Drinking too much alcohol dehydrates your skin and dilates your blood vessels, sometimes even leading you to develop broken blood vessels and rosacea, a skin disorder marked by redness and tiny pimples.
  9. Retinoids or retinol- Retinoids are prescription-based medications that can help skin look younger. Retinols are a weaker form of medications sold without a prescription. Their necessity and intensity of impact may depend on your baseline skin.

    You should know: If you're pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, ask your doctor about whether they're safe to use. If not, you may start using retinoids at any age, even in your early twenties.
  10. Antioxidants and peptides- For women in their twenties, the most basic skincare routine is washing with a gentle cleanser and using a moisturizer at night. You may also include serums that contain peptides and antioxidants such as grape seed extract, resveratrol, green tea, and vitamins A, C, and E.
  11. Skin treatments- If you have a lot of sun damage or acne scars, treatments like microdermabrasion, light peels, or laser treatments may help improve skin over time.
  12. Chemical peels- Chemical peels are minimally invasive procedures that improve the skin texture by removing damaged skin cells from the epidermis which is the outermost layer of the skin. Chemical peels can be performed on the face, neck, and hands. Their results aren’t immediate and depend on the type of chemical peel you get. Your specialist will recommend one of the following options based on your needs - light, medium, or deep. For best results, experts usually recommend the treatment to be done every 4 to 5 weeks.
  13. Laser resurfacing- Laser surfacing requires the use of either a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser or erbium laser. Carbon dioxide helps remove scars, warts, and wrinkles, while erbium helps reduce external concerns like fine lines. Both, however, improve skin texture as the laser focuses on the epidermis. Post-treatment recovery time could take up to a few weeks. You may require quite a few sessions until desired results are achieved.

    You should know: While the results can last up to 5 years, wrinkles and lines may reappear as part of the normal ageing process.
  14. Ultrasound skin tightening- The ultrasound waves uses heat to tighten the skin. They go deeper into the layers of the skin which promotes collagen production, leading to smoother and firmer skin over time. There’s no recovery time and you may see the results after about 3 to 6 months. For a noticeable difference, you may have to do three or more treatments. This treatment is good for people looking for a heavy-duty lift (plastic surgery on the face and neck that eliminates concerns like wrinkles or sagging skin etc).

    To know whether a treatment will work for you, seek the advice of your dermatologist.


Skin-ageing is inevitable. While using sunscreen, moisturiser etc. helps maintain skin texture for a long time, a proper skincare regime, healthy eating habits, regular exercise and other natural, as well as expert-designed treatment options, can slow the ageing process and keep your skin firm and glowing for a long time.

Disclaimer - This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

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