As we enter into and move through our 30s, visible signs of ageing will be present on most people. How well you have looked after your skin and overall health up until this point will definitely influence how you look.
One of the key points to consider when we think about reducing the physical signs of ageing in your thirties is that collagen production has already started to slow down. Dense collagen bundles in the skin contribute to plump, firm youthful skin and as this declines the skin loses its plumpness and firmness.
Let’s look a bit closer!
To understand how our face ages in our 30s, let’s look at the structure of the skin at a cellular level and consider the changes that occur.
The layers of the skin
Epidermis– this is the outer layer of the skin.
Dermis– the middle layer that contains the tough connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands. Fibroblasts are also here and are very important when we consider how the skin ages
Hypodermis– The deeper subcutaneous tissue made of fat and connective tissue.
From the age of 28 (often younger) the fibroblasts in the dermis that produce collagen are in decline meaning there are fewer of them producing less, and often, poorer quality collagen bundles. These fibroblasts also produce elastin fibres that provide the skin with firmness and suppleness. Environmental factors such as smoking, sun and stress massively impact on the quality of both collagen and elastin fibres, thus contributing to premature ageing.
This is why it is imperative to look after your skin and your health in your 20s so that you are encouraging optimum skin cell performance that will prevent premature ageing of the skin.
When your skin has less collagen and elastin fibres it looks dull and tired. Wrinkles appear and the skin is less firm, supple and plump; often when we look in the mirror we feel old.
On a positive note, in our 30s non-surgical rejuvenation treatments work really well because ageing is mainly superficial and therefore treatments are fairly simple. Amazing results can be achieved with laser and skin health treatments which boost collagen and elastin, to treat wrinkles and folds. Toxin and filler injections also work really well.
What can you do to delay ageing and reduce the visible signs of ageing?
- Stop smoking if you do. Smoking restricts the blood flow to the periphery of the skin reducing oxygen and nutrients reaching the cells. The pursing of lips around a cigarette or e-cig also creates overactivity of the lip muscles that increase wrinkles around the lips, known as peri-oral lines. If you are investing in rejuvenation treatments, smoking will hinder the optimum results
- Reduce sun exposure and wear a minimum of 30 SPF even in the winter. The sun on the skin produces free radicals that destroy cells. When cells are destroyed changes in that tissue occur. Melanocytes are stimulated (this is what creates tanning of the skin). Any colour change in the skin is a sign of skin damage. You may be aware of unsightly pigmentation patches that are signs of damage from sun exposure in your teens and twenties. These unsightly patches do make the skin look older than it is.
- Reduce stress in your life as much as you can and focus on mental wellbeing, good nutrition and exercise which release endorphins, the happy hormones. Stress is always underestimated when we think of ageing but it can really play a big part in premature ageing.
- Stimulate the skin to increase cell turnover. Remember what is happening to the fibroblasts that produce less collagen and elastin; we need to focus on stimulating these fibroblasts and improve the skin cell function. Laser treatments and skin peels are able to target these cells to improve skin cell turnover. As well as treatments carried out at a skin care clinic, you need to have an anti-ageing skin care programme to keep the skin fresh and receptive to the anti-ageing ingredients in your skin care regime.
- Depending on how the skin has aged, a more intensive repair and anti-ageing programme such as ZO prescription care or Obagi prescription care could be indicated. This works on the skin cells at a deeper level and actually programme the cells to perform better. The results of these products are transformational on the skin.
- Your skin will develop wrinkles in your 30s. There are 2 types of dynamic wrinkles that are present upon muscle contraction and static wrinkles that are present in the skin at rest. Toxin injections work on dynamic wrinkles and by having these wrinkles treated regularly you are reducing the onset of static wrinkles. We can’t really say that toxin injections eliminate static wrinkles but by reducing the movement it is very surprising the effect it has on the reduction of these wrinkles. In your 30s and as ageing continues, regular injections enhance the effect of reducing the appearance of static wrinkles.
- Changes to the mid and lower parts of the face can be beginning. and this is where individual anatomy, genetics, lifestyle and skin care can play a role in how much these parts age or not.
- Changes to the fat pad positions in the cheeks can give the appearance of ageing, and can also contribute to nose to mouth lines. The lips and the skin around the lips could be ageing particularly in smokers. We are able to place dermal filler in the areas where volume is required to restore the changes. Most people in their 30s get an amazing result because the skin is still fairly youthful and probably not at the point of being so thin or saggy. Restoring these areas whilst the effects are not so visible will help to create a framework to minimise the physical effects of ageing as we progress through our 40s and 50s.
Have a consultation with an experienced facial aesthetic practitioner and understand what changes are going on, with the different aspects of your face. Be knowledgeable about the treatment benefits and risks, and have a plan for both the short and long term.
Love your skin, enjoy your skin, respect your skin and intervene to restore and rejuvenate, and you will move into your 40s with confidence, knowing you are doing all you can.