The Ageing Process

Ageing is dependent on lots of factors. Some ethnic groups have a slower ageing process than others. The suppleness and large amounts of collagen in Afro-Caribbean skin allows it to prevent some of the effects of ageing. Caucasian (white) skin tends to be thinner, more prone to damage and less able to counteract the damaging effects of the sun and environmental exposure.



Mid twenties
The skin’s ability to renew itself and repair damaged cells starts to decrease. Each cell division
passes genetic information and as we grow older tiny pieces of genetic information are lost.
This means that the next generation of cells produced do not carry the same information as the
previous one.

Mid thirties
The skin contours become less defined and the skin starts to sag. As the skin ages the structure
of new collagen is more uneven. Elastin fibres show signs of cross linking and hardening. The fat
cells that plump out the skin begin to reduce causing the skin to sag, thin and become crepey.
The skin retains less moisture which causes it to lose its plump appearance. The blood vessels
of the dermis become more fragile and are more easily damaged. The production of sebum
from the sebaceous glands declines causing a reduction in the surface lipids and the skin
becomes visibly drier.


The ageing becomes more obvious with lines deepening, particularly along the expression lines,
which are creases in the skin caused by muscle movement.
Fifties The skin is more wrinkled and elasticity loss is more noticeable, especially around the facial
contours. Older skin often has a sallow or yellow tone caused by changes in the skin’s brown
pigment. Melanin is no longer spread evenly throughout the skin and becomes patchy leaving
the skin with uneven pigmentation, age spots and lentigines (Also called liver spots or age spots. An area of hyper-pigmentation).


Whenever we smile, laugh or frown, natural expression lines appear on
our face. Fine or deep lines are created in the skin’s structure as a result
of muscular movement. Wrinkles are a depression in the skin’s surface.
A wrinkle occurs as result of:
■ the skin becoming thinner
■ changes in the muscle density
■ changes in the structure and position of elastin and collagen
■ dehydration
■ a decline in hyaluronic acid.


The hormone oestrogen has water attracting properties and influences the amount of moisture
held in the skin. When oestrogen levels drop following the menopause the skin’s ability to hold
moisture is affected.