Start battling aging skin today


We all have a different genetic code that determines how we age. It is permanently imprinted on your DNA whether you will get crows’ feet or brow furrows, develop acne, and how quickly you’ll tan or burn. Although genetics play a part in how we age, our lifestyle and diet are also major contributing factors. Aging is inescapable. However, the way we age isn’t, and you can fight it. You can have a vibrant complexion and enjoy beautiful skin at any age, provided you start now.

Does it seem like age is sneaking up on you unexpectedly? It is a fact that aging doesn’t occur overnight, it is a gradual process, occurring at about age 30. Here are some of the most common signs of aging. Examine the ones that affect you.

• Dryness of the skin

• Thinning skin

• Dull complexion

• Rough skin

• Large pores

• Blotches and age spots

• Uneven skin tone

• Fine lines and wrinkles

Intrinsic aging

There are two types of aging – extrinsic and intrinsic. Intrinsic aging is the inevitable part of aging; your skin will follow this process no matter what.

• Dryness of the skin

The sebaceous glands or oil glands production decreases significantly after the age of 30, and this process continues over the years.

• Thinning skin

The dermis and the skin fat layer begin to thin at about age 40. This process increases rapidly at age 50, resulting in skin sagging and softness. The thinning of the fat layer makes the skin more fragile and sensitive.

• Loss of temperature control

The sweat glands lose their ability to function properly and do not produce sufficient sweat to cool the skin.

• Loss of firmness

There is reduction in collagen and elastin, the substance that helps the skin bounce back into place, has less spring.

• Dull complexion

The skin’s ability to shed dead skin cells slows down, resulting in a dull complexion. This process of intrinsic aging starts in our mid 20s, but takes decades to become evident.

• Fine lines and wrinkles

Above all, fine lines and wrinkles are the most visible signs of aging. This form of aging is unavoidable. The older we get, the thinner and drier our skin becomes. The collagen in our skin decreases; there is a lack of elasticity and static wrinkles began to form. Of course, the rate of intrinsic aging is not the same for everyone, but varies from person to person, genetically determined.

But all is not lost, there is hope when it comes to extrinsic aging, which results from exposure to the environment.

Extrinsic aging

Extrinsic aging can affect how well one looks for their biological age. One way to appreciate the difference between intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging is to compare the skin on your face versus say, the skin on your hips or your upper thighs. Sun exposure is the prime cause for extrinsic aging.

Over-exposure to the sun is responsible for at least 80 percent of the aging of the skin. Over a period of time, fine lines and wrinkle appear, progressing into deep furrows.

Tips for aging skin

• Sun protection

Wear sunscreen to protect you from the UV rays known to cause premature aging, eventually forming wrinkles.

• Healthy eating

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of an anti-aging diet; they contain antioxidants which fight off free radicals that cause cellular damage.

Here is a list of vitamins and minerals that can help aging skin:

Beta carotene – carrots, apricots and squash

Vitamin C – oranges, kiwi, and peppers

Vitamin E – cold presses vegetable oils, raw nuts and seeds

Selenium – tuna, onions and garlic

Zinc – whole grains, most seafood and onions

Essential fatty acids – primrose oil, flaxseed oil and olive oil

• Increase water intake

Water moisturises the skin from the inside out, acting as an internal moisturiser and preventing premature aging.

• Reduce alcohol intake

Alcohol dehydrates the skin, depriving it of necessary moisture to keep it soft, smooth and youthful.

• Quit smoking

Are you aware that cigarettes contain ingredients such as acetone, ammonia, arsenic, formaldehyde and nicotine? Such chemical compounds are harmful to the human body, just imagine the damage to the skin. Smoking decreases the oxygen supply to the skin, resulting in dehydration and premature wrinkles.

Hope for aging skin

Alpha hydroxy acids and Retin-A are the two best known topical substance studied for their effect on wrinkles. Vitamin C treatments are also beneficial in restoring youthful clarity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Remember, with the proper care you can have beautiful skin at any age, provided you start now. Talk to your skin care specialist today concerning the most effective anti-aging facial treatment for you.

• Kenya Mortimer-McKenzie is an anti-aging skin care specialist at the Baha Retreat Anti-Aging Spa. Visit or e-mail