How to identify your skin type: There are various skin types and conditions that you must be able to analyse in order to give yourself the best possible treatment and get the best advice. In order to be able to recognise your skin type you must be able to understand how to recognise the characteristics or conditions that you see in your own skin. Our face’s skin is much thinner and delicate than the rest of our body. Perhaps that’s the reason we can see the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles more easily. While skin ageing usually starts in one’s 40s, in some cases, people see these signs much earlier. This is known as premature ageing of skin.
What are the reasons for premature skin ageing? Premature ageing of the skin cannot be attributed to just one cause. Various environmental, hormonal and physiological factors have a profound effect on the skin. However, exposure to the sun’s UVA rays causes the maximum damage. UVA rays penetrate deepest into the skin and are often referred to as ‘ageing rays’. In high doses, these rays can cause darkening and pigmentation of the skin and accelerate the ageing process by damaging the underlying collagen, thus making the skin appear scaly, dry, wrinkled and leathery with dark patches. Other contributory factors include stress, lack of sleep and smoking. Lack of sleep and stress also diminish the amount of other hormones within the body – like growth hormones which help nourish the skin and hair. Smoking or introducing toxic chemicals into the body increase the number of free radicals, accelerating the ageing process and damaging the elasticity of the skin. Read 8 ways smoking affects your skin. For this reason, people who smoke, drink and take drugs often look far older than they are.
What are the signs of premature ageing of skin? Most of the damage is visible but one may not be in a position to judge properly as the signs are very similar to regular skin wear and tear. For example, damage due to UVA ray exposure can lead to spider veins on the face, age spots, leathery skin, fine wrinkles that appear only when stretched. A blotchy complexion and actinic keratosis (those rough, reddish patches of skin seen mostly around the temples and cheeks) are also indicators of premature ageing.