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  • Dr Cathy Dierckxsens

Skin ageing Various factors influence skin ageing

Updated: May 12

Our genetics determine our natural and chronological ageing.


Excessive exposure to the sun increases and accelerates the process, causing what is known as “photoaging”. Other environmental factors, such as smoking, diet and stress, also exacerbate the signs of ageing.

As we age, all the skin’s components (collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid) gradually diminish both in quantity and quality leading to wrinkles and a loss of elasticity.

Repetitive facial movements cause our first wrinkles. These include the lines between our eyebrows, the wrinkles on our foreheads and crow’s feet – that is to say our expression lines or dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles, which are not connected with muscular movement and are deeper, appear later on.

Muscle movements are not the only factors influencing the ageing of our faces. More deeply, the bone support of the face and the fat tissues are affected by age. This bone atrophy, as well as the melting then the downward movement of these deep tissues due to gravity and sagging skin, contributes to the phenomenon. The face then loses its curves and outline, its oval.

Photoaging on the surface of the skin is exhibited by a loss of radiance in our complexions, which become a greyish yellow, the appearance of brown and red spots, dilated pores and coarser skin. The areas most affected are those most exposed to the sun rays (the face, the décolletage and hands).

Precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses) appear on skin that has been thus damaged, and therefore there is a greater risk of developing skin cancer.


How to recognize ageing symptoms


Signs of face ageing include:

the development of wrinkles, fine lines and creasesthe loss of elasticitythe loss of volumethe formation of blemishes on the surface of the skin

In cosmetic dermatology, several types of treatment are used to correct the different signs of ageing to our skin.


What to do to prevent it?


Avoid exposure to the sun and apply a high-protection sun cream.Do not smoke.Eat healthily with enough fruit and vegetables, fish and plant oils.Cleanse and moisturise your skin every day.Use anti-ageing creams made with vitamin C, vitamin A derivatives (retinol, tretinoin) and fruit acid (AHA).


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