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Anti-ageing: What makes us age?

20 MAY 2008

It's a perfectly natural part of life that comes to us all, but what is it that makes our skin age?

 

* Sun

Repeated exposure causes breaks down of collagen and elastin that is the main reason for premature ageing of skin.

 

* Smoking

It constricts blood vessels and impairs blood flow, which means skin gets less oxygen and nutrients, and less collagen and elastin are produced.

 

* Alcohol

Drinking to excess reduces absorption of nourishment required to maintain skin's health and defences. And because it encourages the body to lose more water than it takes on, it leads to dryness.

 

* Movement

The repeated natural movement of your facial expressions that makes the skin fold and crease lays the foundations for furrows – it's why they're called laughter lines.

 

*Diet

Of course rapid weight loss or gain can cause sagging – particularly as we grow older because skin is less able to cope with the changes in supporting fat beneath skin's surface. But eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg and not too much sugar (which is thought to be ageing) gives skin the nutrients it needs to maintain its health as long as possible.


 

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