Staying young and beautiful is the greatest passion of the human beings. However, aging is a natural process that starts with birth. Despite the fact that it is impossible to stop aging, we can slow down this inevitable process.
Sunlight, nutritional habits, exposure of the skin to external physical and chemical stimulants, smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol have been the main factors that accelerate aging. The skin is the largest organ of the body and it starts to get age after the age of 20 with the other organs.
What are the factors which cause skin aging? The genetic structure is at the top of the list. Hormones especially hormones of the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal gland are effective in the process of aging. Sun rays and nutrition habits are two of the external factors. Smoking and alcohol and environmental pollution are also accelerating aging. Stress, which is seen as the reason of most of the diseases, is also effective in aging.
What about the changes and the symptoms that occur when the skin is aging? As our skin is affected by one or more of the previous factors, the upper layer (epidermis) gets thinner and causes wrinkles. The skin becomes open to deep injuries. The renewal of the uppermost layer of the epidermis is delayed and the skin gets a pale color. The wounds begin to heal late. The skin loses water easily and gets dry and it starts to itch. Excretion of the entering chemical substances is delayed and the risk of eczema increases. As the skin gets age, senescent cells (melanocytes) giving color to the skin decreases. Protection of the skin against ultraviolet rays decreases and as result sun spots occur. Due to the connective tissue disorder of the skin, the skin sags. The elasticity decreases, mimic lines occur, hardens and roughens.
As a result of decrease in mast cells causing allergic reactions, early type nutrient allergies decrease. The risk of skin cancer increases as immunologic resistance function of the skin break down. Sweat glands are diminished and hot strikes risk occurs more than before. The appearance of capillary vessels on skin and the spontaneous bruises increase. Heat regulation of skin is deteriorated, so that older people are more chilled. The hair gets thinner, slowly spreads, is lost and whitens. Some women may have undesirable hairs on the chin while eyebrows, nose and ear hairs of the men may grow longer. The nails are thinner and dry, and they can be broken easily.
The first and most important thing to do to prevent all these changes is to be protected from the sun. Because, ultraviolet rays of the sun cause photo-aging by increasing free radical production and reducing defense capacity of antioxidants.
In order to prevent and treat aging of skin, you must take care of your nutrition habits. Vitamins, alpha hydroxyl acids, herbal products, biological factors, free radical scavengers, antioxidants must be taken regularly. And you must give up alcohol and smoking.
Vitamins may be the soldiers of your body against aging. Taking vitamins regularly via foods or medical structure may be helpful to protect your body. Use of vitamin A, both oral and in cosmetics, can reverse skin aging. Cosmetics containing retinoic acid should be used for at least 6 weeks in order to be able to see this effect.
Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant which protects your skin from ultraviolet rays. It has moisturizing characteristic and prevents redness and smudging. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and stain-releasing. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) prevents from deep water loss and it moisturizes. Provitamin B5 (Panthenol) has also moisturizing effect. Herbal products including many types of vitamins, may delay aging.