There’s only one word to describe what happens over time –age –but there are different reasons and triggers for this process. Let’s look at the three main types of aging. This will help you to completely grasp how to address aging.
What happens when you age?
- Sun damage
- Less hair in some places, more in others
- Poor memory
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of Energy
- Poor digestion
- Reduced circulation
- Chronic disease
Intrinsic Aging: A Fact of Life
Intrinsic aging is simply the natural aging process no matter what you do to try to halt it. It’s what would occur had you never been in the sun, swallowed toxins, taken a stressful exam, smoked a cigarette, partied past your bedtime, breathed metropolitan air, and so on. It’s what would occur despite sleeping in a pure oxygen tank, avoiding smiling to defy laugh lines, or Botoxing your face stone cold. Genetics play a key role in intrinsic aging. If your parents aged well, odds are you will too. In the body, intrinsic aging results in loss of collagen and elastin, and reduced water content in the cells.
Environmental Aging: Inevitable but Controllable
Extrinsic or Environmental aging is exactly what it sounds like: aging from a combination of injury to your outsides and compromised cellular functions on your insides. Luckily, this is a type of aging that we can control to come degree. Factors such as excessive sun exposure, pollution, smoking, stress, poor diet, and intake of drugs or alcohol contribute to this type of aging. The classic signs of environmentally aging are usually written all over a person’s skin in the form of redness, dryness, thinner skin, sagging, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. You probably can’t see the water loss in the cells, but it’s there. The good news is the effects of environmentally aging can be minimized through both preventative actions and treatment.
Hormonal Aging: Another Fact of Life
This type of aging has gain tremendous attention in recent years and has no doubt spurred much conversation, especially in women’s circles. Hormonal aging occurs as levels of estrogen decline –and starts happening long before menopause.
Estrogen is your skin’s best friend. It helps prevent aging in three big ways: 1. It prevents a decrease in skin collagen in postmenopausal women; 2. It increases the skins collagen content, which maintains skin thickness; and 3. It helps skin maintain moisture by promoting the production of certain substances in the skin that boost hydration.
|Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.|