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Skin Ageing: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Factors

Our skin suffers from both intrinsic and extrinsic ageing factors, which causes structural & functional changes to the extracellular matrix (ECM). These are characterized by features such as wrinkles, dryness, texture irregularities, loss of firmness & elasticity, pigmentation etc.


Intrinsic skin ageing, also known as chronological ageing, is a natural consequence of ageing and are genetically determined.
Factors such as ethnicity, hormonal changes and anatomical variation such as skin thickness can influence intrinsic ageing.
The biggest changes occur within our basal cells. Cell proliferation is decreased, the epidermis becomes thinner and the intracellular spaces between the dermis and epidermis decreases. When cell proliferation of cells such as keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and melanocytes decrease, this is called cellular senescence (cells that stop multiplying but don’t die. They instead remain and continue to release chemicals that can trigger inflammation). Inflammation leads to all the major signs of skin ageing.
Extrinsic skin ageing on the other hand, is down to controllable (to a degree) factors such as sun damage, pollution, lifestyle, diet, and repetitive muscle movements such as frowning etc.
The effects of sun damage on the skin has been estimated to account for nearly 90% of visible skin ageing. Sun damage causes a molecular chain reaction in the dermis & epidermis, which ultimately leads to the degradation of collagen and elastin, as well as other components of the dermal extracellular matrix. This also impairs the differentiation process of epidermal keratinocytes in the basal layer; an important process for maintaining a healthy skin barrier.

How skincare can help

As a general rule, your morning skincare routine should centre around protection. Think your antioxidants, Vitamin C and of course SPF to help protect from external factors such as pollution & UV damage. Try incorporating the below formulas into your morning routine.
Evening skincare routines should centre around repair and regeneration whilst you sleep. This is key as our skin naturally regenerates and repair itself during this time. This is when to incorporate your cell turnover products such as retinoids & acids to help speed up cell renewal. Try incorporating the below formulas into your evening routine.