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Early Signs of Ageing You Need to Keep a Lookout For

Drawing closer to your 30s? Shield up before it's too late!

The clock is always ticking, so why not try and get ahead of time?

As you near your 30s and 40s, you'll come across visible changes in the appearance of your skin—dark spots and dullness will become the oh-so-common beauty woe and waking up with a zit in the morning will no longer be a cause of alarm. And while these biological and hormonal changes are inevitable, it won't hurt to get some intel into the real reasons behind these premature signs of ageing.

India’s leading Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dermatologist and founder of Aayna Clinic, Dr Simal Soin sheds light on the 'how' and 'why' of skin ageing and the indicators of premature ageing that you should be on the lookout for.

Dullness and Dryness

According to Dr Soin, over time, the skin begins to lose hyaluronic acid, cell turnover slows down and sebum production reduces, resulting in increased dryness. Owing to these natural changes, increased sun-sensitivity and roughness result. "All of this combined with multiple lifestyle factors including smoking and a poor diet may cause your skin to look dull and pale. Plus, in your 30s the skin's production of collagen slows down; the protein that provides the skin its shape and maintains plumpness. Your skin begins to look less taut and early signs of volume loss—mostly in the mid-face and cheek region—become more prominent," she informs.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

The most noticeable signs of skin ageing are fine lines and wrinkles, coupled with a lack of radiance and dull-looking skin. "Fine lines and wrinkles may begin to appear as early as ones mid 20s, deepening with time. As the skin loses moisture, elastin and collagen, wrinkles begin to appear over the areas of expression—forehead and around the eyes (crow’s feet). Smoking and excessive sun exposure can hasten the formation of wrinkles," explains Dr Soin.

Adult Acne

One of the most common, pressing skin concerns that women tend to face in their 20-30s is acne. "Acne may persist through adolescence or may manifest for the very first time during adulthood, due to conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD). The well-researched association of acne with a hormonal etiology usually brings with it several other clinical signs including hirsutism, seborrhoea, alopecia, menstrual disorders, ovulatory dysfunction and infertility. Hormonal acne usually appears over the lower face along the jaw line and the perioral region/chin, and the eruptions tend to coincide with the onset of menstruation," she adds.

Acne may have mild presentations like comedones (blackheads, whiteheads) or inflammatory painful papules, pus-filled lesions and even cysts. Besides a hormonal imbalance, consumption of high glycemic and dairy foods increases insulin and IGF1 levels which in turn may lead to acne as well.

Dark Spots and Pigmentation

As you age, another grave skincare concern you often face is pigmentation, often resulting in an uneven skin tone. "Hyper-pigmentation is the formation of dark patches on the skin, owing to overproduction of melanin. Exposure to harmful UV rays, damage post inflammation and other environmental stressors are responsible for triggering the cells to produce more melanin to protect your skin. On the other hand, post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation is a condition where inflammation of the skin occurs in the form of acne/eczema, and once this inflammation subsides, it heals with hyper-pigmentation," informs Dr Soin.

"Auto-immune disorders, photo sensitizing drugs and common hormonal imbalances are also responsible for pigmentation. Melasma/Chloasma or ‘the mask of pregnancy’ are brown patches on the skin that result due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. More often than not, birth control pills ingested by women in this age-group can also cause facial pigmentation. Periorbital hyper-pigmentation or dark circles is another distressing condition for women with anaemia and poor sleeping habits," says Dr Soin.