Aging process can be classified as intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. In case of intrinsic aging the process solely depends on genes we inherit from our parents. On the other hand, extrinsic aging is caused by environmental factors such as exposure to detrimental sun's rays.
More about Intrinsic Aging
Intrinsic aging represents the normal process of aging. It generally starts in the mid 20s. The process includes decrease in the collagen production, loss of elastin and substances necessary for preservation of smooth skin. Even though the very process of intrinsic aging starts in mid 20s the first effects are only seen much later in life. Skin changes that eventually develop due to this type of aging are fine wrinkles, thinner and more transparent skin and loss of underlying fat. The skin becomes dry and itchy, the production of sweat decreases and there are also changes regarding hair (it becomes gray and there is evident loss of hair or hair thinning.More about Extrinsic Aging
A variety of external factors may contribute to the process of aging and accelerate the aging changes. Premature aging is most commonly associated with excessive and repeated sun exposure. Furthermore, the aging process may be accelerated with smoking, gravity, repetitive facial expressions and sleeping positions.
It is estimated that if a person is not protected adequately sun exposure of even just a few minutes every day may cause serious damage to the skin. Harmful sun rays are responsible for freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles, loose skin, blotchy complexion, the formation of actinic keratoses and skin cancer. Many people even though they are aware of all the damaging effects of UV rays continue exposing their bodies to either natural sun rays or artificial UV rays (tanning beds). If they reduced exposure to sun or even used proper protection, they would be able to avoid some of potential damaging effects of UV rays.
People who repeatedly perform facial expressions are more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Since the skin ages and loses its elasticity it eventually becomes unable to restore its natural appearance and the particular line tends to become permanent. Gravity is another cause of skin aging. Namely, once the skin has lost significant degree of its elasticity the effects of gravity become evident. The effects of gravity affect many parts of the body such as the ears, eyelids etc.
Sleeping position is another potential cause of accelerated aging process. In some cases, if a person sleeps in the same position over years, he/ she is at higher risk of developing particular pattern of wrinkles. The wrinkles in this case affect the skin fold that is formed during sleep.
And finally, smoking is one of the most significant contributors to aging of the skin. It is estimated that smokers are more prone to wrinkles and leathery skin. Detrimental effects of smoking can be perfectly prevented if one quits smoking.