Signs of Skin Aging – and Anti-Aging

by Nils Osmar. March 12, 2022

According to this Web M.D. article, the following changes tend to occur when we’re in our sixties:

  • Our first two layers of your skin – the epidermis and dermis – thin and flatten out.
  • Our skin turns drier and itchier and may look like crepe paper or tissue.
  • Wrinkles, age spots, creases, and bruises become more noticeable.
  • Our sweat glands get less active (so we’re less able to respond to changes in temperature and maintain internal homeostatis)
  • Wounds on our skin may take longer to heal.

This article adds several items to the list:

  • Our skin becomes rougher.
  • Our skin may develop lesions such as benign tumors.
  • Our skin becomes slack. The loss of the elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin with age causes the skin to hang loosely.
  • Our skin becomes more transparent. This is caused by thinning of the epidermis
  • Our skin becomes more fragile. This is caused by a flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis (layer of skin under the epidermis) come together.
  • We becomes more easily bruised. This is due to thinner blood vessel walls.

A different article adds:

  • The loss of fat below the skin in the cheeks, temples, chin, nose, and eye area may result in a leaner look, loosening skin, sunken eyes, and a “skeletal” appearance.
  • Bone loss, mostly around the mouth and chin, may become evident after age 60 and cause puckering of the skin around the mouth.
  • Cartilage loss in the nose causes drooping of the nasal tip and accentuation of the bony structures in the nose.
  • The rate of growth of fingernails slows considerably with age.

Probiotics

There’s evidence that probiotics may improve skin health (depending on the strain). Here’s an interesting quote from a study examining the effects of Reuteri 6475:

“Radiant skin and hair are universal indicators of good health. It was recently shown that feeding of probiotic bacteria to aged mice rapidly induced youthful vitality characterized by thick lustrous skin and hair, and enhanced reproductive fitness, not seen in untreated controls.

“Probiotic-treated animals displayed integrated immune and hypothalamic-pituitary outputs that were isolated mechanistically to microbe-induced anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 and neuropeptide hormone oxytocin.

“In this way probiotic microbes interface with mammalian physiological underpinnings to impart superb physical and reproductive fitness displayed as radiant and resilient skin and mucosae, unveiling novel strategies for integumentary health…

“…mice fed a purified preparation of human-milk-origin Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 (hereafter referred to as ‘L. reuteri’), without any yogurt supplementation, also displayed the skin glow and exuberant hair growth. This showed that probiotic microbes, rather than the milk protein or nutrients such as vitamin D were responsible for stimulating features of dermal thickening, folliculogenesis, and sebocytogenesis comprising the healthy glow effect”

Applying This Information

This lists above (assembled from several different websites) made me curious and caused me to look at myself more closely. A good look in the mirror may not be as revealing as an epigenetic test, but it does give us a way to assess what direction we’re moving, at least in terms of skin aging.

Let’s look at some of the indications more closely, starting with skin spots. Here’s a quote from an article called “How to Get Rid of Skin Spots (and Avoid More”:

Age spots, which are sometimes called liver spots or solar lentigines, happen after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, says dermatologist Amy Kassouf, MD.

To get rid of skinspots: “Use a broad spectrum sunscreen to prevent them from occurring in the first place…. Mineral-based sun blocks with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the best for both our skin and for the environment. But don’t forget about sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses too! If you drive a lot, you might even want to consider getting an ultraviolet protective coating on the driver’s side window of your car.”

Examining My Own Skin

  • Some people have dozens of age spots on the backs of their hands. I have four small age spots around the thumb on my right hand which I’ve had for years and none on my left hand. Otherwise I’m age-spot free, and my skin looks pretty much like it did in my thirties.
  • This is most likely because I’ve been taking astaxanthin regularly for the past couple of decades. I always take it before going outdoors in the sun. I’ve found for myself that it prevents sunburn, though I have to take it for a couple of weeks straight for it to have that effect. (I take Bio-Astin, one of the best brands in my opinion.) (As a bonus, according to one study, taking it together with a little saw palmetto increases testosterone levels in males.)
  • Note: You can see what my skin looks like in the video lower on this page.

Pinch Test

  • In the pinch test, my skin has the same resilience it did in my thirties. I suspect this is because I’ve been taking high molecular weight hyaluronic acid for a few years.
  • The best oral HA product, in my opinion, is made by DoNotAge. (I got a much better result from taking it than any other brand, and it became visible in just a few weeks.) The deep wrinkles on my face became less prominent almost immediately, and the wrinkling around my eyes when I smile was noticeably reduced. DoNotAge’s HA supplement was developed in consultation with Dr. Vera Gorbunova, a lead researcher on HA in relation to aging in both humans and animals.
  • Their HA isn’t cheap, but there’s a 10 percent savings if you use the word PATHWAYS when purchasing it.

Sweat

  • I’m still sweating the same as ever. Extreme heat doesn’t bother me now any more than it did when I was in my twenties.

Turkey Neck (caused by degradation of the platysma neck muscles)

  • Amazingly, I don’t have turkey neck….
  • Oh, wait. I definitely do have turkey neck, and this is the most clear, visible sign that my skin is aging. I’ve had indications of turkey neck developing since my late 50s.
  • It has gotten a bit less evident after I began exercising to strengthen my neck muscles, but is still very visible, particularly when I’m viewed in a side view.
  • I probably could have avoided it by taking supplements such as collagen and HA, and doing neck exercises, starting in my forties. But I seem to be stuck with it now. (I have some hopes though that I will be able to start reversing it this year; I’ll write an article about it if I’m successful)

All in all, I feel like I’m doing well

Apart from the turkey neck, I don’t really see any signs of skin aging. If anything my skin looks younger than I did a few years ago. It’s plumper (even though I’ve lost weight), more elastic and more resilient. I suspect that the reason for this is:

  1. I take vitamin C (one gram a day) (which triggers collagen production
  2. I work out in a home gym three days a week. This builds muscle and improves the condition of the skin.
  3. I do red light therapy three times a week. (I’ll be writing an article soon about my red light setup.)
  4. When I cook meat dishes, I add collagen or gelatin to them. I do this to balances out the methionine with glycine, detoxifying it. But it also provides the raw materials the body can use to make its own gelatin.
  5. As mentioned above, I also take hyaluronic acid and astaxanthin daily.
  6. I take the probiotic L. Reuteri 6475 on workout days.

References: I’ve included some references in the body of the article. Here are some additional ones:

Image by Gaertringen from Pixabay

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