Q. What are the expected skin changes seen through aging?

Answered by
Dr. Rabia
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 04, 2020

Hello doctor,

I would like to know how does our skin change through the decades? How our skin changes in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond? Also, looking for tips on how to care for our skin. What products we should be used for certain problems? When should we start acid-toning? How about retinol products?



Welcome to

Our skin undergoes aging process continuously. There are two types of aging going on in an individual. Intrinsic aging that is inherited (in our genes) and the other is extrinsic aging (that is due to environmental factors most importantly the sunlight).

With aging, the following things happen across the decades:

1. Collagen in our skin becomes less resulting in wrinkles. The process of degeneration of collagen gets aggravated by the exposure to sunlight due to the formation of reactive oxygen species.

2. Natural moisturizing factor and hydration of skin get low and skin becomes more dry and scaly.

3. Hair follicles in our skin and sebaceous glands also become less with time resulting in few hairs on the body.

4. Elastic tissue becomes less in the skin resulting in crows feet, fine lines, and sagging of skin.

5. Sunlight exposure and extrinsic aging lead to melanin synthesis and freckles, lentigines formation on exposed areas.


Protection from sunlight is advised. A good sunblock of SPF 60 (sun protection factor) should be used. Vitamin C cream can be used. Plenty of water should be taken. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables with antioxidant properties are very important.

Acid toning can be started around 30 years of age when skin requires rejuvenation. Topical retinoids are very important in skin rejuvenation. They decrease wrinkles, they increase collagen synthesis and give glow and decrease fine lines from the skin.

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