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The Definitive Breakdown Of Ageing

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The maturation process is an unavoidable part of human life, we all change as we age, but how exactly? The first step towards understanding the breakdown of ageing is to understand components and proteins that keep the skin looking young and healthy.

  • Collagen is a structural protein found in skin, bones, and muscles that gives tissue strength.
  • Elastin is a protein that is responsible for skin elasticity and flexibility, found in the dermis (middle layer of skin).
  • Hyaluronic acid is a component of skin that can hold up to 1000 times its own weight it water, and acts as a cushioning agent.
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Change As We Age


In your twenties, you will see your ‘baby fat’ disappear as subcutaneous fat decreases in the face. Motor wrinkles, or movement lines, will appear on the forehead, and crow’s feet can start to appear due to repetitive facial expressions. Changes in hormones, sun exposure, and pregnancy can bring about the arrival of melasma, pigmentation around the eyes. Collagen stops being produced in the mid to late twenties, meaning wrinkles are formed more easily, scars are more obvious, and skin is more likely to sag.


After 30, the amount of collagen in skin drops by around 1-2% per year, and skin can start to appear less radiant and smooth. Crow’s feet and forehead lines will continue to develop, and will be joined by glabellar lines, between the eyebrows. Blood vessels can also start to become more noticeable, especially around the nose, and are joined by the development of nasolabial folds, lines between the nose and mouth.

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Lines around the upper lip, often called smoker’s lines, start to appear, even if you don’t smoke, as volume is lost in the lips. Smile lines, forehead lines, and crow’s feet tend to worsen if not treated, and collagen is still decreasing, leaving skin less supple.

50s And Over

In your 50s, expect your lines and wrinkles to get deeper as the breakdown of elastin and collagen continues. As well as this breakdown, there is further loss of subcutaneous fat that makes skin look thinner, and blood vessels more prominent. Overall, skin will look and feel more dry, especially if you are a smoker.

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Break down ageing: What Can I Do

There are always outside factors that influence exactly your skin ages, like smoking, drinking, and diet, but the main cause of premature ageing is almost always UV exposure. This is called photoageing, and causes problems like pigmentation, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.

A broad spectrum sunscreen (protecting from UVA and UVB rays) is always a good starting point for protecting skin. At PHI Clinic, we always recommend using treatments proactively as a preventative rather than a corrective, as products like dermal fillers can continuously improve the appearance of skin and stave off the development of really deep lines.

For more information, or to book a no obligation consultation with one of our highly experienced clinicians, you can log an enquiry through our website and one of our staff will contact you, or call us today on 02070 345999.

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