How does our skin age through the decades and what skincare is appropriate to slow the ageing process?

Lets first explore what happens to our skin as we age.


When we are young we enjoy a thicker dermis, long collagen fibers, and a hydrated epidermis (skins surface). When we age the dermis thins as well as our adipose tissue (fat tissue), the stratum corneum (top layer of the skin) becomes dry. Like a box spring in a mattress if the box spring (dermis) is not functioning as it should the mattress (skins surface) sags. 

External and Intrinsic Factors play a key role in how our skin ages through the decades.

Intrinsic Ageing: contributes to 15% of our ageing. This is how our skin naturally changes throughout the years and genetics is part of this equation:

  • loss of adipose (fat tissue) 
  • from 20-80 years old we lose 20% of the density from our dermis
  • desquamation (exfoliation) of the skin slows
  • collagen and elastin production slows
  • facial bone mass and muscles also decrease with age

External Ageing Factors: contributes to 85% of our ageing. Environment and lifestyle choices, UV exposure are part of this equation:

  • increase of pigmentation (sun spots other pigment blemishes)
  • increase of visible blood vessels
  • the decrease in collagen and elastin
  • increase of MMP's (Matrix metalloproteinases) which can destroy healthy collagen
  • increase of inflammation in the skin and free radical activity
  • the impacted surface of the skin which leads to a leathery skin


The 20's

  • a reduction in fat under the eyes commences
  • dark circles/shadow forms under the eyes as the tissue thins
  • collagen decreases
  • crows feet become apparent
  • frown lines can start to appear
  • bone loss has not started just yet
  • some may still have oil flow

Objectives: PREVENT


The 30's

  • thinning skin that appears less plump
  • visible capillaries
  • collagen and elastin decrease
  • large pores
  • under eye area even more delicate
  • drier surface skin



The 40's

  • deepening lines around the eyes and mouth
  • possible onset of menopause - skin becomes sensitive, reactive, possible acne
  • lower estrogen levels
  • increase dryness and sensitivities
  • furrows on forehead
  • further loss of collagen and elastin
  • skin loses the bounce back
  • possible adult acne
  • possible pigmentation


  • Focus on corrective skin care regime
  • Use a SPF
  • Vitamin C, B3 in the morning
  • Advanced Vitamin A of a night
  • Other corrective serum (brightening serum, anti-ageing booster serum)
  • Moisturiser
  • Exfoliate
  • Eye serum
  • Mask

The 50's +

  • rough skin texture
  • jawline and eyelid drooping and sagging
  • possible yellow tone to the skin
  • increase sun spots and hyperpigmentation
  • more settled wrinkles


  • Focus on advanced corrective skin care regime
  • Use a Hydrating SPF
  • Vitamin C, B3, Brightening serum in the morning
  • Advances Vitamin A of a night
  • Other corrective serum (anti-ageing booster serum, barrier repair)
  • Moisturiser
  • Exfoliate
  • Eye serum
  • Mask


What else can you do to slow the ageing process?

  • Get enough sleep: sleep is essential for tissue and cell respiration. Our body needs sufficient sleep to repair, reduce inflammation and heal. 
  • Quit smoking: Nicotine causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels. Oxygen therefor does not supply cells, starving them of oxygen. MMP's increase, which destroy healthy collagen. 
  • Dehydration: As in topical dehydration, yes drinking 8 glasses of water a day is great, but topical daily hydration of the skin protects the skin from those external ageing factors. Sensitivities are also reduced, and the skin has a strong healthy barrier. A dehydrated skin cannot supply vital nutrients to where they are needed. Fines lines and wrinkles will occur with a dehydrated skin.
  • Wear broadspectrum sunscreen daily. As shown in the image below, the effects of UVA and UVB damage on a truck driver in the US. If you work in an office near a window the same applies! Mineral only sunscreen will not make you breakout and like the Osmosis Protect is not heavy on the skin. 


View some suggested products for the above decade routines:

Moisturiser: Skin Matrix HydraCell, Aspect Phytostat 9, Osmosis Quench Plus

Vitamin C serums: Aspect Extreme C, Skin Matrix IQ Serum, Osmosis Catalyst AC-11

Brightening Serums: Cosmedix Simply Brilliant, and Skin Matrix EnlightenMe

Sunscreens: Osmosis Shade, Osmosis Protect

Vitamin A Serums: Skin Matrix Rebuild, Cosmedix Refine, Aspect Retinol Brulee

Exfoliator: Skin Matrix Facial Scrub, ASAP Daily Facial Scrub


In Clinic Treatments To Assist In the Ageing Process:

  • Daily use of products (SPF!!)
  • Microdermabrasion
  • LED/IPL/Laser
  • Skin Needling
  • Peels
  • Microcurrent CACI treatments
  • Injectables (please note this does not take care of the skins surface/texture)


Have a question about this topic? 

Complete our Matrix Program, an online skin care consultation for professional advice.


X Happy Skin Days, Sarah Wilkinson, Skin Matrix



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