Is There a "Tipping Point" of Aging?

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Attractiveness by Age

Originally uploaded by manitou2121

Recently, the Procter & Gamble-owned company SK-II identified that skin’s elasticity and resilience decreases by the greatest amount at age 35.  The company measured skin quality in 100 women between ages 25 and 55, and while elasticity and resilience decreased throughout a woman’s twenties and early thirties, it was found to precipitously drop at age 35.  As dermatologist Dr. Jeannie Downie, M.D. tells Elle magazine, “I totally notice a tipping point with my patients.”  And Professor Osamu Kuwazuru at Fukui University (who participated in the study) confirms in the Bangkok Post: “Many women seem to experience a sudden onset of skin ageing at a certain age in their 30s…With ageing, each layer of the skin undergoes different changes. While they may not seem prominent at the start, the accumulative changes lead to a certain critical point when the skin layers start to collapse, causing a variety of ageing signs to become more obvious.”

However, this is not to say that the “tipping point” is universal.  Many dermatologists and anti-aging experts claim that healthy, balanced living can slow the aging process (especially if that living includes lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, anti-inflammatory whole grains, hydrating water…and tons of sunscreen and smart sun avoidance)!   As the skin is the largest organ, a good rule of thumb I’ve learned is the healthier you are on the inside, the more your skin will glow from the outside.

In addition, don’t fear aging to 35 and beyond just yet:  According to Forbes magazine, the most attractive age for women is 36, with women in their late 30’s and early 40’s like Halle Berry, Carmen Electra and Demi Moore ranking very high in internet search popularity.  Furthermore, if beauty is how you feel, then youth is pretty ugly:  according to a British study amongst 1500 women aged 40 to 60, 38% of women felt most attractive at 32, while another 20% felt most attractive at 40 – leaving a minority feeling most beautiful before their thirties.

As a 25-year-old woman, I know that I grew up wanting to look like Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, or Kristi Yamaguchi…and they have aged so well, I still want to look like them!  :-)  With that said, even though the aforementioned SK-II study certainly is interesting, keep in mind that age really is just a number…and aging a state of mind.

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6 thoughts on “Is There a "Tipping Point" of Aging?

  1. Jackie says:

    I never realized how much your skin can change. I also never realized that most damage to your skin is not visible with the naked eye. I have been going to Skin Print for the past few years to help repair the damage I have done to my skin and repair my elasticity.

  2. AM says:

    I never realized how much your skin can change. I also never realized that most damage to your skin is not visible with the naked eye. I have been going to Skin Print for the past few years to help repair the damage I have done to my skin and repair my elasticity.

  3. Emma Deasy says:

    Hi Nikki,
    I’ve been having monthly microdermabrasion and IPL sessions for the last year and a half. Im 28 and my skin is in good condition but I’m a smoker and am doing these sessions to counteract collagen loss. My question is should I keep these monthly sessions up or should I stop doing them?

  4. futurederm says:

    Hi Emma,

    I’m still only a medical student, so I can’t give you medical advice, and I apologize.

    With that said, I think that microdermabrasion and IPL are wonderful treatments to fight collagen loss, and unless you are having irritation or some sort of sensitivity to them, I don’t see why you would want to discontinue them.

    Please ask your dermatologist to be sure though!
    Best,
    Nicki

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