Tips To Prevent Premature Ageing

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Ageing comes to us all – at a faster rate for some than others – and it’s an inevitable consequence of growing older. Whether you are lucky enough to be blessed with good genes that mean you don’t really look your age, or you are have more than your fair share of those tell-tale signs of ageing, there are still steps you can take to minimise the impact of natural ageing and the external factors that can impact on your appearance. 

By understanding the skin’s life cycle and how it slows as we get older, as well as some of the main factors that speed up the ageing process, you can start to take some positive steps that will keep your skin looking its best. D.Thomas Clinic has compiled some helpful insight that will inform you about premature ageing and the factors you can attempt to do something about.

Debbie Thomas, skin and laser expert at D.Thomas Clinic says: “When it comes to our patients and treatment, we prefer not to use the term ‘anti-ageing’. We consider that growing old is a privilege, and therefore celebrate the beauty of every skin type and age by making it the healthiest, strongest skin possible. Managing the ageing process is simply keeping your skin in the best condition it can be.” 

Understanding the skin’s life cycle

Your skin’s life cycle begins in your skin’s deepest layer of the epidermis, these brand-new cells move upward through the skin’s layers, slowly drying out, until they reach the surface and are keratinised, becoming dry, dead skin flakes. All dead skin cells are replaced by new skin cells that have moved upwards towards the surface of the skin.

As we age, the skin’s ability to regenerate reduces. For a middle-aged adult, the skin naturally regenerates approximately every 28 days. As we grow older, this skin cycle slows to about 45-60 days in our 40s and 50s to 60-90 days in our 50s and 60s. Other factors such as hormones, stress and skin conditions can affect this life cycle and prematurely slow it down. 

The main changes to your skin as you age include the following:

  • Damaged, pigmentation rises to the surface, showing as sun spots, age spots, liver spots, etc
  • The outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, leading to increased risk of skin injury
  • Elasticity and skin’s strength reduces and is more noticeable in sun-damaged areas
  • Blood vessels become more fragile leading to more vascular irregularities, like cherry angiomas
  • Sebaceous glands produce less oil as you age, leading to dryness and dehydration. Women gradually make less oil during menopause
  • Your skin’s regeneration cycle slows, and the skin repairs itself more slowly.The older we get, the slower the metabolic activity of our skin becomes and our collagen and elastin production depletes.

What factors speed up the ageing process and what can be done about them?

There are many different causes of premature ageing of the skin. Here, D.Thomas Clinic picks out the most common and suggests solutions to each…

  • Problem: Sun damage (UV light) – known formally as photoaging, UV light causes DNA changes to the skin at a cellular level. In the deepest layers of the skin, the dermis, it can take years before the damage surfaces and becomes visible. 
  • Solution: Although some sun exposure is still recommended for you, you should look to use sunscreen if your exposure is likely to be prolonged.
  • Problem: High-energy visible (HEV), also known as blue light, and infrared light – because HEV penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays it can increase free radicals within your skin and increase the number of deteriorating cells – slowing down your cell regeneration cycle and causing premature ageing.
  • Solution: Since HEV comes from both the sun and common devices, you can be better protected with a high SPF sunscreen and even protect your delicate eye area with dark lenses that have a UV rating. Enable the night mode on portable devices to limit exposure to blue light.
  • Problem: Smoking – nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow, reducing oxygen flow and nutrients to skin cells. This damages skin structures necessary for skin elasticity and health.
  • Solution: The straightforward answer is to stop smoking, and while quitting is never easy, you’ll enjoy not only obvious skin improvements but also massive health benefits.
  • Problem: Alcohol – alcohol causes oxidative stress, this damages DNA in a way that can lead to premature ageing due to an increase in free radicals and increase in the number of deteriorating cells.
  • Solution: The simple answer is to cut back on alcohol. While we don’t expect everyone will eliminate alcohol entirely, reducing it will have positive benefits for your skin. 
  • Problem: Diet – ultra-processed foods can cause premature skin ageing, due to the promotion of chronic inflammation and breakdown of your cells.
  • Solution: Avoid or reduce the amount of processed foods you consume and replace them with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat, fish and eggs.
  • Problem: Sleep – more and more evidence is starting to shed light on the effect sleep deprivation has on our skin’s ageing process. Sleep deprivation can increase levels of cortisol, inflammation and influence our moisture levels, which all heighten free radical damage. 
  • Solution:  Improve the quality and/or quantity of your sleep. Getting regular exercise can help with this.
  • Problem: Stress – chronic stress can lead to DNA damage that causes premature ageing. 
  • Solution: Lower your stress levels by embracing activities such as exercise, relaxation techniques, your favourite hobbies and socialising with friends.

Even if you were able to implement all the changes mentioned above, you can still give your skin a helping hand by properly taking care of it. So how can you target the different areas of ageing skin with skin health and professional skin treatments?

skin rejuvenation

Popular skin health treatment options

Some of the most popular skin health treatments include:

Pigmentation treatments 

Pigmentation occurs where there is excess production of melanin that results in darker spots compared to your overall skin tone. Known as dark sports, age spots, sun spots, brown spots, freckles, solar lentigines and melasma, they can cause an uneven complexion which is troublesome for some.

Using the Dual Yellow Laser that emits green and yellow light can bring noticeable improvement in hyperpigmentation with minimal to virtually no pain.

Fine line and wrinkles treatments

As your skin ages,  its elasticity reduces and it loses its flexibility, meaning it no longer springs back in place, leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.  You can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by incorporating products that help to stimulate collagen and elastin production. Retinol is considered the ultimate age management ingredient, and helps to improve cellular renewal and stimulate collagen production, which can work to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Professional treatments that cause skin trauma can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as this controlled damage leads to the stimulation of collagen and elastin which will plump the skin and restore its spring.  Options for treatment include the following:

  • DNA Microneedling – Microneedling is a form of controlled damage to the skin, by creating micro-channels.
  • RF Microneedling  – RF Microneedling uses a supercharged combination of ultra-fine micro-needles, to cause micro-injuries to the skin, triggering collagen production and cellular renewal whilst radiofrequency is simultaneously pulsed deep into the skin to further boost skin remodelling results. 

Skin tone treatments

Dryness, dull and lacklustre skin tone – as your skin ages, sebum production reduces which can exasperate dryness and lead to skin dehydration, these factors can leave skin tone looking dull and lacklustre. You can help to revitalise skin tone by incorporating products that help to restore hydration and strengthen the skin barrier. These include Ceramides – to restore healthy barrier function – and hyaluronic acid – to replenish hydration levels within the skin

Professional treatments that deliver hydration to the deeper layers of the skin, as well as strengthen the skin barrier, can help to revitalise skin tone and restore skin glow.  A signature treatment offered by D.Thomas Clinic is DNA Laser Complete Grade 2 which targets specific skin concerns while also strengthening skin health. 

Skin thinning and sagging treatments

As your skin ages, your SMAS layer (a tissue sheet of collagen, elastin fibres and fat cells connecting your facial muscles to your dermis layer) weakens and so does its ability to hold up muscles, fat and skin of the face this can lead to skin sagging, the formation of jowls and loose skin.

You can help to lift and tighten the skin by incorporating products that work to stimulate collagen and elastin – but skin health products are not enough to powerfully lift and tighten the skin. Retinol provides a solution and is considered the ultimate age management ingredient. Iit helps to improve cellular renewal and stimulate collagen production, which can work to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Professional treatments are also an effective option for lifting and contouring the skin, as they can target the deeper layers where this concern occurs. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is one of the few treatments that can directly target your SMAS layer without surgery. Now, with advanced ultrasound technology, your skin can have its spring restored by precisely treating your SMAS layer effectively and non-invasively.