Life Cycle of Skin
Our skin changes as we age. A baby’s skin has a much thicker fat layer and a much thinner epidermis. Babies have smooth, soft skin partly because they have a much higher percentage of hyaluronic acid, a compound capable of retaining 1000x its weight in water. In addition, babies regenerate the strateum corneum (the outermost layer where new skin cells are formed) in as little as 14 days. This same regeneration process takes up to 37 days in a 50 year old.
As our skin ages, it loses much of the underlying tissue that made it so soft and supple as a child. Over time, collagen (the “glue” that holds elastin together) is depleted from the dermis. Collagen depletion makes our skin thinner and less supple and causes skin to sag and lose its resiliency. In addition, as we age, decreased blood flow to our skin results in slower healing. Finally, for post menopausal women, skin produces less protective oils so our skin dries out more easily.