Categorized | Skin Care

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What Causes Signs of Premature Aging Skin?

The signs of premature aging skin include fine lines, dryness, roughness and uneven skin tone. The most common cause is overexposure to sunlight. Others include illness, nutritional deficiencies, cigarette smoking, exposure to toxins, stress and possibly the use of skincare products containing petrolatum. We look at each of these causes in some detail below. And the look at How to Prevent Premature Aging Skin.


Most of the illnesses that result in premature or accelerated aging are genetic and/or due to defective DNA repair. Hutchinson-Gilford, Werner’s syndrome, DKC, Cockayne’s syndrome, xeroderma pigmentosa (XP) and wrinkly skin syndrome are some of the conditions responsible. All are rare. Only a few are inherited. They are often accompanied by rare forms of cancer.

**Nutritional Deficiencies

A lack of any essential nutrient will cause visible symptoms including cracking, sagging, wrinkling, dryness and many others. Nutritional deficiencies were considered rare in industrialized societies. But recent physician reports have shown an increase in certain deficiencies, such as vitamin D deficiency. The lack of vitamin D is not low enough to cause scurvy, but it may be low enough to increase a person’s risk of heart disease.

The body needs antioxidants in order to repair damaged DNA strands and prevent cellular aging. The visible signs of premature aging skin may occur after years of tiny bits of cellular damage caused by a chronic lack of antioxidants in the diet.

**Exposure to Toxins

Cigarette smoke is actually toxic. Other toxins that can negatively affect the skin’s appearance include other forms of smoke, air pollution, mercury, lead and asbestos, bromine, chlorine, formaldehyde and UV radiation.

One would usually be aware of exposure to the chemical toxins, as they would cause other symptoms. We are exposed to small amounts of UV radiation on a regular basis, because it is a component of sunlight. Not all exposure to UV is toxic unless a person has one of the illnesses mentioned above.


Some fine lines are obviously related to stress. We often refer to them as worry lines. Exactly how stress causes wrinkles and similar problems is unknown. Scientists believe it has to do with antioxidant depletion and free radical damage.


Ironically, petrolatum is often recommended to correct roughness or relieve excessive dryness. It is found in most body lotions, face creams and other skincare products. The mainstream medical community might not agree, but some dermatologists believe that regular use of products containing large amounts of petrolatum will cause premature aging of the skin.

**Overexposure to Sunlight

Overexposure to sunlight causes uneven skin tone by stimulating the production of the pigment melanin. Repeated exposure seems to cause the melanin-producing cells beneath the skin’s surface to misfire. So instead of an even “sun-tan”, spots and blotches appear. This is particularly common with age.

The sun’s UV rays cause fine lines by damaging the skin’s collagen fibers and the mother cells responsible for producing and replacing the skin’s outer layers. This leads to lost elasticity and the production of imperfect cellular copies.

Overexposure to sunlight causes roughness, because it is drying. It typically takes repeated exposure to cause roughness or excessive dryness, but severe sunburns can cause scars to form, which will feel rough. The burns can also cause uneven skin tone.

**What to Do Now

If you are just starting to see some fine lines, an uneven skin tone or other signs of premature aging skin, don’t worry. There are ways to reverse the process and prevent further damage from occurring. You’ll learn about that in my next article.

**Now, all you need to know is how to correct the problem. The next article will deal with How to Prevent Premature Aging Skin. See link for article in the author-resource box below. The solution is simple, safe and not difficult to do.

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