Mature Skin Overview

Mature Skin Characteristics

Even if you had perfect skin as a young adult, no one is immune to the changes that skin undergoes as it ages. The first thing you may notice as your skin matures, is that it's no longer as firm as it once was. As you age, your skin loses both collagen, a protein that keeps skin firm, plump and wrinkle-free, and elastin, a protein that gives skin strength and allows it to stretch [source: Bouchez]. Exposure to free radicals and the sun's ultraviolet light can cause further damage to collagen and elastin. Without the high concentration of elastin you had when you were younger, you may notice that your skin begins to sag, stretch and tear more easily [source: WebMD].

As you age, dead skin cells don't shed as quickly and skin may not regenerate new, healthy cells as easily, which can cause skin to appear rough and dull. As the epidermis flattens, skin also becomes more transparent and fragile, and it can bruise more easily as blood vessels begin to thin [source: WebMD].

Other changes in an aging body can also affect how your skin appears. Fat loss, normally a welcome occurrence, can cause facial skin to loosen and appear more sunken in, and bone or cartilage loss can affect the skin around your mouth, nose and ears. Also, mature skin tends to dry out more often than youthful skin — sweat and oil glands deplete with age, depriving the skin of some of its natural moisture [source: WebMD].

Women experiencing menopause may also face some unique skin challenges that can make them feel like teenagers again. Read on to learn more.