Thembi Seete, the new face of Pond's Age Miracle. Picture: Twitter.
Dr Nomphelo Gantsho, a registered dermatologist focusing on all types of skin problems including, general, paediatric, surgical and cosmetic dermatology - takes us though to what happens to your skin when you age. With an extensive experience acquired from public and private healthcare practice, Gantsho shares an insight approach to ageing.

What is ageing?

It is a combination of nature (genetics) and nurture (the way in which the skin treated).

Why does skin age?

Skin ages because of many things it is exposed to, including sun damage. Skin doesn’t age overnight, it undergoes several changes such as:
  • Loose facial glands- which result in drier skin
  • Collagen reduction- this is what causes wrinkles
  • Repeated facial movements-these cause resting lines
  • Less elastin - this is where sagging comes from and
  • Fat loss- resulting in flattened cheeks

Over the years, we've heard people talk about the saying “black don't crack”. According to Dr Gantsho, dark skin doesn’t crack because it has melanin, a pigment which acts as a natural sunscreen- absorbing UV rays, that keep skin hydrated, smoother and plumper longer than lighter skin.


“No one is immune to ageing. On black skin, it happens in three ways; pigmentation, drooping and sagging”, said Dr Gantsho.

Hyper-pigmentation

When skin is exposed to the sun, it experiences early pigmentation, which then later causes loss of moisture-resulting in an uneven skin tone with rough texture.

Drooping

Losing collagen and elastic which leads to drooping- and when collagen eventually stops being produced, fat cells start to shrink and cheeks become flattened.

Sagging

Beneath our facial fat-pads lies facial muscles. The facial muscles however get weaker over time and as a result, the face sags. Muscle weakness then leads to resting lines.

To avoid early ageing, always use a sunscreen. It should be part of your everyday skin routine. Connect with Dr Nomphelo Gantsho @CapeSkinDoctor on Twitter.