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When Does Aging Start?

Kristina Cadwell  
July 12, 2023  

Aging is a process that starts from birth, but we typically associate it with wrinkles and other unflattering changes on our skin.

Genetics are primarily responsible for determining when our cells slow down, and the first signs of aging become visible. Besides our genes, external factors (environment and lifestyle choices) also play a crucial role in the aging process, as they can make us look younger or older than our chronological age.

This article identifies when aging starts and describes the telltale signs that give away aging skin.

When does aging start how to notice the signs

At What Age Does Skin Aging Start?

The first fine lines usually appear in our twenties. The loss of skin elasticity starts in our thirties, and by the time we are forty, our face starts to become drier, and more pronounced wrinkles will appear. These are general timelines for different stages of the aging process, though aging signs appear differently for everyone.

At the cellular level, we start to age around the age of 25. This is when cell turnover loses speed, and it is also the time when the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid—substances that keep our skin firm, elastic, and hydrated – slows down.

If we factor in external influences, such as sun exposure, smoking, high sugar intake, stress, and disturbed sleeping patterns, we may develop signs of skin aging.

What Are the First Signs of Aging Skin?

The changes that come with age happen in all layers of the skin, causing it to lose its glow, elasticity, moisture, and volume. In order to counteract these changes, protect the skin, and delay aging signs, we need to incorporate a good skincare routine.

The following are common signs of aging skin, along with recommendations for suitable treatments and products for these skin concerns.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Fine lines or “motor wrinkles” appear in our mid-to-late 20s or early 30s. The first to appear are forehead lines and small lines in the corners of the eyes, also known as crow’s feet. Extreme sun exposure and smoking can cause fine lines to appear much earlier.

Note: Find out what causes forehead lines and what are the 12 best forehead lines treatments.

More pronounced wrinkles on the forehead, around the eyes, and lips appear in the 30s and 40s as the degradation of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid picks up speed.

Many things can postpone premature aging, including the regular use of sunscreen and moisturizers, an antioxidant-rich diet, quitting smoking, and 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

Note: Learn how to choose a sunscreen and find out which sunscreen products our VSB experts recommend.

Hyperpigmentation (Sunspots, Melasma)

Hyperpigmentation is when patches of skin become darker than the surrounding area. A common form of hyperpigmentation are sunspots or age spots that appear when too much sun exposure damages the skin. You may notice sunspots as early as your 20s if you’ve overexposed your skin to UV rays, but they usually appear in the 40s and 50s.

Melasma are larger patches of darker skin. They usually appear because of hormonal imbalances caused by medical conditions, lifestyle factors, or simply life phases. Chemical peels are a good option for treating age spots.

Note: Learn more about the products and treatments that can help remove age spots.

Dry Skin and Loss of Skin Radiance

The skin loses its glow due to slower cell turnover and decreased production of natural oils, hyaluronic acid, and collagen. This can make the skin look tired and dull.

Lower estrogen levels, especially in menopause, also contribute to the loss of skin moisture.

One way to combat dry skin is to exfoliate regularly. Exfoliation using an enzyme mask can be done up to three times weekly.

Note: For tips on how to create the best skincare routine for dry skin, read our blog article.

Loss of Skin Elasticity

As collagen and elastin degrade, our skin loses elasticity. This usually starts happening in our 30s or 40s, but sun exposure, smoking, and repetitive facial movements can greatly speed up the process.

Minimizing these factors and using cosmetic products with the right combination of ingredients (e.g., hyaluronic acid) can postpone the loss of skin elasticity. Maintaining a healthy diet with the right balance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals also helps keep optimal collagen levels.

Note: Among the many benefits of chia seeds for the skin are reduced inflammation and increased collagen production.

Loss of Facial Volume

Disrupted production of hormones, especially estrogen, contributes to lower levels of fat cells, resulting in the loss of facial volume. Youthful, plump cheeks become flat, and the area under our eyes becomes hollow. Loss of face volume leads to droopy skin and neck laxity (or “turkey neck”).

These changes usually start happening in our 40s, unless lifestyle and environmental factors accelerate the process. Dermal fillers are a popular and effective treatment that brings back facial volume.

Note: If you are looking for dermal fillers in Phoenix, visit our experts at Vibrant Skin Bar and they will help you choose the right option for you!

What Triggers Aging Skin?

Common factors that trigger premature skin aging include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Nutritionally poor diet
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Inadequate skin care

Note: Read this ultimate skincare guide to learn how to adequately care for your aging skin.

Are You Aging Slower if You Look Younger?

We differentiate between two types of aging: chronological (how old a person is) and cellular or biological (the state of our cells and organs). Chronological age doesn’t necessarily reflect one’s biological age and physical appearance.

For example, a 60-year-old person who exercises, eats healthily, sleeps 7-8 hours every night, and uses anti-aging skincare products can look younger than a 45-year-old person with an erratic, unhealthy lifestyle.

Studies show healthy habits can reduce the environmental damage to cells and slow down biological aging, helping us look younger, maintain our physical and mental health, and live longer.


As young as we may feel, we can’t avoid the changes on our skin that come with the passage of time. The process usually happens earlier than we might want. Fortunately, for every aging sign on our skin, there is a solution that minimizes or postpones it.

At Vibrant Skin Bar we offer a range of different treatments and products that will help you keep that youthful glow longer. Contact us for skin rejuvenation in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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