The modern man's complete guide to ageing

The modern man's complete guide to ageing

Posted by Aker Skincare on

A fulfilling life is made up of many different components. From our physical health to our mental health, from our careers to our passion projects and from looking after ourselves while guiding and supporting others, we put action into the present even if the benefits may only be realised in the future.

In a time of instant gratification, it’s easy to forget that some things take time, but delayed benefits aren’t a reason to give up. Developing routine and structure ensures that our efforts will come to fruition. As we consciously commit ourselves each day to a goal, it’s a day closer to that goal being achieved.

This ethos can be applied to any area of our lives, and therefore it’s no different with our skincare. Taking a few minutes to look after your skin each day is no doubt the best way to achieve skin that glows with health. A professional shave or face mask can be a wonderful way to treat skin (and relax), but it’s a skincare routine that will leave you with lasting results.

The earlier you start such a routine, then the longer you will reap the rewards. Think of it like earning interest- the more you put in, the more you get back! When you invest the time into caring for your skin, you’re preventing issues in the years to come.

Our life is a series of transitions, and our skin experiences this also. Skin goes through defined periods of change on a visible and biological level, and just as we respond to the changing seasons, we must also react to our changing age. The earlier you start (and sustain) a skincare routine, the higher your chances of alleviating the appearance of these changes.

It is our delicate facial skin that needs the most attending in this endeavour. The skin on our faces is almost always exposed, constantly performing mechanical functions, and generally the most likely place for the signs of change to present themselves. We believe that starting a routine early and sticking with it is the easiest and most effective way to maintain a healthy skin barrier in the present, and for the future.

So although our skin is incredible, wonderful, fantastically evolved to protect us, it does need a helping hand every once in a while. Modern life throws many more environmental stressors at us than in times gone by, and our skin isn’t always equipped to deal with the constant barrage of external threats.

To put ourselves in the best defensive position and ensure healthy, youthful skin for years to come it is necessary to explore a few key concepts. In this article we’re going to examine;

  • What constitutes healthy skin and how to support it
  • What is meant by ageing and how the process unfurls
  • What plays a role in the ageing process
  • Preventative measures from sun protection, peptides, and vitamins

Aker Skincare - Anti Ageing

What is healthy skin?

It’s always good to remind ourselves of what following a skincare routine is aiming to achieve: healthy skin that looks and feels good.

Research conducted by Oregon State University gave a definition of healthy skin as "having the ability to respond to challenges that would otherwise undermine its structure and function". It went on to acknowledge that this ability can be identified visibly, stating that "skin that functions properly has aesthetically pleasing properties, giving skin a healthful appearance and feel".

To assess the health of our skin, we can look out for external qualities like:

  1. Hydration - being neither dry and flaky, nor overly oily
  2. Smooth - having a natural exfoliation process of cell regeneration and renewal
  3. Even toned
  4. Strong and without breaks in the surface - possessing an effective protective barrier
  5. Disease-free

These 5 points helps us feel great on the outside but also shows that everything’s running smoothly on the inside.

Men's skin and ageing

What is going on with ageing?

In terms of your skin, ageing is often classified by the visual signs of wrinkling, loss of elasticity, laxity etc. However, these physical manifestations of ageing are merely signs of the biological processes happening a couple of millimetres under the skin surface.

It isn’t simply our appearance that changes but our cells. As time goes by, our cellular regeneration abilities gradually decrease, meaning we no longer have an abundance of the proteins like collagen and elastin associated with a ‘youthful’ appearance.

Our bone structure is also subject to change, with the effects of decreasing bone density being emphasised as the subcutaneous fat layer changes distribution patterns.

These things don’t happen overnight. The ageing process begins during your 20’s and becomes more apparent over time, hence the recommendation to start a skincare routine as early as possible and thus keep skin healthy whilst these changes occur.

Keeping your skin in good health can subsequently limit the impact of these changes on a visible and invisible level.

A timeline of how skin ages

Age 25-45

As we settle into comfortable adulthood, our culminating life experiences slowly begin to paint themselves upon our skin. With the passage of time, our production of elastin, collagen, sebum, and hyaluronic acid begins to be produced in lower quantities.

As the substances responsible for ensuring our skin stays supple and hydrated, their lessening availability means that fine lines may appear and the skin may lose its bounce and firmness.

The fatty subcutaneous layer of our skin begins to thin, as do our dermis and epidermis (the outer and inner layer of the skin). The connectivity between these layers weakens and this in turn starts to reduces our inbuilt ability to diffuse the damaging effects of UV rays. 

Age 45-55

Ageing tends to become more apparent during this period. Wrinkles, roughness, lack of firmness, age spots and dryness are all likely to increase as dermal change progresses.

Those well won years of emotion and experience become visible on your face, leaving wrinkles or grooves where repetitive facial movements have occurred over the decades - notably the forehead, around your eyes and mouth, and potentially on the side of your face you sleep upon.

Cohesion between the skin layers has decreased, which in turn lowers the effectiveness of the skin's immunity to environmental stressors. 

Age 55+

In terms of what’s happening beneath the surface very little actually changes changes. Production of the skin proteins continues to lessen and connective tissues continue to lose their effectiveness, just as they slowly have been for the past 30 years.

Once they reach a certain stage momentum for visible change is gathered and there comes the possibility that the visual signs of ageing suddenly become more pronounced. Men are much more prone at this stage to forehead grooves forming, and to skin under the eyes visibly losing elasticity. The most significant change from this period onwards is melanin production, which can become unpredictable and lead to areas of discolouration.

Did you know?

Men produce collagen in a much higher density than women. Collagen production decreases at a stable rate of roughly 1% per year after the age of 30.

What causes of aging in men's skin?

There are two main types of ageing. These consist of internal/intrinsic factors and external/extrinsic factors:

These are factors outside of ourselves, consisting of our lifestyle and our environment.




Air quality & pollution



Diet and Nutrition


Skincare routine

UV radiation

Sleep cycle




These factors are primarily dictated by our genetics and we are unable to alter their occurence

Bone structure

Skin profile

Declining levels of collagen, elastin, and sebum production

Declining capacity for cellular turnover  

The decreasing thickness of skin layers
- most notably the fatty subcutaneous skin layer

Mechanical processes (facial movements)

Hormone production

We have little to no control over these internal factors, and so it is the external factors that we have the greatest chance of influencing. General consensus has identified the main environmental culprit. It's the genuinely-lifegiving-and-arguably-the-best-weather-but-it's-annoyingly-bad-for-skin-sun. Sneaky sun huh?

How photoaging affects skin

The sun is responsible for the process of ‘photoaging’. The Canadian Dermatology Association defines this process as:

“Premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), primarily from the sun but also from artificial UV sources. Photoaging differs from chronologic aging: the damaging effects of UV rays – from the sun or artificial tanning sources – alter normal skin structures.”

Once again, it is unlikely one can completely eradicate all chances of photoaging (and who would want to sacrifice the great outdoors in its entirety?!) and so prevention remains the key. 


I’m sure you’ve heard of UV radiation and understand the potency of these rays on altering our skin on a molecular level. There are in fact two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. In order to understand the importance of sun protection and the photoaging process, it is necessary first to distinguish between these two UV rays.


These are the rays connected to the ageing process (handy tip- UVA for ageing!) These rays are longer and deeply penetrate the skin, damaging skin cells known as ‘keratinocytes’. The deeper the rays penetrate, the more severe the impact upon the skin's ageing appearance.

These rays account for 95% of UV rays that reach the Earth’s surface are the key thing to defend against when it comes the appearance of your skin long term.


B is for burning. The intensity of these rays fluctuates across the year, location to location. They don’t penetrate the skin on such a cellular level and instead redden and burn the skin’s exposed top layer. These rays are more carcinogenic. 

Did you know?

In a study published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2013) researchers found that across 298 participants “UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing signs.”

Both UVA and UVB rays leave lasting damage on the skin, both aesthetically and structurally. These rays’ effects penetrate much further than the eye can see, with their carcinogenic qualities mutating cells and triggering cancers within the body.

Therefore photoaging isn’t simply a matter of wanting to maintain the appearance of youth - photoaging is a serious threat to our body on a cellular level, and must be treated with the utmost importance to keep us healthy on the inside and the outside.

Aker Skincare - Seasonal Moisturiser

How men can look younger and maintain healthy skin

Just in case we haven’t stressed it enough by this point, the best way of keeping your skin looking young and healthy is through fitting a tailored skincare routine into your day-to-day life. We believe that this routine should be aiming to:

Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by external factors and internal change

Boost your complexion’s brightness, your skin’s smoothness and hydration, and your collagen and elastin production

Protect against UV rays

Don’t forget- ‘healthy skin is the measure of a healthy body’, so just as we attend to our physical health, we must also attend to our skin's.

Protection from the sun

The most effective way to combat UV exposure is by using products containing UV filters and SPF. The potency of the sun outside of summertime is often underrated- UV rays don’t go on holiday when the clouds are around I’m afraid to tell you. Whilst people are diligent with their protection of summer skin, this dedication often falls to the wayside during the other months, thus leaving ample room for photoaging and UV harm.

The intensity of UV does change as the seasons change, and that’s why seasonal skincare, specifically tailored for male skin, is so vital. Daily use of skincare products or sun cream with UV filters is the best approach to anti-ageing. It is imperative to keep skin healthy and looking young.


We’ve already ascertained that collagen is an integral part of keeping your skin healthy and youthful. Well, in 2013 researchers at the University of Reading proved that a synthetic peptide (Matrixyl 3000, our favorite), reduced cutaneous photodamage by restructuring the papillary dermis, and greatly increase the amount of collagen found within the skin.

Peptides are active molecules that are produced throughout your body and send signals to your cells. They act as the base from which other proteins such as collagen and elastin are produced. These proteins are too large to be absorbed through the skin barriers, and so skincare products containing peptides are an alternative- they work to stimulate their natural production rather than replace the deficiency.

In addition to slowing the natural decrease in protein production levels peptides can also reverse some of the damage inflicted by the sun over the years. Ensuring effective, well-researched peptides are present in your male skincare products will greatly increase your skincare routine’s effectiveness.


Vitamin c (the vitamin oranges are famous for) has been shown to be another incredible ingredient to stimulate effective skin regeneration processes. It works against the effects of extrinsic ageing and is naturally present in the skin’s upper two layers. Vitamin c helps to protect your skin against free radicals, UV damage, and loss of collagen production. It is an incredibly important vitamin not just for you body in general but for the ongoing health and appearance of your skin.

The result? Firmer, brighter skin that has boosted protection against photoaging and environmental stress, namely air pollution. Vitamins d, k, and e are also effective within anti-ageing products and routines, but none are quite as good at protecting our skin as vitamin c.

Now you know

So, there it is - the truth of what’s happening under the surface of your skin laid out plain and simple. You know what’s happening, what’s going to happen, and most importantly, you know how to keep your skin healthy throughout these changes.

When it comes to the stages your skin goes through over your lifetime, forewarned is indeed forearmed.  Many studies into the science of keeping skin healthy and preventing time-related damage have come to the same conclusion as this article- that ‘prevention, regeneration, and delaying of skin-ageing’ is the most effective measure to limit compromising your skin’s health as the years progress.

We’re in the lucky position that our skin’s health can be ‘enhanced directly through topical applications’, and so having a thorough, specifically tailored for men, skincare routine is the most effective way to maintain a healthy and youthful glow for as long as possible.

Age is just a number if you want it to be because you now know the best secret in skincare...

For good skin tomorrow, you’ve got to start today.

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