What Causes Your Skin To Age? Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Ageing

As the number of candles on your birthday cakes increase so do the signs of ageing - but what exactly causes your skin to age?

There are two kinds of ageing at work, the ‘natural’ kind - known as intrinsic ageing, and the kind of ageing caused by environmental and lifestyle factors, known as extrinsic ageing.

Let’s take a closer look at these two processes, especially extrinsic ageing because this type of ageing is the kind you have the most control over! However, the rate at which our skin ages can be determined by more than just the passage of time.

Intrinsic Ageing

Intrinsic aging is known as genetic or chronological ageing. Basically, it’s the way we humans naturally age over time and the bad news is, we have very little say in the process! 

The rate at which we age intrinsically is determined by our genes (so lucky you if your parents and grandparents look amazing for their age) and is affected by things inside the body like hormone levels, cells and proteins. 

Due to these internal changes, over time, skin naturally loses its elasticity, moisture and texture.

Extrinsic Ageing

On to better news! Extrinsic ageing is caused by factors outside the body; environmental and lifestyle factors. 

This means we actually have quite a lot of control over the speed at which extrinsic ageing happens and adopting healthy skin habits can slow this process right down. 

Here are a few factors that accelerate extrinsic ageing and what you can do to combat them.

Sun damage

You’re probably not surprised to see this at the top of the list! Sun damage has a HUGE impact on how fast your skin ages - it's estimated that 90% of skin aging is due to the effects of the sun. 

Both UVA and UVB rays from the sun damage skin, although in different ways, and the results range from loss of firmness, fine lines, sun spots, dry skin, to serious health issues like melanoma. 

Skin tip to combat sun damage: Using a daily sunscreen is a must! Make sure your sunscreen is broad-spectrum to protect from both UVA and UVB rays.

Try our SPF Face Moisturiser - a non-greasy, quickly absorbing, natural SPF face moisturiser ideal for everyday use.


Smoking wreaks havoc on your skin. It blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow to the skin and capillaries can become permanently damaged. The result? A flushed appearance and visibly broken capillaries. Sallow, dry skin and lines like crows feet are also caused by smoking.  

Skin tip to combat smoking: Give up the cigarettes already!


Our skin is exposed to pollution and toxins in our environment every day, especially those living in urban areas and big cities. Tiny particles of pollution don’t just sit on your skin, they’re small enough to infiltrate the deeper layers of the epidermis. 

This can cause dehydration, inflammation loss of elasticity and firmness - all speed up the signs of visible ageing.

Skin tip to combat pollution: A thorough cleanse of your face at night will lift traces of pollution from your skin. Minimise exposure to pollution during the day by applying an antioxidant-rich serum or face oil after cleansing in the morning, and at night to boost the repair process. Antioxidants are key ingredients in neutralising the effect of free radical damage caused by pollution.

Try our antioxidant-rich Coconut And Rosehip Face Oil and Cream Face Cleanser with coconut oil and aloe vera for their unique anti-oxidant and healing properties.


Stress isn’t your friend, not for your mind or your skin.

When your stressed, your body releases cortisol, the primary stress hormone. The more stressed you are, the higher the levels of cortisol in your body, which has shown to break down collagen. The results of prolonged stress will show in your skin with more pronounced fine lines and dry, flaky skin. It can also cause acne or flare-ups of psoriasis or eczema.

Skin tips to combat stress: Try a few facial yoga moves, exercise and get into the habit of practising deep breathing to release tension. 

Kelapa Organics is excited to bring you a range of certified organic skincare products. Free from harmful toxins, our Australian made organic skin care products are also cruelty-free.

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