How skin ages and what you can do to fight back

Wisdom may come with age, but unfortunately there are other aspects of getting older that may not be so desirable. Your skin is one area that can give away your age.  Among the telltale signs of skin aging, your skin won’t be as taut and as smooth as it is when you are younger. Also, skin will be drier and more fragile.

Keck Medicine at the University of Southern California offers the following about skin aging, “Aging skin looks thinner, paler, and clear (translucent). Large pigmented spots, including age spots, liver spots, or lentigos, may appear in sun-exposed areas. Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin's strength and elasticity.” Also, because the blood vessels of the dermis, which is the layer below the epidermis, become more fragile, the skin may more easily bruise.

Since skin aging is a process, here’s what to expect each decade starting in your 30s from Prevention:

  • The 30s: Your skin will be drier and thinner with more obvious signs of expression lines on your forehead and around the eyes. You also might see the beginning of age spots.
  • The 40s: You will see more significant drying, dulling, hollowing of your skin. Also, expect more visible wrinkles, capillaries, broken blood vessels, and age spots.
  • The 50s and beyond: Skin thins, dries, deflates, and gets looser. Lines also become deeper, pores stretch, lids may sag and become hooded, and spots show up.

Lifestyle affects skincare

You may not be able to completely defeat Father Time, but lifestyle choices can help fight back:

Minimize the sun:  the UV rays of the sun destroy collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles. A study reported in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic, And Investigative Dermatology found that UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible facial aging signs, including wrinkles.  Still, some sun can be good for your skin – just keep it in moderation. Sunlight does provide vitamin D, which is good for cell development and repair.

Watch your diet: Some foods like fruits and vegetables contain wrinkle-fighting antioxidants. Others like fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids that restore moisture to dry skin.

Exercise regularly:  Exercise promotes healthy skin because it increases circulation. Increased blood flow helps to nourish skin cells and keep them vital.  That’s because blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working skin cells and carries away waste products, such as free radicals. 


Cleanse, moisturize and exfoliate

You’ll want to make sure your daily skincare regimen includes products to cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate to help skin look plump and hydrated:

Cleanse. Taking good care of your skin requires removing makeup and dirt, oil, and other debris that your skin accumulates during the course of the day. Cleaning your skin each day removes these impurities and also enables other face care products you apply to penetrate properly. 

Moisturize: There are a number of reasons why you need to moisturize your face. Good Housekeeping explains that a moisturizer helps to support a healthy skin barrier. When the skin barrier is compromised, the skin becomes dry, and that actually indicates a low-grade inflammation is occurring. Low levels of ongoing inflammation breakdown collagen, which accelerates aging.  Also, dehydrated skin makes lines and wrinkles more prominent.

Exfoliate: When you exfoliate, you are actually removing dead skin cells that lie on the surface of the skin. Removing these dead cells makes skin softer and smoother. Also, once these dead skin cells are removed, it’s easier for facial or body care products to penetrate the surface of the skin.

Also, for keeping wrinkles and lines at bay, consider retinol products, such as True Results Retinol Active Skincare. Retinols achieve their anti-aging results by protecting skin from free radicals and prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly so that new skin cells can grow. Retinols also slow down the breakdown of collagen.