Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and has the important job of protecting everything inside your body. But a lifetime of wear and tear can cause common skin issues as we age, leaving the skin we’re in looking dull, wrinkled, discolored or papery. The good news is that taking care of your skin now can result in younger, healthier looking skin as you age.
The most noticeable effect of aging on the skin is the dreaded wrinkle. While they may be cute on certain dogs, or worn as a badge of wisdom on some people, wrinkles on your own face may cause stress and worry, leading to more wrinkles! Did you know that you can combat wrinkles when you are young, resulting in smoother, more youthful skin when you’re older? It’s true! Using a good sunscreen and moisturizer consistently when you are young will have lifelong benefits for the appearance of your skin. If you do notice some wrinkles creeping up, there are steps you can take to lessen their appearance, including fillers or injections such as Botox. The sooner you start using these remedies, the less you will need as you age. Also, using a Retinol-based cream can help your skin regenerate cells and increase collagen, which will improve your skin’s appearance and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Wrinkles are the big aging indicator, but there are other common changes that occur in skin as we get older. You may notice that your skin has become much drier. This occurs because your body produces fewer natural moisturizing oils as you age, and there is also a decrease in hormone production. A good moisturizer is helpful for treating the surface issues of dry skin, such as cracks, rough patches or flaking. Adding antioxidants, and the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 to your diet through foods or supplements will help, as will increasing the amount of Vitamin A you take in, since it has been shown to slow collagen breakdown.
If you have spent time with an older relative, you may have noticed the translucent, papery quality of their skin. The thinning of skin occurs over a lifetime as the fatty layer just below the epidermis begins to decrease and the cells in your skin aren’t able to regenerate as fast as they did in youth. Sun exposure will also cause collagen to break down and speeds along the loss of elasticity in skin, resulting in that less-than-smooth appearance. You may have also noticed those age spots on an older relative or friend’s hands, face or arms. These should more accurately be called “sun spots,” since they are actually caused by the same harmful UV rays that lead to sunburns and skin cancer. UV rays encourage the production of melanin, a darker pigment that leaves oval patches of skin looking darker than the rest of the skin. Using proper sun protection when you are young can help prevent age spots, and if you already notice changes in pigmentation, treatments such as bleaching creams, laser therapy or peels may help.
Your skin offers a lifetime of protection to all the important parts of your body, so if you start now with these easy skin care suggestions, you will be rewarded as you age with smoother, stronger, healthier skin.