Of course you don’t want your skin to age, and there are definitely steps you can take to prevent the premature aging of your skin. If you get ahead of this skin aging process, you'll delay its effects, but even if you're playing catch up, you can still revitalize the look of your aging skin. Knowing a little more about the effects of time on your facial skin is the first step in slowing down those effects. With the right knowledge, you can choose the right products to keep your skin looking young for as long as possible.
How Your Skin Naturally Ages
Skin looks older because over time the three layers of your skin lose some of their substances. The deepest layer of your skin contains fat. “When you lose fat,” Dr. Schultz explains, “which happens partly because of time and partly because of the hormonal changes that happen over that time, the support for our skin thins and allows other layers to sink in.” That is what gives us creases and hollows, which contribute to the lines and wrinkles we develop and associate with older-looking skin.
The middle layer is called your dermis. This is where your oil glands, collagen, and the semi-liquid matrix that contains the collagen all exist. With time, the substance in the dermis contracts and diminishes in amount and quantity, which also contributes to lines and wrinkles and folds. Dr. Schultz explains that loss like this "is sort of like taking the pole out of the center of the big top at the circus, and the big top just falling down.”
Finally, your epidermis, the top layer of your skin, also becomes thinner. This happens because there are many layers of cells on your epidermis, and they often develop DNA problems which result in them becoming a little flaky and not lying flat the way that they should.
How to Slow Down the Effects of the Natural Aging Process
Despite the fact that, no matter what, time will naturally affect your skin, there are still plenty of ways to take care of it so you can enjoy younger-looking skin for longer.
1. First, take care of your skin at its inflection point. In your forties, your skin will start to rapidly take on those signs of aging. This is the point when taking care of your skin the right way will have the biggest impact in the years to come. Using a daily glycolic exfoliant, wearing sunscreen, and adding an antioxidant to your routine are three simple ways to drastically reduce the effects of time before they truly begin to set in. Your daily exfoliant will smooth out the surface of your skin, and as Dr. Schultz says, “Smooth skin is young-looking skin.” Your sunscreen will help prevent any further sun damage, which is of course a huge contributor to wrinkles and discoloration. And your antioxidant will brighten and revitalize your skin, even as it helps protect against free radicals. If you only add those three products to your skincare regimen in your forties, you can stall the look of aging for years to come.
2. Additionally, take care of the skin around your eyes. The skin of the eye area is very different from most of the skin of the rest of the face and it’s the first place your skin’s age will begin to show. Dr. Schultz explains, “This area is thinner, more sensitive, and has fewer oil glands and fewer water glands.” As a result, it needs more moisturization, so while you can use your facial moisturizer there, it may not be rich enough. Use a moisturizer that’s packed with humectants and emollients, adding the richness that thinner, fragile skin around the eyes requires.
You may not be able to stop your skin from aging, but you can stop the effects of that aging from making you look older than you should. Take care of your skin before you see the signs of aging, and it will look young and healthy for many more years to come.
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