Is the mirror showing a few more wrinkles on your face or a little more sagging than it used to? A combination of physiological changes is responsible for these signs of aging. The elastin and collagen that give our skin its strength and resiliency break down making it more difficult to replenish damaged skin cells with new ones; our skin cell turnover rate slows, causing skin to look dull; gravity contributes to the thinning of our skin; and our glands produce less oil bringing about dryness and accelerating the aging process.
Skin Care By the Numbers
With so many products and services available, how can we know which remedies will actually help slow the effects of aging on our skin? About 50 percent of the way our skin ages is determined by genetics; the other 50 percent we can do something about.
In your 20s:
Leading a healthy lifestyle in your 20s can decrease the effects of aging on your skin. Use a good sunscreen and eat a well-balanced diet that includes antioxidant-rich foods like colorful vegetables and fruits. Also, stay hydrated by limiting alcohol and caffeine and drinking plenty of water; get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night; exercise; and reduce stress.
In your 30s:
In your 30s, continue a healthy lifestyle and consider using an alphahydroxy acid moisturizer. Changes in hormones and metabolism at this age cause skin to start losing hydration. Use a night cream to hydrate skin during sleep. In your mid to late 30s, consider seeing a skin care professional. Having a chemical peel or laser therapy twice a year will remove dead skin and reveal younger skin. Also, begin using an eye cream if you’re showing wrinkles around the eyes.
40s and beyond: