aging skin care

We all care about how we look and are concerned about how to deal with aging skin. But what are we willing to do in order to look good? Before we answer that question, let's understand how skin ages.

The rate at which our skin ages consists of two components; intrinsic aging which is genetically determined and extrinsic aging which is caused by external factors.

Intrinsic Aging

Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process that begins in our mid 20's, but its signs don't usually show up until we reach our 40's. Intrinsic aging is not in our control and for the most part it's genetic.

Signs of intrinsic aging are:

  • Thin and transparent skin
  • Fine wrinkles
  • Loss of underlying fat, leading to hollowed cheeks and eye sockets
  • Dry skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Insufficient sweating to cool the skin

extrinsic aging

Extrinsic causes are usually more dramatic in their effect on aging skin. The most important is sunlight. Other external factors include gravity and smoking.

  • Sun Exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight are responsible for sun burns, fine wrinkles, age spots, rough skin texture, loose skin, and skin cancer. The fairer our skin, the more susceptible it is. The damage caused by UV rays is cumulative and generally not visible for decades even though the damage might have been done during your teenage years. Repeated UV exposure breaks down collagen and attacks the elastin. Skin damaged by the sun ceases to spring back much earlier than skin that was protected from UV rays. It also becomes loose, wrinkled and leathery much earlier for those that have spent their earlier years exposed to too much sun.
  • Gravity. Gravity is constantly pulling down on our bodies. As our skin's elasticity declines and becomes thinner, the effects become more evident. Gravity elongates our ears, causes the tip of our nose to droop, eyelids to fall, jowls to form, necks to drop and upper lip to thin out.
  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking is the 2nd worse extrinsic factor. It accelerates skin aging causing deeply wrinkled, leathery skin.

OK, the damage has been done. We worked very hard on those tans when we were young and now we're paying the price. Most of us no longer smoke. And gravity, well, there's not much we can do about that.

So what now??? What can we do to stop that clock or at least slow down its affects on our aging skin?

Face lifts, brow lifts, botox , etc., are obvious solutions for aging skin, but we won't get into those issues in this site. If you decide to go in that direction, investigate it thoroughly from every angle.  These are solutions that work for many. But be sure to check out your options and don't hurry into any surgery or procedure before understanding exactly what is involved and the possible dangers and outcomes. Don't be fooled by clever advertisers that make too many unrealistic promises.  Visit a minimum of three surgeons before deciding who to work with.

There are many products on the market to improve the look of aging skin, ranging from excellent cleansers, serums, gels and creams to an endless variety of makeup.

But, no amount of creams and makeup will truly make you look better on the outside if you don't feel good on the inside. The first step towards healthier skin is a healthier body. Anything beyond that depends on your personality, your needs and your wallet.


healthy skin care tips

The first step towards healthy skin is to take the steps needed to have a healthy body:

Exercise - Although exercise won't do much to return the elasticity to aging skin, it will make you stronger, improve circulation, increase your energy, and make you more flexible, thus making you feel younger. And then there's that "glow" that you get when you have a good workout.

Healthy diet - Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are rich in antioxidants which help repair damage from the sun, pollution wind and smoking.

Drink lots of water - Water is essential for proper elimination of wastes and toxins. It also hydrates the skin to make it look younger longer.

Reduce stress - When the body encounters stress, it increases the production of certain hormones which disrupts the body's natural balance which in turn hinders our skin from healing itself.


the basics for healthy aging skin

Use sunscreen. It's never too late to protect yourself from sun damage. Whenever you go outdoors, apply sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays with SPF30 or higher on all exposed areas (face, neck, hands, etc).

Those UV rays can penetrate clouds, so don't let an overcast day fool you into not applying your lotion. The same goes for sitting in the shade. UV rays bounce around in the atmosphere and can make their way to the shade, too.

For added protection, you can wear a hat and long-sleeved shirt.

Humidify your home in the winter. When the windows are closed and the heat is turned on, our skin gets very dry, which can lead to itching and a generally uncomfortable feeling that even the best moisturizers can't help.

Gift with Purchase at DermStore beauty samples

Follow a skin care regimen. There are many products today that really do work but the market is literally flooded with anti-aging products that make all types of claims. So how do you find what is good for you? The internet is a great way to investigate the possibilities and ask your dermatologist for his opinion.

  • Cleanse. Wash your face morning and night with a face cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. If you want to keep it simple use a cleanser that is also safe for removing eye makeup. I apply the cleanser with my hands, massaging it onto face, closed eyes and neck with my fingers. I add a little water and massage some more. I wash everything off with lots and lots of cold water (lukewarm in winter). The instructions on the bottle usually have you wipe off the makeup with a cotton ball. I prefer to rinse with water, it's less abrasive. When cleansing the rest of your body, use a mild cleanser, one that is moisture enriched.
  • Exfoliate. Exfoliation stimulates and removes dead skin cells that regular cleansers can't. It can promote cell renewal for younger, healthier looking skin. For your face there are different types exfoliates that contain fine granules or a mild acid to peel the skin. Ask your dermatologist or beauty consultant for the type that best fits your needs. On your body a loofah sponge does a great job. Shower as usual and when clean, take a moistened loofah, scrub gently, and rinse off. Or use one of many exfoliating soaps, lotions and salts that are available. Besides removing dead skin, they revitalize and give you a great glowing feeling. It's a great way to start the day. You should be very careful when you exfoliate, as it can irritate the skin if you overdo it. Be especially careful if you have sensitive skin.
  • Moisturize. Whether you have oily or dry skin, you should moisturize your face as well as body. It helps retain your natural oils and gives your skin a softer feel and look. Try borage oil. Massage a few drops on your face before or instead of your night cream and you'll see and feel the difference it can make for dry aging skin.

The right makeup can help our aging skin look its best.
Go to Makeup Tips for helpful ideas

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