Is it all in the genes – or can we do anything to prevent the deep lines and dry skin from aging us prematurely? In our youth, we felt our baby-soft skin was invincible, and we spent hours basking in the sun and tanning our bodies to a golden brown hue.
Now, some of us – over 40 – are paying dearly with skin that’s turning to leather before our very eyes. What can be done, if anything, to get back some of that youthful glow and elasticity?
We need to know that there are two types of aging that affects our skin – intrinsic (genes) and extrinsic (external reasons, such as exposure to the sun’s rays). While some deterioration of the skin goes along with the aging process, there are ways we can lessen its effects. These include:
* Minimizing repetitive facial expressions – Frowning, smiling or raising your brows repeatedly can cause those deep furrows around your eyes and mouth and across your forehead.
* Sleeping positions – Do you sleep with your face pressed into the pillow or with the side of your face resting on the pillow? If you do, chances are you’ll eventually discover “sleep lines” across your chin and cheeks. Try to sleep on your back to minimize this type of wrinkle.
* If you smoke – quit – Smoking can cause unsightly lines and wrinkles, not to mention a yellowish, leathery texture to your skin. When you quit smoking the lines and unhealthy coloring and texture will immediately begin to disappear.
* Wear sunscreen – Sunscreen should be worn daily and become part of your overall skin protection regime. Be sure you choose a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protector and at least 15 or higher SPF.
While you can’t really do anything about the intrinsic (genetic) factors that contribute to aging skin, you can opt for medical treatment such as dermabrasion, chemical peeling, botulinum or injectable fillers.
Newer treatments such as radiofrequency are taking the place of more invasive procedures like a complete facelift.
See a licensed dermatologist if you suffer anxiety over aging skin or just want to look and feel younger. There are newer and better treatment options becoming available all the time, and your dermatologist should be able to suggest a treatment for you and your type of skin.