Why Does Our Skin Age?
Unfortunately, we all get older. There is no stopping time and no getting younger. You are, at the time of reading this, the youngest you will ever be. Skin aging is also unfortunately a fact of life. It is no surprise that people go to great lengths to keep their skin as young looking as possible. Aged skin can be a confidence breaker as you begin to get older.
Since the skin is our body's outermost layer, it withstands our toughest battles day after day. Â If your skin is not properly cared for, it will age more rapidly. In our 20s, the rate at which our body Â naturally produces collagen begins to slow down. Â Collagen is the main protein found in skin and other connective tissue. Â It gives strength to our skin as well as flexibility and it acts as a "glue" holding tissues together. Â When the production rate for collagen begins to decline, our skin begins to age.
Signs of Aging
The first signs of aging can occur as early as our 20s. As mentioned, this is when our collagen levels naturally start to decline. In our mid-20s, it is common to begin seeing signs of aging skin such as wrinkles and fine lines. You may begin to see these fine lines towards the corners of your eyes and in your "smile zone." Most people commonly refer to these as laughter lines or crow's feet.
As you enter your 30s, 40s, and 50s those wrinkles begin to deepen. Your skin may lose a good amount of its volume throughout these years. Venturing past the age of 50 you may start to see a loss of density in your skin as well. This would result in your skin becoming less flexible, dryer, and duller. Aging happens in every layer of the skin and unfortunately there is no stopping it entirely. However, there are steps you can take to keep it healthy and youthful along the way.
How You Can Combat Aging
Since we cannot play the role of a timekeeper in life and pause whenever we see a new wrinkle, below are 5 easy steps to act on that can help prevent or treat aged skin.
Protect yourself from the sun.
Most of us have probably tried to bear the heat and sun without sunscreen before. This is quite common in teenagers and young adults, but what you may not realize is that UV rays do more than just give you a little sunburn. UV rays damage your skin on a deeper level and can rapidly increase skin aging by producing premature wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. Always make sure you protect your skin with an appropriate sunblock if you plan on being out in the sun for prolonged periods of time.
- Get in the habit of eating healthy, well-rounded meals each day.
Eating nutrient packed meals cannot rid you of your wrinkles, but they can get you one step closer to your radiant skin goals. Eating foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are a great starting place for an anti-aging diet benefitting more than just your skin. Oats contain natural plant chemicals to prevent skin cell damage and irritation, certain fruits (like oranges, cherries, and avocados) are packed with vitamins such as vitamin C which helps produce collagen.Try to incorporate these into your daily meals and you will be on your way to glowing skin again.
- Exercise at least two to three times a week.
Exercising more frequently can positively impact the way your skin looks. Exercising promotes blood flow to the skin and in turn increases the rate of new cell growth. Regular cardio and aerobic workouts have been known to help keep the skin flexible and supple, ultimately preventing wrinkles from forming.
Cleanse your skin at the end of each day.
Your skin carries a heavy load of dead cells, dirt, makeup, and sweat by the end of the day. Make sure you are using a gentle, rich cleanser to keep your skin fresh and clean each night. Using this kind of cleanser allows your skin to hold onto water and maintain moisturization as you age. Keeping your skin moist as your oil glands become less active with age is a vital step to preventing wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- Take a collagen supplement.
Collagen supplements can be found in a variety of forms. You can very easily walk in to your local pharmacy and pick up some over-the-counter collagen pills, powders, and creams. You can also find collagen in a general hair-skin-nails vitamin if you are looking to double up on the benefits. Since collagen levels decline each day as we get older, adding a supplement to help keep your levels in balance can prevent early signs of aging as well as keep your skin looking as young as possible.