Your skin care routine should be an important part of your daily life, and as you age it needs to adapt to the changes your skin undergoes. Even if you’re a bit behind the curve, it’s never too late to take important steps to understand how your skin changes throughout the years.
As we age, our skin can’t always keep up with the many functions it’s meant to serve. That’s not to say your skin will abruptly stop retaining moisture or become paper-thin overnight. Rather, production of important skin proteins like keratin and collagen begins to slow as fewer cells are available to produce it. Hormonal changes can greatly inhibit the production of these necessary proteins, so for a lot of women menopause is where the most obvious changes begin. General deterioration of your skin caused by years of exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors also contribute to the appearance of aging skin. Aging skin will develop fine lines, wrinkles and often becomes more dry. Collagen is a highly absorbent protein that retains a great deal of moisture within the skin. With less collagen, the moisture and support structure of the skin gives way and it begins to sink in.
If the question were reversed, it’s also never too early to start your anti-aging skin care routine. It’s very important to note that with skin care, anti-aging or otherwise, sometimes less is more. It’s not only about what you use, but also how you use it and how often you use it.
The bedrock of an anti-aging skin care routine is a cleanser. Finding the right cleanser for your skin isn’t difficult, but finding the best cleanser can be a bit of trial and error. It’s important to consider what your skin is like at this very moment in time. Is it dry or oily? Is it a combination of the two? There are many cleansers out there, but they are designed with different skin types in mind, so even if it works well for many, it might not be the best fit for you. Avoid cleansers that aren’t gentle, as abrading your skin can cause more dryness or clog pores. Start and end your days with a gentle cleanse, but only exfoliate every other day or so. Next, moisturize. The best moisturizing products are creams, not lotions and you should apply them after cleaning your face to help maintain moisture throughout the day. The final product in your arsenal against aging is something only your dermatologist can provide. Retinoids, a topical medication composed of Vitamin A, are crucial for preventing aging. While retinoids are available over the counter, your dermatologist can best assess your skin and prescribe the perfect retinoid for you. Some of the products available by prescription only are tretinoin and adapalene. These products contain high concentrations of Vitamin A, which is crucial to collagen production within the skin.
Avoid sun damage at all costs, as it can do more than cause wrinkles and fine lines. In addition to discolored age-spots, UV light from the sun can cause skin cancer. Many moisturizers and makeup contain sunscreen, so opt for those products if they work for your skin. Otherwise, you will need to find a sunscreen that works well for you and fits in with your routine. Look for an SPF of 30 or more. Some other things are a bit of a no-brainer if you’re taking care of your aging skin already, but here’s a few tips just in case. At all costs, do not tan. Tanning damages your skin and can cause cancer. Tanning beds and sun-tanning are not long for this world, as people are waking up to just how harmful our cultural obsession with tanned skin is. Additionally, don’t smoke. Smoking is detrimental to just about every part of your body, and your skin isn’t exempt from its ill effects. Even the repetitive motion of puffing a cigarette can contribute to fine lines around your mouth.
To put it plainly, it’s never too late to start your anti-aging skin care routine. If you want to reduce and reverse the effects of aging in your skin, look for the specialists at Northeast Dermatology Associates for help.
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