There is proof everywhere you look that time is flying by.
How is it possible that your baby cousin is old enough to attend college, let alone be graduating?
How can you be invited to your XXth high-school reunion when it feels like just yesterday — you were still in high-school?
Perhaps the only positive aspect of witnessing the decades whir by? Watching your 401(k) mature. (Ugh! Even that is a sign of time passing, since when is this something even important to you?!)
The clock is always ticking, and nowhere is it more inescapable than within our own bodies.
However, when it comes to our own aging, it can sometimes be hard to gauge the passing of time on the face (and body) we look at hundreds of times, every single day.
Is this what everyone my age looks like? Do I look my “age”? What do people my age even look like??
With all of the advancements in anti-aging treatments, plus the crap-shoot lottery of genetics — it gets harder and harder to look at someone, and guess their age.
Sure, some of the more obvious signs might stick out at first — gray hair, forehead lines, under-eye circles — but what about the more subtle signs? The ones you can’t necessarily put your finger on to identify, but ultimately, collectively, makes a person look older?
Please take the following as a friendly FYI.
The more you know about taking care of your skin, the better it will look. There is nothing wrong with aging — the older we are, the luckier we are — we’re alive!
However at the same time, the way you look can have a big impact on the way you feel, and in a world that emphasizes the importance of youth and beauty, it’s normal to want to do whatever you can to maintain the health and integrity of your skin for as long as possible.
1. Sun Spots in your 20s or 30s
“Sun spots in your 20s and 30s should be a wake-up call,” says Naomi Fenlin, owner and treatment provider at Philadelphia-based About Face Skin Care.
“If you are getting them that early, it means you’ve had significant amounts of sun exposure.?While you can’t undo the past, you certainly can minimize the damage and slow down the skin’s aging process by making sure to always use a broad-spectrum SPF, and a good antioxidant.”
Additionally, there are amazing laser treatments that can help target and clear unwanted brown-spots. At night, a topical retinol will help stimulate new collagen production and keep the skin strong and supple.”
2. Gaunt Hands?
The same signs of aging that occur to your face, are also occurring elsewhere.
One of the most common areas that show these signs of aging are the hands. Gaunt, volume-depleted hands can betray your real age (or make you look older), despite a flawless face.
“Fortunately, most of the treatments that can be used to revitalize the face can also be used to improve the appearance of your hands.” says Sarah Sidiqi, NP, a(n award-winning) master-injector in Philadelphia, PA. Treat your prematurely aging hands by revitalizing them with dermal-filler injections, and zapping away brown-spots in order to leave your hands beautifully rejuvenated.
3. Your Neck and Chest are Spotty?
“Uneven color on your neck and decolletage is evidence of premature aging,” says Raelle Levicke, lead laser-specialist in Philadelphia, PA.
People are more likely to take care of their face, so although their face might look great — their neck and chest — which have not received the same level of attention, can often betray past sun-exposure and extra-degraded skin.
To help restore a uniform appearance between a patient’s face, neck and chest, Levicke often recommends treatments varying from chemical peels, to photorejuvenation, all the way to aggressive Fraxel skin resurfacing treatments.
“The key is to help refine the texture of the skin, while removing sun damage. All of these treatments also encourage collagen production, so the skin will appear tighter and firmer from the inside-out.” Levicke says.
4. Wrinkles along your cheeks and/or a loose jawline
“People develop wrinkles just from everyday facial movements, so that’s not really a sign of aging poorly. But if fine lines and wrinkles appear in the middle of the cheeks or the jawline sags in the twenties or thirties, that is. The middle of the cheeks and the jawline show sun damage and wrinkles early on,” says Sidiqi.
To help minimize, Sidiqi and Fenlin usually recommend a combination of Thermage skin-tightening treatments (radio-frequency energy is used to stimulate advanced collagen production and skin tightening) and injections.
Depending on the specific patient, they may get beautiful results from adding a little volume to their temples (counter-intuitive, but this helps lift everything) or utilizing Sculptra injections. (Sculptra is like miracle-gro for the face, and helps provide a sturdy structure beneath the skin so that everything appears firm and tight.)
Customized combinations of Thermage and injections help to firm and tighten skin.
“Thanks to these treatment options, with time new collagen and elastin are formed to minimize wrinkles and bagging,” says Fenlin.
5. Itchier Skin
“With aging comes a loss of moisture.”
“The dryer your skin is, the more porous and crepe-y looking it gets. This dryness also tends to make your skin feel itchier and more sensitive. If you are experiencing this, pay attention ? your skin might be trying to tell you something,” says Levicke.
Applying the right moisturizers and serums will help quench your skin’s thirst, while maintaining a dewy, non-itchy, countenance.
6. Eyes are changing shape
“As we age, our bones start to lose mass.”
“It’s most prominent at the inner upper corner and the outer lower corner of the skull. As a result, the eyes go from being really rounded to slightly more horizontal,” says Fenlin.
“The best thing to do to is maintain the texture of your skin with products, like Sente’s new BioComplete Serum (a very gentle Retinol) and therapeutic treatments, such as Thermage treatments that are specifically for eye-tightening.”
For ALL of these things, there is one common theme:
Copious amounts of sun exposure are bad for your skin, and will cause it to appear older than it really is. When it comes to anti-aging, sunscreen is your #1 BEST ally when it comes to prevention, and maintenance.