We can’t stop the march of time, but we do have some control over how it treats our skin! With modern knowledge of aging, new treatments, and preventative aging skin care products, it is possible to keep vibrant, youthful skin long into life. Please read our guide to find out what is making you age and ways to prevent and slow the progression.
What Makes Your Skin Age
The appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, and sagging skin is a combination of genetic factors and environmental. Around age 20, skin starts to age naturally as it begins to lose collagen. By age 30, collagen levels start to drop dramatically, around 1-2% per year. By age 80, collagen production is decreased by about 75%.
Beyond the natural aging process, other external factors can contribute to aging speed and intensity. Factors like exposure to UV rays, environmental pollution, and personal lifestyle choices can play a significant role in the look of skin. While you can’t control every aspect of aging, you can give yourself a considerable head start on preventing it.
UV Ray Skin Damage
By now, most have heard that sun damage contributes to aging skin. Sun exposure to UVA rays can cause wrinkles and dark pigmented spots, while exposure to UVB rays can cause sunburns and cancer. Neither outcome is healthy, so protection from the sun and avoidance of artificial light from tanning beds is necessary to maintain healthy, young skin.
How to protect yourself from harmful UV rays:
- Use sunscreen: A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 is recommended. You will need to reapply every two hours or again if you get in the water.
- Wear protective clothing: Covering your skin with clothing can help keep the rays off your skin. The sun can still penetrate fabric, so look into a fabric with built-in SPF for added protection.
- Avoid peak sun hours: If you are doing yard work or just enjoying the outdoors, try to avoid being in the sun from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds emit the same UV rays from the sun and are known to cause cancer and wrinkled skin. If having a tan glow is important to you, use a sunless tanning product instead.
Environmental Pollution and Aging Skin
Air pollution is something we usually don’t consider when it comes to aging and wrinkles. Toxic fumes from polluted cities are linked to skin conditions like eczema, age spots, wrinkles, and hives.
How to protect your skin from pollution:
- Vitamin B3: Use products with niacinamide (vitamin B3) to help reverse some of the effects of pollution.
- Wash: Make sure you wash your skin thoroughly. Chemicals may be sitting on your skin or caught in a barrier of makeup. If they are not fully removed, they can slowly seep into the skin.
- Use mineral makeup: Mineral makeup can act as a physical shield on top of your skin to block pollutants from penetrating your skin.
Lifestyle Choices and Aging Skin
The choices you make in life can have a profound impact on your skin and the age it appears. Everything from the food you eat, to your sleep habits, to recreational activities, can play a role in developing wrinkles earlier than you should.
Lifestyle Tips for Youthful Skin
- Water: Staying hydrated helps fill and plump skin. Dehydrated skin will look rough and show wrinkles, and you also won’t have a youthful glow.
- Don’t smoke: Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals that damage collagen and elastin. Over time, you can see the effects of smoking as the skin starts to sag and wrinkle.
- Drink less alcohol: Alcohol plays a hand in dehydrating our bodies and is also a toxin that deprives the body of nutrients.
- Eat healthy food: Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help prevent damage to skin that leads to wrinkles.
- Have a skincare routine: Use a pharmaceutical-grade product line daily to help skin stay healthy. The medical aestheticians can recommend the right product customized for your skin from The Lett Skin Care line or another high quality brand.
Preventative Aging Treatments
By protecting your skin and making healthy lifestyle choices, you are setting yourself up to have youthful skin for as long as possible. But age and time still happen and you may wonder what else you can do to make sure you don’t get forehead lines and wrinkles, crows feet, and other signs of age.
Luckily, there are FDA approved cosmetic procedures available to improve skin texture and stop wrinkles from happening in the first place.
- Chemical peels: Chemical peels are a great option if you are experiencing dull-looking skin with discoloration and fine lines. This treatment removes the top layer of skin to reveal brighter, more healthy skin. Chemical peels come in various strengths. Some require no downtime, and others will have a healing process that could require bandages.
- Botox: It is possible to stop wrinkles before they even start with Botox treatments. Deep imprinting wrinkles can be avoided by relaxing the muscles in that skin area. Over time as skin folds over and over again with facial movements, lines can form and become quite deep. Botox can keep the skin flat in high motion areas like the forehead and the “11”s. Over time, muscles in the treatment area may even weaken, creating a natural defense against wrinkles, as well. If started early enough, preventing wrinkles is easy with Botox treatments. If wrinkles have already formed, Botox can keep them from deepening and getting worse.
- Microneedling: Microneedling can give you a boost of collagen production to help stave off wrinkles from aging. This process involves inserting tiny needles into the skin. These punctures create small injuries that provoke the skin to start healing, and the healing process requires collagen production. With more collagen being produced, lines will fill in and become less noticeable.
To schedule an anti-aging treatment appointment with one of our cosmetic surgeons, please give us a call! You can reach our Mt. Juliet, Tennessee office at 615-443-0901 and our Lebanon, Tennessee office at 615-784-4039. Our doctors are board certified plastic surgeons who can guide you toward the best approach in keeping your skin looking youthful and wrinkle-free. We provide the most exceptional personalized care so that you can age on your terms.