Face Your Problems: Wrinkles and Other Signs of Aging

Woman with wrinkles on her left side and a smooth skin on her right side

It all comes down to your face. Your face is the most significant indicator of the ravages of growing old: wrinkles, age spots, or loose skin. However, you can hamper the aging process to a standstill and look 10 — or even 20 — years younger.

Stay in the Shade

The leading cause of visible skin aging is sun damage. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun penetrates your skin layer, damaging your skin and causing wrinkles, age spots, crow’s feet, and loose skin. The problem gets aggravated if you live in elevated cities like Salt Lake City or Denver. Higher elevation comes with correspondingly higher concentrations of UV. What’s insidious about sun damage is that it is hardly noticeable. Constant sun exposure — even as little as 15 minutes a day — accumulates damage through the years, slowly aging your skin without your notice. The effects of sun damage are even more pronounced on fair skin. Less melanin in your skin means weaker defense against sun damage. Chronic sun exposure can also lead to unsightly melanomas or dangerous skin cancers on your skin. Do what celebrities are doing and wear hats when you’re going outside. Caps provide enough shade to cover your face and parts of your neck. If you want serious sun protection, use an umbrella. Dark-colored umbrellas or those specifically designed for UV protection can block 99 percent of direct UV radiation. If you can’t wear hats or use umbrellas, you need to rely on sunscreen. Just remember, sunscreen only protects you for a couple of hours, and then you need to reapply it.

Stop Smoking

Next to the sun, smoking is the next biggest culprit when it comes to skin damage. Smoking reduces your body’s oxygen levels, making your skin appear dull with an orange or gray pallor. Nicotine and other toxins from cigarettes are absorbed by your body, wreaking havoc on the collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin are what keeps your skin strong and elastic. Without elasticity, your skin becomes more prone to cracking and wrinkling. Without strength, it becomes more prone to sagging. However, damage from smoking is mostly reversible, and collagen and elastin levels recover in just 3-4 smoke-free weeks.

Moisturize

Woman with signs of aging

Facials, skincare products, and sprays — anything that can keep your face from going dry helps it stay looking younger. Get rid of harsh astringents that peel layers off your skin. These astringents rob your skin of natural oils, making it more prone to cracking and wrinkling. Use moisturizing creams instead of lotions, especially if you have dry skin. Creams have higher oil content, remaining on your skin for more extended periods while continually moisturizing it. If the weather is too dry, bring along hydrating facial mists and use a humidifier/swamp cooler in your room. Of course, don’t forget to drink lots of water. If you’re well-hydrated, it’s easier to avoid dry skin.

Hold on to your youthful glow and flawless skin. Looking 10 — or even 20 — years younger is no problem with the right habits and proper skincare regimen.

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