Skin Aging: How to Prevent, Treat, & Repair!

Did you know that up to approximately 90% of visible skin aging is preventable, and often caused by sun damage? Ghergich & Co. (involved in SEO, social networking, and content marketing) recently collaborated with Health Perch (a digital health magazine) in an awesome post about skin aging. They created some incredibly cute and creative graphics, and were kind enough to let me use them for my own post! (No, this post is not sponsored!)

Skincare has been a huge passion and obsession of mine since I first started working in cosmetics. I started in the industry working at Clinique, which as I’m sure many of you know has quite a strong presence in the skincare world. It inspired a fascination with all things skin care, as well as the science behind products, and the biology of skin aging. 

While aging is unfortunately a part of mortal life, there are certain steps that can be taken to limit the appearance of it. Skin care products, antioxidants, and avoiding sun exposure are just a few examples. If you’re a visual learner like I am, hopefully these will be helpful to you! There are simple breakdowns of everything from antioxidants, vitamins, and retinoids, to explaining how to effectively layer products! (After the graphics I also include an overview of how the skin changes as you age!) 

Prevent and Treat Skin Aging, No Matter How Old You Are
(“Prevent and Treat Skin Aging, No Matter How Old You Are” on Health Perch

How The Skin Changes

In your 20’s: while the skin is not quite as resilient or durable as it was in your teenage years, you’re not quite at the stage where you need treatment. At this stage, it’s more about protection and prevention. Protecting the skin from sun damage is crucial: UVA rays are one of the largest causes of visible skin aging. Pigmentation, dark spots, sagging, fine lines can all be caused and worsened by sun damage. It’s crucial to establish a good skincare routine that includes properly cleansing (always make sure to remove your makeup before bed! Residual makeup on the skin can clog the pores and prevent the skin from being able to repair itself!) hydrating, and sun protection! The second biggest step to preventing skin damage and keeping the skin healthy is lifestyle and diet! Drinking, late nights, and poor diet can majorly wreak havoc on the skin.

As for using anti-wrinkle products at this age, there is quite a lot of debate. Some may think that the earlier they start, the less likely they are to have deep wrinkles later on. While there is some truth to this, anti-wrinkle products simply will not do what they are designed to on the skin at this age, and can sometimes be too much for the skin! Cell turnover (the process where new, healthy cells are created and damaged cells are repaired) is still pretty high at this age – meaning you just don’t need the extra anti-aging help yet. Instead, look to protect the skin with SPF and antioxidants!

In Your 30’s:  Hormonal changes and fluctuations can start to change the skin. Collagen and elastin production typically start to slow down, and so does cell renewal. In the younger years, the average cycle of a cell is approximately every 14 days. As you age, that can slow down to over 30 days, which is when skin starts to look dull, aged, and unhealthy. Exfoliation is very important at this stage to keep cell turnover at an optimal speed. You can also look at incorporating a low dose of Retinol to boost anti-aging  if you do notice the skin starting to age (but be careful, retinol can cause skin sensitivty/ sun sensitivity. Use something very gentle and I really only recommend this a couple of times a week at max, and only at night! Make sure to follow with a moisturizer, and DEFINITELY make sure to use an SPF in the daytime.)

An eye cream is extremely important at this stage – with less collaged and elastin, the skin around the eyes can appear saggier, thinner, and darker. Something hydrating that helps correct early signs of aging is optimal!

In Your 40’s And Up

This is usually around the time that people really start to notice the skin’s aging. Lack of radiance, loss of firmness and density, dark spots, fine lines, hollow-looking under eyes and cheeks.  As menopause approaches, hormonal fluctuations can wreak havoc on the skin. For some this is temporary oiliness, and for others it’s major dehydration. Adding in a serum or concentrate, and beginning to layer skincare products can be extremely beneficial at this point. Serums will be a more concentrated form of treatment than a cream, and will absorb to the deeper layers of the skin to help treat all signs of aging. Oils are another great option, as they can help replenish the moisture and oil components of the skin that have become compromised as the skin ages.

An example of effective layering:

  1. Remove makeup (if applicable) with something gentle such as a Micellar Cleanser
  2. Cleanse (something gentle and hydrating, like a cleansing milk or oil.)
  3. Tone (Many different kinds. Typically, toners help finish the cleansing process by removing any leftover impurities, but also begin the hydrating process. They can restore the moisture barrier and balance the skin.)
  4. Serum (serums contain smaller molecules, allowing them to absorb deeper. That’s why serums should be applied before anything heavier like a cream)
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Oil (a couple of drops of a natural oil can make a huge difference in hydrating, nourishing, and repairing the skin.) This can be applied on its own, followed by a moisturizer, or even mixed with your night time moisturizer. Oils are best at night, it’s not really recommended for daytime, especially if you wear makeup.
  7. Moisturizer (opt for something with an SPF in the daytime, and something a little heavier during the night)

There are lots of other procedures and steps that can be taken, such as peels, microdermabrasion, etc! To really find the best treatment for your skin, speak to a local skincare expert or dermatologist!

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