HOW TO ARM YOURSELF AGAINST THE BATTLE ON PREMATURE AGING SKIN
Many skin experts agree that your skin starts aging when you are around 20. In Scientific American’s article Why Does Skin Wrinkle with Age? What is the Best Way to Slow or Prevent This Process? , Suzan Obagi states that aging initially starts off with your skin slowly decreasing its collagen production. Collagen is one of the building blocks of your skin so when it starts to decrease it shows up as a loss of elasticity in your skin and your skin starts to appear less supple. This loss of elasticity turns into fine lines, wrinkles, and eventually an overall loss of firmness in your skin. This process starts off slow at first, but as you get older, you start to lose collagen at a quicker rate which is why as early as your late 20s you could start to see crow’s feet forming around your eyes, fine lines around your lips and an overall dullness in your complexion. While you cannot stop the aging process, there are things you can do to help improve the look and feel of your skin.
What Can I Do to Help With Premature Skin Aging?
The best thing you can do to help slow the signs of aging is to change your lifestyle. Your lifestyle accounts for a lot of the reasons that your skin ages more quickly. The changes you can make are not going to be big surprises. Living a generally healthy lifestyle is not only going to have an impact on your overall health, but it can also help improve the look and feel of your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has a great list of things you can do to help your skin. Some of the lifestyle changes suggested by the AAD are:
Wear sunscreen! Sun damage is often one of the leading causes of skin aging. Even when it’s cloudy outside, you should still wear sunscreen to protect your skin, preferably one labeled broad-spectrum or UVA/UVB
Don’t smoke. There are so many reasons not to smoke and having healthier, younger looking skin is just one of them
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. The nutrients that you take in are good for your body, but they are also good for your skin since it’s the largest organ in your body
Drink less alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate you and if you are chronically dehydrated, it can show up in your skin as fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, and dark circles. (No thanks!)
Exercise. Increased blood flow brings nutrients and fresh oxygen throughout the body. That includes your skin
Catch those Zzz’s! Your body heals itself while you sleep
Reduce stress. Easier said than done, we know. When stressed, the top layer of your skin has a difficult time keeping moisture in which can lead to irritated skin. So, try your best to keep stress at a minimum
The last lifestyle change you can do to improve the look and feel of your skin is to start using “anti-aging” and youth-boosting skincare products. There are many skin care products that can help your skin to look and feel better as you age. It’s all a matter of the ingredients in the products. There are antioxidants (like vitamin C), humectants (like hyaluronic acid), and hydrating alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) (like lactic acids and glycolic acids). This said the skin care ingredients that are often considered the best by experts are retinoids.
What is The Difference Between Retinol and Retinoids?
Retinoids are topical vitamin A-based drugs. They were first used in 1971 as treatment for acne, however in the 1980s, it was discovered that retinoids can have an impact on improving the signs of skin aging. Retinol is a commonly seen form of retinoids in anti-aging skincare. Retinaldehyde/retinal is another type of retinoid and many scientists believe that retinal is more effective than retinol.
Retinoids are one of the most used and most studied “anti-aging” ingredients. Benefits of using retinoids include:
Helping to reduce look of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen, one of the building blocks of the skin
Fading appearance of age spots by increasing the turnover of new cells
Helping to create an overall more youthful appearance
Softening rough patches for smoother skin
It is important to be aware of potential side effects to using retinoids. A little bit goes a long way and many dermatologists and skin care experts recommend to gradually increase the usage of retinoids to a daily regimen. Many skin care experts recommend starting with 1-2 days a week and see how your skin tolerates the retinoid. From there, you can slowly increase your usage, but always follow the directions on the product packaging for best results.
The Skin Cancer Foundation website is another good resource. It states that retinoids could also make you more sensitive to the sun. Because of that, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends to only use retinoids at night and ALWAYS wear broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin during the day.
What Anti-Aging Retinol/Retinoid Products are Best for Me?
Moisturizers that contain retinoids are easy products to find. Wash your face, apply the moisturizer and be done. Many dermatologists and skin experts recommend to use retinoids in a serum as they tend to have additional ingredients to aid in the penetration of active ingredients. Once you apply your serum, you can then apply your moisturizer to lock in the ingredients as well as help hydration.
While aging is inevitable, it doesn’t mean you can’t go down without a fight! Making the right lifestyle choices and using skin care products with youth boosting ingredients like retinoids from an early age can help you improve the look and feel of your skin and reduce some visible signs of aging. As Coco Chanel said, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”
See which e.l.f. SKIN products include retinoid