You hear it all the time: 40 is the new 30. 50 is the new 40. Need we go on? While they might sound like platitudes designed to make us feel better as we age, there sure does seem to be some truth to this. The reason for that is knowledge. We now know more about our skin and how to care for it than we ever have before. And, while we certainly can cheat here and there (Botox, anyone?), simply arming ourselves with the knowledge of our evolving skin can be just as powerful. Read on for information about how our skin changes as we age, and how you can adjust accordingly.
Adult Acne (Yes, It’s a Thing)
As if wrinkles aren’t bad enough when it comes to aging, we have to deal with adult acne, too. Although it doesn’t happen to everyone, it is fairly common due to hormonal (in estrogen and androgen) changes as we age. As this article from Prevention.com notes, “This is when estrogen levels start to dip, heralding sinking levels of skin-tightening collagen and elastin and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.” On top of this, there’s acne. Hooray! Not. Luckily, acne medicine like BioClarity can treat moderate and severe acne, and its all-natural ingredients limit the harsh side effects of many other treatments. And, ladies, the idea that chocolate causes acne is a complete myth, so eat your faves with abandon (well, maybe not abandon but you get the idea…). While it is true that the chocolate/acne link is a myth, it’s also true that you are what you eat, so keep researching those healthy recipes to maintain optimal skin.
Things Go Bump On Your Skin
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that strange things are afoot with your skin. This continues as you age, with things like cherry angiomas, skin tags, and brown spots (or sun spots) appearing here and there. Fortunately, none of these things is harmful, although angiomas and skin tags can bleed and/or get irritated when rubbed against clothing. If you find them to be unsightly, you can have a dermatologist remove them. White spots—or Ideopathic guttate hypomelanosis—can also occur due to a lack of pigment and, while also not harmful, there is no way to return pigment to the skin once it is lost.
We Bid Adieu to Elasticity
Remember those days when we slathered ourselves in baby oil while using tinfoil to reflect the maximum amount of the sun’s rays onto our face? You shudder to think, right? Fortunately, our kids know now just how bad this is for you and will hopefully protect themselves against harmful UV rays. For those of us who have already caused the damage, there’s not a ton that can be done to reverse it. The sun’s UV light damages certain fibers in the skin called elastin. The skin will begin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to snap back. It also tears and bruises more easily and takes longer to heal. While there is no Fountain of Youth, per se, some people do swear by laser treatments and laser skin resurfacing to treat the brown spots and wrinkles associated with sun damage and aging. Looking for a gift for a special woman in your life? Perhaps a laser treatment or a series of laser treatments could be just what the doctor ordered. And of course, it’s never too late to practice smart sun protection habits, such as wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, wearing long-sleeved shirts in the sun, wide-brimmed hats, and avoiding the sun from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dry Dullness Doldrums Commence
Do you ever catch yourself staring at a teenager, envying her radiant and dewy skin? Ahhh, girls at this age don’t realize how great they have it! Unfortunately, those of us who are in menopause or close to it (around age 50) experience dullness to our skin. “The skin is not regenerating itself as quickly as it used to, which causes a buildup of dead skin cells,” Dr. Francesca Fusco explains in an article on Refinery29.com. This means the skin also won’t absorb moisturizer as well as it used to. The answer is to use an exfoliant at least three times a week. Do this at night so skin has time to repair itself.
Aging skin happens, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight the good fight. Follow these tips and you’ll know you’re combatting Father Time with everything you’ve got.