The quest for great skin takes on even more importance when we start to see problems such as wrinkles, age spots and thinning skin.
There are different ways to tackle all these issues, ranging from the easiest (wearing a hat to avoid sun on your face) to medical procedures (laser resurfacing, tightening lifts, eyelid surgery). Learn how to fight aging skin, whatever your budget.
Whichever approach you choose, the most important thing you can do is to use one, two or all three of these methods consistently. There is no reason—financial or otherwise—to not take advantage of what is available to you when it comes to putting your best face forward!
What Does Anti-Aging Really Mean?
Signs of aging skin include loss of elasticity, fine lines, enlarged pores, dull or uneven skin tone and texture. Hundreds of products advertise themselves as having anti-aging properties, but what exactly does that mean?
There are no hard and fast rules, but generally, these products claim to stop or delay the aging process. Most experts agree that there is no such thing as truly reversing aging skin, since our body’s ability to create new cells diminishes as we age—a loss that is directly mirrored in our skin; but there are many ways to help your skin look younger and smoother.
One of the things we notice as we get older are crow’s feet around the eyes, vertical lines over the top lip and “frown” lines that seem to get deeper and deeper. Common sense dictates that you wear a hat when you’re in the sun, that you use a sun block to help skin avoid further damage, and that you keep your skin moisturized at all times.
The array of choices in products that claim to make wrinkles disappear is enormous, but by knowing some of the basics you can make a more educated choice.
Some of the most popular and cost effective supplements include antioxidants such as vitamin C, co-Q10, lutein, zinc and green tea. Alpha-hydroxy acid gives a boost to skin exfoliation, which gets rid of dead skin cells to reveal healthier, younger-looking skin. DHEA and essential fatty acids like omega-3 are also popular products that help moisturize and smooth the skin.
If you choose surgery, there are many different types of cosmetic processes that help tighten the skin and give it a smoother and finer look. Upper and lower eyelid surgery will help tighten the fine skin around the eyes, while a partial or full lift will help with nearly all the lines that are visible.
After age 50, what used to be freckles suddenly become “liver spots” on your hands and face and there’s nothing that says “older” like these do. These spots vary in size, look flat and dark (black, brown or tan), and usually appear in areas exposed to the sun or the UV light from tanning beds.
Although doctors don’t know precisely why age spots develop, they do know that they are caused by overproduction of skin pigment (melanin). If any sun spot looks peculiar, it is important that you check with a dermatologist to make sure it is an age spot and not a melanoma.
When you get ready to tackle this problem, you have lots of choices. There are over the counter creams containing glycolic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid or hydroquinone that can help the spots fade and become less noticeable. You can also get prescription bleaching creams. Both these methods take several months to change the appearance of age spots.
More immediate results may be achieved by in-office procedures such as chemical peels, laser treatments, cryosurgery using liquid nitrogen or dermabrasion.