(edited from skininformation.com article: Care Tips-Aging Skin)
Aging brings about skin changes even before wrinkles become visible. Over time, your skin begins to reveal a dull or rough texture, visible pores, blotchiness, age spots and uneven tone.
Premature aging of the skin is most often the product of years of unprotected sun exposure combined with your genetic makeup. The process of aging causes the skin to thin, become less elastic and more fragile. Your body also produces less natural protective oils, which makes the skin drier.
In addition, the fat located in the deeper layers of the skin, that gives your skin a plump appearance, starts to diminish over time. The combination of these factors causes loose, saggy and wrinkly skin.
The most visible signs of maturing often occur on the face. You can take steps to both prevent and slow the pace of some of these changes. Below are some tips that can help:
MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE!
The regular use of a quality moisturizer is the first basic step to reducing the look of existing lines. Well hydrated skin appears noticeably smoother and even textured. Continued regular use of a moisturizer in combination with daytime application of a sheer foundation will vastly improve your overall complexion. Implement a nighttime eye treatment just before bed to allow your skin to soak up the nourishing ingredients and help regenerate your skin’s appearance. Also, try incorporating daily sun protection with an SPF-rated moisturizer to reduce further photodamage to your skin.
As your skin ages, you may want to switch to cream or oil-based moisturizers and cosmetics. Cream and oil bases more efficiently retain moisture and restore hydration to the skin. However, those with acne-prone skin should look for water-based products that are not as thick to avoid clogging pores. If you’re concerned about a greasy appearance on your face, use a translucent or matte powder as a finishing touch.
New advances in skin care products that target wrinkles include the addition of silicone into moisturizers that can fill and seal fine lines. This innovative formulation can effectively smooth-out wrinkle prone areas, such as around the eyes, mouth and forehead. The treatment creates a more even surface for make-up application and the effect is long-lasting.
Give your skin the benefits of antioxidants. We’ve all read about the importance of consuming foods that are high in antioxidants to promote health. Skin care products containing antioxidants can also help to neutralize the affects of free radical cells that are thought to be responsible for skin aging. Examples of common antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E; alpha lipoic acid (ALA); ubiquinone (coenzyme Q-10); idebenone; polyphenols (e.g., catechins, flavonoids); kinetin; botanicals (e.g., teas, grapeseed, grape skins and stems, coffeeberry).
Some evidence suggest that topical application of these agents can boost the skin’s natural antioxidant protection system, reduce free-radical damage by blocking the oxidative processes in cells, inhibit inflammation that leads to collagen depletion, and offer protection against photodamage and skin cancer. Although antioxidants may be helpful in reducing the appearance of existing damage, they cannot reverse the signs of aging.
PREVENTING AGE SPOTS
You can help to prevent age spots by regularly using sunscreens before the age of 40, avoiding prolonged sun exposure, and wearing protective clothing and hats. Putting these recommendations into practice will also help to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer, wrinkles and other sun-related skin changes. The routine use of cosmetic products containing an exfoliating ingredient can help to lighten freckles and age spots by removing the superficial layer of dead skin cells to reveal fresher-looking skin.
A convenient way to incorporate an exfoliant into your daily skin care routine is to find one that’s included in a moisturizer. You may also want to look for a formulation that includes niacinamide, which plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin. Niacinamide is a B-complex vitamin that can improve the skin’s barrier function and help to lighten areas of the skin that have darker pigmentation.
HOW TO AVOID CROWS FEET
You can minimize the development of wrinkles around your eyes by applying sunscreen (but remember, not too close to your eyes), and wearing protective eyewear (such as wrap-around sunglasses) or a hat. Some wrinkles are produced by the repeated movement of the skin through facial expressions, others occur as a result of sun damage.
USE SUNSCREENS WITH BROAD SPECTRUM PROTECTION
Regimented use of a sunscreen will help to minimize damage caused by harmful UV rays. A simple way to achieve complete coverage is to find a minimum SPF15 moisturizer that provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Most sunscreens do a good job blocking UVB light, but fewer sunscreens filter out UVA radiation. UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburn, but UVA rays have the ability to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin and cause premature aging and skin cancer. A product providing broad spectrum coverage will offer a more complete range of UV protection.
Recent research indicates that glucosamine may prevent new signs of skin changes from occurring, and even fade existing blemishes by interrupting the chemical signals that promote melanin production. The more stable form of this compound is called n-acetyl glucosamine, which in combination with niacinamide (a form of vitamin B), may even out skin tone by slowing down the production of pigment in the skin.
Whatever lifestyle you choose, incorporating a regular routine of exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep and reducing stress levels can substantially influence how your body responds to age-related changes in terms of both the degree and onset. Although we can’t completely stop the clock on skin aging, we can certainly help slow it down.