3 Of Your Most Pressing Skin Aging Concerns – Sorted!
Fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and dry, dehydrated skin: three of the most common signs of aging skin, right there. So, let’s see what we can do to keep them to a minimum, shall we?
Skin aging happens to us all. Literally, every one of us. And while you can’t press a button and stop time (if so, we’d take age 32, please!), you can, for sure, take control of the rate at which you age – to a certain degree, of course. Looking after yourself with a healthy diet and regular exercise is a given. But what else can you do to specifically target your most niggling skin bugbears? Here, we take a look at three of the most common signs of aging skin…
1. Fine Lines & Wrinkles
What They Are: Fine Lines and wrinkles can crop up on your skin pretty early on in life. They happen when your skin’s support network (collagen and elastin) breaks down as you age, causing your skin to become thinner, weaker and less resilient. Kind of like deflating a balloon, your skin loses its plumpness, feels less taut and starts to wrinkle. Lines and wrinkles are usually most prevalent around your eyes, mouth and forehead where your face is the most expressive.
What Causes Them: Father Time is obviously a major factor here, but it’s not just getting old that breaks down collagen and elastin fibers. Exposure to the sun also speeds up this process like lightning. As does smoking; a poor diet that’s laden with salt, sugar, processed carbs and bad fats; environmental pollution, and repetitive facial movements such as smiling, laughing, frowning or squinting.
What You Can Do: One of the most important ways to prevent lines and wrinkles is to look after your skin’s barrier function through gentle cleansing and regular moisturizing. Your skin’s barrier is its outermost layer that protects it from external nasties, while reducing moisture loss and transporting essential nutrients and hydration to the underlying layers of your skin. This barrier is super important for the look, feel and health of your skin, so ensure you moisturize regularly, never over-exfoliate and cleanse gently twice a day, avoiding skin-drying chemicals and scorching hot water.
What To Use To Target Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Topical antioxidants are a joy for dealing with the signs of aging, and when it comes to those pesky lines and wrinkles, you can’t go wrong with Retinol Serum. Proven time and again for being one of the most effective ingredients for improving collagen synthesis and cell turnover, retinol is the boss when it comes to softening crinkly skin. And we don’t say that lightly.
2. Dark Spots
What They Are: Possibly even more frustrating than lines and wrinkles are those dark spots that seem to come from nowhere as you hit your 30s and beyond. Otherwise known as hyperpigmentation, dark spots occur when your skin’s production of melanin (that’s the pigment that gives your skin its natural color) goes awry, creating patchy areas of dark skin in all the wrong places. Dark spots can appear anywhere on your body but are commonly seen on your face, shoulders, chest and hands.
What Causes Them: Three things: the sun, hormonal fluctuations or some kind of skin trauma/injury like a bug bite, acne spot or eczema. These all interfere with the melanin-synthesizing cells in your skin (melanocytes), causing them to over-produce melanin which then gets unevenly distributed in the epidermis. The result? Blotchy, speckled skin.
What You Can Do: Exfoliation is a great way to remove dulling dead skin cells at a surface level, allowing for all the fresh, untarnished stuff to make its way to the surface. Chemical peels are great for this if you want something hardcore, but don’t dismiss at-home exfoliation which can also reap great results with patience and dedication. Just don’t overdo it or you could cause irritation, redness and an unnecessary thinning of the skin.
What To Use To Target Dark Spots: As well as being mildly exfoliating and a go-to for fighting off damaging free radicals that form in the skin thanks to sun exposure and pollution, studies have shown that vitamin C can help inhibit melanin production at a cellular level. This is great news for anyone looking to improve dark spots. Try our fan favorite Vitamin C Serum.
3. Dryness & Dehydration
What They Are: Similar… but very different, dryness refers to a lack of oil in your skin, whereas dehydration indicates a lack of water. Also, dry skin is a skin type that you’re born with, whereas dehydration is a condition anyone can experience.
What Causes Them: As you get older, the dermis and underlying layers of your skin get thinner and more fragile which makes it harder for your skin to retain moisture. Couple this with the natural loss of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, fats and lipids and it’s no wonder your skin becomes drier and more dehydrated. Your sebaceous glands also slow down through age which might be music to the ears of oily skin types, but for everyone else this is a one-way ticket to unwanted dryness.
What You Can Do: Fight back and make moisturizers, facial oils and hydrating serums your BFFs. Moisturize your skin after every cleanse, and choose products that contain both humectants (to help boost moisture content) as well as emollients and/or occlusives (to create a seal over your skin and help lock all that moisture in). Also, try to avoid using hot water on your skin which can strip all the healthy fats and oils away, causing further dryness and dehydration.
What To Use To Target Dryness & Dehydration: You can't beat a well-rounded formula like our Hyaluronic Acid Serum for boosting much-needed moisture in dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in your skin, but as you hit age 20 it tends to beat it faster than you can say 'pass the moisturizer'. Our awesome serum helps counteract natural HA loss and also lavishes your skin with aloe, glycerin and botanical oils to help dryness as well as dehydration. Just remember to apply moisturizer on top to make sure all that skin-loving moisture stays there.
Finally, there’s one other small but seriously important skincare trick for helping to prevent ALL of the above. You probably know where we’re going here, right? Yes, sun protection.
Excluding the natural aging process, the sun is responsible for between 80 and 90 percent of all visible signs of skin aging. Lines, wrinkles, dark spots, dryness, dehydration, the works. So, as well as using an awesome facial treatment that’s targeted to your specific concerns, you must always apply SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen every morning. No excuses, no arguments.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.