Worried about how your skin makes YOU look? Do you think that it makes you look even older than you already are?
Don’t fret! There are 7 signs – and ways to prevent an aged skin look – that you can learn about, thanks to dermatologist and creator of ZO Skin Health, Dr. Zein Obagi.
– UV Exposure: It tops every dermatologist’s list. UV rays (and lack of sunscreen) accelerate skin aging and cause hyperpigmentation and skin laxity. The best fix: apply sunscreen every day, in every season.
– Weight: You’ve probably waited a long time to find out when having a few extra pounds actually works to your advantage. If you’re over 40, a slightly higher Body Mass Index (about 4 points) makes you look up to 3 years younger. If you’re over 55, you’ll look even younger than that! If you’re less than 40, the reverse is true.
– Stress: Financial stress, personal problems, marital difficulties and job-related stress all take a toll. Stress is definitely inter-related with your physiology as well as your mind, and increases the free radicals in your body—which are constant scavengers of anti-oxidants. Stress causes or exacerbates acne, eczema, rosacea, wrinkles and laxity. Take time to manage your stress with yoga, exercise or deep breathing.
– Smoking: Many of the 4,000 toxins contained in cigarette smoke go directly to the bloodstream, and reach the skin. “Smoker’s face” is now actually a term in medical dictionaries, because people who have smoked for 10+ years have added lines and wrinkles (typically perpendicular to the lips), as well as deeper vertical lines on the cheeks. Smoking also affects the tint of the skin and reduces the efficiency of the skin’s ability to regenerate itself. Do you need one more reason to quit smoking?
– Medication: Prescription meds that relax the muscles (such as anti-depressants) may make the skin look older. The author of the Case Western Reserve study theorizes that depression may compromise the production of hormones, like human growth hormone, that contribute to healthy, plump skin. With your physician’s guidance, manage your medications.
– Moisturizer Addiction: Skin can develop a dependency on moisturizer, and when skin cells in the dermis sense that the surface skin cells have been plumped by moisturizer, they slow down the collection of water and delay cellular function. It’s better to use moisturizer sparingly, and always be sure to use products that activate and stimulate the skin (e.g., high concentrations of retinol).
– Hormones: Menopause can wreak havoc on your skin, but hormone replacement therapy can help preserve a more youthful look. According to the Case Western study that was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a 70-year old who has had HRT for at least 16 years will look four years younger.
Interested in learning more? ?Take the Skin Age Test now to find out what your skin age is!