Photo aging, is what happens to the skin of the face, neck and back of the hands after a long term exposure to sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Chronological process of aging is genetic, and can’t be changed but, sun aging skin, includes environmental causes, lifestyle choices and artificial tanning sources.
Think about this: about 90% of skin aging is due to damaging effects of long term sun exposure. Not only that, but this damage is also cumulative, meaning damages keep adding up over the years. You can easily see proof of the damage sun causes by comparing sun-exposed to non-exposed skin on your own body. Notice the difference in the color, texture, and tone of the skin between the two. This is probably the reason that young people really don’t worry about tanning. This damage is cumulative, and isn’t noticeable until years, maybe decades later.
Signs of Photoaging
As previously stated, these damages are not immediately apparent, but by the time you hit your 40’s, you are going to notice the following changes:
- Fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth
- Uneven skin color
- Loss of skin tone, especially to the sun exposed areas
If the sun exposure continues, all the above symptoms become more prominent as the years go by.
How to protect your skin
The importance of proper and continuous skin care can’t be overstated. It is what you do in your younger years, while your skin is toned and healthy that will pay dividends in your later years.
- Regularly use good quality moisturizers, makeup, and body lotions that contain SPF 30 sunscreen
- Do your best to avoid sun between 11 am-3 pm when it’s the strongest
- Stay in shade as much as you can. Fresh air is just as good in the shade
- Cover your body with clothing as much as practical, considering the temperatures
- Most of all: forget about tan being “healthy”. There is nothing healthy about skin cancer
Treatments for signs of Photoaging
Ok, so now you are at the age where you are already noticing the sun damage from your younger years. Is there anything that can be done to at least minimize those damages, if not reverse them? Yes there is:
- Botox, chemical peels, laser treatments, dermabrasion, IPL treatments to name a few
- Use skin products and creams containing Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, great anti aging agents
- Apply these beneficial products every single day. Be fanatical about your skin care regimen
By now, you should have your own skin care specialist that can help you decide the best course of treatment for your needs and skin type. Make regular appointments, and keep a close eye on any skin changes.
If you are serious about staying youthful as long as possible, you need to take advantage of all the various anti-aging techniques available to you now, while you are in your 40’s and 50’s. Don’t settle for “aging gracefully”. If you don’t want to be a “little old lady” of 65, go out there, live an active life on your own terms, not someone else’s expectations.
Suggestions and comments welcome