Five Places You Age and Ways to Prevent It
If there is one skin condition we would all like to avoid, it’s the appearance of aging before its time. The signs of aging can appear as early as our 20s. While there is truly nothing we can do to slow the passage of time, there are measures we can take to minimize the appearance that time has passed. Here are the five places aging shows up first and what you can do to keep time from catching up with you.
Nothing says “mature” like those telltale lines radiating out from the eye. The biggest cause of crow’s feet is sun exposure. The thin skin around the eyes has very little collagen and elastin to begin with. Every time you skip the sunscreen and run outside for “just a minute,” you put yourself at risk for these crinkly cretins. Protect yourself with an eye cream that contains retinoids, peptides or antioxidants and, of course, sunscreen. Newer Sunscreen products with Zinc provide the unsurpassed UVA protection of zinc oxide without the opaque “”white-out”” that has reduced zinc oxide’s appeal in the past.
Your mouth is one of the highlights of your face, so don’t let those fine lines get a foothold. Believe it or not, there was some truth when your mother warned you that your face could stick like that – puckering your lips, pursing them, smoking or even talking animatedly all take a toll on the sensitive skin around your mouth. Of course, sun exposure plays a big role here as well. The best preventative measures you can take are sunscreen and moisturizer. Like the skin around your eyes, the skin around your mouth can hold onto youth with the help of retinoids and peptides – and avoiding continued repetitive mouth movements.
Hyperpigmentation is a long word for a variety of skin color issues including brown spots, freckles and uneven dark patches. A recent study in The American Journal of Dermatology found that hyperpigmentation is the most recognized sign of age – above even fine lines and wrinkles themselves. There are a variety of causes of hyperpigmentation and not all of them can be avoided but, once again, sun exposure is the chief culprit. The sun can accentuate existing freckles and cause dark patches to emerge. Other causes include rising estrogen levels brought on by some birth control medications. To protect yourself, once again, it’s sunscreen to the rescue. For dark patches that have already shown up, hydroquinone has been shown to be an effective bleaching agent.
Recent research has pointed to allergies as having more to do with dark circles than lack of sleep. Allergies can cause inflammation and dilated blood vessels under the eyes. If dark circles have reared their ugly head, try an over the counter allergy medication with an antihistamine. There are other causes of these dark circles as well – some of which you cannot control. There is a web of fine veins under your eyes that can add unwanted color in that area and iron oxide can also leak from the capillaries under the eyes – apparently from sinus inflammation. There is little you can do about the presence of these blood vessels, but you can keep them from getting worse. The skin is thin and the light trauma of even rubbing your eyes can cause damage and darken these circles.