Ageing gracefully is the goal of hopeful men and women everywhere. And whilst growing older is not a problem to be fixed, they would still like to look healthy and beautiful as the decades go by. The key to a radiant complexion is daily care and smart prevention.
In my opinion, there’s really no such thing as being “too young” to prevent and target premature signs of ageing (e.g., pigmentation, fine lines around the eyes, and dulling skin). In fact, I recommend starting as soon as possible, even if your anti-ageing regimen is as simple as a good quality cleanser and sunscreen.
And there are lifestyle factors to consider, too – your diet, alcohol consumption, sleep hygiene, exercise, and stress management – all play a crucial role in how early wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity start to appear. In addition, there are several lesser-known indicators that can reveal whether you’re predisposed to prematurely ageing skin. And understanding them is key to prevention.
The thinner your skin, the less supportive framework to support it. This skin type is particularly vulnerable to extrinsic ageing factors such as sun and pollution. Thin skin breaks down collagen faster than thicker skin, losing its tone and thickness and resulting in lines and sagging. An excellent way to combat this is by introducing a retinoid into your skin regime. Retinoids help thicken the epidermis through increased cell turnover. In addition, they increase the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid – all factors that help maintain a plump, healthy, and radiant complexion.
Maintaining a steady, healthy body weight is important as we age. Although carrying too much body fat isn’t healthy, having a very low body fat percentage can make you appear older than your years. Fuller faces are more likely to remain more youthful in appearance, and weight loss often results in skin laxity and premature aging. This is because weight loss leads to fat depletion in areas such as the cheeks and lips, resulting in hollow, sunken cheeks, downturned mouth corners, and sagging jowls.
Naturally dry skin
While dry skin doesn’t necessarily age quicker, lines and wrinkles may be more visible than oilier skin types. The natural oils in oily skin help keep the skin naturally hydrated and plump the complexion. If you have naturally dry skin, it will need extra care as you age. Introduce lipid-rich moisturisers into your skincare regime – fatty acids and cholesterol are beneficial ingredients.
Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema dry out the skin, leading to visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles. When the skin is adequately hydrated, it can repair itself and stay healthier for longer. Skin conditions that cause inflammation hinder the skin’s ability to repair itself properly, eventually leading to lines, wrinkles, and all the common signs that we associate with ageing.
A history of sunburn
Sun damage is cumulative, which sadly means that all those days spent sunbathing in your youth with no protection will catch up with you as you age. This is especially true if you have ever experienced a sunburn with blistering and peeling. The skin ages faster if it burns easily, which is an indicator that it cannot produce enough melanin to absorb the UV rays and protect the DNA of the skin and the collagen in the deeper levels of the skin.
Depending on how often you move your facial muscles (through smiling, raising your eyebrows or frowning), your facial expressions can lead to lines and wrinkles over time. As we age, our skin loses collagen, elasticity and the ability to bounce back after making movements. So, if you’re an extremely expressive person, these lines may start to set in sooner than you’d like. Botox is a good preventative treatment to consider if you are a particularly expressive person. By starting now, we can help to minimise wrinkles before they become permanently etched into the skin.
We are consistently exposed to blue light emitted from our phones, computer screens, and tablets, which can negatively affect our skin and the ageing process. Blue light has been shown to cause premature ageing as it has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin compared with both UVA and UVB light.
This results in premature skin ageing, leading to increased wrinkles and a sagging appearance. If your skin is prone to pigmentation, blue light can also worsen it or even trigger new dark patches.