These last couple weeks have been enough to age all of us at a faster-than-normal clip. Not to speed up that process any further, but did you know your complexion betrays your age—well, your skin’s age? And no, I’m not talking about the obvious signs, like forehead furrows, crow’s feet, and under-eye bags. There are subtler indications that hint that your skin may be aging poorly. While this may be news to you, it’s not too late to act on them.
Early-onset sun spots
If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s and you’re already starting to notice sun spots, it means you’ve had significant amounts of sun exposure. There’s no undoing that, but you can certainly minimize the damage and slow down the skin’s aging process by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis.
If you don’t mind adding to your skin-care regimen, you could also start applying a vitamin C serum in the mornings, which will minimize free radical damage and protect collagen, and a topical retinol product before bed to stimulate new collagen production. That will help keep your skin strong and supple.
The loss of subcutaneous tissue, bone, and muscle results in a gaunt face and hands. Dramatic as that may sound, the process is so gradual that you’re not likely to perceive the differences early on. Fortifying your skin with a hyaluronic acid filler is one solution. Hyaluronic acid diminishes naturally in the dermis of aged skin, which contributes to the rough texture and loss of skin thickness. A hyaluronic acid filler binds 500 to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it can be extremely effective in plumping and rejuvenating aged hands.
Dry, itchy skin
Has your skin felt drier and itchier than normal? Granted, we’re coming off of winter, when dry and itchy skin is pretty much the norm. But if your scratching predates the cold or persists through the spring, it could be a sign that your skin isn’t aging well.
As we age, our cell membranes become more porous, which contributes to the dryness and crepe-y skin. In turn, the skin tends to become itchy and more sensitive. If it isn’t already, moisturizer should be part of your daily skin-care regimen. Apply it within a couple minutes of stepping out of the shower.
Cheek wrinkles and a sagging jawline
Many of us track very closely the appearance of new wrinkles and the progression of existing ones. But wrinkles develop from movement, so they’re not necessarily a sign that the skin’s aging poorly. However, if fine lines and wrinkles begin appearing in the middle of your cheeks during your 20s or 30s, or your jawline starts to sag, they are.
To minimize the effect, consider ultherapy, a treatment that incorporates ultrasound technology to firm up and tighten skin. Over time, it’ll help spur the production of new collagen and elastin, which will minimize wrinkles and sagging.