Aging of the skin is a common concern that many can’t ignore. However, there may be factors creeping up on you saying your skin is aging faster than you think. After seeing these hopefully you will consider approaching your skin differently.
Think about it this way; after having a pain in our shoulder that doesn’t go away as quickly as it used to, you may adapt your workout or daily activities as needed. This happens a lot as we get older.
The same goes for your skin and skin care routine.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis. More details.
Signs of Premature Aging
Dark spots. If you are in your early twenties and have hyperpigmentation (aka sun spots, liver spots, Seborrheic keratosis (SK) appearing on your face and limbs this is your first visible sign of sun damage. And this can age your appearance because they normally show in our 40s.
Your chest may also have hyperpigmentation and inflammation. People may develop discoloring that is patchy this may also be sun damage. It isn’t always linked to aging and could be due to eczema or other skin conditions affecting the melanin.
It is never too early to practice using sunscreen regularly. This helps with preventing these spots from occurring (I have experience with these) on your skin.
For the existing ones:
Your dermatologist may prescribe mild steroids. A bleaching agent can fade hyperpigmentation with time.
Your dermatologist can use cryotherapy, chemical peels and intense pulsed light therapy.
You can also go to a salon or medi-spa to have a peel done or fading service.
Fine lines. Having the appearance of fine lines on your forehead, circling your eyes and lips while in your twenties, rings the warning bells. Eventually, these become deeper wrinkles that age you. The main reason is an early loss of collagen and elastin causing the skin to lose structure and sag before its time.
Smoking, which causes many wrinkles, is bad for our skin and can lead to free radical damage, a restriction of blood supply going to skin thus starving the tissue. If you smoke, quit. Add this to exposure of the environment which can age your skin a lot.
Wrinkles or sagging skin. The appearance of crow’s feet in the corners of your eyes or hanging skin along jawline is aging.
Protect your skin including eyes and lips from harmful sun rays. Use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors.
Drink water and moisturize often. Cosmetics containing green tea extracts, vitamin A, vitamin C, retinoid and antioxidants may help.
You may consider botox and dermal fillers that can fill and lift.
Dry, itchy skin (aka xerosis cutis) this is because with our skin aging it is more susceptible to dehydration. Usually near age 40 we may notice flaking. But this shouldn’t be normal in your twenties unless you have a skin condition (eczema).
For dry or itchy skin that may flake due to aging and not a skin condition begin by looking at lifestyle. Stay hydrated; limit long, hot showers or baths. Apply moisturizer throughout day. Your dermatologist may prescribe a stronger moisturizer.
Hair turning grey. When your hair is beginning to turn grey in your twenties or early thirties this is another sign of premature aging. A loss in melanin (pigment for color) is to blame here.
Having this happen early could be many factors;
- Exposure to pollutants
- Over using chemical products (hair color, straighteners)
- Over using heat to style (hairdryers, flat irons)
It is important to find the factor causing this and then correcting it if possible. If you have nutritional deficiencies look at your diet and maybe add supplements.
Taking steps to protect yourself from pollutants and avoiding the use of these chemical processes and styling will help with premature grey hairs.
Hair loss happens because our stem cells producing new hair growth from the hair follicles start dying. But this again is seen close to age 40 and not your twenties. This can be due to hormones changing, the environment, genes and your diet. Men do experience this earlier.
You may purchase a shampoo, conditioner or other products to encourage hair growth. Eat nutritious diet. Add a supplement with multi vitamins to boost keratin (collagen, biotin). Over the counter Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are available.
Consult your dermatologist for testing to rule out other conditions.
What Contributes to Premature Aging?
- Lifestyle; sleep, diet, alcohol, smoking
- Some medical conditions
- Exposure to pollution
4 Areas Show Age First Need Your Attention
Hands. Yes our hands can show age. Most people usually notice this in their thirties and forties. The skin here becomes thinner with diminishing collagen production as well.
What could result? Hands start to appear with more visible veins and prone to wrinkles. Sun damage may be visible and dry skin.
What to do. Try hydrating serum. Thick hand creams at night and moisturize often. Jojoba, rose hip, and tea tree are great oils for moisturizing skin. Wearing gloves while cleaning or washing dishes will also protect skin. Avoid detergents and chemicals near hands.
Procedures: chemical peels, dermal fillers and laser can be done.
Chest. There is a reason it’s called décolleté. Skin is thin here. This is another area that will show signs of aging early but not in your twenties. It is more vulnerable to damage, both internal as well as external. Most of the time, we overlook this area when applying skincare and sun protection.
The chest should be considered an extension of our face. Otherwise, environmental factors such as UV damage and dry weather can age this area faster.
What could result? Fine lines, folds and crepey, fragile skin.
What to do. For hyperpigmentation and inflammation on chest moisturize with lotion containing vitamin C or retinoid. Don’t forget to use your sunscreen here and cover patches that already exist.
Try an ice roller for inflammation.
Procedures: chemical peels and dermal fillers can be done here as well for hyperpigmentation.
Lips. Did you know our lips deflate and dry out due to age? Oh yes. Lips thin and dehydrate for the same reasons as our skin sagging or having lost suppleness; ceramide, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid loss.
Losing these precious lipids and fibers affects the structure of our skin causing decline and our overall volume diminishes in addition to making it more susceptible to losing moisture.
This process, unfortunately, begins sooner than you may expect. Losing collagen can take place as early as your 20s. so if your lips are feeling a bit less plumb these days or you find yourself grabbing some lip balm more often this could be why.
What could result? Thin lips.
What to do? Restore collagen with supplements. Collagen is also available in lip masks.
Procedures: Botox or lip filler can be placed here. There are lip implants or fat can be transferred from another area.
Under eyes. This is the most delicate area with thinnest skin because it doesn’t have as many layers. Under eye skin is susceptible to even the slightest change in the body like when you don’t sleep well or swelling after eating a salty dinner.
This is also why those under eye wrinkles appear first, not the same as crow’s feet that are seen on the outer edge of the eye. These are so tiny in appearance that they are barely visible.
What could result? Under eye bags, dark circles and/or fine lines.
What to do. Get your Zzzzs (I know you’re young but your eyes don’t lie). Be mindful of your lifestyle including diet, exercise and stress management.
Procedures: Under eye fillers or eye surgeries.
What to do for Healthy and Young Looking Skin
Our skin is a complex organ. To restore collagen and elastin lost through the aging process we can go to our diet, add supplements and check labels on skincare products.
We know we can’t stop aging. We can be vigilant in a healthy lifestyle to prevent types of premature aging that make us look older.
Once you notice signs of premature aging you may want to take steps to address it. On another note remember they say experience comes with age.
Do you have concerns about your skin aging? What have you done?
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Header photo young female using gua sha stone on face by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels