Do you find yourself wondering if you’ll age gracefully as you start seeing signs of aging? We all get to that point eventually so don’t worry! Even in our late 20’s or early 30’s some of us may begin to see the early signs of aging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles – even sagging skin. If you’re worried about signs of aging and what you can do to prevent and treat them, read on!
Natural Causes of Aging
As we age, our body’s production of elastin and collagen begins to slow down. Collagen is what gives our skin a supple, smooth, and young appearance. Elastin is what gives your skin the ability to “bounce back” and prevent permanent lines caused by frowns and smiles. Decreases in both collagen and elastin are what cause sagging skin. New skin cell production also starts to slow down, resulting in an uneven skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles, as well as a rough skin texture.
When and how we begin to age depends a great deal on our genetic makeup. Some people may start showing signs again in their 20’s while others may not start showing signs until well into their 50’s. This natural process of aging has a medical term: intrinsic aging. While we can’t do anything to stop this process, there are lifestyle habits that can cause premature aging, which we’ll go into next.
What Causes Premature Aging?
The number one cause of premature aging is prolonged, unprotected exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. UV exposure can cause long-term, irreversible changes in the skin’s collagen – known as “photoaging”. This happens when the skin develops wrinkles and fine lines due to changes in collagen at the deeper layers of the skin. Some other habits that can cause premature aging are drinking, alcohol, smoking, poor nutrition, dehydration, lack of exercise, and stress.
Parts of the Body that Reveal Aging
In most cases, all it takes is a look in the mirror or a recent selfie to notice where aging is appearing on our body. Unfortunately for most, it is usually our face that reveals the signs of aging first. Let’s find out where and how aging appears first and what we can do to treat it:
Eye area – The area by the eyes tends to betray us first, as fine lines aka expression lines can begin to appear- even in our early 20’s. As we age, fine lines by the eyes turn into deeper lines, known as “crow’s feet”. We will also notice dark circles and bags below the eyes due to changes in skin tissue. Med spa treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, and injectables (which relax the muscles that cause fine lines) are effective ways to both prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines. A skincare regimen that is customized for your particular skin type can also help reduce the signs of aging in the eye area.
Forehead – The forehead area may have horizontal or vertical lines or stubborn creases between the eyes (known as the 11’s or 111’s), freckles and sunspots due to sun exposure, as well as an uneven skin tone. Fillers, such as Lyft, Refyne, and Defyne, and injectables such as Botox are the best treatment for forehead creases. Microdermabrasion can also treat uneven skin tone by stimulating the production of new skin cells. Skincare products that contain retinoids or fruit acids can also be helpful in reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Lip area – The lowered levels of elastin caused by aging can cause unsightly lines to form from the nose to the corners of the mouth. This is called a “nasolabial fold”. “Smoker lines” can also form along the line of the upper lip. Due to a slowing in collagen production, lips can also lose their volume. Fillers and injectables can work in tandem to correct this. A popular new treatment called a “lip flip” uses Botox to relax the muscles above the lip so that the lip is drawn up in such a way as to make the lip appear fuller.
Cheek and chin area – Cheeks start to lose volume due to lower levels of collagen and elastin and can sag, causing “jowls” to form. This is due to the fact that as skin proteins decrease, the cheek skin surrounding your mouth loses its firmness and tightness. Once this happens, gravity causes it to descend to the area on either side of your mouth and chin. Fillers are a popular treatment option for this condition.
Face and neck – Signs of sun damage and aging take the form of age spots, brown spots, skin tags, freckles, and broken blood vessels and can appear anywhere on the face and neck – and other parts of the body as well. Med spas use Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy to treat many of these conditions. A broad spectrum of light pulls darkened skin and other discolorations to the surface, which are then exfoliated away. The deeper wrinkles usually caused by sun damage on the face and neck area can be treated with Profound – a recently developed technique that stimulates your body to naturally reproduce wrinkle-reducing collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid to revitalize the skin and build new, healthy tissue.
Arms, legs, and waist– As mentioned above, age spots and broken blood vessels can appear anywhere on the body including arms and legs so the treatment options are similar as for the face and neck. An issue that is common with aging is the swelling of fat cells. They can form stubborn “pouches” of fat in the arm, leg and other areas as metabolism slows down. CoolSculpting is an effective treatment that freezes away stubborn fat in these areas.
Body hair – Another common complaint that is part of aging is the increased growth of unwanted body hair – especially in women who experience a decrease in estrogen. Laser hair removal is a popular treatment for this as the removal is almost permanent, thereby eliminating the need for shaving with a razor, which can be tiring for most and dangerous for aging clients.
Thanks to the scientific development of med spa treatments and skincare products, you don’t have to live with the signs of aging anymore– especially if they are premature! If you haven’t considered scheduling a med spa consultation about your concerns, now is the time. You will be guided on the best treatment options and anti-aging skincare regimen to continue between treatments. The results will amaze you – as close to ageless, flawless skin as it gets!