As you’ve gotten older, you may have noticed your skin isnâ€™t as soft and supple as it once was. Wrinkles, sagging and stretching are common types of skin deterioration that stem from the aging process itself as well as from environmental factors, such as sun exposure. You may find that you feel younger than your skin looks, but you can address that discrepancy between who you are and how you look by using natural or cosmetic solutions to rejuvenate your skin and regain control of the aging process.
The Root of the Problem
Collagen and elastinÂ are components of the upper layer of skin, also called the dermis. These two substances create skin’s flexible and supple structure. When skin ages, however, the fibroblasts that manufacture collagen and elastin slow down, creating less of these important molecules. Your skin becomes thinner and less resistant to damage, resulting in altered skin structure, wrinkles, sagging and stretching.
Sun exposure accelerates and intensifies skin’s natural aging process. Ultraviolet radiation creates enzymes that destroy collagen and elastin; this radiation also changes the physical distribution of collagen and elastin molecules within the dermis. Accordingly, your skin becomes stretched and less elastic.
Natural, simple approaches can reduce wrinkles, sagging and stretching without requiring you to make major lifestyle changes. Start by avoiding harmful ultraviolet rays. WearÂ sunscreenÂ with a sun protection factor of at least 30 every day, even if you’re not planning to spend time outside. You’ll still be absorbing rays while driving, walking to and from your car or sitting near windows. Generously apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you leave the house in the morning. If sunscreen is distributed too thinly, it isn’t as effective.
Your body needs water to be healthy, but the amount of water you drink may have little effect on your skin. Whatâ€™s more important is toÂ avoid cleansers and chemicals that can dry-out skin.
If your aging skin is most noticeable around your eyes, nose, mouth and neck, you may opt for a cosmetic procedure to reverse these effects of time. AÂ faceliftÂ can remove deep creases and make skin look more youthful. Facial rejuvenation is also ideal for solving the common issues of banding on the neck, laugh lines around the mouth and crow’s feet around the eyes.
A more temporary cosmetic solution comes in the form ofÂ collagen injections.Â CollagenÂ is a natural protein that already exists in the human body’s fibrous structures, making it the perfect cosmetic filler. Cosmetic collagen firms and tones your skin and reduces wrinkles, sagging and stretching. Over time, collagen does break down, so you’ll need refresher injections every three to 12 months, depending on the site that you’re treating.
While wrinkling, stretching and sagging skin are normal parts of aging, you don’t have to simply accept skin degeneration. Natural solutions and cosmetic options can help you improve your skin. You can do a lot for skin by simply avoiding excessive sun exposure and using gentle products on your skin, but thereâ€™s nothing wrong with going a step further when natural fixes arenâ€™t enough.