Who here has wished they had younger looking skin??? I’m betting that you, as well as the majority of the world, answered a resounding “yes” to this question (myself included). As much as we can take great care of ourselves, visible aging can start as early as we blow out our 30th birthday candle. If you are lucky enough to have won the genetic lottery, you might be safe for now. However, as we continue to age, our habits will determine how graceful, or quickly, the aging process can happen.
Before you jump to any conclusions, there are some factors we don’t have any real control over, and some we do. Our Estrogen levels that could lead to drooping skin and genetics that determine our bone structure are almost completely out of our control. The good news is that there are plenty of external factors we can work on to help ease the damage; and we should be exercising the correct anti-aging regimen now to prepare for the years ahead.
Our good “Frenemy,” the sun.
Everyone knows the power of those 70 degree plus days, coupled with clear blue skies… or those vacation days spent lounging by the pool or beach with a good book firmly planted at our side. We all know we should should be wearing some sort of protection, but how many of us actually do? Or, how about those cloudy days, time spent sitting in our car, or our offices; we don’t feel in danger, right? Wrong. We are exposed to UV rays ALL of the time. While we are indoors we may not be exposed to the stereotypically harmful UVB rays, but can still be exposed to UVA rays through windows and clouds. In the winter time, when we are bundled up, our faces and necks are exposed to ambient and infrared light; which have the potential to form age spots.
Most dermatologists agree that the UV exposure from the sun is the leading enemy to youthful looking skin. The ultraviolet rays pose a silent but serious, and consistent, threat in many ways. Common effects from UV rays include:
- Damage to our elastin (the connective tissue that helps our skin return to it’s original form)
- A loss of collagen (which turns in to sagging)
- A soft jawline that causes those dreaded wrinkles.
Even though we all love that sun-kissed feel on our skin, the excess exposure without protection, will accelerate our aging, much faster than we naturally should.
It should go without saying that UV exposure in the forms of both UVA and UVB are pretty much unavoidable. However, having the knowledge of how much damage the sun causes, we can, and should do what we can to protect ourselves from over-exposure. In our modern day, there really aren’t any good excuses to not wear protection in the form of SPF (Sun Protection Factor), as a lot of modern make-up bases and moisturizing lotions come with UV protection built in to the formula. The target SPF that we should be looking for in our product is 30 SPF for our faces, ears and necks. However, very often cosmetics don’t meet the 30 SPF target. This is still no excuse to not use a product with no SPF, as having any SPF in your product is better than going completely without.