aging-skinWhat Causes Our Skin to Age?

Many things cause our skin to age. Some things we cannot do anything about and others we can influence.

One thing that we cannot change is the natural aging process. With time, we all get visible lines on our face. It is natural for our face to lose some of its youthful fullness. We notice our skin becoming thinner and drier. Our genes largely control when these changes occur. This type of aging is called intrinsic aging.

There is another type of aging that affects our skin called extrinsic aging. Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that this type of aging has on our skin.

Ways to Reduce Premature Skin Aging

To help our patients prevent premature skin aging, Dr. Holy in Phoenix offers the following tips:

  1. Protect your skin from the sun every day. The sun plays a major role in prematurely aging our skin. Whether spending a day at the beach or just running errands, sun protection is essential. You can protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up with clothing, using sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, SPF 30 (or higher) and water-resistant. You should apply sunscreen every day to all skin that is not covered by clothing.
  2. If you smoke, stop. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull complexion.
  3. Avoid repetitive facial expressions. When you make a facial expression, you contract the underlying muscles. If you repeatedly contract the same muscles for many years, these lines become permanent. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce lines caused by squinting.
  4. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging.
  1. Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is rough on the skin. It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages it. This can make us look older.
  2. Exercise. Moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more-youthful appearance.
  3. Cleanse your skin gently. Scrubbing your skin clean can irritate it. Irritating your skin accelerates skin aging. Gentle washing helps to remove pollution, makeup and other substances without irritating your skin.
  4. Wash your face daily and after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, can irritate the skin, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
  5. Apply a facial moisturizer every day. Moisturizers keep water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.

It’s Never Too Late

Aging of the skin can be slowed down with lifestyle changes that promote good health and diligent skin care habits. Even people who already have signs of premature skin aging can benefit from making lifestyle changes. If aging skin concerns you, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix at 602-867-7546 or New treatments and less-invasive procedures for smoothing wrinkles, tightening skin and improving one’s complexion are giving many people younger-looking skin.