In today's modern age, between UV damage, pollution and more, skin is aging faster than ever. Thankfully there are several ways to slow down this rapid aging process and even repair damage that has already occurred. Keep reading to learn why premature skin aging occurs and the best premature aging skin treatments.
These are the most common signs of damaged skin that has premature aged:
"There are many causes of premature skin aging, but environment, lifestyle choices, and genetics are some of the biggest factors that can lead to someone's skin behaving older than their actual age." –Nina Holt, Esthetician,Westwood Studio and Spa
These are the top 5 culprits of premature skin aging:
1) The sun
The sun is the number one cause of prematurely aging skin. Almost 90% of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays (1). Even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of UV rays can pass through the clouds (2)!
Pro tip: Thinking of getting a "base" tan before your beach vacation? Think again. There's no safe way to prep the skin for UV rays. Any time the skin tans, it's a sign of injury. The only safe way to spend a day at the beach is to use sunscreen and stay protected from the sun.
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen every single day, no matter what. It is the single most important thing you can do for your skin.
Dirt, smog, toxic gases, and free radicals can all become absorbed into your skin and speed up the natural aging process. Day in, day out exposure to pollution (from exhaust, smog, smoke, free radicals and even extreme climate) can cause many nasty side effects for your skin, like dehydration, wrinkles, fine lines, premature aging, weakened skin, dullness, and sensitivity.
3) Poor diet
Processed foods, foods high in sugar, sodium, and trans fats all wreak havoc on your health and your skin. Eating poorly degrades elastin and collagen, which are the proteins that keep skin soft and youthful.*
"A poor diet can cause dullness, puffiness, redness, congestion, acne and more!" –Rhonda Robb, Esthetician and Bioelements educator
If you want to prevent premature aging and keep your skin clear and healthy, eating well is a must.
When you are stressed it triggers the stress hormone cortisol to increase, which affects sebum production, microcirculation and hydration levels. To prevent breakouts, excess oil, and faster aging, make sure to minimize your stress as best as possible.
There are some obvious bad habits that age you quicker, like tanning and smoking, but there are some surprising ones too, like using makeup wipes to remove makeup. Learn what bad habits to ditch and which to keep for youthful skin.
The number one prevention is avoiding the triggers when possible, but a vast majority of them are unavoidable, especially in today's modern world. So make sure you're taking these steps to prevent premature skin aging before it occurs:
Even if you think you don't spend much time outdoors, there is really no avoiding the sun. In fact, even if you don't leave your home UV rays can penetrate windows, leaving you vulnerable all day long. The most sun damage that occurs often happens from everyday activities too, like running errands, or walking from your car to your work. UV damage is accumulative so it's crucial to stay protected at all times.
Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen every single day and reapplying often when you are outside for extended period of time is the number one way to prevent aging skin.
Our increasingly dirty world is full of skin-aging atmospheric stressors, so much so that researchers now predict that pollution protection will impact skin care as much as UV protection. To prevent premature skin aging, it is crucial to use anti-pollution skin care.
Remineralist Daily Moisture is the perfect pollution solution. This lightweight, pollution-neutralizing lotion is the answer for modern day aging skin. To protect yourself even more from free radicals, use antioxidant skin care, like Plump Start or Advanced VitaMineral C Complex, to scavenge skin aging free radicals and prevent inflammation.
Using the wrong products for your skin type will absolutely damage the skin over time
Once you determine your skin type, it's crucial to begin with the correct daily essentials for that type. For all skin types, this includes: twice daily cleansing, toning, moisturizing and protecting skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen.
4) Professional treatments
"Anti-aging facials should begin in the 20's to keep skin strong, healthy and more resistant to the toxic effects of intrinsic aging. Your esthetician will help you choose the facial that targets your skin concerns, and also works with your skin's sensitivity level on the day of treatment." –Teresa Stenzel, Bioelements Director of Education
For many of us, however, it is too late for prevention. It is becoming increasingly common for skin to behave older than a person's age, but there is good news. You can minimize the damage and even help skin heal itself.
1) Take every precaution
All of the steps listed above for preventing aging skin can also help reverse some of the damage (and obviously prevent further damage). Anyone looking to repair and restore prematurely aged skin should start with the prevention steps and go from there.
Exfoliation is crucial when it comes to visibly erasing years of damage. Regularly exfoliating can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and even prevent them from worsening. It can also help unclog pores, reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize the appearance of dark under eye circles and crows feet, and lessen excess oil production.
The key is to find the right exfoliator for your skin type – read this quick list to find yours.
"Coming in to see an esthetician should be your first stop when reversing premature aging. I personally always educate my clients on a comprehensive healthy lifestyle along with explaining the appropriate product selection for your skin type and lifestyle.
For most people with age signs, I use Bioelements chemical peels (they aren't as scary as they sound – these peels are pro-use-only, but they are no downtime peels) and recommend Sleepwear, Skin Editor or Moisture x10 since they have key ingredients proven to reverse damage, hydrate and strengthen the skin. It depends on your individual skin needs though. Don't hesitate to head to your local spa – we're here to help!" –Brooke Bateman, Esthetician,The Refinery Esthetics Bar
"Consistent facials are an awesome way to manipulate the skin to help increase collagen and cell turnover rate, plus get oxygen and nutrients flowing properly throughout the skin for the ultimate results of healthy, glowing complexion. That being said, at-home care is particularly important if you want to maintain and further the results from your facial. Lately, I have seen TREMENDOUS, beautiful results with the Bioelements Skin Editor when added to my clients at home regimen." –Nina Holt, Esthetician,Westwood Studio and Spa
"I find that most clients who have skin that behaves older than their actual age suffer from a compromised barrier." –Brooke Bateman, Esthetician,The Refinery Esthetics Bar
Are your biggest skin concerns caused by something you've never heard of? They could be! Estheticians have long recognized the importance of healthy skin barriers – but many people outside of the industry have never even heard of them. You cannot have skin that is supple, healthy and protected if your skin barriers are damaged. Learn how to repair your skin barrier here.
If you have any questions on the causes of premature skin aging or how to prevent + repair skin, sign up for our email newsletter here or comment below!
1) Skin Cancer Foundation
2) American Academy of Dermatology
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