Americans spend billions of dollar each year on skin care products that are designed to help erase wrinkles, reduce redness and lighten age spots. However, the simplest and cheapest trick in the book when it comes to skin care for aging skin is to stay out of the sun. Staying out of the sun is the cheapest way to maintain healthy and youthful looking skin.
Sunlight is a major cause of wrinkles, age spots and dryness -- all of which we associate with aging skin. It’s a well-known fact that your skin changes as you age. As your skin becomes drier, thinner and loses fat. As a result, your skin start to look less smooth. Veins and bones lying underneath the skin’s surface also become more prominent.
You can delay changes in your skin by staying out of the sun. It is important to remember that nothing can be done to completely reverse damage caused by the sun. However, it’s never to late to start protecting your skin and taking better care of it.
As you age, the sun’s UV rays damages the fibers in your skin known as elastin. The breakdown of these fibers leads to wrinkles and sagging skin -- this is especially noticeable on the face, neck and upper arms.
If you are a smoker, you are also going to notice an increase in wrinkles. Those who smoke have a tendency to have many more wrinkles than those who don’t smoke. As a result, nonsmokers tend to look younger than smokers. Smoking damages the elastin your skin. The longer you have smoked the more damage you are likely to experience when it comes to your skin.
While many products claim to make you look more youthful and eliminate wrinkles, there are very few treatments that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat aging and sun damaged skin. These treatments include tretinoin cream and carbon dioxide and erbium lasers.
Many older individuals suffer from dry skin. Dry skin is especially common on the forearms, elbows and lower legs. This dry skin can also be accompanied by intense itchiness. Low humidity, the result of overheating during the winter and too much air conditioning during the summer, greatly contributes to dry and itchy skin. The loss of sweat glands and oil glands as you age also play a role in dry skin. Dehydration, smoking, sun exposure and stress can also cause dry skin.
To help with dry skin, avoid products that further dry your skin out. Avoid overuse of soaps, hot baths, perfumes and antiperspirants. For severe dry skin, see your physician, there are a number of cream, ointments and lotions out there that can help to clear up dry skin and provide relief from itching.
A number of older individuals will experience age spots. These spots are flat and brown and are the result of years of sun exposure. They are larger than freckles and are most common in those with fair-skin. The medical name of age spots is solar lentigo. These spots are most common on the face, arms, back, hands and feet. Age spots can also be accompanied by wrinkling dryness and rough spots.
If you are experiencing age spots, there a number of treatments available. There are fading creams, cryotherapy, and laser therapy. Tretinoin cream can also help to reduce the appearance of these dark spots. You should always be using sunscreen to prevent further damage.