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Five Common Skin Concerns As We Age



Our skin may just feel like a mere shield that protects us from the world outside.  But, the fact is, it’s more than just the “mask” that keeps your insides in.  It is a very unique and remarkable organ that reflects our general health.  Thus, it is worth protecting from the outside and inside forces.  It is commonly said that for young, good-looking skin, we must provide it with essential nutrients and protect it from external damage.



Here is a look-terrific and stay-healthy guide to beautiful skin.  Note that this guide is presented with the five skin problems and solutions that are common among all age groups.  



Problem #1:  Fine Lines and Wrinkles



Dermatologists agree that the sun's UVA and UVB rays are the leading cause for premature aging of the skin, skin's color and texture changes, as well as several forms of cancer. Protect the face with a broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least an SPF 30 is the most common recommendation) and avoid being in the direct sunlight between 10am-2pm when the sun's rays are harshest. Sunscreen should be applied as the final step before makeup and re-applied as your daily activities dictate.



Exfoliation is a way to aid the face in sloughing off dead skin cells, freeing clogged or nearly clogged pores, and leaving the face fresh. Experts also feel that renewing the skin through exfoliation can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Exfoliating leaves the skin more sensitive to damaging influences, so true exfoliation should only happen one to two times a week followed by extra protective care. There are gentle exfoliating products suitable for daily use; always read the manufacturers directions.



One recommended product available in the market that promotes natural exfoliation is a cream that contains Retinol.  Retinol is a source of Vitamin A that speeds skin cell reproduction, forcing the skin to slough off old skin cells faster, making your face “new” skin a higher percentage of the time. It also encourages the production of collagen.  Retinol is often prescribed for the treatment of acne or anti-aging. Retinol can be obtained with a prescription from your dermatologist or at lower strengths through drugstore beauty products.  Use Retinol with caution because “new” skin cells will make your face more susceptible to sunburn.


Problem #2:  Enlarged Pores


Experts say that the main causes of enlarged pores are due to the accumulation of dead cells and sebum. Sebum is an oily/waxy substance secreted from the sebaceous glands to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair. These glands are found at the base of hair follicles in the greatest abundance on the face and scalp, though they are distributed throughout all skin sites except the palms and soles. Having a consistent skin care routine will help maintain healthy skin and prevent pores from getting clogged.  Make sure to cleanse the skin, tone, use treatment products, and moisturize.  Exfoliating the skin as directed.



Incorporating a toner in your skin care routine can help balance the skin’s ph level and help in the refine pores.  Most beauty brands carry toners.  Look for ones that do not contain alcohol, which would strip your skin of its natural healthy oils and over dry the skin.



A newer phenomenon that is raved about in the beauty industry is an at-home professional cleaning system by Clarisonic.  Clarisonic’s patented sonic cleansing technology works with skin’s natural elasticity, oscillating at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second.  The resulting flexing action created between the outer and inner brushes works to loosen dirt and oil, removing deep-seated impurities from the pores and priming the skin to better absorb topical treatments.  These cleaning systems have guarantees and warrantees because Clarisonic knows that users of their at-home professional cleaning system will see and feel a difference.   



Problem #3:  Brown Spots & Age Spots


Age spots are flat, brown, gray, or black spots on the skin.  Typically we see them in places where skin is exposed to the sun.  Age spots are a result of excess production of melanin.  It is recommended that people with age spots visit their dermatologist annually.  Your doctor can determine if there is any concern of cancer linked to your age spots.



There are many treatment options for helping diminish age spots.  New technology with lasers now makes it possible for people to diminish age spots and freckles through outpatient procedures done with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.  This laser is called the Candela ATV laser.  As with any cosmetic procedure speak with a professional and weigh your options.



A natural way believed to take on age spots is through antioxidant-rich products.  Such products include Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Antioxidants are nourishing for the skin and fight against free radicals.  Vitamin C is also known as a natural skin brightener.



Problem #4:  Adult Acne



With dead skin cells shedding, sweat and oil production as well as the environment adding dirt and such to the face, washing it as needed is a no-brainer. Keep in mind the skin's type - be it naturally oily or dry, and understand that seasons and hormones will change the way the skin produces sweat and oils. One person won't necessarily need or even want to use the same cleaning products forever. While blemishes are unfortunately not entirely avoidable, their frequency, severity and duration on the face can be shortened with good hygiene.



Blemishes most commonly develop due to hormones.  Mild to moderate cases of acne, characterized by less than seven pimples a month, can be treated with over the counter products.   Look for products containing Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Retinol, or Benzoyl Peroxide.



If breakouts are more severe, contact your dermatologist.  A professional can determine if a prescription is needed for oral or topical treatments.  When being prescribed an acne medication, talk through the medication with your doctor.  Many acne treatments cause light sensitivity or changes in your skin.



Problem #5:  Dullness of the Skin



Dullness of the skin typically occurs around age 30.  During this stage, the natural ability of your skin to slough off dead cells from the surface slows down.  Dry and dead cells build up, making the skin look dull.



To freshen your skin, consider a regular exfoliation, which brings fresh and translucent cells to the skin surface.  You can try lotion or cream treatments that contain Alpha- and Beta-Hydroxy Acids, which dissolve the glue that keeps the dead cells attached to the skin. Retinols are also out there that for you to use, as they speed up the renewal of the skin cells.



Keep your skin moisturized. While it is true that the body attempts to moisturize itself, the environment can still win and dry the skin. Hot showers, indoor climate control and strong cleaning products add to the drying effects. Moisturizing with a product that is appropriate for the skin type is a must for maintaining healthy, young looking skin. Just as the most effective cleaning products can change with the seasons, hormones and age, so do types of moisturizers.



If you do so, the moist cells will slough off more easily than hard and dry cells.   Select items that are crafted with ingredients like the Petrolatum and Dimethicone, which trap water in the skin, as well as the humectants like Hyaluronic Acid, which bind water to the skin.



Your skin, especially facial skin, is worth the investment of time, research, and money.  Visit a dermatologist annually; treat yourself to facials with a licensed aesthetician, and empower yourself with knowledge.  Understanding the needs of skin, individualized for you, and doing what is necessary can transform the quality of your skin.



 Edited by Day by Day Beauty's Guru Elizabeth


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