If there’s one thing that is unavoidable when it comes to our skin it’s the way it will age. With time comes wear and tear on anything. Your skin is no exception. We see the ready solution to aging in botox and plastic surgeons, but before we dive into anything like that, let’s talk about what we can start doing right now to slow down that aging process. There is nothing wrong with aging, of course, but there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to age “gracefully.” By taking care of ourselves now we’ll see how the effects of a good routine can really produce some longevity to our “youth.”
Before any problem arises we can think about a prevention period. While it’s easier to think about what you should have done in hindsight, it’s important to think about it now before anything occurs. Hence why it is called “prevention.” There’s a lot we can do now in our 20s to prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles. Without getting into products just yet, here are some ways we can start slowing the aging process now:
- Reduce the amount of time you’re sleeping on your side if you are at all. As a side sleeper myself, this is one of the hardest habits I still have yet to break. When you sleep on your side, you are rubbing your face against a surface that is pushing and pulling it as you move. This creates wrinkles over time or even changes the way your face is seen. You may notice more asymmetry in your features with consistent side sleeping. For a woman as well, sleeping on your side promotes wrinkles in the medial fold, or the cleavage. Try sleeping on your back more. Not only is it better for your posture, but it will reduce the amount of pressure on your skin throughout the night.
- Be mindful of how much you are touching your face. Do you have a habit of rubbing your eyes? Or how about resting your chin on your hand during class when the lecture feels like it’s dragging for too long? All of this is applying pressure to your skin and changing the way it lays overall. It may not seem like a big deal now, but with all of the tugging, rubbing, pulling, and pushing, we promote the development of wrinkles in those areas more and more. This would also mean being careful when removing makeup. Don’t scrub too hard and make sure you’re using products that allow you to remove the makeup gently.
- As mentioned in a previous blog about skincare fads, using a Gua Sha can also help prevent wrinkles and signs of aging. Really, facial massages are a great way to relieve tension in the facial muscles, thus relaxing the skin and preventing that tightness from creating signs of aging.
Now what kind of products are used when we want to consider an anti-aging process?
A household item that should always be considered when talking about anti-aging is sunscreen. It doesn’t just belong to the “summer staples” group. Sunscreen should always be worn and reapplied as recommended. UV rays are some of the most damaging when it comes to our skin and aging so it’s smart to be protected from them at all times.
You may have also heard of retinoids such as retinol and retin-a. These are used to treat acne and sun damage as well, but most commonly paired with anti-aging advertising. Retinols can be found in over the counter products and can be used in your early 20s. It’s important to start off with a smaller amounts of retinols and work your way up so your skin can slowly adjust to it. They are pretty strong so using them at night is where they will be the most efficient. You’ll probably want to start using them two or three times a week and work your way up to everyday. Keep in mind, many people also experience a purge with it meaning it may cause more breakouts until your skin adjusts. Retin-as are prescription but do a similar thing. They are just stronger and are not found over the counter. Tretinoin has also been linked to similar properties as retinoids have, but they can really only be prescribed from a dermatologist. If you can get your hands on tretinoin, this is probably the best product to use for anti-aging. However, if you’re just starting out, over the counter retinols are just fine if practiced with a proper skincare routine. You’ll want to apply these products to your neck as well as wrinkles form there very often too.
Like mentioned previously, facial massagers like Gua Shas can help a lot too. You have the option of rollers but also more high tech stimulating products that aid in a deeper massage. All of these used in a proper motion can help smooth out the skin and keep the appearance of wrinkles at a minimum. If you want to start somewhere, a Gua Sha may be the best fit for you. Finding one isn’t too difficult and they run maybe at about $15 a piece.
What About Botox?
Most people are familiar with botox. It seems to be the regular procedure for anyone beginning to age in hollywood. Botox can be injected just about anywhere. It’s known more for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, but it also helps with excessive sweating and even issues such as TMJ. Botox cause paralysis where it is injected. This is why sometimes people with botox don’t appear to move their features very much. This helps smooth more dynamic wrinkles and aid in creating a more youthful appearance. They are not the same thing as fillers.
More surgical options to reduce the look of aging include eyebrow lifts, neck lifts, or even injections in some areas. Since this is a skincare blog, I won’t be touching on such procedures further. More so, I emphasize techniques we can use now to slow the aging process and take better care of our skin. We won’t ever have the skin we have now again so it’s important to take care of it as well as possible. There is nothing wrong with aging nor wrinkles, but much of this advice I’d still recommend just to keep your skin healthy. At the end of the day we’re all going through the process of life. There’s beauty in every step of the aging process. If anything, embrace it!