What is Mature Skin?
They say some things get better with age, but for many, their skin isn’t one of them. Between textural changes, deep-set wrinkles, and expression lines, accepting aging skin can be a tough pill to swallow, no matter how many times you remind yourself that it’s a natural part of life. The fact is, as you grow older, your skin begins to lose many of the qualities it once had—namely: evenness, smoothness, and firmness. But to help alleviate the disconcerting feeling these new changes bring about, it helps to know what actually causes your skin to age—after all, a few minor tweaks to your beauty routine could delay the signs of aging. Below, we’ve outlined the causes of skin aging, the telltale signs to look out for, and how to reclaim your smooth, radiant skin. Keep scrolling to learn more.
What Causes Your Skin To Age?
Like a well-loved pair of jeans, our skin goes through changes over time. Typically, our face goes through a process of regeneration where the outermost layer of the skin—aka the stratum corneum—sheds to reveal a fresh, new complexion. The stratum corneum is what protects the skin from harmful external factors as well as from losing too much moisture. This process of skin regeneration is quicker when you're younger, but as we get older, the process lengthens, leaving more room for things like environmental stress, improper diet, and the sun to take a toll on our skin. The result? Skin becomes uneven, dry, and ridden with fine lines. This, coupled with the fact that the body struggles to produce enough collagen and elastin over time (two proteins that skin needs the most to stay healthy, plump, and firm), is what causes skin to experience signs of aging.
The 6 Most Common Signs of Aging Skin
Crow’s feet are the tiny wrinkles that form at the corners of your eyes. They’re caused by common expressions such as smiling or squinting, making them one of the earliest types of wrinkles to form.
Another common sign of aging is discolored skin. Oftentimes, the discoloration will be concentrated into small dots, called age spots. When caused by extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays, spots of skin discoloration may also be referred to as sunspots, which are the result of excess melanin production. Sunspots can form at any age, although they are more likely to form later in life.
Technically referred to as nasolabial folds, laugh lines are the creases that run diagonally from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. These lines are caused by repeated facial expressions and movement.
The skin on your décolleté, or the region of your chest below your neck and above your breasts, is notoriously thin. This makes it easier for wrinkles and creases to form from side sleeping, sunbathing, and natural aging.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Droopy eyelids are definitely one of the most common signs of aging. The skin on your eyelids is extremely thin, so it’s common for women of a certain age to develop droopy eyelids.
Frown lines are the wrinkles that appear between your eyebrows and on your forehead. When two vertical lines form between your eyes, they’re called “the 11s.” Although they’re known as frown lines, these wrinkles can be caused by anything from laughing or smiling to squinting and frowning.
As the elastin in your skin cells begins to break down, your skin may sag. Your lower cheeks and jawline are particularly susceptible to droopy skin. When sagging occurs along your jawline, the condition is referred to as jowls.
Tips to Fight Aging Skin
Looking for a little extra firepower in the battle against aging skin? These three simple steps can help.
Get your beauty sleep
During the daytime, our skin is in defense mode, fending off harmful things like pollution, free radicals, and sun damage. At night, however, our skin is in regenerative mode, repairing the damage of the day, absorbing the active ingredients in your skincare formulas, and increasing cell turnover. Getting at least eight hours of sleep will help maximize your time spent in repair mode (plus, you won’t wake up with bags, dark circles, or puffy eyes as a result of a lack of sleep, which can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles). Also, make sure you're sleeping on your back, as stomach sleeping can create pressure on the skin, which can lead to creasing and, eventually, deep-set lines.
Develop a proper skincare routine—and stick to it
Your skin needs vary as you get older, but certain rules are the golden standard when it comes to your skincare regimen. For one, wash your face with a gentle, creamy, non-irritating cleanser twice a day. This is an important first step, especially for your nighttime routine, as it helps to get rid of built-up free radicals from the day that would otherwise cause the skin to age quicker. Also, exfoliate your face once a week to reduce the look of discoloration, dullness, and unevenness. For sun protection, always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to both your face and neck—rain or shine. Finally, incorporate a face mask for mature skin into your routine that targets specific areas of concern. The SiO Eye & Smile Lift is made of medical-grade, skin-hugging silicone and works to reduce the appearance of fine lines along the most vulnerable parts of your face: crow’s feet and laugh lines. Since your skin is working hard to rebuild itself while you sleep, you’ll reap the full benefits of the patches if you apply them overnight. Use an antioxidant-rich serum that contains retinol, niacinamide, vitamin C, or green tea extract around the patches.
Maintain a healthy diet
What you eat—and don’t eat—is essential in the fight against aging skin. Foods high in the antioxidant vitamin C (think: red peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, and broccoli) help support skin integrity and are able to neutralize oxidative stress-causing free radicals, which mature skin is more vulnerable to. Also, replace sugar-rich foods with things like grapes, melon, and kiwi, as these won’t harm collagen fibers in the skin the way sugary foods do. Finally, drink at least 64 ounces of water a day—this is the easiest way to give your skin a radiant look, plump up fine lines, and keep it hydrated.
Despite what you may think, mature skin and healthy skin don't have to be polar opposites. With limited sun exposure, a proper diet, and alterations to your skincare routine, you can easily manage your skin changes and own it with confidence. And during moments you feel you’re at a standstill against the battle with your wrinkles, know that it’s never too late to benefit from adopting a healthy, mature-skin friendly routine.