Messages your aging skin is sending you

It seems that every part of our body changes as we age – like the size of our waistline, the flexibility in our joints and the grey in our hair. Skin is no exception. Our body’s largest organ goes through many changes as we go through life. And that means it may be time to change your skin-care routine. Are you listening to what your skin is saying?

“I’m drying up”
Our skin becomes dryer as we age, often because of a reduction in the function of sweat and oil glands. The problem is made worse by stress, sun, poor hydration and frequent hot baths. Dryer skin can lead to irritation and itching. But daily use of moisturizing lotions or creams will definitely make a difference. If you enjoy a good soak in a hot tub, think about reducing the temperature and frequency of your baths. You can use a humidifier to reduce the dryness in your indoor air. And, of course, be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

“I need protection from the sun”
You may have already noticed sun damage to your skin – like wrinkles and brown spots. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to protect your skin from UV light. You can improve the look of your skin and prevent or slow down further sun damage by using a daily sunscreen. Look for an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15, and try to limit your sun exposure, especially in the middle of the day. Wear a wide-brimmed hat for protection whenever possible, and skip the trips to the tanning salon.

“I’m betraying your age”
The skin on our face may begin to show telltale lines. That’s because skin loses elasticity as we get older. Plus there’s a shrinking amount of fat under the skin to plump it up. To smooth your skin, try a product with retinol, a form of vitamin A and a type of antioxidant. Retinol actually blocks oxygen molecules from causing the changes in skin cells that lead to wrinkles. Other ingredients like glucose complex and hyaluronic acid can diminish the look of lines. NEUTROGENA Rapid Wrinkle RepairTM contains all these compounds and visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles in just one week!

“Watch what you’re eating and drinking”
Your skin will thank you for eating well! You risk more sores, spots and rashes if you aren’t eating a well-balanced diet. In fact, some research shows that a high intake of fresh fruits and veggies can actually fight aging of the skin, while too much sugar or processed carbs can make it worse. Drink enough water – if you’re dehydrated, your skin is more sensitive to injury – and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, which is drying to the tissues.

“I’m a little more sensitive”
Our skin becomes thinner over time. This means that it’s more easily irritated and injured. Certain chemicals, fragrances, even sweat can irritate skin. And irritation actually triggers aging of the skin, so be sure you’re washing your face twice a day, or more often if you’ve been perspiring heavily. When you wash your face, avoid scrubbing it vigorously – cleanse it gently instead. You may need to make the switch to products specially formulated for sensitive skin and made without fragrances or dyes, like NEUTROGENA Moisture Sensitive Skin. This lightweight, non-greasy lotion provides gentle yet effective moisturization for even the most sensitive skin.

“I need you to butt out”
If you smoke, now’s the perfect time to quit. The skin of smokers ages faster than average, because nicotine restricts blood flow and nourishment to your skin. Other chemicals in cigarettes dehydrate your skin and impair its strength and elasticity. Over time, the habit dulls your complexion and causes sagging and wrinkles. This process is intensified by the amount of time you’ve smoked and the number of cigarettes you’ve had. The good news is, if you quit now you’ll soon see a dramatic difference in the look of your skin.

“I take more time to heal”
Not only is aging skin more prone to injury and irritation, but it also takes longer to heal from these insults. That’s partly because of age-related changes to the skin. But repair time is also influenced by other conditions more common in older people, like diabetes. Remember that well-hydrated skin will repair itself more quickly, so be sure to keep it moisturized.

“It’s not too late”
As you get older, it’s sensible to give your skin more care and attention. Consider a few lifestyle changes that will make a difference, and try products that can protect and improve your skin. New approaches and treatments are being created all the time. You’ll discover that it’s never too late to start listening to your skin. Not only will you slow down the look of aging, but when you take healthy steps like eating well, drinking lots of water, and cutting out stress and cigarettes, you may find you feel younger, too!


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