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Aging Skin vs. Premature Aging
There are two reasons you may notice signs of aging. Either you’re growing older, called intrinsic aging, or skin is aging prematurely, known as extrinsic aging.
As we age, our skin ages. This is due to our bodies’ internal systems degrading and shifting. Aging skin is out of our control and simply a part of growing up—hence why there really is no such thing as anti-aging skincare. What our aging skin looks like and at what age it begins to show up depends on our specific genetics and DNA.
Premature aging, on the other hand, occurs due to outside factors such as sun exposure, blue light damage, smoking, pollution, lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, and more. This type of damage accelerates the signs of aging that would normally happen later on. Unlike aging skin, premature aging is within our control to a certain extent (it’s pretty difficult to completely avoid the sun).
What Are the Signs of Aging Skin?
Whether you’re growing older or dealing with premature damage, the signs of aging skin tend to show up the same. Depending on your skin type and genetics, you may notice some or all of the six signs of aging skin such as:
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Wrinkles (such as crow’s feet and smile lines) become more prominent as elastin and collagen naturally break down, leaving depressions in the skin. These can also be caused by repeated movements, too (things like tech neck and squinting).
Crepey, Thin Skin
Because elastin and collagen are responsible for keeping the skin strong and supple, the skin will thin out (resulting in a crepey, papery texture) as it ages.
Loss of Firmness and Sagging Skin
On top of the degradation of collagen and elastin, our muscles weaken as we age, causing fat stored within the skin to sag. This includes undereye bags, too (reach for The Fix Emergency Eye Mask to reduce puffiness and swelling).
Age Spots and Dullness
Skin tends to lose its luster as we grow older since our cellular turnover rate slows. Age spots, which are just another name for dark spots, show up more as the skin’s barrier weakens. Repair age spots by using our Auto-Save Advanced Restoring Serum.
While dryness is a skin type, our skin does naturally produce less oil as we age, resulting in flaky, ashy skin—which is why moisturizers and facial oils are key for aging complexions.
Uneven, Rough Texture
This lack of moisture, a buildup of dead skin cells from a slower cellular turnover rate, and degradation of collagen and elastin can all cause bumpy, rough, uneven skin texture.
The Best Skincare for Aging Skin
A common misconception is that there is a certain age you should start applying skincare for aging, but because premature damage can happen anytime, there is no such thing as using them too soon. In fact, the earlier the better! The best products for aging skin focus on strengthening the skin’s barrier, retaining moisture, and preventing the degradation of elastin and collagen (proteins that keep skin firm, supple, and youthful). You’ll find these treatments in many forms, but typically as moisturizers (such as our Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream), serums, eye care, face masks, and facial peels. Let’s not forget the biggest defender against premature aging: Sunscreen, like our Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35.
Whether you’re supporting aging skin or trying to prevent premature damage, look for aging skin treatments that include ingredients such as retinol (including bakuchiol and arophira, two retinol alternatives formulated in our Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum), microalgae, caffeine, peptides (included in our Zero-G Smoothing Eye Cream), vitamin E, lactic acid, and other AHAs. Incorporate antioxidant-rich ingredients within your routine as well. These neutralize free radicals (such as from pollution and the sun) that can cause lasting damage to our skin and accelerate signs of aging. Get a supply of antioxidants by applying The Shortcut Overnight Facial during your PM routine. You’ll find all our products made for aging skin denoted with an hourglass icon.