Many women find themselves wondering at what age wrinkles appear. The question usually fleets uncomfortably through the mind of a twenty-something who may worry about a small frown line that's suddenly cropped up out of nowhere. It's a common question, and one that has the skin care industry positively booming.
Ask any dermatologist his number one piece of skin care advice and chances are you'll hear one word: sunscreen. There's a reason for that, beyond the obvious protection it provides the skin from the sun's harmful rays. Excessive exposure to the sun may cause cancer, which, by now, is common knowledge. Spending time out in the sun, soaking up those heavenly rays and basking in the glow as your skin slowly transforms from pale to golden is certainly a lovely way to spend the afternoon - but experts will tell you it's not worth it. In the long run, your skin will suffer in many ways.
The sun is a tricky foe! Most young people don't associate skin problems with something that feels so therapeutic and relaxing. The harmful effects of the sun's rays also take several years to actually manifest themselves, making it even more likely that people will lie out in the sun on a regular basis without considering the worst. The sun is responsible for the breakdown of the skin's collagen and elastin, both proteins that support the skin's elasticity, texture and tone. Once they weaken, the skin begins to sag and will develop wrinkles. For individuals who spend plenty of time in the sun, these unfortunate side effects begin to occur relatively early in life - for many, the changes are visible in their early 30s.
It's not just the natural sun that causes problems, though. Tanning beds and booths are equally to blame. The ultraviolet rays they direct to the skin have the same effect. There's a great allure in tanning indoors, but experts say it's not a safe bet. Again, the long-term results are simply not worth it.
Knowledge, though, is power, and it's important to understand the sun's role in the determining what age wrinkles appear. Now is the time to pay close attention, make the changes necessary to improve your skin and reap the long-term benefits.
Determining What Age Wrinkles Appear
Let's face facts: Aging is inevitable. There's no getting around it, although people do try their best! The advent of surgical procedures formulated to make the face look years younger has only helped the anti-aging industry grow into an even more lucrative business. Whether a woman opts for Botox in her early 20s to put a stop to a furrowed brow or goes for a facelift later in life to smooth out her skin, it's clear that anti-aging procedures aren't just for older individuals. Women of all ages are interested in achieving the radiant skin of their youth.
But at what age do those dreaded signs of aging actually begin to show up? That's largely determined by lifestyle choices and heredity. The individual who smokes, tans and is exposed to environmental pollutants on a regular basis is more likely to exhibit signs of premature aging than the person who is religious in applying sunscreen and doesn't smoke. However, it's not just these factors that cause aging.
That's because aging is - plain and simple - natural. It's a part of life and it will impact everyone at some point. Natural aging is also known as "intrinsic" aging. This process actually begins in the mid-20s, when the production of collagen begins to slow and elastin starts to weaken. The signs may not be immediately apparent, but as decades pass, certain traits begin to manifest as a result of intrinsic aging, including:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Transparent, thin skin
- Loss of underlying fat
- Dry, itchy skin
- Sagging skin
- Graying hair
- Nail changes
The skin's elasticity declines dramatically in the 50s, which is what causes gravity to do its work. The result is that everything seems to sag, from the nose and ears (which begin to droop) to the eyes and jowls.
If I Could Turn Back Time
The bottom line is that aging isn't discriminatory. Certain factors do encourage its early onset, though, so it is important to exercise proper skin care throughout life, practice healthy habits and remain vigilant in wearing sunscreen everyday (rain or shine, whether you're indoors or outside!).
Turning back time may not be possible, but the right steps will ensure that your skin looks healthy even when those aging signs start to make their appearance.