Every time I look in the mirror I’m reminded of my age. The signs of my mid 60’s life, those characteristics of aging skin, are impossible to ignore. Even so, I want to look as youthful as I can, naturally, with no invasive procedures. It’s a bit of a conundrum.
What happens to skin as we age? Well, those of us over 50 know that as time goes on our skin takes on a life of its own, ignoring our pleas to hold it’s shape and retain the supple feeling of our younger, collagen rich days.
But why does this happen to mature and older women? Why does the skin under our eyes, on our arms, décolletage and legs undergo such a transformation?
Let’s delve into the question of how our skin changes as we age, so we will be better equipped with the remedies and skin care routines to protect our skin and body as the years go by.
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What Happens to Skin as We Age
Characteristics of Aging Skin
Characteristics of Skin in Our 20’s
Remember when you were in your 20’s? I do. Young, naive, didn’t really have a clue as to what I would do with my life. But my skin looked great. 🙂
At that age, our skin has an abundance of estrogen, so it is smooth and firm, with plenty of collagen, the building block of skin. Ah…those were the days.
I didn’t give much thought to caring for my skin. Although I wasn’t a sun worshiper, I remember many sunning sessions as I sought the ‘healthy glow’ of tanned skin.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love the look of a tan on my little body. My brain seems to think it means I’m healthy, even though I know better.
Skin in Our 30’s – First Signs of an Aging Face
Estrogen levels start to dip a little in our 30’s, and the presence of dryness as well as acne can appear during this time in our life.
We might see more expression lines on our forehead and around our eyes, perhaps a few little age spots and even inflammatory conditions like rosacea and the occasional acne flare up.
For me, I was busy working and raising two little ones in my 30’s and didn’t spend much time on myself or my skin. And, it was well before the internet world existed so I continued to use skin care products that were familiar to me, whether or not they were the best for my skin. Who knew??
Characteristics of Skin in Our 40’s
When we reach our 40’s the fun begins. Estrogren levels are really dropping so our skin is losing its moisture, firmness and elasticity.
And, estrogen related bone loss can start to affect our facial structure, with eyes that are more sunken in and skin that is slackening.
We may see broken capillaries, dulling of the skin, visible wrinkles and age spots. This is a time in our life when our skin changes dramatically.
I sure with I had been more informed as a 40 something woman. My skin was holding up pretty well (I think I have good skin genes from my Italian mother) and I just didn’t know any better.
My work over the last year on a natural face lift would have made such a difference if I’d started those facial exercises in my 40’s instead of in my 60’s!
“A balanced, healthy lifestyle is always important, but becomes critical as we are in our 40’s and beyond.
Characteristics of Skin in Our 50’s
Well, my friends, this is the stage of our life where we lose almost all of the estrogen post menopause. We lose about a third of our collagen within the first five years of menopause, and as that occurs our skin will lose its glow, moisture and firmness. Collagen and aging go hand in hand.
The lines are deeper, the eyelids are sagging and drooping, age spots may become more prevalent, those pesky skin tags start appearing on our bodies, and we may even see some peach fuzz on our cheeks, chin and upper lip. I know…it can be a bit disheartening to see these things in black and white, but they’re all indicative of this age group.
Hydration, which is important for everyone, is even more critical at this time in our lives and beyond. We have to drink water…lots of it…to help our body, and our skin, retain some moisture. It is no longer happening naturally because our bodies do not have the natural hyaluronic acid that comes with estrogen. Excuse me for a moment while I take a big, long drink of water!
For me, the 50’s was a time of good health and plenty of exercise, as well as some education regarding skin care. It was at this point that I began to search for skin care products that would be helpful to me and decrease signs of aging.
The decision I made, though, to spend time at the pool with my husband when we lived in SW Florida, did not help my skin at all, particularly on my neck. I am paying the price for that now with more neck wrinkles and sagging skin.
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Characteristics of Skin in Our 60’s
So now we’re in our 60’s, a time that is very familiar to me at age 64. What is happening with our skin? Well, all of the above, plus:
The circulation in our skin slows down significantly, which results in duller, faded skin. Fewer nutrients are reaching the skin because microcirculation, the passage of blood through the capillaries, is less efficient.
Most of us will also see an increase in skin tags, those bumps that can start small and get larger and thicker over time. They might be brown, or possibly flesh colored, and can’t be hidden with makeup. But, they can be removed through freezing or cauterizing.
As we’re aging and into our 60’s, the extremely low estrogen levels result in more wrinkles as our skin deflates.
What We Can Do For Our Aging Skin
The very best thing you can do, at any age, is to give your skin the care it needs at the stage of life you are in. That goes without saying, but I said it anyway. We have too much information in our world, at our fingertips (literally), to say that we didn’t know what to do for our skin.
There are good skin care products that don’t cost a lot of money, if we’re willing to do a bit of research and find them. It doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars to take care of your skin.
We should be able to squeeze in a few minutes of time every day to care for the body that God has given us. It sounds so trite, but it’s true: don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
Hydration is essential. Drink water. Period. We need it to live, of course, but we also need to remain properly hydrated as we age, as our bodies are changing and no longer provide natural hydration.
Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle will benefit your body, including your skin. Moderate intensity physical activity, like brisk walking, improves blood circulation. It promotes skin health, among other benefits.
Moisturize your skin – your face as well as the rest of your body.
- use ultra hydrating products that are richer in texture and ingredients
- apply an oil-rich product 3 times per day, using a circular motion to increase circulation
- wash your face once a day, with water that is not too hot
- use a cleanser such as a cleansing milk on your face that will not strip the fatty acids from the skin’s surface. Don’t scrub too hard! Be gentle.
- use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, all the time. My makeup has this built in (as many do) so I am always protecting my face from UV rays.
- skin care products with copper peptides will help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, and thicken the dermis, strengthening the skin. Here are some options:
Keep this information handy! Download and print your free reference sheet to stay on top of the changes in your skin and remind you of how to care for it. You’ll find it in the Resource Library, a free resource for you!
What have we learned about what happens to our skin as we age?
Well, most importantly, it’s going to happen whether we like it or not! Gradually…over a period of years… but it will happen. And, coming from a natural aging approach, using artificial injections, surgeries or fillers is not part of the plan here.
What we CAN do, however, is to educate ourselves at every phase of our life, committing to giving skin care a high priority, the time and attention it deserves, so we can age naturally and look as youthful as possible throughout the years!
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