Do you look older than the age on your driver’s license? The telltale signs may be written all over your face.
You’ve got sun spots
Skin aging is going to happen—but lifestyle and environmental factors can make you appear older than you are. For example, you know the sun can harm your skin, but this damage can actually age your skin’s appearance with unsightly brown patches. “As we enter our 30s, we begin to see the cumulative impact of sun damage, including sun spots,” says dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. “Much of the damage that causes sun spots is UV-induced, but hormones can fuel spots and splotches too.” She advises addressing the dark spots with a serum containing botanical brighteners, like licorice, soy, arbutin, and niacinamide; or talk to your dermatologist about the prescription bleaching cream hydroquinone. Here are more weird ways the sun affects your body.
Your skin is super dry
When you’re a teen you worry about oily skin, but as your skin ages, you may encounter the opposite problem. “Gaps in the skin’s protective top layer can let out precious moisture molecules and allow in irritants,” Dr. Bowe says. The sun, smoking, and even stress can contribute to this breakdown, she says. “To keep your skin healthy and hydrated, look for moisturizing ingredients like omegas, coconut oil, ceramides, and dimethicone,” Dr. Bowe says. “A once-a-week mask—either a humectant-laden sheet or a rich overnight cream mask—can keep skin hydrated and sated, allowing anti-aging actives to perform better.” Check out more helpful tips to fight dry skin.
You’ve noticed crow’s feet
These fine lines around your eyes may be the first sign that your skin is starting to age early. (Make sure you’re avoiding these everyday habits that cause wrinkles.) “The dermis is the layer that is responsible for keeping our skin tight, firm, and free of fine lines,” Dr. Bowe says. “As we age, cell renewal begins to slow, the skin’s outermost stratum corneum thickens, and elastin fibers in the dermis fall into disarray.” Boost your collagen, which fills in these lines and gives skin more plumpness, with products containing ingredients like peptides, growth factors, and stem cells, she says.