Calculating Your Skin Age

Your skin can make you look older or younger than you actually are.
Your skin can make you look older or younger than you actually are.

You've probably heard a lot of arguments about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle -- how eating well, exercising and refraining from things like cigarettes will boost your energy and prevent trips to the doctor. What you may not have heard in these arguments is how much your lifestyle choices affect your skin.

Your skin has the ability to reflect your real age, or it can make you look younger than you actually are. It can also make you look older. Taking your lifestyle into account, you can get a more accurate reading on your skin age than by just looking at your reflection in the mirror or counting birthdays.

For a quick test of skin age, pay attention to how your face feels after the next time you wash it. If your skin feels smooth, it probably still gives off the impression of youth. If your skin feels rough, however, you may want to consider options for repairing some signs of aging [source: Janes].

As skin ages, it becomes dry and loose, and it can even experience uneven pigmentation [source: Prevention]. Safety under the sun is a big factor in how your skin ages. Not only does wearing sunscreen whenever you go outdoors help prevent skin cancer; it also provides a shield against premature aging of the skin.

You might be able to repair sun damage later in life, but prevention is the best medicine. You can avoid signs of aging skin, like dryness, wrinkles and uneven skin tone, by eating well, exercising regularly, refraining from smoking and shielding yourself from the sun's harmful rays. Think of your skin as a canvas displaying a portrait of your overall health.

If you think your skin may be showing some signs of aging, read the next page for information on how to recognize your skin age.