As your skin changes, so should your skin care routine. First, daily skin care should involve protecting your skin from sun exposure. UV rays accelerate the signs of aging by damaging the elastin and collagen in your skin, so it's important to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 on a daily basis -- even on cloudy days. If you're going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, wear a hat and protective clothing. In addition to regular protection from UV light, be sure to check your skin for signs of skin cancer, which can become more evident as you age [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Wearing sunscreen every day can also help prevent age spots. Although the name may be misleading, age spots aren't caused by aging -- they're caused by the skin releasing pigment to protect itself from the sun [source: Hertzig].
Because dryness and itchiness are common characteristics of mature skin, you'll need to moisturize regularly. Certain soaps can further dry your skin, so avoid scented, deodorant and antibacterial soaps -- opt for a moisturizing body wash or soap-free cleanser instead [source: Fries]. After showering or bathing, use a towel to pat your skin dry, but leave it a little damp. Then apply a moisturizer within three minutes to help lock in moisture [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. If your skin is especially dry, try using a humidifier in your home to put moisture back into the air [source: WebMD].
Anti-aging products that contain collagen and elastin, proteins that keep skin firm and flexible, can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles [source: Mayo Clinic]. You can also try anti-aging moisturizers that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids or vitamin C. Alpha-hydroxy acids help lift the top layer of dead skin cells to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and these acids may also stimulate collagen production. Retinoids reduce wrinkles and repair sun damage, and vitamin C can increase collagen production and protect skin from UV rays [source: Bouchez].
For more information on how to fight the signs of aging, check out the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- How to Determine Your Skin Tone
- Does taking an aspirin daily affect your skin?
- How to Maintain a Skin Barrier
- Is a daily shower too much for your skin?
- 5 Things Your Skin Needs Every Day
- Should the weather affect your daily skin care?
- 10 Daily Skincare Essentials
- Is olive oil good for my skin?
- How could an "anti-aging molecule" work?
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Causes of Aging Skin." American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/basicfacts.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmetic Procedures." American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/cosmeticpro.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Dermatologists' Top 10 Tips for Relieving Dry Skin." (Accessed 10/21/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/winter_skin.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Just Another Sign of Aging, or an Underlying Medical Condition?" American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/update.html
- American Academy of Dermatology t. "Medical Conditions." American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/skincancer.html
- Bouchez, Colette. "23 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles." (Accessed 10/21/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/23-ways-to-reduce-wrinkles
- Bouchez, Colette. "More Hope In A Jar? The Anti-Aging Skin Care Promise." (Accessed 10/21/09)http://women.webmd.com/features/more-hope-jar-anti-aging-skin-care-promise
- Fries, Wendy, C. "Dry Skin: Soothing the Winter Itch." (Accessed 10/21/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/dry-skin-soothing-the-itch-in-winter
- Hertzig, Alyssa, Kolsky. "Brighten Up." (Accessed 10/21/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/brighten-up
- Mayo Clinic. "Easy Bruising: Common As You Age." 5/26/09. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://mayoclinic.com/health/easy-bruising/HQ00355
- Mayo Clinic. "Wrinkle Creams: Your guide to younger-looking skin." (Accessed 10/21/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wrinkle-creams/SN00010
- National Institutes of Health. "Aging Changes in Skin." 8/10/08. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004014.htm
- Ohio State University Medical Center. "Anatomy of the Skin." (Accessed 9/24/09)http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/PATIENTCARE/healthcare_services/skin_conditions/anatomy_skin/Pages/index.aspx
- Poirot, Lissa. "A Wrinkle in Time: Preventing Damage to Aging Skin." WebMD. 2/18/09. (Accessed 9/24/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/how-life-affects-aging-skin
- WebMD. "The Effects of Aging on Skin." 2/28/08. (Accessed 9/24/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/effects-aging-skin