Science has developed a lot, but one thing that it still has not been able to do is stop the aging process. But with proper skin care and some natural home remedies, you can slow the aging process to a great extent.
Aging occurs in every layer of the skin. It is the changes within these layers that show on the skin’s surface as signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.
Youthful-looking skin is due in large part to the skin’s elasticity, which keeps it tight and smooth. With age, this elasticity diminishes as the body’s production of collagen and elastin reduces. This is a primary cause of natural skin aging.
A combination of other factors – both internal and external – contribute to skin damage and aging.
Two of the main internal causes of skin aging are poor blood circulation and genetics. Key external factors affecting the speed at which the skin ages are exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolent (UV) rays, pollution, smoking, excessive drinking, poor nutrition and an improper skin care routine.
Time will surely leave its imprint on your skin. But you can take steps to keep your skin looking younger for longer and prevent premature aging.
Here are the top 10 signs of skin aging and how to fix them.
Crow’s-feet, the fine lines that form at the outside corners of your eyes, are one of the first signs of aging. They usually start appearing in a person’s mid-20s and become more prominent with age.
As the production of collagen and elastin reduces with age, the soft skin around your eyes tends to develop small lines more rapidly.
Extended periods of time in the sun are also a major factor contributing to crow’s-feet. Other factors in the development of crow’s-feet are smoking, high pollution, squinting and frowning.
- Gently massage vitamin E oil around your eyes for a couple of minutes, twice daily. If you don’t have vitamin E oil, you can break open a few vitamin E capsules and use the contents for this purpose.
- Also, you can apply aloe vera gel around your eyes before going to bed each day.
Wrinkles are defined as creases, folds or fine lines formed on the skin that usually occur with age. It is a significant sign of natural aging that usually starts appearing after age 25.
Wrinkles are most common on the face, neck, back of the hands and the top of the forearms.
As collagen and elastin weaken due to aging, the skin is not able to maintain its smooth, plump and youthful appearance.
Apart from aging, premature wrinkles can be caused by factors like too much sun exposure or harsh environment, smoking, stress, sudden weight loss and genetic predisposition.
- Daily massaging the affected skin with warm olive or coconut oil can help reduce wrinkles to a great extent by keeping the skin moisturized and regenerating skin cells.
- Also, you can apply a mask of mashed ripe banana, papaya or avocado for at least 30 minutes, then wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
3. Dry Skin
Your well-hydrated skin may suddenly start feeling dry and rough, and this can be a sign of skin aging.
As you age, your skin doesn’t produce enough natural oils to keep it soft and supple. This causes the top layers to become dry. Also with age, your skin’s cell renewal rate decreases.
Besides aging, dehydration, excessive sun exposure, excessive use of soap, dry air, hot baths, smoking and stress also contribute to dry and flaky skin.
You can use either of the following remedies daily to fight skin dryness.
- About 30 minutes before taking a shower, rub some olive oil on your skin and massage lightly. Take a shower, then apply a light moisturizer.
- Alternatively, rub honey or milk cream all over your body and leave it on for 5 minutes before taking a bath or shower.
4. Saggy Skin
Another prominent sign of aging is sagging skin, due to the skin’s loss of elasticity with age. Also, the skin loses some of its self-moisturizing components, which in turn contributes to saggy and loose skin.
Your skin remains soft and supple when you are young due to strong connective tissues, collagen and elastin. But with age, these tissues become weak and damaged.
Other factors that contribute to saggy and loose skin include excessive exposure to harmful sunrays, excessive smoking, drinking in excess, frequent weight changes, a poor diet, use of skin care products not suitable for your skin type, dehydration and use of harsh chemicals on the skin.
- An egg white mask is one of the best treatments for saggy skin. Add 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt to 1 egg white and whisk them together. Apply the mixture on your face and neck and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
- Regular massage with warm olive or coconut oil also helps tighten loose skin to keep it firm and smooth.
5. Age Spots and Discolored Skin Tone
Discolored skin tone, or hyperpigmentation, can result from a variety of factors and increasing age is just one of them. Excess melanin production, which can occur due to hormonal changes in the body as you age, can make areas of your skin darker.
Apart from age, excessive sun exposure, skin injuries or burns, emotional stress or contact with certain chemicals can also cause hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation and dark spots due to aging are usually visible on the face, arms, back and hands.
- Rub some fresh lemon juice on your skin using a cotton ball. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash it off with water. Do this twice daily.
- Also, before going to bed, apply fresh aloe vera gel on the hyperpigmented skin and leave it on overnight. Rinse it off in the morning.
- Protecting your skin from the sun by using a good quality sunscreen lotion can make a big difference, too.
6. Turkey Neck
Aging can leave its mark on your neck, too. The skin on the neck is thinner than most other parts of the body and this causes faster loss of elasticity with age. This in turn leads to ”turkey neck”– the flabby, loose skin that sort of hangs a bit.
Apart from the natural aging process, extreme fluctuation in weight, sun exposure and even genetics can cause turkey neck.
- To prevent turkey neck, pamper the delicate neck skin by applying a good quality moisturizer on a daily basis.
- The next most important product to apply to your neck is a good sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This will help combat dryness and sun damage.
7. Dark Circles under the Eyes
Another of the earliest visible signs of aging can be seen in and around your eyes. The delicate skin around your eyes is extremely thin and becomes even thinner with age. Also, loss of fat and collagen due to aging makes the skin more translucent, making the blood vessels under the eyes more visible.
This change in texture and poor collagen production results in dark circles under the eyes, which can make you look older than your actual age.
At the same time, genetics, sun exposure, pollutants and lack of sleep can also cause dark circles under the eyes.
- Before going to bed each night, apply a little almond oil or shea butter on the dark circles and gently massage it into the skin.
- You can also soak cotton eye pads in rose water and put them on your closed eyelids for about 15 minutes, twice daily.
8. Large Pores
Pores are tiny openings on the surface of the skin that tend to become bigger and more prominent with age. While tighter, smaller pores make the skin look young and healthier, large and open pores make the skin look aged.
As you get older and collagen production declines, it causes the pores to lose elasticity and widen. Apart from aging, prolonged sun exposure, genetics, stress and a poor skin care routine also contribute to large pores.
- Ice helps shrink large pores due to its skin-tightening effect. You can bundle some ice in a piece of cloth and rub it on the affected skin for 5 minutes, a few times a day.
- Also, you can apply diluted apple cider vinegar (to dilute, mix it with an equal amount of water) on your skin to reduce large pores and restore the skin’s pH balance. Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
9. Droopy Eyelids
Droopy eyelids occur when the edge of the upper eyelid falls to a lower position than normal. Sometimes, droopy eyelids can cover the pupil and even interfere with your vision.
This problem primarily occurs as the skin around the eyes loses its elasticity, affecting its ability to hold up the increased weight of the eyelid skin tissue.
Apart from aging, other causes include allergies, sun exposure, thyroid dysfunction, fatigue and fluid retention.
- Gentle massage around the eyes can improve blood circulation to the area, which in turn reduces droopy eyelids. For massaging, use a few drops of olive or coconut oil. Do this daily at night before going to sleep.
- Also, protect your eyes and the skin around them from harmful rays of the sun by wearing a hat and good quality sunglasses.
10. Puffy Eyes
Excessive crying, hangovers, lack of sleep and some allergic reactions can cause temporary eye puffiness for a day or two. But if you have puffy eyes persistently, it is a clear sign of aging.
The skin under the eyes is very thin and reflects any small change that may occur as you age. This can make issues like puffiness even more prominent.
At the same time, the tissues in the eyelids also weaken with age, which in turn can cause puffiness.
- Putting cold black tea bags or thick cucumber slices over your eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day can reduce puffiness. You can chill the tea bags or cucumber slices in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before applying them.
- Do not rub your eyes vigorously. Be as gentle as you can.
- Cut back on salt and alcohol, as these can lead to water retention and exacerbate swelling.
Tips to delay premature aging signs
- Use sunscreen daily and limit the time you spend out in direct sunlight. Sun exposure speeds up skin aging.
- Moisturize regularly, as dry skin is more prone to wrinkles.
- Do not go to sleep without removing your makeup first.
- Wash your face twice a day and after sweating heavily.
- Exfoliate once a week to help slough off dead skin cells that make the skin look dull and old.
- Eat foods high in protein and calcium, as they are vital for skin and hair health.
- Cut back on sugary and processed foods.
- Drink an ample amount of water each day. Staying hydrated helps keep your skin soft and supple.
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. When you sleep, your body repairs and rejuvenates itself.
- Stop smoking, as it accelerates the aging process.
- Avoid using skin care products containing harsh chemicals that can irritate and damage your skin.
- Opt for organic and herbal skin and hair care products.
- Avoid swimming in highly chlorinated swimming pools, as it can irritate your skin and hair.
- Do not take long hot showers. It will strip the skin of its natural oils and contribute to dryness.
- Do not use tanning beds or other indoor tanning equipment.
- Avoid repetitive facial expressions.
- Drink less alcohol, as it dehydrates the body.
- Exercise most days of the week to improve circulation and your skin’s health.