Our Board Certified Experts in Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery are here to help you look as good as you feel!
What Causes Aging?
Our skin ages through two processes: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is also called natural aging. This is our normal aging process which is determined by our genetics. We do not control natural aging. Extrinsic aging is also known as premature aging. Premature aging is caused by our environment and lifestyle choices. Our decisions and choices can help prevent premature aging.
Natural aging (Intrinsic aging process)
We all go through a natural aging process that is controlled by our genetics:
- We develop visible lines on our faces
- Our faces lose some of their fullness
- Our skin becomes drier and thinner
Premature aging (Extrinsic aging process)
Our environmental exposures and lifestyle choices cause premature aging:
- Cumulative sun exposure over your lifetime
- Smoking causes wrinkles and decreases the health of your skin
- Tanning beds
- 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun (photo link to NEJM Truck Driver: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm1104059)
- Using suncreen with SPF 15 or greater showed a 25% reduction in skin aging
- 70% of cumulative lifetime sun damage occurs by age 40
|Age||Cumulative Lifetime Sun Exposure|
Signs of aging:
- Crows feet – fine lines around your eyes
- 11s (furrow lines) – deep lines between your eyebrows
- Smile lines (nasolabial folds) – Lines from the side of your nose to the corner of your mouth
- Lines across your forehead
- Smokers lines – fine lines on your upper lip
- Skin Discoloration – brown spots (liver or sun spots)
- Benign skin growths (seborrheic keratoses)
- Dark circles under eyes
- Dry skin
- Thin skin
8 Ways to reduce premature aging:
- Protect your skin from the sun
- What to look for in a sunscreen: (1) Broad-spectrum; (2) SPF 30 or greater; (3) Water-resistant
- Seek shade = sun protective behaviors: go for the shady spot over the sunny spot
- Sun protective clothing: broad brimmed hats & sleeves.
- This type of clothing does not have to be uncomfortable in the hot summer – there are lots of brands that offer cooling sun protective clothing
- Do not tan
- Tanning accelerates skin aging and is harmful to your skin. Tanning induces DNA (genetic) damage to your skin. If your skin is tan it has been damaged.
- Stop smoking
- Smoking causes wrinkles and the pollution from cigarettes harms your skin
- If you stop smoking you will notice improvement in your wrinkles and skin texture and quality
- Eat healthy
- Eating a well-balanced diet with fruits & vegetables can improve the health of your skin
- Drink less alcohol
- Alcohol can make your skin dry (it dehydrates your skin)
- Exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system which has positive benefits for your skin
- Cleanse your skin gently
- Gently cleansing your skin removes pollution, makeup, and irritants
- Apply a facial moisturizer daily
- Moisturizing your face daily hydrates your skin giving it a more youthful appearance
Can you reverse skin aging?
- Protecting your skin from the sun gives it a chance to repair
- Smokers who stop smoking notice their skin looks healthier
If signs of aging are bothering you, schedule an appointment today with a dermatologist.
Dermatologists are experts in helping you look and feel your best.
- Dermatologists can help you prevent and treat wrinkles, skin sagging, skin discoloration, dark circles under your eyes, volume loss, as well as address many other concerns
- New treatments are non-invasive, with some treatments having immediate results with minimal to no downtime
Why choose St. Louis Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery?
We are the trusted experts in dermatology and cosmetic surgery. Our board-certified dermatologists are here for you. You will receive the highest quality care in a warm and compassionate environment, from the most challenging and complex skin concerns to the routine.
- Hughes MCB, Williams GM, Baker P, et al. Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2013; 158(11):781-790.
- Godar DE, Urbach F, Gasparro FP, et al. UV doses of young adults. Photochem Photobiol 2003; 77(4):453-7.