We all have heard of, or believe in, certain myths about caring for our skin as we age.
Consider the following:
Using SPF After Age 40 is Pointless: Not true. While it’s true that the damage we see in our 40s and beyond in the form of brown spots, wrinkles, and lines comes from decades of sun exposure, daily use of sunscreen at any age protects the skin and prevents further damage, especially if you have had treatments to rejuvenate damaged skin. In that case, the daily use of SPF is essential to preventing future exposure and damage to UV rays.
Drinking Water Prevents Wrinkles: Not true. Unless you are suffering from severe dehydration, water will not prevent wrinkles. (Read more about Dehydrated Skin). Signs of aging like wrinkles, and brown spots are primarily caused by sun damage (genes play a role too). The best way to prevent wrinkles is to use a sunscreen at all times. Retinoids are the gold standard for anti-aging. Learn more about using retinoids to prevent, and reverse signs of aging.
Facial Yoga Tightens Your Skin: Not true. Exercise is good for you and it can tone and tighten. But facial exercises to fill out loose skin is a different story. There are 43 muscles in the face – these are flat and often intertwined. That makes them difficult to target, and rather than end up with toned, filled-out features, by toning the wrong muscles, you are probably enhancing or causing more wrinkles than you started out with.
Running Makes Your Skin Sag: Not true. The act of running does not make your skin sag. If you notice that your texture has changed since running, it’s probably due to sun damage. Another point to consider – many dedicated runners have very lean BMI, which can make the face look gaunt (and older).
Yo-yo Dieting Accelerates Aging: True. A sudden or quick loss of weight (especially after your 30s) affects the tone and structure and it’s difficult for the face to recover. Maintaining a healthy weight is ideal for maintaining your looks. However, weight loss is always a good thing, especially if you are overweight. If loose skin after weight loss is a problem, contact your dermatologist or plastic surgeon and discuss the myriad of options available to you. See our article on How to Tighten Loose Skin.
People with Darker Complexions Age Better: True. Deeper skin tones contain more melanin which protects the skin against sun damage. So it stands to reason that darker skin types do age better, develop less wrinkles, and rarely have age spots.