Saving for retirement and caring for your skin: two things you should start doing as early as possible. The first signs your skin is aging can appear in your 20s, though they can differ from person to person and may be so subtle you don’t even notice them.
You’re vigilant for the most recognisable harbingers of age – like crows feet and undereye bags – but what about itchy skin? Or gaunt hands? Or a changing eye shape? These are a few of the lesser-known indicators of aging that dermatologists warn to look for.
Keep a watchful eye out for the following 6 signs of a maturing complexion and learn how to stave off the ravages of time for as long as possible.
#1 Sun Spots
It’s one thing for your grandfather to have constellations of age spots. It’s another thing for you to be sporting them in your 20s or early 30s. The appearance of sun spots at such an early age means you’ve had significant UV exposure. You can’t undo the sun damage you’ve already accrued, but you can minimise its effects by using a broad spectrum SPF (30 or higher), antioxidants to reduce free radical damage, and a retinol product to stimulate new collagen production.
#2 Haggard Hands
You naturally lose subcutaneous tissue, bone, and muscle as you age, resulting in a gaunt face and hands. Your temples and lower eyelids may also take on a “carved out” appearance. The best way to rectify those losses is to fortify your skin with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can be found in a variety of skincare products or, if more extreme measures are needed, can be injected as a filler.
#3 Discolouration On The Neck
“Uneven colour on the sides of the neck and on the V of the chest is evidence of early photodamage,” says Annie Chiu, a dermatologist in North Redondo Beach, California. “If your skin is easily irritable, thats a sign of aging,” she adds. “Healthy skin has a strong skin barrier that resists chronic inflammation.” Invest in a serum packed with antioxidants, which can even out skin tones and have a youthful brightening effect.
#4 Loose Skin On The Cheeks And Jaw
How much should you worry about wrinkles? Fighting them all is a losing battle – they happen naturally just from movement – but it’s a problem when fine lines and wrinkles appear in the middle of the cheeks or the jawline sags in your 20s or 30s. These places can show the earliest signs of sun damage on your face. Ultherapy, a treatment that uses ultrasound technology to tighten skin, can minimise wrinkles and sagging with multiple sessions.
With aging comes a serious loss of moisture. “The cell membranes become more porous, contributing to dryness and the crepe-y look,” says Patricia Ceballos, a dermatologist in New Rochelle, New York. “Consequently, skin tends to become itchy and more sensitive.” The solution to this one is simple: moisturise like your skin’s life depends on it, because it does.
#6 Changing Eyes
Believe it or not, your eyes can change shape over the course of your lifetime. As you age, your bones start to recede inwards, most noticeably at the inner upper corner and the outer lower corner of the skull. The shift can cause your eyes to adopt a slightly more horizontal shape. The best thing you can do to combat the change is maintain the texture of your skin and treat it to regular tightening therapeutic treatments.