Issues that affect aging skin

Avoid These Environmental Agers

There are all kinds of little things you can do to prevent premature aging. Follow these types to keep you skin looking younger, longer!

Take Care of Your Pores
Making sure you cleanse your skin appropriately plays a huge role in maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance. Dirt, makeup, and bacteria can clog pores and cause blackheads and uneven skin tone. It is important to cleanse your skin and remove makeup before bed. Sleeping in makeup can really add years to your skin. You should also always cleanse your skin after you work out, so sweat doesn’t sit on your skin causing it to dry out and breakout.

Woman smoking

Don’t Smoke
There are many reasons not to smoke, but if you are looking for one more to add to the list, smoking also ages your skin. Smoking causes wrinkles and dulls the skin. Dewy, bright skin is youthful looking, and smoking causes it to take on a sallow tone.

Be Careful in Dry Climates
If you live in a dry or extremely hot area, keeping your skin hydrated will help preserve its youth. Using thick night creams or overnight masks to replenish your skin overnight can help combat dryness. Looking for products with collagen and hyaluronic acid will replace what your skin losing as you age, keeping it looking young.

Woman drinking

Limit Drinking
Alcohol takes a huge toll on your skin. Drinking dehydrates your skin, and can deprive it of nutrients it needs.

Avoid Sun Damage
The sun causes age faster and more easily than any other environmental factor. It dries out your skin very quickly, and if you are at the pool or the beach, it may be several hours before you can moisturize and rehydrate. Sun spots and liver spots can also form on the face or hands, and they tend to be a dead giveaway when it comes to age. Make sure you wear sunscreen every single day- yes, even during the winter and on cloudy days. Buy a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. It also doesn’t hurt to pair your moisturizer with a foundation that also has sun protection. Wearing a hat when you know you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time is also a good idea. Sun damage can result in wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, which can age your skin immensely. Too much sun can also cause skin cancer, so protect your skin!

Basically, you should listen to what your mother told you to protect your skin from aging. You should also be taking preventative measures in your twenties to try to maintain youthful looking skin. Using an eye cream is a great way to prevent wrinkles from forming. The thin skin around your eyes could use the extra care. Using a retinol cream can also help prevent signs of aging and keep your skin looking young. Whatever measures you take to prevent aging, don’t forget the sunscreen!

Woman looking at pills

Pills to Live Longer?

Longevity and a slow or even stop to the aging process and the increased risk of diseases, wrinkling, and general decrepitude it tends to lead to have long since been an enduring obsession of the human race. If you could take a pill that would let you live longer, be happier, and look younger for longer, would you? For many, this is a given; the goal of a better, longer, happier life is so ubiquitous is may very well be a defining trait of collective human consciousness. And along those lines, there are many researchers and prodigious experts in various fields who are chasing after ways to slow, halt, or even reverse aging.

But how close are we? You may hear a variety of claims regarding life-extending and age-slowing miracle cures, but the sad truth is that if it sounds too good to be true (read: if it’s inconsistent with current well-substantiated medical knowledge and is not, itself backed up by solid research or a consensus of expert opinion), it probably is. Granted, when it comes to supplements for living longer, there is something to be said in edge cases at the very least, but it takes a lot of wading through hoaxes to find it.

Antioxidant Supplements
Antioxidants show some promise for helping slow aging according to the free-radical theory of aging. That said, aforementioned theory lacks a preponderance of evidence and therefore should probably be looked at as a “maybe, maybe not” sort of thing. Further, taking antioxidant supplements has been shown by a lot of well-documented and controlled studies lately to be entirely ineffectual, and maybe even harmful. Of course, that says nothing about obtaining antioxidants through your diet by, say, eating dark leafy greens and sipping red wine in careful moderation, which are, in fact, pretty healthy habits.

Human Growth Hormone
Touted by some snake oil vendors as an anti-aging solution, human growth hormone as a supplement has, in fact, been shown to accelerate aging, and should be avoided at all costs. This hormone is naturally occurring in our bodies and plays a role in growth and development. It is not only not necessary to supplement growth hormone, it’s potentially harmful and just a really bad idea.

Stem Cell Treatments
Stem cells show some promise for medical research, and their discovery was certainly a boon to researchers working on cracking the code of aging, but there are as of yet no reliable end-user applications for them on the market. If someone tries to sell you a “stem cell therapy” of any kind, stay far away.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
There’s good and bad news here. Bad news first: “overloading” on vitamins, which is often recommended for good health and extended youth, is not only entirely useless, it can in many cases be harmful, and depending on what vitamin you’re overloading and by how much, you can end up with anything from nausea to festering, ugly skin lesions. Please don’t do that to yourself.

So how about the good news? Well, while it’s always best to get vitamins and minerals from your diet, because it guarantees they’re easier for your body to absorb and utilize, taking a vitamin supplement (read: not overloading, just taking as much as you need; a.k.a. 100% daily value and never much over) can be pretty beneficial to your overall health, and therefore your chances of living longer and healthier.

What Else Can You Do?
Simple. Eat a varied diet, with only very small portions of meat, mostly fruits, vegetables, and grains, and include plenty of dark, leafy greens. Exercise moderately but regularly, foster healthy relationships with those around you (communicate clearly and openly!), accept what you can’t change, and don’t be afraid to admit when you need help. Work on all the above, and you’ll be well on your way to a long, happy, healthy life.

Woman stretching on yoga mat indoors

Exercise and Anti-Aging

It’s pretty much a given that exercise is good for you. It’s one of those ubiquitous pieces of common knowledge that’s been proven so thoroughly it’s rightfully accepted as fact. But did you know that not only is regular exercise beneficial to general health and well-being, but it can also help you to ensure that you age well and live a long, healthy, happy life.

Exercise Fights Disease
Well, not directly, but it can reduce your chances of contracting them. Regular cardiovascular activity strengthens your heart, so it doesn’t have to work as hard keeping your body running smoothly, so to speak, reducing the risk of heart-related diseases. It also, of course, burns calories which can help keep you at a healthy weight, which helps to prevent conditions like diabetes, back pain, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and much more. Exercising regularly also boosts your mood, so you’re less likely to get depressed or be overly anxious. All of these things, of course, can potentially increase both quality and length of life.

Exercise is the Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory
One of the worst aspects of aging is inflammation. Inflammation becomes more and more of a problem with age and contributes to a lot of the symptoms of old age. Exercise, in the right amount at the right frequency, can actually reduce inflammation and therefore help to forestall many effect of aging.

For the best effect, you need to try for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. That may sound like a big number, but think about it, it’s only 2 and a half hours…in a whole week! You can accomplish this with 30 minute sessions, once a day, for five days, and then two days off, or with 20 minutes every day, with no days off (unlike strength training, which you should absolutely not do every day or you’ll tear up your muscles, cardiovascular exercise is fine to do every single day).

The other thing to remember is never to overdo it. Studies suggest that regular exercise for more than 30 minutes in a session or expending more than 70% of your maximum effort will actually increase inflammation, the opposite of what you need to age well.

And finally, just remember that if it’s difficult at first, you can and should build up to things gradually. If 20-30 minutes is too much at first, start with 10 a day, and add 5 minutes every week until you get to your goal. You’ll find that what once seemed impossible will be easily doable if you commit to it long term and build up gradually.

Remember that Exercise is Only Half the Equation
Exercise is incredibly important, but you also have to remember to eat right and take care of your body in other ways. So after that workout, don’t forget to shower and re-do your skincare routine! And eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with very little meat and a lot of leafy greens. And don’t forget to pamper yourself every once in awhile! Feeling good about yourself is just as important to a long, happy life as the physical aspects are.

Beautiful woman in her late forties

Lifespan Gains Research

The one fact of life that unites us all is that we will all age, and we will all die eventually. There doesn’t seem to be any getting around that fact. While you can (and certainly should if it makes you happy) definitely ameliorate the effect of aging and preserve a healthy, happy, beautiful appearance—because mature skin, even with some wrinkles, is pretty too—by taking good care of yourself and using anti-aging skincare products, among other things, there is as of yet no way for homo sapiens sapiens (i.e. human beings) to achieve immortality or eternal youth.

Of course, that doesn’t stop people from trying. Scientists have long sought after immortality, and bioethicists continually debate whether or not it would be desirable or moral to seek it, or to make it available if it were achieved. Progress is slow but steady, and who knows, you might see the average human lifespan extend even further than it already has within your lifetime.

Theories of Aging
Of course, if we’re going to talk about research on aging, it’s necessarily beneficial to discuss the current theories on the how and why of aging, scientifically known as “senescence.” Senescence refers to the phenomenon whereby many (though not all!) cellular organisms—including humans—gradually deteriorate over time, or age. There are multiple theories as to why senescence exists as a phenomenon, and the scientific community has yet to come to a definite consensus as to which are or are not consistent with reality. That said, it is valuable to know the most prominent theories and how you might be able to use the information to make informed choices about how you live your life and treat your body. As such, we’ll review a couple of the most prominent ones below (note: there are many theories of aging, but these two are some of the more prominent and applicable ones).

Genetic Damage
The genetic damage model of aging dictates that senescence occurs because of accumulated damage to cells’ genetic code over time. Every human cell (and indeed, every cell in every cellular organism) has a complete copy of a person’s genetic code in the form of tightly packed DNA strands in the nucleus of the cell. Because one’s genetic code is encoded in a physical form—chromatin/DNA strands—it can be damaged over time, and repeated mitosis (multiplication of cells) can cause errors in the code, which can build up over time. The genetic damage model of senescence dictates that it is this gradually accumulated deterioration of one’s DNA-encoded genome that causes the effect of aging.

While you can’t stop your cells from dividing or accumulating errors in genetic code, you can forestall this process some simply by avoiding sources of damage. Never tan. Ever. In beds or outside (if you want the aesthetic of tanned skin, use a quality tanning lotion, spray tan, etc). Further, always wear SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. This will prevent UV radiating from further advancing genetic damage.

Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress refers to the phenomenon of free radicals being released in oxidation reactions and damaging cells. The oxidative stress model of senescence, in effect, dictates that an accumulation of cellular damage by free radicals, over time, causes deterioration of cellular structures and function, and ultimately causes many symptoms of aging.

While it can’t be stopped completely, oxidative stress can be managed and ameliorated by including lots of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. These include red wine, pomegranates, blackberries, dark, leafy greens, and many other. In general, just eat a varied, healthy diet with more vegetables than meat, exercise regularly, and enjoy a single glass of red wine and/or antioxidant-rich fruit juice (like pomegranate) every night, and your body will thank you.

Woman smoking outside

Smoking & Skin Aging

Smoking is an unappealing habit. It leaves you with bad breath, yellow nails, and moreover is linked to a vast host of health conditions such as lung cancer and even depression. What you may not fully realize however is that smoking also leads to significant premature aging of the skin and causes wrinkles, furrows and thinning lips. There’s really no soft way of saying this – if you smoke cigarettes, you need to stop. Many scientists have also stated that smoking adds between 10 and 20 years to your natural age.

It is estimated that around 1 million people start smoking in the United States every year and virtually all will go on to regret this decision as they find out the effect this poisonous habit has on their health, bodies and skin. Some studies have established that smoking is actually worse for women as the nicotine is more addictive. Women who smoke are also twice as likely to have heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer than their male counterparts.

How Does Smoking Age the Skin
The effects of smoking on skin have been known for a long while. One study as early as 1965 identified what is now known as ‘smoker’s face’. What has become more apparent in recent years is exactly how smoking causes premature aging. There are numerous mechanisms by which smoking accelerates aging. It begins with the formation of free-radicals in the body when exposed to cigarette smoke. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause disease and damage to cell DNA. Smoking also restricts blood flow to the minuscule veins in your skin known as capillaries preventing oxygen and vital nutrients from doing their job. All in all, this leads to a dull, grayish skin tone which has an obviously discolored look.

Additionally, smoking increases production of enzymes that break down collagen in the skin which is integral to maintaining its elasticity. Smoking for many years will also deplete stores of vitamins A and C, both of which are involved in skin protection and health and help to keep harsh UV rays at bay.

Finally, the actions involved in continually sucking on cigarettes and squinting from cigarette smoke causes deep lines to develop around the eyes and mouth. Smoking doesn’t just cause wrinkling on your face, it is also associated with damage and sagging on nearly all parts of the body including your inner arms and neck.

Reversing Skin Damage
Many smokers wonder if they can reverse the damage they have caused to themselves by smoking. Simply put, the best thing you can do to begin the reversal process is stop smoking – although you must realize you will never fully undo the damage that you’ve done. Healthy diets and supplements are great at maintaining skin health. You should also be aware that skin damage won’t usually appear until 10 or 20 years after you began smoking. A proper skin care regimen using anti-aging and moisturizing creams can also assist in preventing the formation of further wrinkles and fine lines.

Woman with mature skin

Perioral Region Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Think about how many times throughout the day you make facial expressions – you may not even be able to come up with a number because it happens so frequently. Over time, these expressions result in facial lines and wrinkles as your skin loses its collagen and elasticity. Perioral lines are common among aging women, and there are ways that you can help to prevent and treat these fine lines. Keep reading to learn more about perioral lines and how you can get rid of them.

What are Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Perioral fine lines and wrinkles are those that occur around the mouth and lip areas. There are three major types of perioral fine lines and wrinkles:

  • Smile Lines (Nasolabial Lines) – Smile lines are the lines that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth. These often start small and progressively deepen with age.
  • Marionette Lines – Marionette lines often result in an angry or sad looking face as you age. These lines are vertical fine lines and wrinkles found at the corners of your mouth and they can give your mouth a naturally downturned appearance that can make you look angry or sad even when you are completely relaxed.
  • Vertical Lip Lines – Smoking is one of the leading causes of vertical lip lines for two reasons: the constant lip pursing and the damaging chemicals, toxins and free radicals that result from smoking. Nearly all women, even non-smokers, end up with vertical lip lines because they are caused by repeated motion of the lips. Things like pursing your lips and drinking through straws also result in vertical lip lines.

Woman touching her face

Prevention and Treatments for Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles
You can’t live your life completely expressionless, but learning how to relax your facial muscles is a good start in preventing perioral fine lines and wrinkles. Facial massage is a great way to provide your muscles with much-needed relaxation, and you can do a quick two-minute massage at the end of your nighttime facial routine or as your apply an antioxidant serum. If you are a smoker, quit now. Always remember to apply sunscreen to every area of your face, and follow a healthy lifestyle that includes drinking plenty of water.

There are multiple ways you can treat perioral fine lines and wrinkles, including:

  • Facial Exercises – Giving your face a nice massage can help to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and performing facial exercises are a way you can help strengthen your muscles. When you lose collagen in the perioral region, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent. Using facial exercises tones your muscles, and when you have sufficient muscle tone, it can make up for the lack of collagen in your skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Topical Treatments – Anti-aging creams, serums and targeted treatments are all ways that you can help treat perioral fine lines. Look for skin care products that use antioxidants like vitamin C or resveratrol, that have moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid and/or products that contain retinol. All of these ingredients help to fight the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent the formation of new fine lines.
  • Botox and Fillers – Injectables are a common way to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Injectables like hyaluronic acid help to plump up your skin and smooth wrinkles, while Botox paralyzes the muscles around the face, keeping them in a permanent state of relaxation. It is important to note that while these treatments are effective for wrinkles, the results are not permanent and typically last for a few months.

When it comes to preventing signs of aging, including perioral fine lines and wrinkles, sunscreen is the best anti-aging weapon you can use. A skin care routine full of quality ingredients like retinol and resveratrol will also significantly impact the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles. Be consistent with your skin care routine and give your face some extra attention with exercises and massages to see your perioral fine lines and wrinkles diminish and disappear.

Woman squinting at laptop

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines?

Beauty is surrounded by many rules, guidelines and myths and it can be daunting to keep up with everything that you are or are not supposed to be doing to and for your skin. If you’ve ever heard that squinting your eyes can cause fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve heard correctly. This is one beauty myth that is absolutely true. Keep reading to find out why squinting causes more fine lines and wrinkles and what you can do to prevent additional wrinkles under and around your eyes.

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Unfortunately, squinting really does lead to more fine lines and wrinkles. When you squint, whether you’re trying to watch TV, read your book and check emails on your computer, you are contributing to more fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. Dawn Davis, M.D, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says “…when you squint the muscles around your eyes grow stronger, and it’s kind of like a workout; therefore, the overlying skin will wrinkle.”

How to Prevent Wrinkles
The skin under and around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face, so it is more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. While you can never prevent all wrinkles, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to keep yourself from squinting as often and causing more fine lines than necessary.

  • Get an Annual Eye Exam – Often, squinting is a response to not being able to see properly and visiting your optometrist once a year is an excellent way to make sure that your vision is in check. Your optometrist will be able to provide you with prescription glasses, sunglasses or contacts so that you can see clearly without having to squint.
  • The Sun – You’re probably excited about how close spring is because you can bask in warm weather and sunlight, but the sun is another primary cause of squinting. You can prevent squinting due to the sun by wearing sunglasses and hats to keep the sun out of your eyes.
  • Move Away From the Screen – Computers are amazing and you probably can’t imagine your life without one, but they can be quite hard on your eyes. Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology in New York City, New York suggests that you sit about 1.5 to 2 inches away from your computer screen to help prevent eye strain. Additionally, you should take two to three quick breaks away from your computer screen every hour to give your eyes time to rest, according to New York City based dermatologist, Dr. Janet Prystowsky.

Squinting does indeed cause fine lines and wrinkles, but you can fight back against them by making the above lifestyle changes. To most effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles under and around your eyes, you should combine the above advice with a high-quality anti-aging eye cream. Put on your glasses and step away from the computer once in awhile to reduce the amount of time you spend squinting, and ultimately to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Pregnant woman in a park

Stop Aging by Having More Children

To slow down the aging process, you are told to eat well, exercise often, get enough sleep and eliminate as much stress as possible, so it may seem completely counterintuitive that if you want to stop the clock on aging, you should have more kids. Children, particularly in the first few months of life, deplete your energy, have you skimping on sleep and they seem to infinitely increase your stress level, so how can having a larger family possible keep you young? New research from Canadian researchers at Simon Fraser University suggests that the number of children a woman births has a positive impact on her body’s aging rate.

The Study
Researchers embarked on a 13-year long study that observed telomere lengths in 75 women. The 75 Kaqchikel Mayan women that the study tracked were all from two neighboring communities located in the southwest highlands of Guatemala who had their telomere length taken from their saliva at the beginning of the study in 2000. At the end of the study in 2013, the same 75 women had their telomere length measured through a buccal swab and the results showed that women who had more surviving children over the course of 13 years had longer telomeres than women who had fewer surviving children in the same period of time. Each additional child born was linked to 0.059 more telomere units.

The Science
Telomeres are important pieces of a cell that influence how the cells age and are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA. These caps are so important because they protect chromosomes – the threadlike structures containing all of your genetic information – from damage. Every time a cell replicates, your telomeres become shorter and eventually reach such a short length that they are no longer able to protect your chromosomes. When your chromosomes become vulnerable, cells age and stop functioning effectively. In the findings for this 13 year study, Prof. Pablo Nepomnaschy and Cindy Barha state that “our analyses show that increased offspring number across 13 years of observation attenuated telomere shortening, suggesting that, in our study population, having more children may slow the pace of cellular aging.”

When it comes to the “why” of the study, Prof. Nepomnaschy has some theories, one of which involves the increase of the hormone estrogen during pregnancy. “Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening,” hypothesizes Nepomnaschy. Additionally, the social environment surrounding women with more children may positively impact their rate of aging because mothers with more children receive more support from both family and friends. “Greater support leads to an increase in the amount of metabolic energy that can be allocated to tissue maintenance, thereby slowing down the process of aging,” says Nepomnaschy.

In the never-ending quest for youth, researchers have discovered that having more children may indeed lead to delayed aging process. The surge of estrogen and the social support structure that results from being pregnant and having children are two factors that the researchers believe to be influential. Having more children may indeed keep you young, and children will always bring you incredible love and joy, which make your life, longer or not, more satisfying.

Woman holding her neck and forehead

The Emotional Aspects of Aging

People are living longer than ever, in fact according to the American Psychological Association, “people 65 years of age and older are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.” The increasing number of older individuals is not limited to the United States; the Baylor College of Medicine Huffington Center on Aging states that “…by the year 2025, Japan is expected to have twice as many old persons as children.” Further, Baylor says that by 2025, there will be a global population of old people that exceeds one billion. Aging is not only a physical process, it is also emotional for both those who are aging and those who love an aging individual. Learn more about emotional aspects of aging below.

Emotions Due to an Uncertain Future
One of the most commonly experienced emotions in aging adults is fear. During the aging process, the inevitability of death becomes increasingly real and this realization can be a major source of uncertainty and dread. Death stirs up a myriad of feelings and some of the most frequent anxieties older adults face are:

  • Will I lose my memory and brain function?
  • How long will I be able to remain independence?
  • Will I be able to stay in the comfort of my home?
  • Will my life still have meaning if I am no longer able to take care of myself?
  • What will happen to my family if/when I die?
  • For many, financial concerns are a source of stress for their entire lives, but these worries only increase among aging adults. Many adults live on a fixed income and the thought of increasing medical costs can be scary and stressful.

Another source of fear for aging adults is that they will not receive fair medical care, and unfortunately, age discrimination in modern healthcare happens frequently. Older adults may be interested in trying alternative therapies or proactive and preventive health treatments, but doctors or other health professionals may resist because “that’s just how aging goes,” or “old people are supposed to be sick.” Proper medical care, including mental health treatment, may not extend a loved one’s life forever, but it will make the emotional and physical aspects of aging a bit easier to deal with.

How to Positively Approach Aging for Better Mental Health
Many fear the aging process; fine lines are wrinkles become the least concerning of all as women and men age. To approach aging with a positive attitude may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. The Baylor College of Medicine suggests envisioning the future can help prepare one emotionally and physically for the aging process. They suggest engaging in prospective aging, which is accomplished through looking forward 40 to 50 years in the future and reflecting on healthy habits for healthy aging such as:

  • Exercising three to five times every week
  • Following a nutritionally sound diet
  • Coping with stress and illness effectively
  • Engaging in healthy lifestyle choices such as not smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation

Prospective aging aims to bring to light changes that can be made immediately to better help people prepare for aging. The most effective way to handle the aging process is to plan for the future while living the present. In order to do this, the Mayo Clinic suggests that people participate in the following steps to approach aging with more positive associations:

  • Stay mentally active – crosswords, sudoku and puzzles are all great ways for the elderly to improve mental function
  • Socialize regularly – having a circle of support adds emotional feelings of security and contentment
  • Eat a healthy diet – a diet that is nutritionally valuable arms the body with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for a more graceful and healthy aging process
  • Manage chronic illness – be proactive and manage any illness to the fullest extent possible to avoid further complications or subsequent illness

Aging is often associated with a hint of negativity, and that increases emotional responses that focus on fear, stress and depression. Try prospective aging by imagining the future 50 years from now and reflecting on those positive steps to aging from the Mayo Clinic. Taking care of health today leads to a better, healthier and more joyous tomorrow.

Man examining his skin in the mirror.

Aging in Men's Skin

It’s an old saying:  men age better than women. Whether or not men actually do age better, it seems to be that for men, the older you get the more dignified you look. Why is that? Is there a scientific reason that men seem to become more handsome the older they get, or is it merely a cultural and societal belief? Below, we explore the aging process and male skin.

Couple smiling and posing.

Is Male Skin Different Than Female Skin?
Yes, male skin is undoubtedly different than female skin in structure. The International Dermal Institute declares that “[f]rom a structural point of view, some of the differences include skin thickness, collagen density, loss of collagen as we age, texture and density.”

Thickness in the skin depends largely on the individual person, but when it comes to male skin, androgens (male hormones) play a large role in the increase of skin thickness. While men have thick skin when they are younger, as they age their skin begins to thin. Collagen density is the term used to describe the ratio of collagen to skin thickness. No matter what age a man is, his collagen density is always higher than female skin’s collagen density.

Men also have a different texture of skin than women do; male skin tends to be rougher and less soft than female skin. The interesting thing is that while a man’s skin is rougher in texture, generally speaking, it is also better hydrated than female skin. Skin care experts think that the facts that men produce more sebum (oil) and are more prone to sweating contribute to why the male skin is more hydrated than female skin.

Guy taking care of his skin.

Aging in Male Skin
Male skin undergoes the same processes in aging that female skin does, but it does so in a different way. As previously mentioned, males lose some of the thickness of the skin steadily during the natural aging process while females retain skin thickness until about age 50 before it becomes thinner. Both men and women lose roughly 30% of their collagen by age 30, but men retain a higher collagen density. Skin experts believe that because men still maintain a higher collagen density throughout their lives than women do, male skin does not show signs of aging as quickly as female skin does.

The International Dermal Institute says, “[w]hen considering intrinsic aging (genetically-programmed) aging of the skin, it has been said that women are about 15 years older than men of the same age. Of course, the role of daylight exposure in skin aging, combined with the fact that men do not use sunscreen as often as women, may account for why we don’t readily notice.”

Differences between male and female skin effect how and when the skin ages. The aging process is natural and cannot be stopped, but taking good care of your skin can help to delay the signs of early aging.