Looking like a grandma when you're not; be an active participant in your skin care


I am 45 years old and have a 7-year-old son. While at the pool, a grandmother came over to my chair and commented on how nice my grandson was playing with her granddaughter. I was humiliated that I looked the age of a grandmother rather than a mother. Are there options for me to regain a more youthful appearance?


Although aging is a natural process, as knowledge increases, treatments are being identified that can prevent or modify the aging process. This process is controlled by age and environmental damage, especially sun damage. The primary, preventable cause of aging is exposure to UVB/UVA radiation from the sun. Repeated ultraviolet exposure produces photo-aging of the skin, which differs from the intrinsic aging process of the skin, which is dependent on genetics and chronologic age. Photo-aging is characterized by rough skin texture, dilated pores, poor skin tone, skin laxity, blotchy skin color, brown spots, sallowness, telangectasia (sometimes called broken blood vessels), fine lines and wrinkles. Although other factors can contribute to aging skin, such as smoking and environmental pollutants, ultraviolet radiation is recognized as the single most important factor.

Skin care products can prevent and treat signs of aging skin caused by age and sun damage. The aging process of the skin begins in our mid-twenties, and it is never too early or too late to start a preventative skin care program.

Many things contribute to the aging process that can be improved just by making a change in lifestyle. For example:

· Reduce excessive sun exposure

· Increase physical activity

· Stop smoking

· Eat a well-balanced diet

· Control your weight

· More/better sleep

Other anti-aging benefits can be achieved through products for skin and hair.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that, regardless of your skin type, a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be used all-year-round. Don’t reserve the use of sunscreen only for sunny days. Even on a cloudy day, up to 70 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds.

Be an active participant in your skin care. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair.

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