I am sure that nobody wants to get lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us end up with wrinkles at some point in our lives. When we are still young, we rarely think about it because it seems like old age is an eternity away. As a result, we do not even think about things like skin protectors. Suddenly, we reach our mid or late thirties, or perhaps even our forties, and we start to see the first fine lines appearing, and we know that we have to take action straight away.
Some people do not seem at all concerned by the appearance of fine lines. They just accept the fact that it is all a part of growing older. Well, I am not one of those people. I am simply not willing to go down without putting up a fight. I have also proven to myself that it is indeed possible to slow down the signs of aging skin if you are willing to put in the necessary effort.
By “necessary effort” I mean using good quality all-natural skin protectors. I am not only referring to skin care products. I am also referring to things like sunglasses, hats, and even certain types of food. Yes, you read that right. Some foods can actually increase your body’s natural protection against harmful UV rays from the sun.
We all know that those areas of our body that have the thinnest skin are also the areas that are most prone to photo aging and wrinkling. Thin skin in elderly people is extremely common. In fact, many elderly people end up with paper thin skin, particularly around their eyes and on the back of their hands. If you can thicken this skin, you will also reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Thicker skin is also less prone to photo aging, which means that it will take longer for new lines and wrinkles to appear.
If you want to slow down the arrival of lines and wrinkles, or if you want to reduce the appearance of those which you already have, then now is the time to act. The very first step is to drastically limit direct exposure to the sun. You can do this by staying out of the sun, or by using a good quality sunscreen lotion.
You should also wear a hat that can provide some shade for your face, and wear good quality sunglasses that can protect the delicate skin around your eyes. You should also include certain foods in your diet that are capable of providing some degree of protection against sun damage.
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10 Foods That Can Help Protect You from Photo Aging
While foods cannot compete against sunscreen lotions, some foods can provide an additional level of protection. Here are 10 foods which can do exactly that, and they are also very healthy for you as well.
- Kiwi Fruit
- Tomatoes (in sauce or soup form)
- Watermelon (red)
- Dark greens such as spinach, kale, etc.
- Fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
- Dark chocolate with high cocoa content
- Red wine
- Whole eggs (whites and yolks)
- Freshly brewed green tea
All of the above foods have high amounts of certain components which can help to protect your skin against photo aging and also help to repair UV damage as it happens. Okay, now that we have addressed the issue of UV protection, let us move on and take a look at the issue of thin skin; what causes it, and how can one go about treating it.
What Causes Thin Skin
As we age, our bodies stop producing as much collagen and elastin as they once did when we were younger. This in itself can cause our skin to become thinner than it once was. However, aging is only one of the things which can cause your skin to become thinner. Repetitive sunburn and excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can also cause your skin to thin.
Thin skin can also be caused by genetics and by the long term use of certain medications such corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can drastically thin and/or weaken skin regardless of whether they are taken orally or used topically. Lastly, very thin skin can also be caused by certain illnesses.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is actually the name of a group of genetic disorders that are passed on from parent to child. Also known as EDS, these disorders all affect the connective tissues in the body, including those present in skin, joints, etc. Symptoms generally begin to appear during early childhood. EDS is thought to affect about 1 in every 2,500 people. You can read more about these disorders by visiting the Ehlers-Danlos Society website.
Amyloidosis is another group of disorders, some of which can cause both thinning and/or thickening of the skin. However, most of the disorders in this group tend to affect internal organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, etc. For this reason, I am not going to elaborate further regarding Amyloidosis, but if you would like to read more about these disorders, then you can do so by visiting the Mayo Clinic website.
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The Importance of Physical Skin Protectors
When our skin starts to thin as a result of us growing older, it does not only occur on the face. It occurs everywhere on the body. If your skin has already thinned to the point where it tears or gets cut very easily, then it is time for you to start considering making use of skin protectors, such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and even gloves if and when appropriate.
Nicks, cuts and tears become increasingly common as we age and our skin thins. While we might see most of these small cuts and tears as being nothing more than minor annoyances, we also need to remember that even the tiniest of cuts can easily become infected.
Hydrate and Moisturize Regularly
Our skin produces its own natural oil barrier that serves to lock moisture in so that our skin stays adequately hydrated. Unfortunately, once our skin begins to age and thin, the natural oil barrier starts to become less and less effective. This essentially means that our skin loses moisture easier and faster as we age.
We always read and hear so much about the importance of using a moisturizer regularly. The primary function of a moisturizer is to lock moisture in the skin. In short, it is meant to do the same as our natural oil barrier is meant to be doing.
The problem with this is that if your skin is not properly hydrated, then there won’t be any moisture to lock in, or at least, there won’t be adequate moisture in your skin. So, how can we hydrate our skin?
There are several ways to hydrate our skin. The most obvious one being to make sure that we drink enough fluids every day. There are also several topical treatments that can effectively hydrate your skin. Raw honey, for example, is an excellent natural humectant. In other words, it draws moisture from the atmosphere and traps it on the surface of your skin where it is then absorbed.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally produced substance that is found in our bodies. The highest concentrations are found in the joints and in the area around our eyes. It is what keeps our eyeballs moist and our joints properly lubricated. It is also a remarkably good humectant when used topically on skin. For this reason, it is often used in good quality moisturizers and eye serums.
Of course, good quality skin care products that contain things like hyaluronic acid will contain one or more ingredients that are capable of locking in the moisture which they have provided. Many skin care products fail to get this right, so I would recommend finding ones that do, even if it means you have to pay a bit more.
As an added bonus, hyaluronic acid tends to plump up the skin and is therefore often able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Anyway, when it comes to thin skin treatment, your first priority should be to regularly hydrate and moisturize your skin.
How to Toughen Thin Skin with Skin Care
From a skin care perspective, there are several things we can do to thicken and toughen our skin. Most of the substances and/or ingredients which I am about to mention can also help to protect your skin. In that respect, they are sort of topical skin protectors, and ones which can make a very real difference to your skin. Okay, let us take a look at 5 skin care approaches that we can use to thicken and strengthen our skin:
Vitamin-E Oil Applied Topically
Fractional Laser Resurfacing
I have already discussed hydrators and moisturizers, but I just want to stress once again how important it is for you to hydrate and moisturize your skin at least once a day, and preferably twice a day. Apart from things like raw honey and hyaluronic acid, other ingredients to look for in moisturizers would be things like vitamin-A, vitamin-C, vitamin-E, and beta-carotene, all of which are good skin protectors.
Retin-A is another ingredient which you might want to look for. This is essentially just a more acidic type of vitamin-A which has been shown to encourage the multiplication of skin cells when applied topically.
I am not a big fan of sunscreen lotions because most of them contain any number of chemicals, all of which I prefer to keep away from my skin. However, maybe I am not in a good position to comment on the use of sunscreens because I have an indoor job and I do not often spend prolonged periods of time in the sun. When I do, I generally wear a hat and some light loose-fitting clothes to cover myself up. I often use a sunscreen lotion on the back of my hands though.
It is really your call whether you want to use sunscreen lotions. If you do, I would recommend using one with a SPF of at least 15. If you already have thin or thinning skin, then a sunscreen lotion with a SPF of 30 would probably be a smarter choice.
These days, supermarket shelves are full of skin care products that contain vitamin-E. It is often promoted as a vitamin that can reverse or reduce the signs of aging. However, some studies have shown that applying pure vitamin-E oil to your skin can in fact have a negative impact. It can make the appearance of scars worse, and it can cause contact dermatitis in about 30% of people who use it.
On the other hand, many people swear by the use of vitamin-E oil on their skin, and many have reported that it has thickened their skin. Personally, I would advise against slathering your skin daily with vitamin-E oil. Instead, I would recommend finding and using a good quality cream or lotion that contains some high quality vitamin-E.
By the way, I would give the same sort of advice to anyone who is considering taking vitamin-E in supplement form. Rather find a supplement that contains a small or modest amount of vitamin-E rather than a supplement that contains only vitamin-E. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions published a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2005, in which they claimed that high doses of vitamin-E can drastically increase the risk of death from all causes.
We all know that chemical peels are designed to remove layers of skin, so surely this must be a really bad idea if you have thin or thinning skin? The truth is that while chemical peels do indeed remove layers of skin, they can also stimulate collagen production which in turn can help to thicken skin. As an added bonus, chemical peels can also significantly reduce the appearance and severity of lines and wrinkles.
According to the Epiphany Dermatology website, if you have passed the prevention stage, and your skin is already showing signs of aging, such as lines, wrinkles and thinning, then there is not much you can do to turn back the clock completely. Some over-the-counter creams and serums may help to a certain degree in some cases, but in other cases, treatments such as fractional laser resurfacing may be required.
As is the case with chemical peels, fractional laser resurfacing can also stimulate collagen production, which in turn helps to thicken skin. Both of these procedures should always be done by experienced board certified dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons.
Well, this wraps things up for today. I really hope that you enjoyed reading this post about skin protectors and how to deal with thinning skin. Be sure to visit again soon for more tips, tricks and facts relating to beauty and skin care. Thanks so much for reading.