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Looking Your Best, at Every Age<< Back to Tips & Articles
As we age, we begin to notice the inevitable changes that occur with time. The wrinkles in our skin are usually the first indicators of aging. While we cannot stop the aging process, we can certainly slow it down by adding the right grooming products to our daily regimens.
GET TO KNOW YOUR SKIN
Understanding the makeup of our skin is the first step to finding a healthy skin regimen, as well as slowing down the aging process.
Our skin is made up of three layers:
THE EFFECTS OF AGING
The science behind aging tells us that wrinkles are inevitable. It all starts as our epidermal cells thin, which causes them to release moisture at a more rapid rate. In fact, every 10 years or so, we lose about 10% of our epidermal cells. These cells also start to divide more slowly as time progresses. This slows down our skin's ability to repair itself, as well as increased drying of our skin.
In the war against aging, moisturizer is an essential weapon. Using a moisturizer every day is a good way to combat the aging process. Apply after-shave lotion or balm to your face, then a body moisturizer to your body after you shower to keep your skin from becoming dry. Keeping it clean is important. If you are susceptible to blemishes, make sure you have clean hands and skin before you apply a moisturizer. You can repeat the moisturizing process throughout the day as needed.
It is also important to eliminate dead epidermal cells before applying a moisturizer. When you are in the shower or washing your face, use an exfoliating scrub to get rid of the dead epidermal cells. This will give the moisturizer a better chance at saturating the epidermis layer.
The sun emits ultraviolet(UV) radiation, which is divided into ranges or bands. Specifically, UVA, long wave and UVB, short wave. While these UVA and UVB rays provide many necessary functions, they are detrimental for our skin. Our atmosphere acts as a barrier to some extent, with 99% of the UV radiation that reaches Earth being UVA, but we are still touched by it. Understanding this is an important part in the battle against aging, as 90% of the signs of premature skin aging are caused by UVA or UVB rays. This is referred to as photoaging. In some cases, photoaging becomes noticeable in our early 20's. While cases may vary, all is relative to the amount of total lifetime radiation exposure as well as our skin's natural pigment protection.
While over-exposure to sunlight can cause unsightly wrinkles, the more serious effects can be skin lesions, such as: actinic keratoses, basal cell carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas. The sun also causes collagen fibers to break up faster, as well as building up abnormal elastin in our skin. Enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced when this process occurs. When functioning as intended, collagen fibers are remodeled. In the opposite scenario, the collagen continues to break down and will become “solar scars”. As this process repeats we see wrinkles form. Science, along with a healthy respect for your appearance, puts up an undisputable argument for sunscreen.
Free what-icals? No, this is not a political approach to looking your best. Free radicals are all around us. We are literally attacked by them on a constant basis, more so in specific environments. While a necessary part of life, free radicals can go seriously wrong. They are actually oxygen molecules that are unpaired, having only one electron instead of two, making them unstable. Being a lonely single, these molecules will continually search for another electron from another molecule. Now, nothing good comes from the lonely and unstable. This is as true in oxygen molecules as it is in humans. These unstable, lonely molecules set off a sort of domino effect. The molecule that lost an electron will begin its own search for a mate, and then that betrayed molecule will begin its own search, and so on. This process is known as metalloproteinases, the break down of collagen. If you remember this from further up on the page, you will remember the same “solar scar” process will occur. The sun's UV radiation, smoking, and exposure to air pollution are all contributing factors in the free radical damage cycle.
You bet. We must not forget good, old gravity. Obviously, gravity is what causes our skin to droop. We do not receive the benefit of staying grounded for nothing. Unless you are considering cosmetic surgery, there are only a few ways to avoid the drooping of skin. A lifetime of frowning, smiling, and squinting are serious culprits in the forming of lines and wrinkles. We can avoid frowning but there is no benefit in avoiding smiling, so let's not even try. Take your sunglasses with you when you go out. Your eye health as well as line and wrinkle-prevention are greatly increased with regular UV protection sunglass use.
Mens Grooming Tips
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