Dermatologist explains what you can do to make your skin look younger fast.
Thirty years of examining people’s skin gives me a good vantage point to know what works and doesn’t with adult skin care. Common skin care mistakes can add years to how old you look. The most common age-adding skin care mistakes I see are:
- Not exfoliating;
- Not moisturizing the arms and legs; and
- Not noticing and treating seborrhea.
The words ‘crusty’ and ‘old’ fit together all too well for a reason. It’s because our skin gets crusty, rough and dry as we age unless we intervene. Intervention is easy and won’t consume all that time when you could be flossing, nor will it break the bank. Here’s what to do to take years off how your skin looks:
Mistake #1: Not exfoliating
Exfoliation becomes more and more important with age. Dead skin cells naturally slough off less with age. A built-up dead skin cell layer is dull, chalky and flaky. Have you noticed the ‘snow drift’ when you take off your long pants in the winter? Young skin has a polish and sheen that says ‘youthful vitality.’ It’s soft and never flaky. The flaky, dull skin of age happens from head to toe. Facial skin gets crusty as dead cells build up and are trapped in sebum. Arms and legs are flaky and appear dry. Age barnacles (seborrheic keratosis) become thick, brown and crusty. The soles of the feet become thick, hard and rough, too.
Simply using a physically-exfoliating shower cloth with a gentle soap twice a week in the shower will help. My favorite is the Salux Japanese Shower Cloth. You can throw it over your back to exfoliate and polish age barnacles there. You can fold it for arms, legs and feet – those places that are easier to reach. Physical facial exfoliation can be done with exfoliating scrubs or sponges. My top scrubs are Bamboo and Clay Exfoliation Scrub used twice a week or the Triple Action Exfoliation Scrub used in the morning. Alternatively, you can use a Facial Exfoliation Sponge with your favorite facial cleanser.
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Barry M. Popkin, Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg, Water, Hydration and Health, Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68(8): 439–458.
Potts Russel O, et. al., Changes with Age in the Moisture Content of Human Skin, Journal of Investigative dermatology, 82;97-100, 1984
James William D, Berger Timothy G, et. al., Andrews Diseases of the Skin, 12th Edition, Elsevier, Inc, 2016, page 76-77