Ladies, gents, and everyone else, gather round! It’s time to play everyone’s favorite educational game: myth or fact! The rules of the game are simple: we make a statement and you guess whether it’s a myth or a fact. In the process, since this is the Skin Aging Edition, you’ll get a grade-A education about facial aging. What’s the prize, you ask? It’s the essential knowledge you’ll need to get younger-looking skin. That and bragging rights, of course.
Question 1: Age Spots Are the Result of Aging. Myth or Fact?
This may be the most common myth about aging, and to be fair, whoever coined the name “age spots” is probably to blame. Age spots, also called liver spots or solar lentigines, are darkened spots on your skin. They actually appear because of sun damage that accumulates over the years because the pigment-producing cells in your skin are producing extra pigment to try to block the sunlight and protect the deeper layers of your skin.
Age spots tend to appear more as we get older because you’re accumulating more and more sun damage over the years, but they’re not part of the body’s natural aging process. To ward off age spots, the best strategy is prevention by protecting your skin from sun exposure. If you already have them, a skin pigment brightener will help to take them down a notch.
Question 2: Limiting Your Facial Expressions Will Minimize Wrinkles. Myth or Fact?
If you take a look at your wrinkles, you’ll notice that many of them line up with the way your skin bunches up while you make certain facial expressions, like squinting, smiling, or furrowing your brow. Repeated facial expressions can increase those wrinkles by tensing the underlying muscles, which pinches the skin above into a wrinkle.
With that being said, it’s probably not worth it to spend every day of your life holding yourself back from making genuine facial expressions. Anti-aging products like the Suzan Obagi Retivance Skin Rejuvenating Complex do such a great job at reducing and preventing wrinkles that it’s easier to toss on some products every night and go on living your life.
Question 3: Sun Exposure is a Major Source of Premature Aging. Myth or Fact?
In reality, many skin experts consider sun exposure to be the #1 contributor to signs of aging. After all, sun damage makes your skin age in several ways at once.
First, the sun’s radiation breaks down the collagen in your skin. Collagen is the natural protein that makes your skin firmer, smoother, tighter…it’s basically the magic ingredient that makes skin look younger. So, by reducing your natural collagen, the sun makes your skin thinner and more prone to sagging and wrinkling.
On top of that, as we discovered back in question #1, sun exposure leads to age spots, which can make you look older than your years too. All of this combined means that you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and stress if you take a preventative approach and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day instead.
Question 4: Moisturizers Prevent Aging. Myth or Fact?
Answer: myth (mostly)!
The role that moisturizers play in your facial aging is often misunderstood. There isn’t clear evidence to show that using moisturizer regularly will prevent wrinkles in the long run.
Moisturizer does, however, refresh your skin’s hydration so that each day, it can look as smooth and plump as it can be. You’ve seen the wrinkles that pop up on a grape when it’s dehydrated enough to turn into a raisin. The same thing happens to your skin but on a smaller scale. So, while a daily moisturizer doesn’t *prevent* wrinkles down the line, it does make any fine lines and wrinkles less visible on a daily basis.
Question 5: Your Genes Determine How You’ll Age. Myth or Fact?
Answer: somewhere in the middle!
We’ll call this an “everybody wins” question because whether you said it was a myth or a fact, you’re right to an extent. Genes absolutely play a role in your facial aging, and there’s nothing you can do about your heredity.
However, that doesn’t mean there are any guarantees. If your older family members haven’t aged well, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to age the same way, and if they have aged well, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll spend your life looking 20 years younger than the age on your driver’s license either. There are many lifestyle factors that impact your facial aging – sun exposure, overall health, stress, nutrition, and much more. While heredity matters, your lifestyle choices matter more, and you can turn the dial quite a bit depending on your healthy habits.
How Did You Do?
Well, folks, that’s all for today’s game of “Myth or Fact: Skin Aging Edition.” What was your final tally? No matter what your score was, the beauty of this game is that everyone comes away as a winner because we’ve all learned valuable information we can use to make our skin younger and healthier for years longer. Enjoy your prize and use it wisely!