What Causes Aging Skin & What Can You Do to Prevent it?

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In some ways, aging is inevitable – there’s nothing that you can do to stop time and prevent your body from growing older. However, what you can control is how you age.

Do the right things and you’ll be able to significantly slow down your skin’s aging process, with your youthful appearance sticking around for many more years to come.

The Causes and Signs of Aging Skin

The skin goes through a number of changes as it ages. The production of collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for how smooth and tight your skin is, decline, as does sebum production in the oil glands.

It doesn’t help that the dermis becomes thinner with age too, while losing natural fat, and all of the environmental damage that has accumulated in your skin over the years starts to become visible.

All of these factors cause the following skin changes to occur:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • A loss of firmness and elasticity
  • Dryness and itching
  • Dark spots/hyperpigmentation
  • Scratches and wounds take longer to heal

How to Reverse and Prevent Skin Aging

Smiling middle aged woman

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Even though your skin may be getting older every day, there are several ways to put a stop to premature aging.

In fact, put some extra time into your anti-aging efforts and you may even be able to turn back the clock on your skin to reverse the effects of aging.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Did you know that sun exposure is responsible for up to 80% of visible facial aging [1]? From wrinkles to dark patches, ultraviolet rays play havoc on the skin.

Not only that, but they can also lead to the development of skin cancer and other health/medical issues, which nobody wants to be dealing with.

So, it goes without saying that sun protection is one of the most important things that you can do to prevent and reverse premature aging.

A broad spectrum SPF30 sunscreen applied every few hours throughout the year is just the start – you should also be wearing protective clothing and accessories when out in the sun, such as sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.

To really protect your skin, make an effort to stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day too – 11am-3pm is usually when UV rays are at their strongest, although this does depend on your location.

Tanning is another big no-no, as it’ll cause skin cancer and accelerate skin aging. Look for self-tanning skin care products instead.

Be Aware of Your Facial Expressions

Each time you made a facial expression in your youth, your skin would simply bounce back to normal after your muscles relaxed.

However, as elasticity declines with age, older people find that those expression lines start to become permanently etched onto their skin, eventually deepening into wrinkles.

While it would be next-to-impossible to keep your face expressionless at all times, do pay attention to how the muscles in your face move.

Frowning, squinting, and pursing your lips are all actions that you do have control over, so try to minimize these as much as possible. This will go a long way in preventing forehead wrinkles and marionette lines.

Middle aged woman school college teacher

Use the Right Skin Care Products

If you’re trying to banish the signs of premature aging, then an anti-aging skincare routine is a must. You should always start with a cleanser and then follow this up with a toner.

Next, apply a couple of antioxidant-rich anti-aging serums, before layering an anti-aging moisturizer (and a sunscreen during the day) over the top.

Exfoliation is also important for clearing away rough skin cells. One sign of aging is that natural cell turnover declines, resulting in dead skin cells building up on the skin.

Sheet, tissue, and gel face masks, plus other weekly anti-aging treatments, would also be a good call for wrinkle-free skin. Speak to your dermatologist for more advice.

Related: Mandelic Acid for Skin

Stop Smoking

You’re likely aware of the fact that smoking is bad for the health of your body, but did you know that it seriously impacts your skin too? Not only does it put you at risk of cancer and other associated health conditions, but it also suffocates the skin and speeds up aging.

Quitting the habit isn’t easy, but there are plenty of resources and tips out there that you can turn to for help if you decide to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption is another one of the factors that accelerates aging of the skin. It severely dehydrates the skin, making it look much older than its age. Fine lines and wrinkles are so much more noticeable on dry and dehydrated skin, giving you an old and creased appearance.

Happy mature woman drinking wine

There’s nothing wrong with the odd drink every now and again, but try to match each serving of alcohol with a glass of water to maintain skin hydration levels.

Eat a Healthy, Skin-Boosting Diet

Dermatologists all agree that your skin is a direct reflection of your diet. Eat foods that are full of unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt and you’ll notice several negative changes. These foods damage the collagen and elastin in your skin, leaving your face looking aged.

Instead, fill your meals with fresh fruits and vegetables every day, along with plenty of whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and you’ll be able to reverse and heal those age-related skin concerns.

Your skin, as well as your hair, will take on a radiant glow. Keep things up and you’ll soon start to look half your age!

Sleep on Your Back

If you sleep on your side or your front, it’s time to make some changes. One of the best anti-aging tips out there is to sleep on your back instead – this gives your face protection from the friction that’s caused when your skin rubs against your pillow.

Not only would this lead to fine lines, but it’ll also make your skin look thinner.

Strategically placing some pillows around you will help to stop you rolling over in the middle of the night. If you still can’t seem to stay on your back, consider investing in some silk pillowcases instead – your skin will glide smoothly over the fabric, enabling you to wake up crease-free.

Pretty middle aged woman writing in notebook


What is the best treatment for aging skin?

Healthy lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet and limited sun exposure, combined with a solid skin care routine, is the best way to treat the effects of age on your skin.

What is the main cause of skin aging?

The sun is the main cause of skin aging. This is why the parts of your skin that are most frequently exposed to the sun (such as your face and your hands) will be the first to show signs of aging-related changes.

Is skin aging reversible?

Yes, skin aging is reversible to an extent if you follow the right methods.


Dealing with the effects that aging has on the skin isn’t easy – watching your smooth, tight, and youthful complexion start to crease, wrinkle, and sag can truly be depressing.

While you won’t be able to hold skin aging off forever, there’s plenty that you can do to slow it down, and much of this is related to your lifestyle.

It’s never too late to begin making the right choices – start now and it won’t be long before you notice your skin looking firmer, bouncier, and more radiant than ever.


[1] https://www.ewg.org/sunsafety/tips-sunlight-and-aging.php

Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.