9 Body Parts That Reveal Your Age First
Between genetics, hormones, and years of sun damage, these areas start to change color and texture the earliest—but there are ways to keep them looking young.
Especially in women, your hands will be one of the first body parts you’ll notice showing signs of age, says board-certified dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD, FAAD. Hormonal changes results in a loss of skin elasticity and volume loss on the backs of our hands,” she says. “These changes cause the crepey appearance of skin and also makes the veins very prominent.” Plus, your hands are rarely covered and form age spots from sun exposure, adding to the signs of aging. Slathering sunscreen on your hands or slipping on a pair of driving gloves can block out the harmful UV rays, says Ivy Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Pasadena, California, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA. Here are more ways to get younger-looking hands.
“Laugh lines” got their name for a reason. “The skin around our eyes is thinner and forms wrinkles from repeated habits, such as squinting, smiling, and sun damage,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Most sunscreen formulas shouldn’t go near the eyes, but wearing sunglasses offers double protection: blocking UV rays and reducing the need to squint.
Fine lines around your lips often develop after the ones by your eyes and on your forehead, says Dr. Papantoniou. Sun damage plays a role, but so do habits that purse your lips, such as drinking from straws and water bottles, she says. Learn more about how dermatologists get rid of lip lines.
Because you scrunch it for deep expressions, the forehead will also likely be one of the first places on your face to develop wrinkles, says Dr. Papantoniou. Products containing retinol increase collagen to reduce wrinkles, plus exfoliate dead skin to make your skin look brighter and softer. Dr. Lee recommends using Roc Multi Correxion 5 In 1 Restoring Facial Night Cream or a Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair product once a night (or every other night if your skin isn’t used to the drying products) to rejuvenate the skin.
No matter how diligent you are about protecting your face from wrinkles, you might forget to bring that SPF down to your neck. Applying sunscreen to your exposed skin every day can keep sun damage at bay, but it won’t prevent all signs of aging. “‘Turkey neck’ is the term used describe skin laxity that occur as we age under the chin and upper neck area,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “This develops from a combination of volume loss and skin laxity.” If the loose skin is bothering you, as a dermatologist about Ultherapy, a noninvasive treatment that uses ultrasound to tighten the skin, she suggests. Find out more about how to make your neck look younger.
Deep necklines leave the exposed area of your chest wide open for the damage of UV rays. You might start to notice broken blood vessels, sunspots, and discoloration, says Dr. Lee. If you don’t want to switch to higher necklines, she recommends applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30 containing titanium dioxide or zinc dioxide to your chest while you’re getting ready. Put it on before you get dressed so it can dry without getting on your clothes. Check out these other dermatologist-recommended tricks for getting rid of wrinkles.
The skin on your knees usually starts to sag before the rest of your legs do. “You have a lot of bony prominence and tendons and ligaments, but no fat and muscle,” says Dr. Lee. “You don’t have as much of that cushion to plump up the skin there, so that’s where you notice the hollows and boniness.” Salicylic acid and urea in skin-care products exfoliate, so choosing a moisturizer that contains one—Dr. Lee recommends CeraVe Renewing SA Cream—will hydrate, brighten, and smooth to give your skin new life.
Like your knees, your elbows are mostly bone, without fat and muscle to plump them up. On top of that, people tend to lean on their elbows, and the weight of that puts stress on the area, says Dr. Lee. Using a moisturizer with salicylic acid or urea can rejuvenate leathery elbows. Don’t miss these other 11 everyday habits that can cause wrinkles.
Most people notice their first gray hairs in their 30s as their bodies stop producing pigment cells. By the time they’re 50, half the population can expect 50 percent of their head to go gray, Stanford University dermatology professor Anthony Oro tells Good Housekeeping. Those gray hairs tend to be thinner than your colored strands, but they feel thicker because the scalp produces less oil, drying out your hair. Make sure you know these sneaky reasons you might go gray prematurely.
Next, find out the 15 signs your body is aging faster than you are.