Here at Curology, we believe there’s no shame whatsoever in visible signs of aging. On the contrary, we’re all about showing them with pride. That said, if you prefer to slow down the visual reminders of this natural process—which is totally up to you—we understand. That’s why we offer skincare products designed to treat the signs of aging and help you feel as comfortable as possible in your skin. Here we’ll discuss ways to care for aging skin, explain how skin ages, discuss common aging skin problems, and examine possible contributing factors.
Aging is a natural process, and we all experience it as we grow older. The signs of aging skin are linked to a loss of collagen and elastin, which may reduce your skin’s firmness and structure, leading to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.¹ There are two different types of skin aging, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging factors, like genetics and time, are natural while extrinsic aging factors, like smoking, diet, and sun exposure, are within your control.² If you want to slow down the appearance of certain signs of aging, our skincare experts are here to guide you.
While there’s no magical cure for aging, there are ways to slow the progression of things like fine lines and wrinkles. Wondering what the difference is? Fine lines are superficial and may result from repeatedly contracting the same muscles in your face over time, like when you smile, laugh, and frown. Wrinkles are deeper and can develop from these fine lines as time passes. Here are a few ways you can care for aging skin:
Using a retinoid like tretinoin is a proven way to help prevent and reduce the appearance of signs of aging. Available by prescription only, tretinoin is dermatology providers’ gold-standard topical treatment for caring for aging skin. When applied topically, it boosts skin cell turnover and collagen production, helping minimize fine lines and wrinkles.³
Did you know that photoaging is aging that’s specifically caused by the sun?⁴ One of your skin’s best defenses against the signs of aging is protection from the sun.⁵ Every day, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply regularly. Avoid direct sunlight and try to cover up with appropriate clothing and a hat. Curology’s Everyday Sunscreen is a great choice—it’s SPF 30, lightweight, and formulated to not clog your pores, which means it’s good for acne-prone skin, too.
Another great way to reduce the appearance of the signs of aging is to keep your skin hydrated. An essential step in every skincare routine, moisturizing after cleansing is a no-brainer for maintaining your skin’s moisture barrier and keeping it soft and supple. Try a thick, rich formula before bed and a lighter formula during the day.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are chemical exfoliators that may help unclog your pores by buffing away dead skin cells from the surface of your face and body. They reveal fresh skin and get you glowing in no time. Popular AHAs include lactic acid, glycolic acid, and mandelic acid, which are available in many over-the-counter and prescription products.
Whether your face is lined with years of laughter or your crow’s feet are just beginning to form, prevention is vital when it comes to aging skin. Our experts often recommend a handful of changes that add up over time and can help your skin look its best now and in the years to come:⁶
Live a healthy lifestyle: Your lifestyle choices may impact how quickly your skin ages. Avoid smoking as it can cause wrinkles and a dull complexion. Eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and veggies may help prevent premature skin aging.
Use moisturizer: As mentioned above, regularly moisturizing your skin is a key component of proper skincare. If your home or workplace is particularly dry, consider additional ways to combat dryness, like using a humidifier.
Protect your skin from sunlight: The sun is one of the most significant contributors to fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Regularly avoiding exposure to UVA and UVB rays may help slow down the appearance and progression of the signs of aging.
Drink less alcohol: Alcohol may dehydrate your skin and cause it to appear older. Instead of skipping happy hour altogether, go with delicious mocktails that will have you waking up feeling bright and hydrated.
We already covered tretinoin and AHAs, but if you’re looking to build an anti-aging skincare routine that works for you, the following ingredients may also help:
Niacinamide: A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from free radicals. It also may boost collagen production.⁷
Hyaluronic acid: This popular ingredient is super-moisturizing! It’s many dermatology providers’ favorite for helping skin absorb moisture. You’ll see it in many different products, including creams and serums.
Vitamin C: A popular skincare ingredient, topical vitamin C may help reduce aging skin pigmentation, protect your skin from the sun and the environment, and boost collagen production.⁸
Caring for aging skin can seem challenging, but we’re here to help. Founded in 2014 by Dr. David Lortscher, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, Curology has a mission to make quality skincare more accessible. Currently, we treat signs of aging, acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea. We believe in aging gracefully, whatever that means to you, and we want to help you achieve your skin goals.
Curology patients are paired with an in-house licensed dermatology provider. After you answer a few questions and snap some selfies, they’ll prescribe you a personalized prescription formula with active ingredients to help you achieve your specific skin goals. Our licensed providers can prescribe tretinoin, the gold standard topical anti-aging ingredient (subject to consultation), and share general skincare advice tailored to your goals.
Our full line of skin care products can complete your routine, and they’re dermatologist-designed to be non-comedogenic, dye-free, and paraben-free. Our cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreen, lip balms, and more are made to keep your skin looking—and feeling—its healthiest.
Live a healthy lifestyle: Your lifestyle choices may impact how quickly your skin ages. Avoid smoking as it can cause wrinkles and a dull complexion.
Use moisturizer: As mentioned above, regularly moisturizing your skin is a key component of proper skincare.
Protect your skin from sunlight: The sun is one of the most significant contributors to fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Drink less alcohol: Alcohol may dehydrate your skin and cause it to appear older.
Zhang, S., & Duan, E. Fighting against Skin Aging: The Way from Bench to Bedside. Cell Transplantation. (2018).
Farage, M. A., et al. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors in Skin Ageing: A Review. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. (2008).
Mukherjee, S., et al. Retinoids in the Treatment of Skin Aging: An Overview of Clinical Efficacy and Safety. Clinical Interventions in Aging. (2006).
Shanbhag, S., et al. Anti-aging and sunscreens: Paradigm shift in cosmetics. Adv Pharm Bull. (2019).
11 Ways to Reduce Premature Skin Aging. American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.).
11 Ways to Reduce Premature Skin Aging. American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.
Vlase, L., et al. Mechanistic basis and clinical evidence for the applications of nicotinamide (niacinamide) to control skin aging and pigmentation. Antioxidants. 2021.
Al-Niaimi, F., Chiang, NYZ., Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (2017)
Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.
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Meredith Hartle, DO