Facial Aging 101

Fresh Pearl Medspa, North Andover, MA

No matter your age, it’s not too late to gain a better understanding of the physiological changes that occur as we age.

While facial aging does affect everyone, we can all take steps to look and feel our best!

In Your 20s

facial aging in your 20s

As you transition from your teenage years to adulthood, how you lived your past years will start to be revealed on your face during this decade. Hormonal changes, birth control, pregnancy and certain antibiotics can cause a brown discoloration across the cheeks or forehead.

As a result of facial muscles’ repetitive contractions, creases begin to appear between your eyebrows known as “the 1’s, 11’s, or 111’s” depending on the amount of creases. If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun or many hours squinting at a computer screen and cell phone, “crow’s feet” around the corner of your eyes also start to appear.

facial aging in your 20s

Self-Care

PREVENTION is the first and most important step in maintaining your youthful appearance and glow of your skin. Avoiding sun damage is key. How you treat your skin in your 20s will affect how your skin will look in your 40s, 50s and beyond. Use sunscreen!

USING MOISTURIZERS is also a smart choice. We recommend products light in texture to start with, Apply a dime size of moisturizer twice a day. You may also wish to begin using retinol-based products a couple times a week.

facial aging in your 20s

Pro Care

OVER THE COUNTER PRODUCTS may be a good start however, your skincare professional may also have superior products that work more effectively. Preventive measures to maintain your appearance should also begin at this age. It is always easier to stay ahead of the damage, than try to correct it at a later time.

PREVENTING WRINKLES with neuromodulators such as Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, or Jeuveau will be required less frequently than in later years. As muscles are smaller in size, they require less product and less frequent administration.

Depending on your skin type and damage, other services to improve the texture and look of your skin include chemical peels, facials or microneedling. These services repair post-acne scarring and remove old dead skin cells so new and healthier skin will shine.

In Your 30s

facial aging in your 30s

While most of us will continue to look youthful in this decade, the skin begins to look tired and less full. Continuous sun damage will accentuate small discolorations on your face, neck and chest area as well as the back of your hands. Lifestyle habits from previous years start to show their consequences, as wrinkles become more pronounced and the skin and fat in your face begin to sag.

Early signs of volume loss in the mid face and chin are a result of the decreased production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. As this happens, your face transitions from the desired upside-down triangle, to a thinner and longer rectangular face making you look older and more tired than you really are.

facial aging in your 30s

Self-Care

You should increase the use of your retinol to three times a week and make sure you are using a high-quality moisturizer and treatment serum. As the skin restores itself at night, add exfoliating cleansers or products to help with cellular turnover and pigmentation.

facial aging in your 30s

Pro Care

If brown spots and discoloration are a concern, chemical peels may be your answer. Along with dermaplaning, these treatments will boost your overall skin texture and youthful appearance. They will help keep a fresh new layer of skin glowing and will remove small imperfections that can worsen throughout the years to come.

There is strong evidence to support the benefits of preventive measures using Botox-like products and dermal fillers: first, you will need very little to get a good result, and, second, the earlier you start, the longer you’ll maintain your youthful appearance, as it’s easier to maintain than to repair.

In Your 40s

facial aging in your 40s

Damage continues if unmanaged as lines and wrinkles will deepen and become more visible at rest. Finer lines around your upper lips will appear, and if you smoke deeper lines come sooner. Overall, the skin will start to look and feel drier leading to more pronounced lines and wrinkles.

At this stage of life, your subcutaneous fat continues to thin out especially in certain areas. Typically, fat is first lost in the mid-face and temple region followed by the mouth and chin and then the jawline. The skin is losing its elastic qualities and no longer bounces back as quickly. Your nose can also be affected as a result of your upper lip retracting downward. While it may seem as if your skin is falling, your face is actually deflating under your skin.

facial aging in your 40s

Self-Care

Now it’s time to transition to thicker and richer moisturizers and treatment serums as well as introduce a night cream. During sleep, our bodies go through a natural rejuvenation process. Our face is constantly exposed to dirt, pollution, sun damage and facial animation throughout the day, without these factors at night the skin is better able to absorb the moisturizer leading to improved results.

Antioxidants may be helpful at this stage as well, to aid in the fight against free radicals that can damage the skin. Oxidative stress leads to skin inflammation, slows down the skin’s natural healing process, and breaks down collagen in the skin that leads to sagging.

facial aging in your 40s

Pro Care

If you’re looking to help restore volume loss, dermal fillers are the best option. Adding lift to your cheeks will also improve the lines in your lower face such as the nasolabial and marionette lines. Chemical peels, microneedling and dermaplaning have the ability to resurface your skin and allow the glowing new skin to shine. These treatments can make you look years younger! While clients may be concerned about being “overfilled,” with the goal of volume restoration rather than augmentation, we can create a natural youthful appearance.

In Your 50s and Beyond

facial aging in your 50s

If you have minimized sun damage and used appropriate skin care, you can expect your skin to look really good. If not however, you will be dealing with the compounding effects of sun damage, bone loss, fat loss and gravity. Collagen and elastin fibers are almost completely destroyed, and lines and wrinkles are deepened.

While fat loss underneath continues making the skin thinner and translucent, the structures under our skin, like blood vessels, become more prominent adding to the appearance of skin discoloration. With the median age of menopause being around 51, the reduction of circulating estrogen also contributes to the skin looking and feeling drier. Dryness continues to make lines and wrinkles look deeper and more prominent and is compounded by the continuous effect of gravity contributing to skin laxity and sagging. Treatments that tighten the skin are important.

Another point about menopause: decreasing estrogen also causes increases of bone resorption and significant loss of facial bone. Without the structural support of bone, eyes can appear sunken due to enlarged eye sockets; lips can appear shrunken from a receding jaw and gum line; the eyebrow ridge becomes less pronounced; and your face can appear flat from a lowered brow angle. All this contributes to the loss of connective tissue from the dermis causing a wrinkled skin appearance.

facial aging in your 50s

Self-Care

As the drying increases, your use of rich moisturizers also should. If you have been using regular soap and water as a facial cleanser, stop immediately and start using a gentle hydrating cleanser on your face and neck. Your application of retinol creams should increase by one for every decade of life you are in (3x week in your 30s, 4x week in your 40s, etc.). These changes are in addition to your continuous use of sunscreen of course.

facial aging in your 50s

Pro Care

If you have not tried neuromodulators or dermal fillers by now, experts say this is the decade to do so. Your 50s can represent the last decade of treatment options before they will provide minimal effect. You may not be able to achieve the desired effect and more invasive procedures may be indicated. As we are living longer, the earlier we start professional skin care, the younger we will look for the years to come.