5 Good Signs Your Skin Is Actually Aging Well

We all know the telltale signs that your skin isn’t aging well — sun spots, deep wrinkles and dry skin are just three things to look out for. If you’re a smoker, you may notice deeper wrinkles and dry skin. If you’ve lacked sun protection over the years, you may experience hyperpigmentation. But what are the signs that your skin is on the right path?

The aging process can look extremely different from person to person, and there can be certain noticeable signals that you’ve taken good care of your body throughout your life. Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King says that lifestyle factors such as your sleep schedule, exercise routine and stress will also contribute to how your skin ages.

We spoke with two dermatologists to help us determine the five signs your skin is actually aging well.

1. Your skin heals quickly from injuries

When it comes to your wound healing, how quickly you heal can easily show the health of your skin and how it is aging. If your skin heals from an open cut within a week or so, “This means your diet has enough protein to help with wound healing, [or that you have] a healthy immune system [or maybe] good genes,” dermatologist Dr. Lauren Moy explained. If you’re dealing with a more serious wound, it should heal within four to six weeks, per National Library of Medicine.

So how do you know if your wound is healing well? If you’ve had a cut, your body goes into repair mode to restore its skin barrier, forming a scab. This protects your wound, allowing the skin underneath it to heal. You’ll know it’s healed when your skin is fading from a pink color to closer to your skin tone, and the wound will flatten out and soften.

There are a handful of factors to consider when it comes to your skin healing from an injury, especially as you’re getting older. Two in particular are skin moisture and nutrition. Wound Care Inc. reports that moisture is extremely important for healing wounds. When skin is dry, it’s more at risk for skin lesions, infections and thickening — all of which will hinder the rate of wound healing.

When your body isn’t fueled with nutrients for cell repair and growth, your wound will heal at a slower pace. Since your body uses protein to build and repair skin, a high-protein diet can help ensure your skin is healing well. This is something to keep in mind as you age, since your skin will take longer to heal.

2. Your skin’s texture is smooth

If your skin feels smooth the majority of the time, you can assume that your skin is aging well. This is most likely due to a lack of sun damage, as well as hydrated skin. You also probably have your skin care routine down to a T. When your skin looks and feels consistently well hydrated and not dry or itchy, this means you’re doing a good job at moisturizing well after showering or washing your face.

Oftentimes, those who have dry skin and experience scaly patches lack hydration, which prevents skin from feeling smooth. When your skin isn’t hydrated, “natural hyaluronic acid, glycosaminoglycans, and other elements of the extracellular matrix can decrease with age, making the skin less hydrated and bouncy,” King explained.

3. You still have chubby cheeks or volume in your face

If your face is maintaining its facial volume or fat as you age, it’s a very good sign. King says that the factors that largely affect your facial volume are “sun exposure and other extrinsic aging factors, [which] can expedite the loss of healthy elastin fibers in our skin, increasing laxity and decreasing elasticity.”

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Full cheeks are a sign your collagen and elastic are in good shape.

“The collagen scaffolding in our skin provides skin strength and structure,” King added. So, when your facial volume is in good shape, you can guarantee that your skin has healthy collagen and elasticity. These components contribute to skin looking youthful and aging slowly.

4. Your skin tone has minimal discoloration

Moy says that if you have minimal sun spots — those flat, light brown spots on your face — this means that throughout your life, your cumulative sun exposure has been minimal, and you’ve done a great job protecting your skin well.

It’s commonly known that the sun is simply not good for your skin. “Daily sun-smart behavior is one of the most important things we can do to help our skin age well,” King explained. So, if you don’t use sun protection while outside, you are more at risk of seeing uneven skin tone and discoloration. “Much of the sun damage that accumulates in our skin is the result of daily incidental sun exposure,” she added.

However, if your skin is even toned and there isn’t really any discoloration, this is a sign that your skin is aging in the ideal and healthy way. “Over time, chronic sun exposure can increase dark spots, redness and yellowish discoloration in the skin,” King said.

Another culprit of discoloration is blue light from the screens of your phone, TV and other devices. “We’re spending a lot of time on our screens lately, and we’ve learned that blue light can not only affect our sleep and harm our eyes, it can also cause discoloration and aging of our skin,” King explained.

You can take precautions by using special products that protect your skin from the effects of blue light and other environmental stressors (like these from Ilia and PCA Skin).

5. You’ve never smoked

If you’ve abstained from smoking throughout your life, you’ve given your skin the opportunity to age properly and in a healthy way. “Smoking increases fine lines and wrinkles and leads to drier skin and many other complications deeper than the skin,” Moy explained.

Smoking can also lead to long-term effects such as uneven skin pigmentation, loss of elasticity and deep facial wrinkles. Some short-term effects of smoking can include yellowing of the fingers and nails and teeth discoloration, which may also make you look older than you are. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology says, “It is common for the skin of a 40-year-old heavy smoker to resemble that of a 70-year-old nonsmoker.”

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