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How to care for your skin as you get older

 Some treatments help stimulate collagen and reduce wrinkles (Photo: Shutterstock)

When you’re young and carefree, and African, it’s very easy to overlook the effects our lifestyle might have on our skin as we age. 

Truth be told, the older you get, your skin starts to change. The muscle and fat on your face thins, pores appear larger, your skin is less elastic, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines become more pronounced.

Even though we like to boast that ‘black don’t crack’ you will need to do a bit more in terms of care to ensure that you keep it looking youthful. Since your skin cells aren’t getting rejuvenated as fast as they were when you were younger and you have less natural oils, your skin will appear dry and sometimes, flaky. 

Below are some tips on how to care for your skin as you get older.

1. Wear sunscreen

This is a must for every age group, whether you’re in your 20s or in your 60s. The sun produces harmful rays that can damage your skin and can speed up the process of aging. According to dermatologist Dr David Lortscher, there is a delay between when you get sun damage and when you begin to see it’s effects. Thus, the earlier you begin to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays the better. But a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and as you get older, increase the SPF to 50. Wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine, and even as you work on your computer at home.

2. Retinoids

This is a derivative of Vitamin A that is used as an anti-aging treatment. As you get older, your skin produces less and less collagen, your skin becomes less elastic, leading to sagging and wrinkles become more pronounced. Some women even get acne breakouts like they did in their youth.  

Retinoids can help repair these. It stimulates collagen, treats acne, treats wrinkles and can prevent formation of new ones. 

According to Healthline, retinoids can lead to photosensitivity thus you must wear sunscreen if you’re using it every day.

Apart from the topical Vitamin A, eat a diet rich in Vitamin-A nutrients. Foods such as leafy vegetables, cantaloupes, carrots, oranges, eggs, milk and cheese contain vitamin A.

3. Vitamins C and E

This works as a great alternative if retinoids are not for you. Vitamins C and E contain antioxidants with many benefits for your skin. They can help reduce hyperpigmentation caused by sunspots and acne scars. It stimulates the growth of collage, repairs UV damage and helps fight wrinkles. 

Apart from topical treatments, you can get antioxidants from sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, papaya, spinach, peppers, tangerines, etc.

To further protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when you go out.

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