You know about crow’s feet and laugh lines. Chances are good that you moisturize and exfoliate. But there are other parts of the body that show age in unflattering ways. What about your neck? Your teeth? Have you even looked at your hands?
As a rule of thumb, remember this: signs of aging come down to changes in texture and color. Hair fades and skin gets rough, whether it’s on your face or in other areas.
That said, there are anti-aging solutions, to identify problem areas and to treat them accordingly. Wanna know how to look younger? Let’s look at anti-aging solutions for oft-neglected betrayers of age.
How They Show Age: Years of food and drink can chisel away at and stain teeth, with a yellow or grey hue, made worse by smoking. Aged teeth look small and worn-down. And gums recede, which can give the appearance of gaps between teeth.
Your Solution: You can whiten teeth with a peroxide-based whitener like Crest Whitestrips Renewal, or have them whitened by your dentist. The latter can be expensive but produce more striking results.
Ask your dentist about crowns, veneers and recontouring if your teeth are small or chipped, and caps if your gums are receding.
How They Show Age: Look below your chin – just like your face, this area wears years of the elements, be it the sun or pollution, and it probably shows. Many women neglect this area, which can make for an interesting contrast when viewed with the smoother, better-cared-for skin of the face.
Your Solution: Treat your neck and chest with the same care you’d show your face. That means creams with antioxidants like vitamins A and C. Chemical peels, administered by your doctor, can fade age spots and tighten skin in this area. And apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SP F15 on a daily basis to reduce further damage.
How it Shows Age: Time, chemicals and environment. Combine them and they can murder your hair. A 25-year old can have 50-year old hair, and vice versa, depending on these factors. Aged hair takes many forms, but dryness is common, and you’ll see that in frizzy hair without shine. Thinning, dull hair or hair with dishwater color are other hallmarks of aged hair.
Your Solution: Hair needs moisture, especially as it ages, and it’s therefore good practice to avoid hot water and hot showers, which zap the scalp of its natural oils. Use a protein or antioxidant conditioner or treatment to strengthen hair and restore its shine after each shampoo.
Remember that the chemicals in hair-coloring can damage hair and contribute to aging. If you insist on coloring, skip the full treatment and color the new growth instead. Also, get a cut that gives movement to your hair. Keep ends trimmed and avoid firm-hold products and excessive perming. The Marge Simpson look doesn’t age well (just look at her mother!).
How They Show Age: You use your hands so often it makes sense that they get a little worn down. Soaps, handling papers in the office, even getting a manicure can age your hands, often characterized by a bony appearance, with sun spots and visible veins.
Your Solution: Use sunscreen. It’s one of the best anti-aging tips out there. Do it often, along with a daily hand moisturizer. Use an exfoliant to improve circulation. Ask your doctor about laser therapy to improve the appearance of extremely thin skin. Restylane injections also work well, but are more expensive and can be painful. Anti-aging doesn’t have to hurt.