How To Use Skincare for Premature Aging

How To Use Skincare for Premature Aging

Aging is a common skincare concern for most — if not all — people at one point or another. Depending on genetics, lifestyle habits, and a wide range of other factors, your skin can start to look a bit older than you feel.

“It can be challenging to turn back the clock on your complexion, but… you may be able to avoid developing those visible signs of premature aging in the first place.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

Luckily, there are things you can do to address premature aging and prevent visible signs of aging from showing up in the first place. From incorporating powerful ingredients into your daily skincare routine to protecting your skin from damage and practicing healthy lifestyle habits, there are many steps you can take to stay looking young through the aging process.

So let’s talk about what causes premature aging and what you can do to help address the early signs.

What Does Premature Aging Look Like?

How you age depends on both your genetics and your lifestyle. Aging is inevitable for everyone, but if you’re younger than 35 and you’re noticing some visible signs of aging, you might consider it premature.

Signs of premature aging include sunspots, which are dark spots of excess pigmentation on your skin. Sunspots, also called age spots or liver spots, are flat rather than raised. They’re generally harmless, but again, if you’re noticing some sunspots and you’re in your twenties or early thirties, it could be a sign of premature aging.

Excessively dry or itchy skin unrelated to a skin condition or allergy may also be a sign of premature aging. As you get older, your skin gets thinner, which makes it more vulnerable to dehydration and itching.

Similarly, aging can also lead to a reduction in collagen production, less skin elasticity, and fewer fat deposits in your face and other areas of your body. All of these combined can cause visible signs of aging, like sagging skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and even dark circles in your under-eye area. Hair loss may also occur due to fewer stem cells within your hair follicles.

What Causes Premature Aging?

Premature skin aging can be overwhelming and may begin to affect your confidence — especially when your body doesn’t seem to be aging at the same rate as your peers. Naturally, you may be wondering what’s causing these effects. There are a number of different things that can lead to premature aging.

Lifestyle Factors

There are certain lifestyle factors that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles showing up more quickly than they would with normal aging. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and excessive caffeine intake may make you more prone to experiencing visible signs of aging at a younger age.

This is because alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate your body. If you’re consuming too much of either of these, this dehydration can cause your skin to sage or lose its shape over time. 

Additionally, fine lines and wrinkles are more visible on dehydrated skin. Smoking can expose your skin to toxins, including free radicals, which may lead to oxidative stress, a common culprit behind premature aging.

Simple things like how much sleep you’re getting, how you’re managing your stress, whether or not you’re eating a balanced diet, and the pollution in your environment can also lead to premature aging. 

Self-care can seem unimportant if you’re focused on a busy job or packing in the social hours, but it’s important to be mindful of how you’re treating yourself and how your environment is affecting you. This can affect everything from your skin to your physical wellness and immune system.


This is true of skin aging, whether it’s premature or not; your genetics have a lot to do with how you age. But, while you may be able to derive some comfort by looking at your parents, there’s no surefire way to know what your skin will look like in the future. Remember that lifestyle choices can also impact skin aging, and the effects of those choices can show up whether you have good genes or not.

That said, there are also certain medical conditions that are associated with premature aging. 

Sun Exposure

If you spend a lot of time in a tanning bed, premature aging may be related to sun damage. Spending too much time in the sun without any sun protection can expose your skin to damaging UV rays. If you never wear sunscreen, there’s a chance that your visible signs of aging are related to this.

What Can You Do To Prevent Premature Aging?

One of the best times to start using anti-aging skincareis yesterday — which is to say, it’s never too early to start. But in addition to skincare (which I’ll talk about shortly), a good way to prevent premature aging is to take care of yourself on every level.

That means managing your stress, maintaining a good sleep schedule, and eating a balanced diet. All of these things can impact your skin both positively and negatively — and it helps that when you’re staying on top of these basic things, you’ll likely feel much younger, too.

Another way you can prevent visible signs of aging is to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. I like Supergoop!’s Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50, which is included in this Treat & Protect Travel Set. Wearing sunscreen daily can minimize the visible effects of photoaging and help support the appearance of a healthy aging process.

You can also prevent premature aging by examining your skincare products and being consistent with your routine. Let’s talk about some easy changes or additions you can make to your routine to both prevent visible signs of premature aging and to address it if it has already happened.

What Can You Do About Visible Signs of Aging?

While you can’t necessarily reverse visible signs of aging, it is possible to minimize the effects they have on your skin. Let’s talk about some basic products to work into your skincare regimen.

Use Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants can help slough away dead skin cells, leading to a brighter, more even skin tone. This can help reduce the appearance of premature aging over time. My Lactic Acid Serum is a gentle option that can deliver an immediate glow and may help to address visible signs of premature aging over time.

Prioritize Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help to fight damaging free radicals. They’re no replacement for sunscreen, but when combined with daily sun protection, they can help prevent visible signs of aging and address the symptoms of premature aging after they’ve begun.

Both vitamin C and retinol are wonderful antioxidants. I prefer retinol because it’s a powerful antioxidant with the ability to penetrate deeply into your skin to help rejuvenate and refresh your complexion. My Retinol Reform Anti-Aging Serum is a great alternative to harsh traditional retinoids, and also features lactic acid to help support a brighter, smoother complexion.

Use a Hydrating Moisturizer

Hydration is crucial when it comes to keeping your complexion looking youthful. This is because dryness is a common symptom of premature skin aging and can make fine lines and wrinkles more apparent.

Dry skin can be more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines, which are smaller wrinkles that occur in the epidermis. To support your skin, try moisturizing at the end of your skincare routine and after you shower.

Seek Professional Treatments

If your premature skin aging is particularly intense, speak to your dermatologist. There are many options available to you in addition to topical products, including laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and even more intensive treatments like Botox and dermal fillers.

The Bottom Line

Addressing premature aging can be achievable with the right skincare routine and some adjustments to your lifestyle. By utilizing brightening and smoothing ingredients, protecting your skin from the sun’s potentially harmful rays, and making good life choices, you can help maintain a youthful, radiant complexion.

It’s important to remember, however, that some of the best skincare measures are preventative. It can be challenging to turn back the clock on your complexion — but if you develop consistent habits around your skincare and lifestyle early on, you may be able to avoid developing those visible signs of premature aging in the first place.


Skin Disorders in Elderly Subjects | NIH

Werner Syndrome | MedlinePlus

11 Ways to Reduce Premature Skin Aging | American Academy of Dermatology Association


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