Some of the healthiest and happiest seniors are in Utah — due to the state’s outdoor culture and the healthy lifestyles of its residents. However, the state’s environment can be particularly harsh. With elevation comes dry air, higher concentrations of ultraviolet radiation, and polluted air from winter inversions. Your looks don’t stand a chance unless you take preventive efforts or get the help of experts.
1. Stay in the Shade
The single most damaging thing to your skin is sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the leading cause of visible skin aging — and UV concentration goes up with elevation. Utah is bombarded by 30-50 percent higher concentrations of UV. The state has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the nation (second only to Hawaii). Stay in the shade or make your own to avoid direct sunlight. Wear big hats to cover your face from the sun or bring an umbrella when you walk outside.
2. Get Rid of Dirt and Grime
Pollution can be harmful to the skin. Pores can get clogged by dirt and particulates — causing breakouts, irritation, and eczema. Dirt and grime can also penetrate into the skin and damage the collagen and elastin that keep the skin firm. Utah is no stranger to pollution, especially during winter inversions. Dirt and particulates can be hard to remove with just a quick shower. You’ll need to properly clean your face, preferably with a mild exfoliant. Keep your eye out on the air quality index (AQI), and avoid going out if it gets particularly bad.
Dryness leaves skin vulnerable to cracking and wrinkling. Dry air can cause problems, and Utah is the 6th driest state in the nation. Humidity-wise, your skin will get more moisture in the Sahara than in Salt Lake City. The thinner air also makes you breathe shallower and faster, increasing your moisture loss. Compensate for the arid air by using moisturizers before you sleep — ideally, cream-based. Bring mist sprays to work and use a swamp cooler in your bedroom. Make sure to drink lots of water. Elevation reduces feelings of thirst, and varying levels of dehydration are quite common among Utah residents.
4. Stop Smoking
Inhaled smoke —whether from cigarettes, cannabis, or car fumes — can damage your skin. Low oxygen levels in the blood can cause a dull or gray pallor on the skin. Nicotine also damages the collagen and elastin in your skin, leaving it vulnerable to sagging and wrinkling. Fortunately, the effects of smoking are largely reversible. Staying smoke-free for a month will get your collagen and elastin levels back to normal, and you’ll be rid of the smoker’s pallor.
5. Lose a Few Pounds
Just gaining a few pounds can make you look 5-10 years older. Maintaining a proper weight will make you look younger, and you’ll avoid most of the issues and problems that stem from being overweight or obese. Extra weight can cause undue damage to your ligaments, tendons, and skeletal system — leading to mobility problems down the line. Keep the weight off with a proper diet and a bit of exercise. You’ll look and feel better and you’ll avoid the costly trips to the hospital.
Get Back Your Looks With a Bit of Help
If the ravages of time and environment have already taken their toll on your skin, you can still get back your youthful looks with some Botox. Applied properly, Botox treatments can soften lines and wrinkles. Injections can take 5-20 years off your natural age. Make sure you go to a proper aesthetician or you might get stuck with chipmunk cheeks.
2. Fake Hair
Baldness is one of the clearest signs of aging. Artificial hairpieces like wigs and toupees can hide the problem, but they can also lead to embarrassing situations if you’re not careful. One good option is SMP or scalp micropigmentation. It’s similar to a tattoo and can give you the look of a full head of hair.
If you want to lose 5-20 pounds but don’t have the time or the drive — bodysuits are a lifesaver. Bodysuits hug tightly into your body, shaping it into a more desirable contour. They won’t magically turn you into a supermodel, but you’ll fit better into a tux or a dress.
The quest for the fountain of youth starts early and doesn’t have to end when you’re old. Take steps to slow down the hands of time or forcibly turn it back with the help of your favorite aesthetician.