While we're busy obsessing over our crows' feet and gray hairs, and attacking our age spots and wrinkles with weapons-grade anti-aging potions, we often forget it's not just our faces that betray our age. Earlier this year we took to our Facebook page to ask our readers which body parts reveal our true age, regardless of how taut our faces are.
Here are some simple ways you can rejuvenate the oh-so-subtle signs of aging on all parts of your body.
Protect those hands
We often forget that our hands can be front and center just as much as your face. We shake hands when we first meet someone, talk animatedly with them, and yes, they're exposed to the elements as much, if not more, than our faces.
Like you'd grab a floppy sunhat before a day at the beach, make sure you don't leave the house without a pair of gloves. Whether you're driving, gardening, or golfing, your hands are exposed to the sun's UV rays, which some experts say cause up to 90 percent of all aging.
Have a good hair day
You might have noticed your hair isn't quite as thick, silky, or shiny as it used to be in your heyday. And don't even get us started on the grays.
As we age, the rate at which our hair grows, slows down a bit. Some follicles even stop producing hair entirely, leading to thinning. Others will stop producing as much melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color.
Part of fighting the aging process, is going with the flow and accepting you don't have the same things to work with. We have to break it to you, but it's time to finally part ways with the 80s perm or 90s hairstyle that got you so many compliments way back when.
Work with what you've got. Make sure you've got a face-flattering cut, something that frames your face so it stands out, rather than a heavy style that hides your features. If thinning hair is your nemesis, go for layers that add volume and dimensions to your look. Besides, any straight-across haircut looks harsh. Layers give a softer look.
And if your primary concern is hiding your grays, hair stylists say, make sure you don't go too dark. Unnaturally dark hair can look dated and unflattering. Opt for a lighter shade of the same hue, or even play with highlights and subtle lowlights to add dimension. Remember, change is good, even if it's hard.
Soften those elbows
There's not a ton you can do about loosened skin on your elbows with age, but that doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of long sleeves and cover-ups. We think there's nothing worse than dry, ashy skin on your elbows -- which might be one of the most neglected body parts.
The skin on our elbows is thicker than most places, which means the areas needs a little extra TLC. Exfoliation will help slough off dull, dry skin, and flakiness (ick). Make sure to use a good scrub or loofah to exfoliate. Some dermatologists even recommend using products containing glycolic acid to better penetrate the skin.
When you're all smoothed, apply a emollient cream, probably something a little richer than what you'd use all over your body. You can even use vaseline, a home remedy we swear by. Dr. Andrew Ordon of "The Doctors" even suggests slathering on the sticky stuff before you hit the shower, so the steam helps it sink in. And if you're feeling really motivated, he even recommends using a banana peel to get rid of any dryness.
Don't neglect the neck
While you're busy slathering on face creams, in upward circular motions or whatnot, all over your pretty face, don't forget the neck. Oh, yes. Avoid the dreaded "turkey neck" and remember the skin on your neck is actually more delicate than the skin on your face, which means, you should be putting it first.
Dermatologists stress that you should be giving the same care to your neck as you do your face. Make sure you're applying moisturizer (and sun protection) to your neck too. Look for ingredients like vitamin C and collagen in your skincare products as these boost cell turnover and keep your skin supple.
Don't forget to exfoliate either. Some dermatologists recommend exfoliating your neck at least once a week to improve tone and texture. And as always, seriously, don't forget your sun protection. That means SPF, or even using a scarf to keep your skin away from the sun's damaging rays.
Here's to aging gracefully.