We all try to strike that balance between aging gracefully -- and not looking as though we're older than we really are. With age, your skin thins and grows less elastic. As a result, wrinkles, age spots and skin tags become more common. Generally speaking, you can promote healthier skin by bathing in warm -- and not hot -- water. You should also wear sunscreen and not smoke.
But even if you've done everything right, there are some body parts that just seem destined to betray your age no matter what you do. We asked our Facebook friends what body part reveals their age. The most common responses? Neck, hands and face. We've put together a list of the six body parts that betray your age first -- with some helpful hints on how to keep yourself from looking too old, too fast. What do you think? Let us know in comments.
Always exposed to the elements, your hands probably give away your age more than any other body part. Experts say sun damage is the biggest culprit. As a result, you should apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands, in addition to a good hand cream at least once a day. According to one expert, it's important to keep your hands well moisturized with thick creams -- particularly overnight. And the sooner you establish a daily regimen the better. Even though hands usually start looking older in one's 20s, most people don't recognize the signs of aging until their 30s or 40s, and most people won't start changing their routines until they notice the appearance of serious aging signs.
Freckles may look adorable when you're a kid but dark spots on your face as you grow older are just, well, unattractive. But there is good news. There are ways to lighten your dark spots and brighten your skin tone. According to some experts, the easiest thing you can do to treat all types of hyper-pigmentation is to add a brightening serum to your regimen. In addition, try eating a diet that's good for your skin. When it comes to wrinkles, it may actually work to your disadvantage to be thin, oddly enough. Indeed one study from 2009 found that losing as little as 10 pounds can age a woman by four years.
As you grow older, your eyelids will stretch and the muscles supporting them will grow weaker. Unfortunately, this can lead to a surplus of fat above and below your eyelids, creating unflattering bags under your eyes. "My eyelids are melting and soon will hang in front of my eyes like little curtains," said one of our Facebook friends. Short of surgery, there are a few things you can do to help with this issue, including drinking more water, getting more sleep and consuming less salt. There also are a few creams on the market that many believe reduce puffiness.
Nora Ephron wasn't the only one worried about a turkey neck. "The truly astonishing thing is how a body part can age 10 years almost overnight. My hands did. My neck seems to have collapsed in the space of a single year," said one post-50 friend. Indeed your neck often looks older before anything else because its skin is thinner than that on your face. Preventative measures such as the use of the same products you put on your face are a good idea -- so long as you do it before your neck has dramatically changed appearance. Makeup artist Bobbi Brown has offered some tips on hiding a turkey neck, such as wearing a nice scarf or a pretty blush that will draw attention away from your neck.
Unfortunately, there's not a lot that can be done about the loose skin developing on your elbows. You can try using a moisturizer or cream -- or wearing long-sleeved shirts. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone -- most people suffer from dry skin on their elbows as they age. To blame are the sun, stress, smoking, not enough liquids and the loss of sweat and oil glands.
Not only does your hair become thinner and grayer with age, but it also becomes more dry and brittle. Experts say you can add moisture to your hair by using certain oils. You can also give your strands some TLC by scrapping harsh chemicals and trying protein-rich hair treatments instead.