Are you avoiding wearing those shorts or sleeveless tops because you’re self conscious about your knees and elbows? Aging means more wrinkles, and numerous factors can be to blame. Less collagen production, less elastin production, slowed skin cell renewal, sun damage and other environmental factors. However it’s those elbows and knees that seem to take the brunt of the damage.
So what causes wrinkles in the elbow and knee area? First of all, these areas are in constant motion, working to move with the joints — bending and straightening throughout the day. Extra skin is gathered around these areas to enable the limbs to bend to the maximum allowable by the joints, and to stretch out as far as possible. Without this extra skin, you would not be able to comfortably bend your limbs to perform every day tasks. Young skin “snaps” back into place, however when you age, the skin tends to sag when we straighten our limbs. This skin tends to become less elastic as we age due to the lesser production of collagen and elastin and eventually drys out, causing flaky and dehydrated skin. The body also produces fewer skin cells as we age. The skin therefore becomes thinner and sags over when our limbs are straightened out. All this constant movement takes a toll on the elbow and knee skin, and eventually becomes weak. Sun exposure on these areas can also cause long term aging effects.
All may not be lost however. There are fairly simple treatments that can help you:
Use an alpha hydroxy acid in your skin care routine. The thick build up of skin on your elbow and knee areas will look dull and rough as you age. An acid constituent such as glycolic acid will loosen up the glue-like proteins that hold the skin cells together so they can be shed. With regular use, the skin will get smoother, softer and more youthful looking. Find a solution of glycolic acid with 12 to 20% AHA. Apply it before bed every other night to test it out to make sure your skin doesn’t get irritated. Once you’re sure it has no adverse effects, increase the frequency to every night. Exfoliate with a washcloth, or scrub gently to help get rid of the dead skin cells.
Get a really good moisturizer. Regular body lotion isn’t usually strong enough to rehabilitate cracked, dry elbows and knees. Upgrade to a formula that contains urea, a powerful humectant that hydrates while loosening up the intracellular proteins holding the dead skin in place. A lotion that contains Hyaluronic acid is recommended as well. Urea locks in moisture while Hyaluronic acid reduces the appearance of dry lines and wrinkles. We strongly recommend SilcSkin’s very own Hand Treatment. It’s made from 100% medical grade silicone and is hypoallergenic, fragrance free, long lasting, non-comedogenic and non-irritating. Squeeze out a pearl size drop and rub it into the skin until it’s absorbed.
Start weight training. Loss of muscle and bone mass can contribute to sagging skin. Lifting weights will encourage tautness by keeping your bones strong and producing muscle definition to help support the skin. Strength training three to four times a week is enough to increase muscle mass and slow bone loss in as little as 10 weeks.
Don’t forget nutrition. A diet rich of healthy and sensible choice of foods like fruits, especially citrus fruits and berries, vegetables, sprouts, vegetable juices, whole grains, nuts, seeds are rich in vital nutrients and anti-oxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and act as a perfect guard against aging, weakness and diseases.
Remember to make these remedies a regular part of your routine. You’ll be a step closer to the elbows and knees of your youth. Say hello to those shorts and sleeveless tops!