One common side effect of aging is finding that your skin looks and feels dry and dull. It may appear “crepey” — thin and wrinkled like crepe paper. As we age, the outer skin layer (also known as the epidermis) thins and the number of pigment-containing cells decreases, while changes in connective tissue weaken the skin’s strength and elasticity.

Of course, people under 40 aren’t magically protected from the frustrating problem of dry, dull skin. People of all ages may notice that their skin doesn’t look its best during the winter months, which is because low environmental humidity and low temperatures decrease the skin’s barrier functions.

But don’t despair just yet — although your skin will inevitably change as you age (just like the rest of your body), there are ways to minimize the damage and rejuvenate the skin. In addition to preventive measures, a wide variety of skin care products and treatments are available to provide a helping hand.

Preventive measures

By now most of us have realized our mothers were right when they told us just how important it is to use sunscreen. But even if you haven’t always been vigilant about protecting your skin from the sun, it’s never too late to start. In addition to applying sunscreen (minimum SPF 30) on your face whenever you’re going to be outside, you may also want to look into antipollution skin care products. Research has shown that toxic air is linked to premature skin aging and inflammation, and exposure to exhaust fumes, heavy metal emissions, and smoke of any kind (including secondhand cigarette smoke) are the major culprits.

One of the more recent skin care trends is products aimed at protecting your skin from the effects of toxic air, and it’s certainly worth considering adding a vitamin C serum or cream to your skin care regimen. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, a topical form of vitamin C can serve as a barrier between your skin and both air pollution and UV rays. The protection provided by high-quality serums, creams, and powders has been shown to be approximately 20 times stronger than simply taking vitamin C orally.

When it comes to skin care, the keywords are “high quality” — you always want to do your research before investing in a product and incorporating it into your daily routine. When selecting a product, steer clear of those that contain derivatives of vitamin C and instead look for L-ascorbic acid products; they are the only topical vitamin C skin care products that are fully absorbed by the skin.

Skincare products aside, lifestyle choices also play a major role in how your skin fares during the aging process. “Staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and minimizing alcohol and sugar consumption really helps to keep your skin to look not as dry and dull,” says Grace Cheong, founder of RenewAlliance, a Bellevue-based nutricosmetics company.

Hyaluronic acid supplements and skin care products

Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by your body and is found in the skin, joints and eyes. It’s considered a key molecule in skin aging due to its ability to retain water and keep the skin hydrated. “Having sufficient levels of hyaluronic acid helps boost the hydration within the skin’s dermis,” says Cheong. As we age, we lose skin moisture — and that’s where hyaluronic acid skin care products come in. A 2017 study found that participants who took hyaluronic acid supplements experienced an improvement in their skin condition and a decrease in wrinkles compared to the individuals in the placebo group.

In addition to supplements like the ones offered by RenewAlliance, there are a wide variety of hyaluronic skin care products on the market, including lotions and creams — and they’re not all created equal. “Find a reputable brand and make sure the formulation is good,” Cheong advises. Before purchasing a product, she says it’s important to look at the top three ingredients. “If you want hyaluronic acid to work for you, the first ingredient listed needs to be hyaluronic acid,” she says. Cheong also cautions against taking any supplements that contain artificial sugar.

Chemical peels

For some, a more extreme treatment is called for. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, chemical peels are an effective way to reduce signs of aging — mainly on the face, although they can also be used on the hands, neck, and chest.

The process is fairly straightforward: A chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing it to peel off. The “new” skin is typically smoother and has fewer wrinkles. “When you peel the skin it stimulates collagen production,” says Cheong — and, of course, collagen is a protein that gives your skin more structure and reduces the “crepey” look we all want to avoid.

Taut Hydrate hyaluronic acid vegan supplement is perfect for dry, dull, dehydrated, sunken and uneven skin. High-potency plant-based hyaluronic acid and grapeseed extract work synergistically to plump and super-hydrate skin, improve firmness, smoothness and visibly reduce signs of skin imperfections.