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9 Body Parts That Reveal Your Age First

Skin experts reveal the body parts that start to change color and texture the earliest, plus the ways to slow the signs of aging.

Body parts may reveal your age

Anti-aging treatments target the face where signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and dark circles are more likely to appear. Your face becomes the main focus of our skin care regimen to attain a youthful glow. However, there are body parts, in addition to the face, that may reveal your age first. Here are the anti-aging secrets that can add years to your life.

Read on down below to learn about the body parts that start to change color and texture the earliest, plus, how to slow down these signs of aging.

old handshiroshi teshigawara/Shutterstock

Hands

Especially in women, the hands will be one of the first body parts you’ll notice showing signs of age, says board-certified dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD, FAAD, in Melville, New York. “Hormonal changes results in a loss of skin elasticity and volume loss on the backs of our hands,” she says. “These changes cause the crepey appearance of skin and also makes the veins very prominent.” Plus, your hands are rarely covered and form age spots from sun exposure, adding to the signs of aging.

Slathering sunscreen on your hands or slipping on a pair of driving gloves can block out the harmful [ultraviolet] UV rays, says Ivy Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Pasadena, California, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California Los Angeles. Here are more ways to get younger-looking hands.

Eye with crow's feetsruilk/Shutterstock

Eyes

“The skin around our eyes is thinner and forms wrinkles from repeated habits, such as squinting, smiling, and sun damage,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Most sunscreen formulas shouldn’t go near the eyes, but wearing sunglasses offers double protection: Blocking UV rays and reducing the need to squint. Plus, be sure to check the sunglasses myths that can ruin your eyes.

Close up Bare Lips and Nose of a Young African Womanmichaelheim/Shutterstock

Lips

Fine lines around your lips often develop after the ones by your eyes and on your forehead, says Dr. Papantoniou. Sun damage plays a role, but so do habits that purse your lips, such as drinking from straws and water bottles, she says. Learn more about how dermatologists get rid of lip lines.

Face of young girl with wrinkles like an old ladysruilk/Shutterstock

Forehead

Because you scrunch it for deep expressions, the forehead will also likely be one of the first places on your face to develop wrinkles, says Dr. Papantoniou. Products containing retinol increase collagen to reduce wrinkles, plus exfoliate dead skin to make your skin look brighter and softer. Dr. Lee recommends using Roc Multi Correxion 5 In 1 Restoring Facial Night Cream or a Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair product once a night (or every other night if your skin isn’t used to the drying products) to rejuvenate the skin.

Woman's chin and neckChris Tefme/Shutterstock

Neck

No matter how diligent you are about protecting your face from wrinkles, you might forget to bring that SPF down to your neck. Applying sunscreen to your exposed skin every day can keep sun damage at bay, but it won’t prevent all signs of aging. (Here are 7 sunscreen mistakes you’re making.) “‘Turkey neck’ is the term used to describe skin laxity that occurs as we age under the chin and upper neck area,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “This develops from a combination of volume loss and skin laxity.” If the loose skin is bothering you, ask a dermatologist about Ultherapy, a noninvasive treatment that uses ultrasound to tighten the skin, she suggests. Other options include Thermage, botulinum toxin injections for platysmal bands, and topical neck anti-aging creams that contain ingredients like retinol, antioxidants, and peptides.

female chest agingImage Source/Getty Images

Chest

Deep necklines leave the exposed area of your chest wide open for the damage of UV rays. You might start to notice broken blood vessels, sunspots, and discoloration, says Dr. Lee. If you don’t want to switch to higher necklines or add a cover up, she recommends applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30 containing titanium dioxide or zinc dioxide to your chest while you’re getting ready. Put it on before you get dressed so it can dry without getting on your clothes. Check out these other dermatologist-recommended tricks for getting rid of wrinkles.

legs older person, Knee Pain, elder osteoarthritisojoel/Shutterstock

Knees

The skin on your knees usually starts to sag before the rest of your legs do. “You have a lot of bony prominence and tendons and ligaments, but no fat and muscle,” says Dr. Lee. “You don’t have as much of that cushion to plump up the skin there, so that’s where you notice the hollows and boniness.” Salicylic acid and urea in skin care products exfoliate, so choosing a moisturizer that contains one—Dr. Lee recommends CeraVe Renewing SA Cream—will hydrate, brighten, and smooth to give your skin new life. Plus, here’s why the skin on your knees and elbows is darker.

Wrinkles and creases on his elbow. Old wrinkled elbow.Timonina/Shutterstock

Elbows

Like your knees, your elbows are mostly bone, without fat and muscle to plump them up. On top of that, people tend to lean on their elbows, and the weight of that puts stress on the area, says Dr. Lee. Using a moisturizer with salicylic acid or urea can rejuvenate leathery elbows. Also, check out the signs your skin care products are bad for your skin.

Gray hair menbogdych/Shutterstock

Hair

Most people notice their first gray hairs during middle age as their bodies stop producing pigment cells. However, for those who begin to grow grays before their 30s, also known as premature graying, it’s hereditary. Dermatologists abide by the 50/50/50 rule of thumb: By age 50, half of the population will have at least 50 percent gray hair. However, a worldwide survey published in the British Journal of Dermatology, found this percentage was actually lower. By age 50, only six to 23 percent of people with go half gray.

Is there a way to delay or prevent the growth of gray hair? Not at the moment. However, a correlation has been made between vitamin B intake and premature graying.

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Trichology suggests a common cause of premature gray hair is a vitamin B-12 deficiency. The researchers noted these deficiencies often occur alongside deficiencies in folic acid and biotin among people whose hair turned gray earlier than expected. Some data also shows that a build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair and free radical damage contribute to gray hair.

Next, find out the 15 signs your body is aging faster than you are.

Sources
  • Kally Papantoniou, MD, FAAD, dermatologist, Melville, New York
  • Ivy Lee, MD, board-certified dermatologist based in Pasadena, California, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California Los Angeles
  • British Journal of Dermatology: “Greying of the human hair: a worldwide survey, revisiting the ‘50’ rule of thumb”
  • International Journal of Trichology: “Prospective analytical controlled study evaluating serum biotin, vitamin B12, and folic acid in patients with premature canities”
Medically reviewed by Joshua Zeichner, MD, on April 17, 2020