People Who Live in Colorado Have a Higher Risk of Wrinkles Than People Living in Other States.
RoC Skincare published their 2016 wrinkle ranking for United States cities. The rankings are meant to inform people about their risk for wrinkles AND to be a call for prevention. A high score indicates cities where skin is most prone to wrinkles – like the 2016 winner, Riverside, California.
The factors that held the most weight in the ranking were:
- UVA & UVB EXPOSURE - UV exposure is determined by cloud cover, latitude & elevation.
- RACIAL & ETHNIC DEMOGRAPHICS - Dark skin is less prone to wrinkles when compared to light skin.
- EXTREME TEMPERATURES (highs and lows)
- COMMUTE TIME - Commute times add to stress, but they can affect your skin in other ways as well. UV radiation comes into the car through your windows – and accumulates over years of daily commuting, contributing to wrinkles.
- SMOKING - Smokers get more wrinkles.
- STRESS LEVELS - Daily stress levels greatly affect your skin and wrinkle formation and can include feeling “dissatisfied with life” and “a lack of emotional support.”
In 2016, Riverside, California, got the top ranking because of its sunny weather, hot summers, dryness, pollution, and lengthy commutes. Binge drinking, long work weeks, unhealthy eating, and a high percentage of smokers also puts a city higher on the list.
Surprisingly, residents of high sunshine cities don't always have the highest risk for wrinkles. While places like Oregon, (with only a few sunny days and some of the highest stress factors in the 2015 RoC Wrinkle Ranking) had some of the highest rates of melanoma.
The top 10 most wrinkle prone cities for 2016 according the the RoC study:
Coloradans have a high risk of wrinkles! Denver is number 6!
1. Riverside, CA
2. New York City, NY
3. Philadelphia, PA
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Baltimore, MD
6. Denver, CO
7. Chicago, IL
8. Newark, NJ
9. Saint Louis, MO
10. Orlando, FL
10 Ways to Prevent Wrinkles in Colorado:
1. Don’t smoke. Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David Reath, says,
“The nicotine in cigarettes impairs blood flow to your skin so it doesn’t get as much oxygen and other important nutrients like vitamin A. Tobacco smoke also damages collagen, which is what gives your skin strength and elasticity. As a result, your skin starts to wrinkle and sag.”
2. Our extreme temperature changes are hard on skin. Use a moisturizer to protect your skin’s “barrier” from breakdown. Good skin care in our dry Colorado climate should include a moisturizer made for your skin type (oily, dry, combination, etc.). You may need to experiment to find the one that works best for your skin. Generally, thicker formulas are better for dry skin. If your skin is oily, try formulations that are thin and say “non-comedogenic” (meaning they won’t cause acne). Learn more in our blog post about Moisturizers.
3. Coloradans live at high elevation. We're exposed to more UV radiation because we are closer to the sun than people at lower elevations. Our sunny days make us squint, which creates crow’s feet at the outside edges of our eyes. The good news is that there are lots of ways to protect our skin from the sun. Wearing rash guards, sunglasses, and hats is a great way to fight wrinkles.
- Hats provide shade - and shade is the best protection from sun damage.
- Wear 100% UV rated sunglasses. Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays – they also protect the skin around your eyes from sun damage (like crow’s feet).
- UV Protective clothing (like rashguards) can be found with a UPF rating of 50 or greater - which blocks over 98% of the sun's harmful rays. People with sensitive skin or allergies to ingredients in sunscreens can use UV protective clothing without fear of an allergic reaction. UV clothing protects against wrinkles, sun damage and skin cancer. And unlike sunscreen, clothing won't rub off.
4. Use sunscreen daily. The best sunscreen only blocks about 55% of the sun’s damaging rays. It’s not as much as you'd hope, but it's a LOT better than nothing. To keep your skin looking its best, a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen is essential. The most effective sunscreens use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect the sun’s harmful rays. For the best result you’ll need to reapply every couple of hours. Some formulations are available in a powder form that make them easy to reapply. Learn more in our post, Sunscreen – Why You Need More UVA Protection and Physical Sunscreen vs. Chemical | Which Is Better?
5. The American Lung Association rated Denver #12 and Fort Collins #24 among the most polluted cities in the nation for 2019. Ozone pollution levels here are very high. To protect your skin, incorporate antioxidants into your skincare regimen. Topical antioxidants, like C E Ferulic, protect against free radical formation and skin damage.
CE Ferulic by SkinCeuticals is the gold standard in antioxidants. There are evidence based studies to prove that it works. C E Ferulic stops sun damage that your sunscreen doesn't. In other words, it's for the 45% of the sun’s rays that get past your sunscreen. Vitamins C and E speed up new collagen production (to reduce wrinkles) and increase your skin’s own natural ability to fight sun damage. The ferulic acid steps it up a notch. It is antioxidant based sun and pollution protection.
CE Ferulic is expensive, but can be applied every 72 hours. The manufacturer says even when applying it every 3 days, you still get great protection and the bottle should last about 6 months. Learn more in our blog posts, Vitamins C and E for Skin and SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic | Why It's Won 35 Beauty Awards and Antioxidants - Why Your Skin Needs Them.
6. Retinoids thicken your skin and fend off wrinkles by increasing collagen and elastin production - so use one nightly. There are over 700 published studies that have proven how good these skincare products are for skin. Retinoids are a form of Vitamin A that speed up collagen production (which reduces wrinkles) and even out skin tone. If you have dark spots on your skin, they'll reduce them. The higher the percentage of retinol (the over the counter version), the better the result.
It's very important to use sunscreen when using retinoids. They're inactivated by the sun, so they won’t have any effect if you don’t use sunscreen. This is also why most manufacturer’s instructions recommend them for nightly use. Learn more in our post, Want Younger Looking Skin? 3 Ways Retinoids Make Your Skin Beautiful.
7. Our winters are dry! Use a humidifier to keep your skin looking its best.
8. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration shows quickly in your skin.
10. Stress is in a category all it's own. If you can control your stress, you'll age better. Long commute times contribute to stress and continuous stress causes internal changes that cause wrinkles. Your body makes the stress hormone cortisol – which can sensitize skin and trigger inflammation.
Stress causes deterioration on a cellular level called glycation. Glycation happens when sugar binds to our DNA, proteins and lipids (fats), making them less effective. As we get older, glycation causes a decrease in circulation, stiffening of the skin – and wrinkles – and increased malfunction of body tissue. Try these tips for dealing with stress.
Daily stress contributes to wrinkles and gray hair. Worry leads to poor eating habits, less time for exercise, cigarette smoking and irregular sleep – which can speed up the aging process. Frowning, brow tensing and tightening of facial and neck muscles (that can come with stress) also contribute to premature aging. It's important to make time for exercise!
Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good and distracts you from your worries.
Make time for friends! They help you to keep stressful things in perspective!
These days, getting wrinkles really is optional. There are great ways to prevent them - and if you do get wrinkles, there are lots of ways to minimize them.
But remember, preventing wrinkles will always work best!
Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery. Amy loves research and constantly watches for new products and treatments to help you improve your skin’s health – because healthy skin is beautiful! To reach Amy, visit our contact page.
Learn more about the different kinds of skin rejuvenation in our post, Skin Rejuvenation | The Most Common Procedures, What They Treat, & How Much They Cost.
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The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some - like melanoma - can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!
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