The physical aging signs are things that many people (especially women) want to stop. There is this unfortunate idea that youth equals beauty. This idea permeates our media- causing the fear of the inevitable.
Ever since I was young, I have been hearing that black people age gracefully. The prospect of this used to excite me.
So, what the hell happened?!
We are all going to age!
Factors that go into how we show our age and when:
1. Race and face structure- People of different races have different face structures. This is how we can tell each other apart. It is also how forensic scientists are able to tell what race a person was based on their skull (that was really morbid wasn’t it?)
2. Skin- Our skin is different. This is true not just in tone but also thickness and elasticity.
3. Genetics- These have a role to play in how we age. Some of us are blessed to age slowly based on inherited genes and some of us age quicker. Some of us get gray hairs early and some of us do not get any until we are 60!
4. Lifestyle- The choices we make and the things we go through during our daily lives can affect the physical aging process. Some of these lifestyle factors include diet, hydration, stress and sleep.
Combine all these things together and you have people that age differently!
Black women and the aging process
Melanin is what makes our skin dark. The darker the skin, the more melanin. Black people tend to have a lot of a melanin.
Having a high amount of melanin protects us from some of the skin aging that is seen in people who have lighter skin tones. Because of this, it is not unheard of for black women to not develop wrinkles until around the age of 50.
Another thing that sets us apart from other races is that we have denser bones in our faces. This provides us with more structural support which also helps us to look younger for longer.
Black people do physically age though. It just looks a little different for us. Here are some common signs of aging that show up on our faces:
- Mottled pigmentation and hyperpigmentation- Our skin tends to get splotchy and uneven.
- Rough texture- Our skin tends to get rough in appearance and feel.
- Prominent nasolabial folds.
- Small degree of eyelid drooping.
My damn face
I do not feel I have received any of the delayed-aging benefits that come from having a lot of melatonin as well as dense facial bones. This could be for several reasons though. Let me give you a run-down of what is going on with my face.
- Lines under my eyes when smiling- These lines showed up around the age of 23. At that time, I had considerable eye allergies that made me rub them a lot. I am thinking that rubbing was the initial cause of them, but they have gotten a little worse over the years. I have not seen other people my age (almost 32) with them.
- Nasolabial folds- These folds are annoying. They showed up after I lost some baby weight and have not gone away. They make me look tired. I had gotten fillers a couple times (I hate admitting that) a few years ago, but I am unable to afford them now. To be honest, I am not quite sure if they made much of a difference anyways.
- Texture issues- My facial skin feels smooth but in certain areas, it does not look smooth. I think the cause is the combination of the acne I used to suffer and early aging.
- Hyperpigmentation- These dark spots are due to years of acne and picking. Although they are not from aging, they still are undesirable.
- Marionet lines- I have these lines that show up when I smile (they are worse on the left side of my face). They showed up faintly around four years ago but have deepened since I lost some fat.
So basically, I have not aged very gracefully in the face area. Maybe I just have bad genes? Who knows.
All I can do is keep applying sunscreen every two hours, try to get enough sleep each night, eat relatively healthy, work on my mental health and hopefully find some treatments for my skin issues. I guess my face will just keep aging the way it is meant to age.
It is what it is
So, I guess my black cracked. Who really cares though except for me?
Even though I am not particularly happy about how I am aging, I will not be getting fillers ever again. Nor will I ever get botox, a face lift or anything else like that. My goal is to be at peace when it comes to the physical aging process.
Thanks for reading this!
July 2022 update: My fine lines went away thanks (I think) in part to doing red light therapy every night as well as products with DMAE in it. Still Working on the hyperpigmentation though!
#aging #antiaging #skincare #medspa #wrinkles #beauty #women #over30