Beauty is not skin deep. A youthful appearance goes beyond skin's surface and what sits underneath the skin plays an important role in anti-aging. Beauty typically focuses just on the skin, while ignoring the other factors that are involved in youth, but if you ignore the other aspects of anti-aging, all skin care measures that you undertake will not be effective.
In my research in skin care and anti-aging biology, I have found a pattern in those with a more youthful appearance, their commonalities, and based on that I have deduced that there are 4 primary components to a youthful appearance. Skin is one of them, and here are the other 3:
The muscle that sits underneath the skin is just as important as the skin that sits on top. Muscle's importance for keeping skin wrinkle-free is seen when comparing skin on the face to skin on the body, such as the legs or torso. The skin on the legs or torso do not wrinkle as easily or as prominently as skin on the face, and this is due in part to the muscle in these areas, which are more toned than on the face. This results in a more youthful look.
Muscle's role in anti-aging is also the reason why traditional facelifts fail to make a 60 year old woman look 30. Traditional facelifts only focus on skin wrinkling and sagging, while ignoring the muscle underneath. Muscle is so important in the youthfulness of ones appearance that modern facelifts are now focusing on tightening the muscles underneath the skin.
There are many reasons why someone who is 60 looks 60 and someone who is 20 looks 20 is only in part due to the skin. What is also at play is facial muscle tone. With age, muscle declines and when the muscles in the face diminish and atrophy this causes the skin to sag, and it also makes wrinkles more visible because the skin starts to deflate. Muscles thicken the skin in a way, and this not only keeps wrinkles at bay, it also makes existing wrinkles and lines less visible. Once the muscle is gone, the skin thins and makes wrinkles more visible, and new wrinkles more easily formed.
Muscle tone also declines with smoking, which is an explanation for why those who have smoked for a long period look older than those who do not smoke.
The role of muscle in skin's appearance is why I am an advocate for microcurrent treatments. It is the only skin treatment I believe works. Microcurrent treatments stimulate the muscle underneath the skin to contract, helping with growth and tone. Regular treatments with a microcurrent (3-5 days per week) will keep skin's appearance youthful.
The drawback, however is that microcurrent treatments are expensive, and I do not believe those little wands you can buy for $40-500 are effective. Effective microcurrent treatments require you to be able to change the types of currents and their intensity, and you can't really do that with those cheap wands that are sold online. I have a Biologique Recherche Remodeling Face machine (only sold to professionals) , which works, but if you do not have access to one of these machines, or microcurrent treatments, I recommend daily exercise instead. Keeping the muscle tone up in your body overall is the best thing you can do for your health, and those who maintain a proper exercise routine look younger than those who are sedentary.
And no, those face exercises, gua sha, or other gimmicks are just gimmicks and don't work. Muscle fibers need to break and contract to grow and develop tone. Face exercises and tugging/rubbing do not affect the muscle fibers. They just create more wrinkles and sagging.
A round, full face is associated with youth and that is because younger people have more facial fat and collagen than those who are older. Fat plumps the skin, keeps skin more uniform in appearance and keeps wrinkles from forming. As we age, we lose facial fat and collagen, and this give the hallmarked hollowness associated with an aged appearance. The hollowness makes wrinkles more visible and more easily formed, and it also promotes and highlights skin sagging.
Collagen is a lot harder to control for than fat. With collagen, you maintain your body's production by stimulating new skin cell growth, and preventing collagen degradation, all of which is done with the right skin care regimen.
But how fat is controlled in the body varies depending on age. Being overweight in youth will make you look older, and any weight loss will cause skin to sag and give a deflated aged appearance. On the other hand, being too thin in maturity will make you look much older and will make skin look more wrinkled.
Skin hydration maintains skin's thickness and structural integrity. When skin is dry, it becomes brittle and is more likely to form wrinkles.
When we do not drink enough water, this can cause skin deformities. And sometimes you can be dehydrated and not experience skin dryness, but water deficiency will manifest in the form of thinned skin.
If you have dry skin, this may not necessarily mean that you are not drinking enough water. If you drink enough water daily and still experience dry skin, this just means your skin is either not producing enough oil, it is not efficient at holding onto hydration, or a little of both. My skin used to always be on the dryer side, which is why I formulated OUMERE products with hydration being a top priority. My skin hasn't felt dry in 6 years so improvement is possible with skin care if you are also having issues with skin dryness.
Skin, like most things, is a complexity. Its problems and its solutions are not a one quick fix and your done. It is more involved than that, but that doesn't mean that the solution has to be difficult. As the above shows, a healthy lifestyle is always going to be your best bet for your best look.