In this year and in each of the next 3 years, more than one million Americans will turn 50. Like it or not, baby boomers are getting older.

Aging brings with it wisdom, more leisure time and unfortunately, wrinkles and other maladies.

According to one survey, roughly half of those aged 35 to 62 consider themselves at least somewhat concerned about aging. The survey also showed that 60 percent of Americans would take steps to look younger. Steps cited include the use of skin products or sunscreen to reduce or prevent wrinkles. More drastically, 12 percent said they would resort to cosmetic surgery to restore their youthful appearance.

What is driving this anti-aging fever? Pressures associated with a competitive workplace make a youthful appearance a business advantage. The desire to look only as old as you feel also is a factor. A recent survey conducted for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that typical boomers "feel" nearly 10 years younger than they actually are.

Changes in Skin as it Ages

The areas most often exposed to the elements, the face and hands, are also the areas most likely to show the first signs of aging. Among the telltale signs are lines that form around the lips. But it's the lips themselves that really speak volumes.

Skin Change Results
Less collagen is manufactured Can cause skin to look and feel thin or more delicate
The quality of skin's elastin deteriorates, so it breaks down easily Skin can become less elastic and wrinkles can develop
The skin's "barrier function" can begin to break down Skin can become more vulnerable to cosmetic and medical problems

"Lips have an extremely thin outer protective layer," explains Dr. Charles Zugerman, associate professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University Medical School. "As the body ages, the already thin layer becomes progressively thinner."

"To compound matters, we lose the oil and water barrier that keeps lips hydrated," adds Dr. Zugerman. "Without proper attention, lips can age faster than other areas of skin." Lips require more moisturizing and conditioning as they get older, therefore it is particularly important to protect aging lips. "Many people are surprised to find out that some cumulative damage to the lips and the skin resulting from years of overexposure to the sun, cold air and harsh weather is actually reversible," says Dr. Zugerman. He suggests reintroducing moisture to lips and then protecting them carefully to minimize, and in some cases even reverse, the effects of aging on the lips.

Blistex Lip Ointment contains medicated ingredients to relieve dryness and cracking and is the only leading lip care ointment that contains moisture to rehydrate dry lip cells. Protecting lips from the sun is essential. Dr. Zugerman recommends using a product with a sunscreen rating of SPF 15 (15 times lips' natural protection) or greater such as Blistex Soft & Lush or Blissful Butters. "Collagen is the protein that gives lips body and resilience. Sun damage, even if it is not visible on the surface, can alter its composition and lead to wrinkles," says Dr. Zugerman.

A New Wrinkle on Lip Wrinkles

Over time, the cumulative effects of aging and exposure to sun and weather can result in the development of fine lines and wrinkles on the lips. While no one can erase all the effects of time, advances in technology and our understanding of the aging process have lead to options to combat the effects of time. One of those options is Blistex Deep Renewal. Deep Renewal combines Coenzyme Q-10, hyaluronic filling spheres and a vitaminĀ & anti-oxidant complex to help combat the cumulative effects of aging and reduce the appearance of visible signs of aging. In addition, Deep Renewal provides Broad Spectrum SPF 15 that works to protect lips from new damage.