It’s going to happen. Your body is going to age, and your skin will show it. Aging causes your skin to thin and dry out, lose elasticity as collagen and elastin production lessen, decrease in plumpness as fat pads diminish and wrinkle from the wear and tear of life and sun exposure. These are the things you can’t control, but there are a number of things you can influence to slow down how your skin ages. Follow these 10 anti aging tips for preserving your skin’s health and happiness for longer.
Most of the aging your skin undergoes is due to sun exposure. Wrinkles? Liver or age spots? Fine lines? All heavily influenced by how much sun exposure you have had over your lifetime. So, wear sunscreen daily, whether you are at the pool or going to the office. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 as a critical part of your anti aging skin care. Many facial moisturizers have sunscreen in them and can be applied before you put on your make-up for the day. Don’t neglect putting sunscreen on other areas of your body that will see the daylight. If you are going to be in the sun for any extended time, make sure to re-apply every 2 hours and immediately after being in the water or sweating. Don’t forget to stay in the shade whenever possible and to wear protective clothing for extended sun exposure: broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long sleeves and long pants or skirts. If you want the golden, sun-bathed look, use a self-tanner. Don’t visit the tanning bed -- they have the same harmful UV rays that the sun does.
Smoking causes your skin to age quickly and prematurely. Habitual smokers develop more wrinkles, fine lines and droopy skin around the eyes and a dull or sallow complexion. Nicotine in tobacco narrows the blood vessels in your skin, keeping oxygen and important nutrients from reaching your skin. The squinting from the smoke and pursing of the lips around the cigarettes also cause more facial wrinkles.
Your diet has an impact on how your skin ages. As you skin repairs itself and regenerates skin cells, it needs the proper nutrients to do its job. Limit the refined sugars, simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats in your diet. Make sure to eat plenty of foods that are rich in antioxidants (like Vitamin C and E), have Vitamin A and B vitamin biotin and provide good nutrition for the rest of your body. The Mayo Health Clinic suggests these anti-aging foods for skin health: spinach and leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, nuts, fatty fish like salmon, berries, beans/peas/lentils, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like apricots and carrots.
Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin. While one drink a day for women and two a day for men does not compromise your health, much more than that begins to result in damage to your skin. You’re also less likely to eat healthy foods if you drink excessively. So make good decisions for your body by limiting your alcohol consumption.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends exercising most days of the week for more youthful skin. Exercise improves your circulation and boosts your immune system. Increased blood flow through your body helps bring oxygen and nutrients to your skin and take away cellular waste products. Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress, which in turn, can improve conditions that are damaging to the skin, like eczema and acne.
Your body rests and works on healing itself while you are sleeping. Hormone levels are balanced, your immune system is energized, and tissue repair and muscle growth happen during sleep. All of these things lend themselves to your skin being able to heal from the wear and tear of the day and get ready to handle the stress of the next. Make getting a good night’s sleep a priority.
Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face at the end of each day. Washing will remove any damaging bacteria, excess oils and dirt from your skin. Treat your skin carefully by staying away from harsh soaps, using warm, not hot water, gently washing your skin and carefully patting it dry.
Exfoliation has a number of benefits for your skin, including removing dead skin cells, improving circulation to your skin, and preparing your skin for the use of skin care products. You can use facial scrubs, brushes, washcloths and chemical exfoliants like skin peels. If you have sensitive or dry skin, stick to gentler methods of exfoliation, like with washcloths or sponges.
Moisturizers trap water in your skin, which helps your skin look more youthful. Moisturizer can also reduce appearance of fine lines exacerbated by dry skin. Some moisturizers come with extra water-capturing properties, like hyaluronic acid or glycerine. You can even apply petroleum jelly or mineral oil as a part of your nighttime skincare routine to keep your skin from drying out at night.
Try using a skincare product that has anti-aging ingredients. Some ingredients to look out for in anti aging products are retinoids (stimulate collagen production), hyaluronic acid (traps moisture in skin), vitamin C (a natural antioxidant that helps product collagen), vitamin E (an antioxidant that also reduces inflammation), peptides (tied to the body’s production of collagen and elastin), ceramides (keeps your skin’s barrier strong to keep moisture in and pollutants out), glycolic acid (exfoliating properties and boosts collagen and elastin production), and lactic acid (gentle exfoliating properties and increasing moisture of skin). Whatever products and skin care routine you choose to use, keep it simple and affordable so you are more likely to use it.
Get in touch with Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area. Make Vanguard a part of your dermatology anti-aging solution by scheduling a consultation with one of Vanguard’s experienced dermatologists.