As we age, our skin begins to show changes, such as wrinkles and sagging. It's impossible to completely reverse or prevent the visible signs of aging, but there are many things you can do to minimize these changes. Knowing what routines to follow, and what to avoid, can help you keep your skin looking as young as possible as you age.
Part One of Three:
Taking Preventative ActionEdit
1Apply sunscreen. Some experts believe that exposure to the sun's UV light may cause up to 90 percent of the skin's visible signs of aging over the course of a lifetime. The good news is that it's never too late to start taking preventative action to stop the aging effects from advancing. If you're concerned about the visual signs of aging, one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen any time you go outdoors, even during the winter.
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, though you may want a higher SPF to provide greater protection against UV radiation.
- Choose a sunscreen that is water-resistant and contains zinc or titanium oxide.
- Reapply sunscreen every one to two hours, especially if you will be sweating a lot or swimming.
2Wear a hat in the sun. It's important to wear a hat, even if you're wearing sunscreen. A hat provides shade for your face, which can help reduce your overall exposure to sunlight, and may help reduce the signs of aging..
3Use a scarf in the winter. If you live in a climate that gets cold during the winter, exposure to frigid wind can dry out your skin, causing skin to appear drier and more wrinkled. Protect your skin in cold weather by wearing a scarf across your face.
4Wear sunglasses. Choose sunglasses with 100% UV protection to protect against harmful sun rays. Oversize or wraparound sunglasses provide extra protection for the sensitive skin around your eyes, which helps prevent wrinkles. Sunglasses with polarized lenses are best for your eyes, as they reduce glare which in turn reduces eye strain and fatigue.
6Do facial yoga. Exercising your facial muscles helps prevent wrinkles from forming. A great way to reduce forehead wrinkles is to place both hands on the forehead facing inwards and spread your fingers between the hairline and eyebrows. Gently sweep your fingers outwards, applying a light pressure. Experts recommend you do the exercises for 20 minutes a day, six days a week.
8Try Botox or laser treatments. Begin with regular less-invasive treatments such as IPL (intense pulsed light) or laser genesis. You can also try very small amounts of Botox to relax facial wrinkles and prevent them from becoming deeper. Maintenance is key to maintaining healthy, young-looking skin.Advertisement
Part Two of Three:
Treating Your Skin With ProductsEdit
1Moisturize your skin daily. Moisturizing your skin can help prevent skin cells from shriveling and drying out. Over time, this may help prevent or reduce the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines, helping your skin look more youthful and healthy.
2Exfoliate once every week. New skin looks younger and more radiant, while older, dead skin cells give the face a rough, worn appearance. Exfoliating too often can be damaging to your skin, but experts recommend using an exfoliating wash once every week to keep skin looking supple and youthful.
- Try an exfoliator that contains salicylic acid and/or microdermabrasion for maximum results.
3Apply an anti-aging cream. Anti-aging creams can help reduce wrinkles while keeping skin looking young and healthy. Moisturizers and exfoliators are fairly fast-acting, but some anti-aging products can take at least six weeks to start working. Start with one anti-aging product and wait for results, as using multiple products simultaneously may cause irritation to your skin. Some common and effective ingredients to look for in an anti-aging cream include:
- Retinol - this vitamin A compound has antioxidant properties. It is thought to help prevent the breakdown of skin cells that can cause wrinkles. Retinol is a common ingredient in over-the-counter wrinkle creams.
- Vitamin C - this vitamin is a known antioxidant, and is frequently found in wrinkle creams. Vitamin C is believed to help protect skin from damage caused by the sun, and may help prevent the signs of aging.
- Hydroxy acids - there are three types of hydroxy acids: alpha, beta, and poly hydroxy acids. All three hydroxy acids are commonly used as exfoliants, which can scour off dead skin and may help stimulate new growth of smoother skin.
- Coenzyme Q10 - this vitamin-like substance is naturally occurring in the human body and in some food sources. Though its effect on wrinkles has not yet been extensively studied, preliminary studies suggest that coenzyme Q10, when applied to the skin, may help reduce or prevent wrinkles.
- Niacinamide - this known antioxidant can also help reduce water loss in the skin. Products containing niacinamide may help prevent your skin from drying out, and may make skin more supple and youthful-looking.
- Tea extracts - tea leaves contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help soothe skin and promote healthy, supple skin.
- Grape seed extract - this extract is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, much like tea extracts. Grape seed extract is also believed to aid in healing wounded skin, which may make it a useful skin treatment to prevent or reduce wrinkles.
Part Three of Three:
Changing Your Lifestyle for Healthier SkinEdit
1Stay hydrated. Some studies suggest that drinking at least four glasses of water each day can help your skin retain its elasticity and look healthy and youthful.
2Eat skin-friendly food. Foods like green, leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which may help protect the skin from damage such as premature aging. Some antioxidant-rich foods believed to help promote healthy skin include:
3Take an antioxidant supplement. Antioxidants, such as Coenzyme Q-10, vitamin C, vitamin E, fish oil, B complex vitamins, zinc, calcium, and selenium, fight free radical damage and oxidation which are part of the aging process. Taking an antioxidant supplement will preserve the health of your skin cells and slow down the aging process. Talk to your doctor before incorporating new supplements into your daily diet to ensure there is no risk of harmful interaction with any other medications or supplements you are currently taking.
- Beta-carotene - studies found that taking between 15 and 180 milligrams of beta-carotene each day can help prevent skin damage caused by the sun's UV radiation.
- Fish oil - some studies found that taking two milligrams of dietary fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids increased the threshold of sun exposure that causes skin damage. This does not mean that it's safe to spend as much time as you like in the sun. Rather, it means that, when combined with proactive sunscreen usage, fish oil may reduce the likelihood that your skin will be damaged during regular sun exposure.
- Lycopene - similar to beta-carotene, lycopene was found to help prevent skin damage from UV radiation in people who took up to 10 milligrams each day.
- Vitamin C - taking two milligrams each day of this antioxidant can help prevent skin damage caused by sun exposure.
- Vitamin E - studies show that taking 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin E each day can help prevent damage to the skin caused by exposure to sunlight.
4Follow a healthy diet. Though most people may not think of their diet as having a negative effect on the skin, some research suggests that an unhealthy diet, including a diet rich in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats can cause premature signs of aging and damage the skin.
5Get enough quality sleep. Sleep allows the body to heal and rebuild damaged cells. It may come as no surprise, then, that sleep is closely linked with skin health. Studies have found that people who do not get enough sleep or who get poor quality sleep had increased visible signs of aging, such as skin lines and tighter, less-flexible skin. Poor sleepers were also found to have a harder time recovering from skin damage like sunburn.Advertisement
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