Despite what beauty creams ads will have you believe, there is very little we can do to prevent our skin from aging. In fact, research clearly shows that the rhythm of its aging is already genetically-predefined. So take a good look at your mother if you want to know how your skin will look like in a few decades. Still, this doesn’t mean that we can’t influence aging skin at all. We may not be able to reverse the process on our own, but we can definitely take some precautions not to hasten it:
Smoking is the worst enemy for your skin. The so-called “smoker face” is caused by the fact that the toxins in cigarettes lower the blood flow to the face. Plus, smokers squint in order to prevent smoke from entering their eyes and pucker up in order to inhale; both these actions done repeatedly cause wrinkles to appear. Avoid both first-hand and second-hand smoke like plague!
Always wear sunscreen
The ultraviolet rays of the sun penetrate your skin and damage the elastic fibers that are meant to keep it firm; in addition, sun exposure can create spots. Try to steer clear from the sun as much as possible, but especially between 10 AM and 3 PM when it shines the brightest. Remember that your face and hands are the most exposed, so cover them with hats and long sleeves whenever possible. And, most importantly, always wear sunscreen (15+ SPF) even when you are not at the beach. Ideally, your daily moisturizer should contain sunscreen.
Your diet can be seen on your face
A healthy and balanced diet has many benefits and keeping your skin looking young is definitely one of them. Think about the role it has: your skin is there to protect you from sun and harmful bacteria; it battles with them every day and it needs to be nourished properly in order to have the necessary strength to fight those battles. Vitamin C and E are known antioxidants and allies of your skin; vitamins A and B are also helpful in maintaining your skin’s supple look. You find them in fruits and vegetables, so make sure you don’t fill your plate with meat every day.
Don’t forget about hydration
Choose a moisturizer that fits your skin type and don’t forget to apply it every morning and every evening before bed. Dry skin favors the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, so when you feel that your moisturizer isn’t enough apply a nourishing mask or switch to a stronger one. Also, remember to hydrate from the inside and drink plenty of water.
Get enough sleep
Sleep-deprived people don’t just get bags under their eyes; they also get a pale look and a skin that looks malnourished and much older than it really is. Find out what your sleep needs are (not everybody needs to sleep 8 hours each night; some need more, some need less) and make sure you fulfill them every time.
What about you? What are your tricks for keeping the first signs of aging away from your skin?