Aging Gracefully Doesn't Have to Be Difficult
Just because you're getting older doesn't mean you need to shrivel up and hide yourself from the rest of the world. First-off, there's absolutely nothing wrong with growing older (and wiser). Secondly, you don't have to lay down your sword and give up the fight against fine lines and age spots just because you are further along in your years. The battle doesn't have to be a difficult one.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound Of Cure
If you're in your 20's and early 30's, this is the prime time to begin the fight against aging. What happens to your skin now has a huge impact on the future you. You've heard it before. Your mom tells you. But it's hard to believe. Your 20's are a time when you're absolutely invincible. Nothing can stop you or harm you. Or at least that's what you think. The cumulative effects of a pizza and beer diet, baking in the sun, and bad habits like smoking will all collectively start to slowly add up over time. By the time you're in your 40's and 50's, the damage will rear its ugly head in the form of wrinkles, fine lines, liver spots, and more. The best way to slow aging is to try to prevent it in the first place.
If You Missed That BoatIf you're like most of us who didn't start to protect and prepare our skin for the years to come when our mothers told us to, all is not lost. Starting now, you can take steps to further prevent any damage and help to diminish those first stages of aging. It's not at all difficult. What you do now can still provide you with a host of healthy benefits including:
- Clearing up or preventing a blotchy complexion
- Preventing age spots (liver spots)
- Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
- Preventing leathery skin
- Retaining your skin's youthful firmness longer
- Keeping your complexion brighter and younger-looking
- Reducing your risk of skin cancer
Healthy Habits, Healthy You
Good skin care, no matter what your age, starts with good habits. That's especially true now! It is the basis for a truly effective skin care plan.
The Sun Is Not Your Best Friend
The side effects of the UV rays our skin takes in from the sun are the largest culprit when it comes to causing damage. That damage shows up in the common aging signs that we listed above. The sun's damage to your skin is cumulative, meaning it doesn't just happen with that one sunburn you got 3 years ago when you fell asleep on the beach. UV damage occurs every time we're out in the sun unprotected, and that damage slowly adds up over the course of years. In fact, the term for this damage has been dubbed "photoaging." But it's not too late to prevent any further harm. You can take steps now by seeking shade during the peak of the sun's arc, between the hours of 10am and 2pm. You should apply a good, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Make sure it goes on your skin 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it at least every 2 hours (or more if you're swimming or sweating). Cover up as much of your skin as possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses can help to reduce the fine lines around your eyes.
A Good Routine Is the Cornerstone
Choose your products carefully. If you're prone to an oily face and dry hands, a single soap probably isn't going to do the trick here. Aging skin is thinner and more delicate on the face and hands, so using a non-soap cleanser on these areas is a good idea. Cleanse your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser designed to penetrate deeply to remove dirt and debris. You'll want to opt for one that will help to retain your skin's moisture balance, rather than strip it. Moisturize after washing, even if you have oily skin. Oftentimes oily skin is a sign that your skin is actually dry. You'll need to restore whatever moisture has been removed through washing at the very least. Damage from the sun and other factors can also leave your skin dry. Applying an anti-aging serum is a lightweight way to get the job done, and oftentimes is a more effective way to deliver results, as they can penetrate deeper than a regular moisturizer. Celebrity makeup artist Kristofer Buckle believes that using a serum regularly can give your skin a firmer, smoother texture, make pores appear smaller and increase moisture levels. Look for one that contains a retinoid to help to clear up damage to skin like fine lines and wrinkles, and lots of antioxidants to prevent any further damage.
Choose products that help your skin to regenerate cells. They can't necessarily turn back the clock, but they may slow the rate of changes that cause dull texture and deep wrinkles. Try a charcoal mask designed to peel away dirt and impurities while adding nutrients and moisture.
What Goes In . . .
Healthy eating promotes healthy skin. Period. You may have survived on pizza and beer 25 years ago, but it took its toll on your skin. You can still help to nourish your skin from the inside out by eating plenty of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Look for foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as Selenium and Omega-3 fatty acids.