You can never have too much defense against the aging effects of father time (or mother time). Following good skin care tips consistently will help you prolong the signs of aging, keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy as long as possible. Some of these may actually surprise you. Read on!
- The number one on the anti-aging tips will always be to wear UVA and UVB protective sunscreen every day, every season, rain or shine. Apply sun protection cream and lotions to all exposed areas of the body including the neck and décolleté. SPF 30 is ideal for daily use for those who get more than a few minutes of exposure daily or for those who drive. UVA (aging) rays can penetrate glass so protection is absolutely necessary. Apply your moisturizer first and then layer over SPF 30 at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Delicate eyes and lip area need special care too. Look for a lip balm and daily eye cream that contain sunscreen for the best anti-aging protection. Using make-up that contains sunscreen is also an easy and convenient way to get your daily, moderate sun protection.
- Don’t be fooled by the sunscreen guideline that by multiplying the SPF number by the length of time it takes you to burn, is the amount of time your skin will stay safe in the sun. There are many variables to consider such as time of day, location, humidity, sweating, and inadequate application. Using the maximum amount of protection and reapplying thoroughly and often is the best anti-aging protection you can give your skin.
- Fill your diet with antioxidant rich foods like fruits and vegetables. Good skin health comes with healthy diets. Green leafy veggies like kale and spinach have some of the highest vitamin content of all vegetables so eat up.
- Consume foods with Omega-3, an essential fatty acid which promotes healthy formation of cells, making them supple and flexible. Eat more salmon, tuna, walnuts, kale, spinach and winter squash for softer skin. Flaxseed Oil also contains high levels of Omega-3 and can be drizzled on your salads and veggies.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Not only for health reasons but for your complexion. Drinking alcohol dilates blood vessels in the skin and increases the blood flow near skin’s surface. Overstressing the liver can show up on the skin as a sallow complexion along with promoting the bad collagen (scar tissue) to build in the skin. Blood vessels can become permanently damaged over time causing a blotchy, uneven, red look to the skin. Alcohol is also a diuretic and it dehydrates the body resulting is less plump, unhealthy looking skin.
- Stop smoking. Smoking causes a narrowing of the blood vessels in the skin due to the accumulated nicotine and also reduces the collagen and elastin production in the skin causing it to age and sag prematurely. Not only does smoking deplete the body of Vitamin C which is needed for plump and healthy skin, the repeated puckering of the lips can cause early wrinkles around the mouth and lips.
- Too much sugar consumption over long periods of time has been shown to cause skin to dull and wrinkle prematurely due to a process in the body called glycation. This natural process causes the sugar in the bloodstream, to attach to proteins that form harmful molecules called AGE’s or advanced glycation end products. These AGE’s damage other proteins in the skin, particularly the collagen and elastin fibers, which keep skin supple and elastic. Since collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body, once damaged it becomes brittle leading to sagging. According to a British study, these effects start around age 35 and increase rapidly thereafter. Limit sugar intake not only for your waistline but for your skin!
- Cold weather protection is necessary for keeping skin soft and feeling smooth. When temperatures dip into the freezing zone the skin requires special care against chapping and dehydration. Moisturizers are made with as much as 70 percent water which will not be any good on your face in the dead of winter. Protective creams are made with minimal water and maximum emollients so the skin stays well moisturized even on the coldest of days.