Whether we like it or not, we get older every single day. When we’re kids, we love celebrating each birthday, excited about the increased independence and abilities we gain as we get older. As adults, that excitement wanes, as we begin to experience some of the signs and symptoms of aging. One day, usually in our 30s, we look in the mirror and see someone who looks at least 10 years older than we feel looking back at us.
Our skin is our largest organ, the one that is exposed to the outside elements, and it is also the one where we show our most visible signs of aging. Most of us would prefer to keep our skin looking younger, longer. While we haven’t yet discovered the fountain of youth, there are things we can do every day to keep our skin looking healthy and radiant.
Always wear sunscreen.
Damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays is a leading cause of aging to the skin. Wearing sunscreen, particularly on your face, every single day should be a lifelong habit, even on cloudy days. Be sure to choose products with broad-spectrum protection to give you the best coverage.
If you’re a smoker, please, please stop. If you aren’t, please don’t start. In addition to the damage smoking does to the inside of your body, it damages and prematurely ages your skin. Wrinkles and crows feet occur earlier and run deeper in smokers than non-smokers. This is most likely caused by repetitive facial movements and exposure to the toxic chemicals in the smoke.
Use alcohol in moderation.
People who drink heavily and/or to excess on a regular basis tend to be less healthy than their counterparts who drink less or not at all. Most people who drink heavily neglect other aspects of their health, such as healthy sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise. All of these factors take a toll on the appearance of your skin and on your general health.
We are what we eat, and we nourish ourselves from the inside out. When we make healthy food choices, we are supporting all of our body systems, including our skin. Foods rich in antioxidants, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, are essential for healthy skin.
Water is essential to keep us healthy and running. Dehydration leads to sluggishness in all of our body systems. Dehydrated skin is drier, dull, and less supple, which can increase the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Proper hydration can combat all of those things.
Use a moisturizer.
Even though you’re hydrating your skin from the inside out, it can benefit from a little external help. Moisturizers help your skin retain more water and prevent it from drying out. Using a daily moisturizer helps protect your skin. As we age, we may want to start using retinol or retinoids, which stimulate collagen production and can reduce the appearance of so-called liver spots. You get bonus points if your moisturizer offers SPF protection. Also, it’s a good idea to look into other anti-aging skin products, in addition to moisturizer. In today’s marketplace, there are plenty of products that can help stop the clock on your skin.
Talk to a professional.
Medical spas, medical aesthetic clinics, and cosmetic surgeons offer a variety of services to rejuvenate your skin and keep it looking more youthful for as long as possible. From deep exfoliations, dermabrasion, and facial peels to injectable treatments and laser therapies, there is a myriad of options available to you. Meeting with a medical aesthetician to discuss your problem areas and goals will help you develop a plan to rejuvenate your skin. Likewise, talking with a certified cosmetic surgeon can give you an idea of the benefits and value that such a procedure might have for you.