For most of us, aging is that naturally-occurring inconvenience (not counting Jennifer Lopez or Pharell Williams) that we have to put up with and do our best not to look horrible. But what’s interesting is, we don’t all show the same signs of aging, and we’re not talking genetics here.
Talk to a few board-certified dermatologists, and you’ll get a clear picture of what aging is really about. When explaining the skin’s aging process, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) mentions two forms of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. The first one is dictated by the genes, and the latter has to do with lifestyle habits that may slow down, or more likely, speed up the aging process.
Smoking, dehydration, and poor nutrition are some of the things that cause premature aging, and when you take these three factors and a lack of proper skin care, it’s all downhill from there. But there’s still some hope if you can turn things around quickly and adopt a healthy lifestyle that involves healthy food and taking good care of your skin. Need some help putting together a set of lifestyle changes to slow down aging and look amazing? We have the best tips from industry experts.
Lighten Up Your Beauty Look
If you are using the same makeup in your 30s that you used in your late teens, then it might not be working. This is because our skin goes through changes as we age, and to maintain the same glow you will have to go lighter with things like sparkle, glitter, and matte finishes. The good thing with glitter and sparkle is that it settles inside those fine lines, making them more attractive and noticeable.
Skin care experts recommend going “lighter” as you age, and so black mascaras and eyeliners should be avoided whenever possible. Go for brown shades and chocolate hair hues, and stay away from darker shades because they’ll make you age prematurely.
Along with Sunscreen, Use Moisturizer Every Day
You know that sunscreen wards off melanoma, but perhaps you haven’t considered its use as an anti-aging cream. Look at most people with perfect skin in their 30s and 40s; they’re not likely to go out without wearing sunscreen – even when it’s cloudy outside. Studies show that people who use sunscreen every day experience less skin damage over the years and tend to look much younger.
Along with sunscreen, apply a moisturizer once or twice a day, as needed. So what makes moisturizer important in skin care? According to the AAD, your skin needs water to retain a youthful appearance, and moisturizer is essential because it traps water in the skin, reducing lines and wrinkles.
Drink More Water
Drinking water is essential in maintaining perfect health. Not only does it flush out toxins from the body, but water also improves things like digestion, physical and mental performance, metabolism, energy levels, and complexion. When you drink enough water, the skin gets hydrated and looks younger, brighter, and healthier. Wrinkles are less visible, and the skin sags less. We have a few tips you can use to make sure you get the recommended eight glasses:
- Carry a water bottle
- Drink a glass of water after every bathroom break
- Use apps to track water intake
- Add lemon or other fruit for flavor
Eat Healthier Fats
Saturated fats are not good when consumed in high amounts, but the body still needs a good supply of healthy fats to function correctly. Unsaturated fats like Omega-3s are great for fighting inflammation, redness, breakouts, and rosacea. Healthy fats also keep collagen intact and enhance elasticity, which is essential when preventing premature aging. To get younger, more youthful skin, eat more salmon, avocado, flaxseeds, and cook with olive oil.
Get More Sleep
We need 7-8 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night to stay healthy. It’s okay if you get home late every once in a while but going for weeks without enough sleep can be devastating in terms of your health. Stress levels skyrocket, and the risk of hypertension and diabetes is increased dramatically. Rest is also important in weight management, as a lack of sleep is linked to poor metabolic function, fat storage, and bad eating habits. Aside from all that, if you don’t sleep well, you’re going to have low energy, poor concentration, and you’re going to look and feel tired all the time. Check out these quick tips for better sleep:
- Don’t drink coffee late in the day
- Don’t nap during the day
- Have a consistent sleep and wake timeline
- Sleep in complete darkness
- Take slow, deep breaths to induce sleep
- Consider taking a melatonin supplement
Cut Down On Sugar
Sugar is not only bad for your heart, but it also damages the skin. High sugar consumption is linked to things like wrinkles and sagging skin, and this is caused by glucose attaching to certain skin proteins. When you consume sugar, it is first converted to glucose, which then travels through the bloodstream, looking for proteins in the skin, and attaching to them. When this happens, new molecules are formed (called advanced-glycation end products) and the more of these molecules you have, the older your skin appears. Reduce sugar consumption to improve the skin’s appearance.
Check food labels and always buy products with the lowest amounts of sugar. Your best source of sugar should be fresh fruit, which you should eat with every meal, and whenever you need a snack. Replace table sugar with healthier alternatives.
Exercise has a wide range of positive benefits ranging from cardiovascular function, improved mental performance, reduced stress, and better immune function. Exercise also reduces wrinkles and gives you a healthy glowing look. People with skin problems like acne psoriasis, and rosacea may need a few precautions to keep skin protected during exercise, but in general, regular workouts will enhance blood flow, nutrient absorption, water retention, and all this will go toward nourishing skin cells to keep them functioning optimally.
Wash Your Face at Least Twice a Day
Clean your face every morning when you wake, and minimum, once more at the end of the day, so you don’t sleep with sweat on your skin. When left on the skin overnight, sweat causes irritation, and this can lead to other things – but don’t wash your face too many times as this might interfere with oil production.
Be Gentle with Your Face
Do not use harsh ingredients on your face as that might cause irritation and dryness. Your skin produces oils that protect it from the elements, but some cleansers can strip these away, leaving skin exposed and vulnerable to all manner of pollutants. If keeping young is your goal, then you want to use natural products whenever possible, as these are likely to contain nourishing ingredients.
It’s important that you keep the makeup and grime off of your face but don’t forget to stick to a gentle cleansing routine. If you find that you can’t take everything off with your current products, then a double-cleanse routine may be a good option. Just make sure not to irritate your skin, as this will take away the glow and make you look much older.