Aging is inevitable, but aging gracefully is the goal of every hopeful and rosy young woman out there. While we know that wrinkle-free isn’t an option, we’d like to look healthy and young as the years go by.
Aging of the skin means that it droops, develops wrinkles and lines and can become dry and coarse with uneven skin coloring and broken blood vessels (telangiectasia). Our skin changes with age and no longer looks as plump and smooth as it once did. Over time, skin begins to wrinkle. Things in the environment, like ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, can make the skin less elastic. Also, some habits like smoking causes wrinkle, dryness and age spots. Don’t fret, there are things you can do to protect your skin, delay the onset of fine lines without resorting to expensive derma treatments, and to make you feel and look better.
Protect and Moisturize
Your skin when it’s dry is like a hardened and cracked soil. You need to moisturize your skin regularly. You may be wondering why moisturizers are so important. The basic function of moisturizers is to help treat your skin when it’s dry and prevent it from drying out again. Moisturizers hold the water in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin). Applying moisturizer on your skin also help protect your skin from the environment. It creates a barrier on your skin that keeps oils from escaping and harmful outside elements from causing dryness or irritation.
When you choose the most suitable moisturizer for your skin, read the label and look for the one that has glycerin to draw in moisture to nourish while boosting collagen production. These can help boost up your skin’s hydration, minimize wrinkles, and improve your skin cell’s renewal power. Also, your day cream must have at least SPF 15, so you’re protected from UV damage.
Limit sun exposure.
Sun exposure is mainly responsible for the signs of skin aging, specifically wrinkles. The sun’s rays are stronger and a whole lot harsher when the sun is at its peak – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s okay to go out during the day, but try to avoid being in sun during peak times. Don’t be fooled by cloudy skies — the sun’s rays can go through clouds. You can also get sunburned if you are in water, so be careful when you are in a pool or at the beach. Most importantly, do not forget to apply (and re-apply) sunscreen.
Look for sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) number of 30 or higher. It’s best to choose sunscreens with “broad spectrum” on the label. Put the sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours. You need to put sunscreen on more often if you are swimming, sweating, or rubbing your skin with a towel.
Load up on antioxidants.
Collagen breakdown – leading to wrinkling – is one of the causes of radical skin damage from the sun and due pollutants. By taking your antioxidants you can neutralize the free radicals and help eliminate the domino effect of damage on your skin cells.
Boost your intake of a variety of antioxidants with from the following list of different kinds of antioxidants and foods that are high in each.
- Allium sulphur compounds: Leeks, onions, garlic
- Anthocyanins: Eggplant, grapes, berries
- Beta carotene: Pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach, parsley
- Catechins: Red wine, tea
- Copper: Seafood, lean meat, milk, nuts, legumes
- Cryptoxanthins: Red peppers, pumpkin, mangoes
- Flavonoids: Tea, green tea, red wine, citrus fruits, onion, apples
- Indoles: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
- Lignans: Sesame seeds, bran, whole grains, vegetables
- Lutein: Corn, leafy greens (such as spinach)
- Lycopene: Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon
- Manganese: Seafood, lean meat, milk, nuts
- Polyphenols: Thyme, oregano
- Selenium: Seafood, offal, lean meat, whole grains
- Vitamin C: Oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, peppers
- Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, seeds, whole grains
- Zinc: Seafood, lean meat, milk, nuts
- Zoochemicals: Red meat, offal, fish
Say NO to smoking.
Smoking impacts appearance. Aside from damaging the environment and of course your lungs, the nicotine in cigarettes cause the narrowing of the blood vessels in your skin, inhibiting the flow of oxygen and important nutrients necessary to keep it healthy and young-looking.
Smoking can accelerate the skin ageing process in the skin. How does smoking cause ageing of the skin?
- Heat from the cigarette directly burning the skin
- Changes in the elastic fibres of the skin
- Narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction), which reduces blood supply to the skin and can cause changes in skin elastic fibres and loss of collagen
- Reducing Vitamin A levels and moisture of the skin
Get enough beauty sleep.
When it comes to your beauty routine, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. If you are sleep-deprived, your skin is unable to maximize repair and skin cell regeneration. The damage piles up and you’ll age a lot faster than you’re supposed to.
Skin makes new collagen when you sleep. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you snooze — the key is to get 7 to 9 quality hours each night. Only getting 5 hours a night can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping 7 would. It also leaves skin drier, which can make lines more visible. If you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, it’s likely affecting your appearance. Start getting 1 to 3 more hours of shut-eye, and you could see some improvement in as little as a day.