We are all different ages and our skin is uniquely ours, based on how we take care of it as well as our environment and heredity. If you are like me, you want to turn back the hands of time and keep people guessing what your real age is. No matter what condition your skin is in now, by following the following five things you WILL improve your skin’s appearance and ward off the signs of aging. Read on to see what they are…
# 1 Drink a lot of water – This may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your skin hydrated inside and out is a sure way to keep yourself looking younger and glowing. Remember, our skin is the largest organ of our body, so it is important to take care of it! This also includes getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet as the healthier you are, the better your skin will look. From a product perspective, be sure to use Hyaluronic Acid. I mentioned the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in my Best Winter Products article but the same applies here. Hydrated skin looks plumper and younger and it is important to be hydrated both inside and out. If you aren’t already, be sure this ingredient is incorporated into your skincare routine!
#2 Use Sunscreen – This is another thing that so many of us neglect in our daily activities. Trust me, sunscreen is not just for summer! It should be applied year-round before going outside. We don’t think about it, but there are so many free radicals in our environment that all work to break down the elasticity of our skin. Harmful UV rays fall into this category. Sunscreen is your “force field” to make it difficult for these environmental toxins to gain access to our skin.
#3 Vitamin A is your friend – There is so much information on so many skincare products out there that it can be overwhelming to know what to use. I’m sure you’ve heard of retinol, which is essentially Vitamin A. Retinols need to be a part of your routine to anti-age! If you are new to Retinols, I’d start with any over the counter retinol cream and slowly integrate it into your routine. Most store-bought creams are mild but everyone’s skin reacts differently. Basically what this will do is help with your cell turnover (which slows down as we age) leaving us with smoother, glowing skin. If you are in your 30s or 40s you should get Retin-A (also commonly known as Tretinoin) which is a much stronger dosage (about 10X stronger than retinoids). Typically you need a prescription for this but there are some online places you can order it. Another benefit is that this treatment also clears acne! Use sparingly until your skin is used to it, and be sure to be extra diligent about sunscreen when you are using any of these vitamin A products as they increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. NOTE: If you are pregnant or nursing you should NOT use these products!
#4- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! – You could be using all the best products for your skin, but if you are not exfoliating, or removing the dead layers of skin from its surface, none of your products will penetrate fully or be as effective. So maximize all your skincare products by exfoliating at least 2/3 times per week. You can use products that can manually exfoliate or some that have mild acids in it to melt off those layers. I like Dermologica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant.
#5- Don’t forget your neck and hands– In our quest to keep our skin looking younger we all tend to focus the most attention on our faces; after all, that is the first thing we see on each other! However, as you are applying products to your face don’t forget to also apply to the neck and even the decollete area. Nothing is worse than having our necks betray our true age when we’ve worked so hard to keep our face looking young. Be sure to give your hands some TLC also to keep yourself looking young in all the right places. I made this mistake and wish I could get back those years, but now I apply my products on the neck and back of the hands to fully reach all the key areas that begin to show our age.
So how many of the tips above are you already doing? Following these steps are relatively inexpensive and can save you in the long run of possible cosmetic procedures to turn back the hands of time. The sooner you start putting these tips into practice the better prepared you will be to hold off on those lines and wrinkles. Happy anti-aging!