Why our skin ages and how you can help slow down the signs of aging.
Many things cause our skin to age. Some things we cannot do anything about; others we can influence.
Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. Age, Sun, Cold, and Moisture are all contributing factors in the aging process. We can easily accelerate the aging process by basking in the sun's rays. Sun damage is the number one cause of wrinkles and permanent damage to the skin!
One thing that we cannot change is the natural aging process. It plays a key role. With time, we all get visible lines on our face. It is natural for our face to lose some of its youthful fullness. We notice our skin becoming thinner and drier. Our genes largely control when these changes occur.
Knowledge is power, and the more you know about fighting the aging process, the more control you can take toward maintaining a healthier lifestyle and appearance. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that aging has on our skin.
6 ways to reduce premature skin aging
The sun plays a major role in prematurely aging our skin. There are also basic lifestyle changes we can make to slow the signs of aging. To help patients prevent premature skin aging, Dermatologist Marion M. Vujevich offers the following tips.
- Protect your skin from the sun every day. Whether spending a day at the beach or running errands, sun protection is essential. You can protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up with clothing, and using sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, SPF 30. Preferable one that uses both a chemical and mineral base protection. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication is just as important! So, reapply at least every 2 hours unless you get wet or sweat. Sun damage can lead to premature aging (wrinkles!), eye damage, and skin ... Tanning beds and lamps can expose you to even more harmful ultraviolet (UV) light than the sun does.
- Daily Moisturizer for the skin is essential. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. Depending on your skin type, consider using products that contain peptides, retinol and antioxidant ingredients that fight free radicals.
- Healthy diet aids in healthy looking skin. One of the most comprehensive ways to help improve the appearance of aging skin is to approach anti-aging both from the inside and from the outside. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. Dr. Vujevich suggests that poor-quality foods, such as trans fats, processed foods and sugars activate enzymes that break down healthy collagen. As a result your skin aging process is accelerated.
- STOP Smoking!!! Smoking causes considerable damage to your health and how you look. Smokers deprive their skin of oxygen, accelerate the aging process, and deplete their bodies of the vitamins it needs to heal itself. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion.
- Get your body moving. Blood circulation brings oxygen, cells, proteins, and nutrients to the skin and removes carbon dioxide and waste that the skin does not need or want. Moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more-youthful appearance.
- Cleanse & Exfoliate, don’t scrub. Scrubbing your skin clean can irritate your skin. Irritating your skin accelerates skin aging. Cleansing and exfoliating helps to remove pollution, makeup, dead skin cells, oils and other substances without irritating your skin. Your bedding and pillow pick up residuals from your body and hair, so wash when you wake-up and NEVER go to bed without washing your face. Look for cleansers with salicylic and/or glycolic acid. Your skin will thank you!
When you look good, you often feel good. Take care of your skin and play the most important role to impact the way your skin ages. Everyone will experience skin aging at some point in their lives, but by making simple lifestyle changes, you can benefit from the elements that surround us and age us all.