by JULIA OLIVAS
Taking good care of your skin is key to preventing premature skin aging. Unfortunately, there are many factors that contribute to aging– some of which you can’t do anything about. For example, our skin naturally loses elasticity as we age and becomes wrinkled no matter how many beauty products we use. You can’t change the natural aging process, and eventually, everyone will get wrinkles and lose their youthfulness.
Luckily, there are some things you can influence to combat the signs of aging. Lifestyle choices and environmental factors that can affect skin health can be changed. By taking action, you can improve your skin health to prevent premature aging skin and wrinkles while keeping your skin supple. Here are a few ways you can prevent premature skin aging.
Protect Yourself From The Sun
Sunlight is good for you. Not only can it help your body produce vitamin D to support healthy bones and immune system, but it can help you feel more awake and alert during the day. Sunlight also has a positive effect on our mood. However, even though you may love the sun, it can damage your skin. Spending too much time in the sun without proper protection can cause sunspots, wrinkles, and dry skin. You can protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen on a daily basis. SPF 30 or higher is recommended, but it really depends on your skin. Individuals who are more pale and sensitive to UV rays may need to find a higher SPF to protect themselves.
You should also wear protective clothing when spending prolonged periods outdoors, including a hat to keep the sun off your face. Even when the sun isn’t out, you should still wear sunscreen on exposed skin, especially your face and neck. Many face products contain SPF, so it’s important to put those on before you leave the house. Believe it or not, you should wear SPF year-long, even in the winter. While UV rays aren’t as strong in the winter, they’re still there and can cause damage to your skin. Therefore, choose a moisturizer that contains SPF to keep yourself protected no matter the season.
Smoking is detrimental to your skin because toxins in cigarettes can affect collagen and elastin in your skin, responsible for a youthful appearance. Without collagen and elastin, your skin can harden and become dehydrated, making it more prone to wrinkles and premature aging. Wrinkles from smoking are most notable on the face, especially around the mouth and lips. Smoking can also cause your skin to sag around the jawline and under the eyes.
Consider Your Facial Expressions
Believe it or not, your facial expressions can be to blame for premature wrinkles. If you repeatedly use the same muscles in your face, you can develop lines that become permanent over time. For example, individuals who squint while reading can develop eye wrinkles. If you find yourself squinting, consider the reason why you’re squinting. If you squint when it’s bright out, wear sunglasses. If you squint while reading your computer screen, consider having your glasses prescription checked to ensure you’re able to read without straining your muscles and skin.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Diet affects much of your health and wellness, including the health of your skin. Eating fruits and vegetables provides your skin with all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. Fruits and vegetables are also hydrating, and drinking enough water is essential for skin health.
Exercise promotes healthy skin in several ways. First, it improves blood flow, which can help nourish your skin cells. When you exercise and get your heart pumping, your body circulates blood and oxygen, improving your circulation, and making your skin more effective at repairing itself. Exercise also removes toxins through your pore as you sweat and can decrease stress that results in skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
Exercising regularly can improve your skin while removing toxins from the body and relieving stress that can all result in premature aging. It will also give you a post-exercise glow for a few hours.
Moisturizing your skin can help prevent it from drying out while replacing the hydration it loses during the day. It will also help to protect the skin from irritation due to dryness and dry air. Depending on the season, you may need a heavier moisturizer to protect the skin’s barrier. For example, during the winter, when there’s less humidity and you’re using artificial heat, you’ll need a thicker moisturizer to protect your skin and prevent it from drying out.
Moisturizers can also target fine lines and wrinkles, plumping the skin to give it a more youthful appearance. Of course, moisturizers only go so far and can’t penetrate deep into the skin, which is why a healthy diet is so important for skin health.
Many supplements can benefit your skin health and prevent premature aging while supporting immune system health. Supplements containing antioxidants like vitamin C can protect your skin and body from oxidative stress and damage from free radicals in the environment.
Never scrub your skin too vigorously. While scrubs designed for facial skin can help remove dirt and debris from pores and soften skin, you don’t need to be too rough with your skin. Instead, only wash your face up to twice daily and after a workout. You should also use products that are fragrance-free to prevent skin irritations that can make you look older. Effective and gentle grooming tools like tweezers should be used carefully to avoid scarring.
Preventing premature aging skin means finding the right ways to take care of yourself. While moisturizers and skin products can help plump skin up and provide it with hydration, they can’t improve overall skin health because they don’t penetrate the skin deep enough. Along with applying a daily moisturizer, you should also take good care of your body. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are key to keeping your skin healthy from the inside out.
Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a freelance who loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, painting, and her pup Ruby.