There are many things that cause you to go from having the virtually pore-less, unlined, super-soft skin of a baby to the still beautiful, but maybe confusing, skin of a young adult and beyond. Some factors that contribute to aging are internal and some are external, some are things you can change and some you can't, so here are a few tips so you can take control of what you can control.
1. The number one external cause of aging is UV damage. This one is preventable, guys. Going outside without sunscreen (at least 30) on any exposed skin-even when it's overcast-even in the winter- will give you wrinkles, not to mention put you at risk for skin cancer. Wear sunglasses to prevent squinting, and spray tan instead!
2. Smoking. We all know this one isn't good for your lungs, but it's also really bad for your skin. Not only will it cause wrinkles to form around your lips, the smoke contains free radicals. Free radicals damage our skin's DNA speeding the aging process. Smoking also depletes your Vitamin C levels. Quit ASAP!
3. Stress also plays a role in aging. Chronic stress impacts hormone and chemical regulation in the body causing a lowered immunity and cell damage. This in turn leads to the aging of our skin, hair, and causes overall disease. Do things to help with your stress levels. Meditate, talk therapy, yoga, massages, nature walks, time with your friends,and adequate sleep can all help get those stress hormones in check.
4. A healthy diet is super important for every body function including your skin. A diet rich in antioxidants helps to fight free radicals accumulated from pollution and UV rays. Look for foods and skin care products with vitamins A, C, E, bioflavanoids, and polyphenols. Sugar is also a huge enemy for aging. A process called glycation causes a break down of collagen which leads to wrinkle formation. This premature aging is common among diabetics but can occur in people with regularly elevated blood sugar. Your diet should be as well balanced as possible without processed foods.
5. Facial maintenance can also help with signs of aging. Washing your face twice a day helps remove dirt and oil that accumulate from the environment. Moisturizer will also help to prevent fine lines and protect the skin's barrier function. Professional skin care products such as cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and masks, have active ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, stem cells, and enzymes to counteract the aging process. Exfoliating once a week, but not too harshly, and not too often will keep dead skin cells sloughed off the skin without damaging your skin.
Facials, microdermabrasion, hydradermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, help to remove dead skin and clean the pores. A licensed esthetician can help you figure out the best maintence plan for your skin type (oily, dry, sensitive, or combination) as well as any issues you might have (acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea). Regular professional skin care can also help increase your cell turnover rate which is how quickly your skin creates new cells to send to the top layer of skin. This slows down as we age, but can be stimulated with professional treatments.
While aging is something we can't prevent and something that we can all do gracefully, there's no harm in looking and feeling our best while we do it.