Internal aging is a fundamental truth and we cannot yet put a complete stop to it. But the other type of aging, caused by environmental pollution and poor lifestyle choices, can be prevented and even reversed to some extent. Here are 12 expert tips that will help you control this type of premature skin aging, called extrinsic aging by dermatologists.
1. Drink lots of water every day. You may have received this advice over and over, but that’s because it really works. This simple habit can make a world of difference in your physical appearance and wellbeing. Water flushes out toxins, boosts your digestive health and purifies your liver and kidneys, which has a direct impact on the quality of your skin.
2. Invest in a quality anti-aging serum. If you’re in your late 20’s or early 30’s, it’s a good time to start using a good anti-aging cream or serum with high-performing ingredients. For a radiant, long-lasting glow, look for a product that contains a combination of age-defying ingredients such as peptides, vitamin C, hydroxy acids, retinol, natural extracts, and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10. For a clinically tested product with well-researched ingredients, check out the scientifically created anti-aging serum by Siorai on their site where they also offer expert advice on skin care.
3. Shield your skin from the sun. While sunlight is a blessing, it’s also a key culprit behind premature skin aging. As sun exposure can cause unsightly spots, wrinkles, and pigmentation, protecting your skin diligently from harmful UV rays should be an indispensable part of your skincare routine. Ensure adequate sun protection when going out by using a high-SPF sunscreen. Cover your face, arms, and neck and stay in the shade as much as possible.
4. Quit smoking. Cigarette smoke is one of the primary reasons for premature skin aging and the damage it does is irreversible. Women who smoke often have a dull complexion and more wrinkles than their non-smoker counterparts. If you really care for your skin and don’t want to look too old for your age, quit smoking for good. Also, avoid passive smoking as much as you can.
5. Eat more fiber. Just like water, fibrous foods cleanse your system and rid it of toxicity. While certain fruits and vegetables have proven effects on skin health, eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber will help you see a marked change in the quality of your skin. When combined with increased water intake, a healthy diet will improve your overall well being, which will undoubtedly show on your skin.
6. Give up refined sugar. Doctors say that eating excess sugar is one of the primary causes of skin aging, as it accelerates the process of aging by feeding on collagen. As you grow older, the production of collagen slows down, and a sugar-laden diet only makes things worse. Protect your skin (and your health) by giving up white sugar as well as packaged foods that contain sugar or other refined carbs.
7. Reduce, if not give up, alcohol. While an occasional glass of wine or a pint of beer won’t wreak havoc on your skin, it is well known that alcohol causes dehydration in the body. It has a similar effect on your skin, and with time heavy consumption can speed up the natural aging process, causing your skin to look lack-luster and wrinkly.
8. Stop washing, scrubbing or exfoliating your face with harsh substances. Nothing damages your facial skin like forceful scrubbing or using a chemical-laden harsh soap or face wash. To protect the top layer of your skin, treat it gently and switch to high-quality skin care products that are safe to use on your skin type. Keep your skin clean by washing with a mild soap twice or day and whenever you’ve been outdoors. Exfoliate once a while with a product that won’t irritate the skin.
9. Rule out nutritional deficiencies. Aside from making sweeping changes in your lifestyle and everyday habits, ensure that you’re not deficient in any of the essential nutrients, especially those that are linked to skin health, such as vitamins A, B12, C, D and E, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids and protein, which is required for collagen production. Ask your doctor for a multivitamin/antioxidant supplement if you’re finding it difficult to eat healthy on a daily basis.
10. Don’t overdo facial expressions that cause fine lines. These include frowning, piercing the lips, squinting when outdoors, using a drinking straw frequently, and the like. Repetitive facial movements and making silly expressions can cause wrinkles and fine lines over time, which can be hard to get rid of.
11. Stop sleeping with your face down. Another important tip to keep wrinkles at bay is to avoid squishing your face by sleeping with your face pressing against the pillow. Not many people know this, but this habit can cause fine lines (known as sleep lines) that can develop into full-fledged wrinkles over time. Stop sleeping with your face down and you’d done your facial skin a great favor.
12. Learn to manage stress. Unbeknownst to many, stress is a leading cause of premature aging as it affects the body in numerous ways and speeds up the aging process. According to medical experts, stress impacts your DNA and fast-tracks aging at the cellular level. Learning to manage stress with relaxation techniques such as meditation, taking up a hobby, travelling and regular exercise can combat this damage by improving your brain’s response to stress.
While you cannot control your body’s inherent aging process, you can certainly take measures to ensure your skin doesn’t age prematurely because of external factors. With patience and consistent effort, you can defeat skin aging and have a youthful and healthy complexion. If you already have signs of early skin aging, making the above changes in your lifestyle would arrest the ongoing damage and give your skin a chance to repair and heal itself. With time, you would notice that your skin looks healthier, younger and clearer.