I don’t know about you, but when I entered my 30s I started to think a lot more seriously about taking care of my skin – and how to prevent it from aging. If you’re lucky, you started thinking about this much earlier than that – even as early as your teens.
However, most of us weren’t that “aware” of what a big impact those early years can have on the rest of your skin’s life. And so we panic as we start to see age spots, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and laugh lines.
Despite the cosmetic companies’ claims that they can “revitalize” your skin, “erase” wrinkles and sun spots, or “stop aging in its tracks,” you don’t always have to turn to chemicals when it comes to effective anti-aging practices. In fact there are a few minor changes that dermatologists swear by for keeping the skin looking younger.
We’ve rounded up five effective anti-aging tips, straight from the dermatologist’s office, to help you look your best.
1. Cut Back On Sun Exposure
You hear it all the time for a reason! Dermatologists warn against excess sun exposure because it really does damage your skin . . . and in more ways than you might think. Sun damage causes your skin to lose collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkling and sagging as well as discoloration and dryness. And, exposure to dangerous UV rays is the leading cause of skin cancer, which is continually on the rise.
Try to spend less time in the sun, and do your best to avoid being out in the sun during peak hours, which is between around 10:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. Wear sunscreen, choose skin creams and cosmetics with sun protection capabilities, and opt for UV-protective clothing . . . which is more readily available and with more stylish options than ever before.
And don’t worry – you can still get your vitamin D and protect your skin. Experts say that you only need on average 15-20 minutes of sun exposure a day to reap the vitamin-rich rewards of the sunshine vitamin.
2. Get More Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Incorporating more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids into your diet can work wonders on your skin and keep it looking and feeling its best. These nutrients work by supporting your skin’s moisture barrier, which is the protective layer atop your skin that keeps moisture in. You can get omega-3 and omega-6 from fish oil supplements, or by eating more salmon and other fatty fish, olive oil, and flaxseed.
3. Wash off That Makeup
I used to be guilty of this one when I was a teen – but, believe me, I’m not anymore! Even though you may always be on the go and live a hectic life, that’s no excuse for not washing off your makeup before bed. It’s during sleep that your cells regenerate themselves, skin cells included. Washing your face before bed will remove all of the makeup as well as the oils, dirt, and toxins that have gotten into your pores throughout the day. This makes regeneration easier so that your skin can look younger and healthier. It also helps you avoid blemishes caused by clogged pores. To keep things as clean as can be; sleep on a clean pillow case by changing it as often as possible. And as long as we’re talking about pillowcases, some experts advise using a silk or satin pillowcase to prevent “sleep wrinkles” and to help delay worsening of existing facial lines.
4. Reduce Your Stress
Research on the effects of stress has shown us time and time again that stress can wreak havoc on your health; and this also goes for the health of your skin. One particular study in 2004 found that chronic stress actually shortens the lifespan of cells and stops cells from dividing so that they begin to die off. Reducing your stress can stop this from happening and works almost like an internal anti-ager so that you look and feel better. Reduced stress levels mean better sleep and overall health, fewer wrinkles and lines, all of which result in younger-looking skin.
Pretty simple steps, right? And guess what? They don’t cost an arm and a leg; nor do they have any harsh side effects. And if dermatologists are advising steps like these, can you really go wrong?