If you’re like the rest of the population, you want to look as young as possible for as long as you can. This can be a difficult problem to deal with, especially for those with skin that appears older than their actual age. But fear not! There’s still time to reverse the signs of aging and prevent it from progressing any further. With just a few simple changes, you can have visibly younger looking skin, and can actually turn back the time so it looks like you haven’t aged a day – almost. When it comes to aging skin, there are 3 main points you need to remember:
- Dry, un-moisturized skin ages quicker. Fine lines and wrinkles appear faster when the skin doesn’t have enough moisture.
- Toxins found in many of your favorite foods directly impact your skin, in a negative way.
- Your skin is your biggest organ, and it needs just as many vitamins and minerals to look and feel great as every other part of your body!
The following 10 habits revolve around these main ideas. Defy your age by making these simple changes a part of your daily routine:
1. Drink less alcohol and coffee.
Coffee and alcohol are diuretics that inhibit the absorption of water, making you thirstier, and your skin dryer. And as we know, dry skin leads to faster skin aging. You don’t have to cut them out completely, but enjoying them in moderation will play a major role in how fast your skin ages. If you are the type of person who finds they rely on coffee to function, that’s fine! Just enjoy a glass of water (or two) in-between each cup of coffee.
2. Drink more water.
Speaking of water, you need more of it! Even if you think you’re getting plenty, you’re likely still falling short. We’ve all heard it, “Drink 8 glasses of water a day.” You’ve had that drilled into your memory for a reason because water isn’t only good for your skin, but it’s also good for every part of your body to function properly. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, download a free app and set reminders throughout the day. In addition, if you exercise or sweat a lot during the day, you may need more than 8 glasses. Simply drinking water regularly will keep your skin hydrated and help protect it from the effects of aging.
3. Be mindful of what you’re eating.
We often forget that our skin is more than just the outer layer of our bodies. Like our heart and lungs, our skin is an organ in itself, and has vital functions for our body. Like our other organs, our skin needs essential nutrients to function properly. If you’re not giving your skin essential vitamins and minerals, it will be noticeable. So think twice about eating junk food and incorporate foods in your diet that are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Biotin to give your skin a vibrant, youthful glow.
4. Stop skipping meals.
With 24 hours in a day never seeming like enough time, it can be tempting to skip meals. However, skipping meals deprives your skin of the nutrients it needs to look beautiful and youthful! You may not have thought about it, but skipping breakfast or lunch can directly impact the visible signs of aging on your skin. Seriously! So we’ll echo your doctor and every health professional out there, get a healthy balance at every meal for the day. Your skin will thank you, and your body and mind will too.
5. Get some exercise in, even if it’s just a stroll in the park.
A lack of physical activity and exercise can surprisingly age your skin faster. Regular exercise and physical activity stimulates healthy blood flow, decreases stress (which causes premature aging) and releases healthy hormones in your body that are said to turn back time… literally!
Remember when exercising to give your face a quick and simple wash before and after your workout. Washing your face before your workout prevents dirt and oil from mixing with your sweat and clogging your pores -AND- washing it afterwards helps clear the leftover dirt and sweat all over your face.
6. Be mindful of your facial expressions.
Remember as a child your parents told you to stop making faces because it’ll get stuck that way? Well, it’s somewhat true! If you’re a person who tightens their forehead when thinking, squints their eyes when reading or smiles 24/7 - your skin will show it. Be mindful of facial expressions that cause your skin to wrinkle. Now, we’re not saying avoid facial expressions all together, laughter IS the best medicine after all! But just identify moments when you can avoid stretching out your facial skin, like sipping on a straw or squinting in the sun.
With that said, if you just can’t change those facial expression habits, you can prevent the effects of your facial expressions by regularly moisturizing your skin, drinking water and not over washing it.
7. Get more sleep, and do it right!
This is twofold. First, you need to get a decent amount of sleep each night, 7-10 hours is optimal. Listen to your body and find its number! Not only does sleep deprivation affect how your skin looks the next day, it also contributes to skin aging faster. Like the rest of your body, your cells rejuvenate and regenerate while you sleep.
One important process helpful to your skin that only happens when you sleep is the production of collagen. On top of that, this collagen production only happens during deep sleep, which means you really do need a good night’s rest.
Another thing you should be mindful of is how you’re sleeping. Try sleeping on your back as much as possible because lying face down or on your side can embed wrinkles in your skin. And no one wants that!
8. Use therapeutic hot water sparingly.
We all love the sauna or a hot bath. Well, most of us at least. While it’s an attractive and inviting way to let loose, be careful not to overdo it. When done in excess, they can age your skin faster. The cause? Too much time in the sauna and hot showers causes skin to be excessively dry. This dryness is worsened if you are the type to rigorously wipe your body dry with a towel instead of patting it gently.
If you take long hot showers every day, you may want to consider taking cold showers instead. Crazy right?! To ease your transition, you can try gradually lowering the temperature of the water in the course of your shower or alternating between the two temperatures. If the adjustment is still too difficult, at the very least, try shortening your showers to lessen the possible damage to your skin. A good rule to remember is that if your skin gets red after you shower, the water is too hot.
9. Give your entire face some love.
The two commonly neglected areas on the face during skin care tend to be the lips and the eyes. These two are usually given a lot of time and effort during makeup, but not always during regular skin care. The skin on the eyes is thinner and has less glands, so is more likely to dry out. The same holds true for your lips, which also has a much thinner layer of skin. Be sure to give those areas the attention they need with the proper products. You can even have fun with it by making a homemade exfoliating scrub for your lips made of honey and sugar!
10. Apply your products the right way.
This one may sound a little weird, but hear us out. We all know gravity is the invisible culprit of sagging skin. When skin loses it firmness, it starts to sag because gravity constantly pulls it down. How do you prevent gravity from aging your skin? Well, to be honest, you can’t. But you can do a few things to counter the gravitational pull. When you apply your skin care products, the tendency is to gently rub and massage them over your face. For some people, the motion of the rubbing is downwards, and this unfortunately gives gravity the advantage. Think of how you wash your face... do you find yourself pulling your skin down? If you do, try going for a circular motion instead. You can even try an upward motion while still being careful not to pull too hard. Then, when drying your face, instead of rubbing up and down with a towel, just pat it dry. Not only will this prevent you from pulling on your skin, it will also avoid stripping your face of the moisture it needs to stay hydrated.
Remember that skin aging is a natural process and is actually nothing to be afraid of. Premature skin aging however can be a concern. So if you are currently experiencing it or want to prevent it, try making these simple changes to your daily routine. You’ll be surprised just how much they help!