Written by Anza Goodbar (last updated April 15, 2022)
The health of our skin is an gauge of the lifestyle we are living. Healthy skin isn't only dependent upon external factors, managing stress levels can also have a profound affect how quickly skin ages. Discovering ways to reduce stress is essential to slowing the process of aging. Yoga or aerobic activity can work the tension out of the body and help increase blood flow to the skin's surface.
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Exercise is a good habit to practice to promote overall general health. Walking daily will improve blood flow to the skin and provide a healthy glow. Don't smoke, it impedes the skin's functioning processes and can cause fine to deep lines around the lips and mouth.
Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Omega 3 and 6 contain fatty acids which are necessary for building good skin cell structure and reduces the signs of aging. Omega 3 and 6 can be found in nuts, fish and avocados. Reduce sugar and carbs from your diet. Drink plenty of water.
Practice good skin care. Don't use soaps that dry, exfoliate twice a week, moisturize with creams containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). AHAs are a type of vitamin "A" found in milk and sugar cane. They work by reducing dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and promoting collagen growth. They are also helpful in fighting free radicals that can cause damage to skin. Skin can be sensitive to AHAs so test a small patch before using on the entire face. If redness occurs, discontinue use. Use a course exfoliant to slough off old dead skin cells. New skin cells retain moisture better and prevent wrinkling.
Chemical Peels. After the age of 40 a semi-annual chemical peel can be instrumental in preventing wrinkling. An AHA chemical peel takes less then 20 minutes in the dermatologist's office. An AHA peel burns the top layer of skin to retexture and remove dead skin cells from the facial surface.
Limit time in the sun or use sun screen. Protect skin from ultra violet rays produced by the sun. Apply sunscreen to the neck and face. Sunscreen works by lengthening the amount of time you can stay in the sun before the skin starts to redden. For instance if skin can tolerate 10 minutes in the sun before turning pink, an SPF of 15 would extend that time to 150 minutes. Applying additional sunscreen does not change the amount of time to safely be in the sun after the initial application. Wear a hat to protect facial skin and sunglasses to protect the delicate skin around the eyes. Women with fair skin often develop freckling from over exposure to the sun.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the best option for preventing premature wrinkling. Seek advice from a dermatologist if your family history is predisposed to early aging. Remember sometimes the best defense is a good offense!
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