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We all want to maintain the youthful look of our skin for as long as possible. While you can’t stop aging completely, you can take proactive, conscious steps to prevent, slow, and even reverse some of the visible evidence of aging.
Follow these tips to keep young skin looking healthy and happy.
Aging is a natural process, but premature aging can occur when you don't take proper care of your skin, particularly when it comes to the sun. That’s because UV rays are one of the most damaging factors for your skin. Photodamage, as it’s known, rather than the normal aging process may account for as much as 90% of age-associated cosmetic skin problems!
Yes, spending time in the sun might feel great, but too much of those rays aren’t good for your skin, especially if you aren’t taking some simple preventative measures to protect it from damage.
The sun damages the skin through UV rays. The radiation associated with UVA rays causes premature aging of the skin; if it isn’t protected, your skin will develop fine lines and wrinkles sooner than it might otherwise. UVB rays, on the other hand, are typically those that cause sunburn and can lead to skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one out of every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and having as few as five sunburns over your life doubles your chances of being one of them.
This means that every time you step outside, it’s probably a worthwhile effort to throw on some sunscreen. Even indirect sunlight can cause damage, so don’t take chances. Invest in a sunscreen that’s broad-spectrum, meaning that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It needs to be applied every two hours if you’re outside consistently, or after you get wet, so if you go swimming or sweat heavily, make sure to reapply.
Although broad-spectrum sunscreen is a great defense against the sun’s inherent radiation, rays still can make it through. Minimizing the amount of time your skin spends in the sun is also important to limiting the damage. This means investing in sun hats, umbrellas and chairs with canopies and generally staying out of the sun when you can will all benefit your supple skin in the long run.
“Regular sun protection is one of the best things you can do for your skin,” says Dr. Lilliana Ramirez Garcia, a board-certified dermatologist with Nava MD. “I can’t stress it enough, especially for younger people. Add some kind of sun protectant to your daily facial routine. Thank me in thirty years.”
This extends to sunbathing. Although most people are aware they should avoid tanning beds since they’re known to contribute to cancer, tanning outside is highly damaging too. Another option? Go for a sunless tan. Countless varieties are available, many that can be used at home such as foams and wipes, and many salons can do a high-quality professional spray in no-time. As technology has progressed, formulas and strategies have improved, and sunless tans now look as natural as if you’d spent the week at the beach.
Even though everyone knows they should be drinking water, few people appreciate that getting enough water has some serious benefits for your skin too. Drinking the right amount of water every day is one of the simplest ways to improve skin quality and help prevent premature aging.
One of the most notable indicators of youth is supple skin with healthy elasticity. Drinking adequate amounts of water maintains this elasticity and has also been proven to decrease wrinkles and fine lines.
How much water you should be getting each day depends on a few factors. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends that men get about 3.7 liters of liquid a day, while women need less, at about 2.7 liters per day. You know what a 2-liter of soda looks like, so let that be your benchmark – men need to get almost two 2-liters of liquid every day! How close are you?
This is a minimum recommendation, and there are situations in which you should drink more water: if you’re exercising you need to replace the water you’re losing through sweat at a much higher rate, and if you’re pregnant or nursing you may need to drink more water as well.
The bottom line is: keep a water bottle on hand, most of us aren’t getting enough liquid, and it’s yet another cheap way to keep your skin looking fresh.
Sleep is an essential process that’s about much more than getting enough rest to make it through another day. Lack of quality sleep, especially over time, can be detrimental to your health in a whole host of ways, and your skin is one of the first things to suffer.
Sleep is a time for your skin to heal and cells to regenerate. Studies have found that those who don’t get enough or restful enough sleep demonstrate more evidence of aging, such as soft lines and wrinkles. Those who don’t get enough sleep are also perceived as less attractive and more tired, which can cause them to appear older.
That’s reason enough to hit the hay for 7-8 hours most nights (the recommended amount for most adults).
If you’ve ever felt like a rough patch at work or home had a negative effect on your appearance, you may be right.
Stress can have a huge impact on your normal bodily functions, including damaging DNA and contributing to immune dysfunction, both of which can negatively influence skin quality and can contribute to premature signs of aging. Eliminate those stressors in your life that you can, and learn to manage unavoidable stress through healthy practices such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and hobbies.
Keeping up with healthy skincare practices is an important tool in maintaining skin’s youthful vitality and glow.
In the morning, consider a four-step routine like the following to prep your skin for the day:
The first step in any routine should be a gentle cleansing. Avoid those with harsh ingredients that can strip your skin of essential oils.
Serum, Astringent or Brightener
The second step should be most suited to your particular skin type. Serums are a great means of delivering anti-aging ingredients to your skin, with gentle retinoids helping to increase collagen production and speed cell turnover to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and aid in fading noticeable scars.
Healthy skin is moisturized skin. Look for moisturizers that might include niacinamide or hyaluronic acid that can help keep skin looking healthy and young. Those with dry skin may want to choose thicker formulas to keep their skin effectively hydrated, and those with oily skin should avoid oil-based or comedogenic products.
No morning skincare routine is complete without sunscreen. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that you can wear comfortably with your makeup (should you choose to wear it). You may also find moisturizers or makeup that come with sunscreen built in that can supplement your sunscreen or replace it entirely if it’s the right formula.
At night, you’re cleaning your skin of the day’s dirt and detritus, treating any issues that may have come up over the day like blemishes or dry patches, and preparing the skin for rest. Your routine should follow the same pattern as the morning’s, though you may want to use a makeup remover prior to cleansing, and you can leave off that final step of sunscreen.
Night is the perfect time to use stronger formulas designed to have a significant impact on the skin too, since your skin will be relaxed and unmoving for the majority of the time you’re sleeping, and the skin’s resting and regeneration process allows it to absorb products well. Night is when your skin does its best work.
Choose products that contain proven anti-aging ingredients such as niacinamide and tretinoin, which both work to minimize premature aging. Tretinoin is one of the most effective tools for dermatologists in fighting the signs of aging, with proven benefits in reducing wrinkles going back decades.
The skincare experts at Nava MD can help. We specialize in custom solutions formulated specifically for your situation, and our anti-aging formulations contain some of the most trusted ingredients known to dermatologists. It’s all done online then delivered to your door. Get started with an affordable prescription medication of your own, if appropriate, today.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency