Everywhere you look, someone is selling the magic potion for looking young. But really, do any of these potions and lotions work? Or are you better off to use natural solutions to help defy aging? Better yet, what even causes the aging to start in the first place?
We’ve heard the same things over and over; use sunscreen every single day, don’t smoke, stay active and eat foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants. So may of us tune out the advice we’ve heard a million times over, easily attributing our future fight with fine lines to heredity. After all, if mom has them, we will too.
However, studies are showing that might not be the case; in fact, these studies are showing that genetics might only account for 10-20 percent of skin aging and the rest might well be up to you. Here are some steps to save your skin.
When you wander the skin care aisle at your local store, you will notice that there are dozens of products to choose from and it’s easy to get confused. Dermatologists agree that a simple skin care routine is best. Although it may be tempting to purchase all the pretty packages, if your routine become too complex and high-maintenance, you won’t stick to it.
Wash twice each day with a mild cleanser to keep your pores clear and then use an anti-wrinkle serum. Use moisturizer in the morning with a minimum SPF of 15 and switch to a cream with alpha hydroxy acids or retinal at night to encourage exfoliation and regeneration of skin cells. Finally, use an exfoliator two to three times per week for ‘smooth like a baby’s bottom’ skin.
Exercise, exercise, exercise!! When you’re moving and your heart is pumping at an increased rate, in sends blood rich in oxygen through your body. Your cells need the blood to function properly, plus, there is nothing “old” looking about freshly flushed skin.
Eat a diet full of proteins, healthy fats, good carbohydrates and fresh fruits and veggies. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks that your cells use to repair themselves. Healthy fats, like those found in fish and avocados, have a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory effect to help keep skin supple.
One of the worst things you can eat? Sugar. As it breaks down, it binds to the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, and weakens them so that they’re more likely to crack and break – in the end, your wrinkles begin to sag. In turn, this makes your wrinkles look more obvious.
Learn how to unwind after a stressful day – recent studies show that being constantly wound up and on the go leaves your body in a perpetual state of “fight or flight” which creates wrinkles. Not only that, the hormones released when you’re in a heightened state can lessen your immune system and make you more likely to get sick. Don’t forget to catch your zzz’s. If you’re not sleeping, your skin won’t get enough time to repair itself.
Protect yourself against pollution in the air and stay away from cigarette smoke. When dirty air is inhaled, it’s absorbed into your body and bloodstream. When this pollution makes its way to the surface, your skin shows the damage.
Your best bet is to use common sense when it comes to caring for your skin. Remember that the sun is hot and damaging and even though it feels good, it can hurt you. Get plenty of rest and take a couple of brisk, 15-minute walks during the day to unwind and reduce your stress level. Be healthy; defy aging.