Some mornings, you look in the mirror and notice a new wrinkle you don’t remember being there the day before. This process accelerates as you get older, leaving you wondering if there’s any way to stop it from happening. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to maintain a healthy complexion and ward off the effects of time. Read on to learn more.
What Causes Our Skin to Age?
Many factors contribute to how we age, how early we develop signs of aging, and to what degree aging affects us. Some of these factors are genetic, and thus outside our ability to control. However, we can influence our environment, as well as the life choices we make, both of which may hasten the aging we naturally experience.
The medical term for this environmentally influenced aging is “extrinsic aging.” Though aging is inevitable, there’s no rule that says you have to look your age – no matter how many candles were on your most recent birthday cake. By taking some intelligent, proactive actions, you can slow the effects this type of aging has on your skin.
How to Proactively Delay Premature Aging
If you’ve tried every cream, serum, lotion, and potion to halt aging in its tracks, yet you are still noticing the passage of time etching itself into your face, here are some things you can try.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
No matter why or for how long you are going outside, sunscreen is the best weapon in your anti-aging arsenal. Buy a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and make sure it is water- and sweat-resistant. Even when you are wearing sunscreen, you should still take steps to protect your skin by covering up with clothing and seeking shade when the sun is at its peak. Because ultraviolet radiation damages the DNA inside skin cells, there is no safe or healthy way to tan – including tanning beds. Avoid sun exposure at all costs.
If you smoke, take steps to stop. Smoking is harmful to all aspects of your health, especially the outward appearance of your skin. There are more than 4,000 toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke, and many of them damage collagen and elastin, two essential proteins that form the building blocks of healthy skin. Smoking also restricts blood flow, which prevents oxygen and essential nutrients from reaching your skin.
Eat Nutritious Foods
Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is an essential part of any anti-aging regimen. These foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that keep skin smooth and wrinkle-free. You should also add foods that contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, to your diet.
If you needed an extra boost of motivation to get you off the couch and into the gym, regular exercise is another excellent way to fight aging. Working up a sweat improves your circulation, which gives your skin an all-natural healthy glow. Exercise can also boost your immune system and energy levels, keeping you looking younger longer.
It’s Never Too Late
Even if you feel as if your signs of premature aging are already relatively pronounced, don’t lose hope! There’s still time for you to benefit your skin by making these lifestyle changes. For example, getting in the habit of wearing sunscreen – and reapplying it regularly – whenever you are heading outdoors gives your skin a chance to repair some of the past damage it has experienced. Similarly, people who quit smoking often notice their skin begins to look better within a few months after stopping.
If you try these lifestyle tips, but your aging appearance still bothers you, make an appointment to consult with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons at The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery. We offer the latest in minimally invasive procedures for restoring glowing skin and minimizing the look of wrinkles, from facial treatments to lasers to cosmetic injectable products. Let our expert care transform your aging skin and restore your self-confidence in your appearance.