Are you sitting down? A recent German study found that the appearance of a woman’s skin on her chest, hands and arms greatly impacts how old she is perceived to be. In other words, it’s not just your face that you need to worry about aging you — it’s your skin, too.
It’s no secret that aging is inevitable. But, if you have to age, why not do everything you can to put it off as long as possible? It turns out it’s more than your genes and the sun that may be aging you. Read on for eight ways to maintain a youthful appearance…
1. Stay out of the sun
While it’s true that the sun isn’t the only factor in the overall appearance of your skin, it does play a huge role. In fact, damage from the sun’s UV light (UVA and UVB rays) is responsible for about 90% of your skin’s visible signs of aging. UV rays break down the elastin in your skin, causing a saggy and dull appearance, wrinkles, age spots, uneven skin tone, and more.
Always (always, always, always) wear a good quality sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30, and make sure that it’s a broad spectrum sunscreen — meaning it helps block both UVA and UVB rays. Keep in mind that the sun’s rays are out whether it’s sunny or not, so be sure that you wear sunscreen everyday. And remember to reapply every few hours for maximum protection.
2. Drink plenty of water
Another key to younger looking skin is hydration. You should aim for 8 glasses of filtered water each day to keep your skin looking radiant and support optimal health. Dehydration can quickly cause your skin to look dry and dull — emphasizing wrinkles and aging. Drinking enough water each day replenishes your skin’s tissue and cells, allowing for younger and healthier looking skin.
3. Get some ZZZs
Another key to maintaining a youthful appearance is to simply get some rest! When you sleep, your body continuously releases hormones that promote cell turnover and renewal. Use this time to your advantage — this is when you should be using age-defying actives such as retinoids and beta hydroxy acid, which are both powerful exfoliants and wrinkle erasers. But keep in mind that these increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so be extra vigilant with the sunscreen.
To take it a step further, consider upgrading to a satin pillowcase. Over time, tossing and turning on a rougher fabric, such as cotton, can contribute to the breakdown of collagen in your skin, leading to wrinkles.
4. Rub it in
While water helps your skin stay hydrated from the inside out, you can also help it along by making sure you’re using the right kind of moisturizer consistently. Hydrated skin not only looks better, it is also stronger and better able to fight off any irritants. Moisturizers consist of two components to help your skin feel soft and supple: humectants, which draw in water from the air to your skin, and emollients, which help strengthen your skin’s lipid barrier and hold in moisture. For optimal results, use a body wash with hydrating ingredients, and then slather on the moisturizer post-shower, while your skin is still slightly damp.
5. Eat a diet rich in plants
The benefits of a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables are many. They provide key nutrients that help support healthy aging and keep your body young, both on the inside and out. Fruits and vegetables also up your intake of phytonutrients, which help your body ward off the damaging effects of free radicals found in the environment. Aim to eat a healthy diet consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grains and healthy, lean proteins.
6. Get moving
Staying active is helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, but did you know that it has been proven to also help you look younger? Research has shown that vigorous exercise, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT), can slow your aging at a cellular level by nearly 10 years. But the benefits don’t stop there — exercise also increases blood flow, moving oxygen and critical nutrients throughout your body, leading to a more youthful appearance. Further, regular exercise is critical to maintaining strength and muscle mass, which also boasts a ton of health benefits and can add years to your lifespan.
7. Establish a good routine
While there are steps that can be taken to help reverse damage to your skin, it is so much easier to help prevent the damage before it begins. Make a good skin care routine your daily habit. Aim to use a gentle cleanser and exfoliant, and make sure that you’re using the proper treatments and serums for your skin type and needs. And be sure to use a daily moisturizer to increase your skin’s elasticity and keep it hydrated.
8. Limit alcohol and caffeine
While we love a good martini or latte as much as the next person, and both alcohol and caffeine can have health benefits when consumed in moderation, too much can wreak havoc on your skin. Both can dehydrate your body and rob it of key nutrients. What’s even worse is that some of these effects can be permanent.
Protect Your Skin Now for a Beautiful Future
There’s no substitute for taking good care of your skin, and it will eventually show how you treat it. If you have any questions about caring for your skin, or if you would like some help turning back the hands of time, we’re here for you. Learn more about our Ageless Beauty Program facial series, and check in frequently for our monthly specials. Contact us today to get started.