By Idries Abdur-Rahman, M.D., FACOG
Now some of us are just blessed to have perpetually young looking skin, what can I say? A combination of good genes and clean living. No matter who you are though, Father Time will eventually catch up with you, it’s just a fact of life. There are things that you can do however to beat Father Time off and preserve that beautiful young skin for a bit longer, so check it out:
If you want to know how to prevent skin aging, you have to know why skin ages, so here is a quick primer that you can use to wow your friends a dinner parties or maybe even win final Jeporady. Skin is in part made up of collage and elastin, that is what gives skin it’s smoothness, firmness and tightness. As we age, the collage and elastin fibers start to break down and become inflexible, this leads to wrinkled skin that looses it’s firmness and it’s ability to recover from injury. So, now that you know why skin ages, let’s figure out how we can slow that process.
1). Hydration: Hydration does a bunch of good things for your body so it only makes sense that some of those benefits would extend to your body’s largest organ, the skin. When you hydrate your body, you hydrate your skin. Hydrated skin retains moisture which prevents the formation of wrinkles.
2). Sun screen: Not only does wearing sun screen reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer, it also helps to slow the skin aging process. Sun definitely feels great on our skin but too much sun damages the skin’s collage and elastin, hastening the aging process. Wearing sun screen on all exposed skin and frequently reapplying will keep your skin stay healthy and pretty. Just make sure that you use a water-proof spf 30 or higher and if you want extra credit, make it an spf 50!
3). Load up on the anti-oxidants: Antioxidants fight free radicals which helps to reduce inflammation body-wide. Inflammation in the skin can lead to wrinkle formation. Check out these foods rich in anti-oxidants.
4). And while you’re at it, eat grapes: Yes, I said grapes! Sorbitol, the substance that makes grapes sweet, also serves as a humectant, which keeps your skin nice and moist.
5). And don’t forget to put those grapes on your face: Take the easy way out and just apply grape seed extract which contains vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to stimulate collagen formation which is important to healthy skin and it is an anti-oxidant to boot!
Grapes not your thing? Other foods rich in vitamin C include these.
6). Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize again: One of the easiest things that you can do for your skin is to keep it moist, especially in cold or dry weather. Moisturizers lock water into your skin which prevents drying and wrinkling. Make sure that you moisturize at least three times a day including before bed.
7). Humidify: Placing a humidifier in your bedroom will keep the air water content nice and high. More moisture in the air means more moisture on and in your skin.
8). Sleep on Your Back: As crazy as this may sound, we spend about a third of our lives in bed asleep, unless of course you are an OB/GYN. Sleeping on your side results in more sleep lines on the face and neck that over time develop into wrinkles. Sleeping on your back will reduce face and neck wrinkles while also reducing facial inflammation and under-eye swelling.
9). Tint your car windows: You would probably be surprised by the amount of UV-radiation that comes through your car windows. Tinting your windows will reduce both UV-A and UV-B exposure and the skin aging these rays can cause.
10). Fish Oil: Fish oil, and in particular omega-3 fatty acids, have a lot great benefits including improved memory and brain health, reduced cholesterol and of course keeping your skin young and healthy. The fatty acids improve skin hydration, prevent acne and also reduce wrinkle formation.
So, there you have it, 10 quick and easy tips that will keep your body healthier and your skin younger. If you happen to live in a frigid winter climate like we do, be sure to checkout our tips for keeping skin nice and healthy during that long, cold winter. You can find it right HERE