All of us wish to go back to our youthful, young selves again. With every passing day, we keep losing some of that youthfulness. Like other organs, our skin is a living organ that gradually changes over time. Unknowingly, everyday, we indulge in habits that make our skin suffer, thereafter aging it in the process. Our eating habits, our lifestyle or even the way we clean and wash our face, it all reflects in making us seem older than we actually are. Moreover, the changes in humidity and temperature in the winter can impact your skin and add to skin woes or cause skin aging-related changes to become more prominent.
Doctors prescribe certain small skin care changes that can help the skin look healthy and young. While there is not much we do for intrinsic aging that primarily occurs due to genetic changes, we can reduce premature skin aging as a result of environmental changes or our everyday lifestyle choices, also known as extrinsic aging.
Here are some expert approved dos and don’ts, which no matter your physical age, will always make your skin feel energetic and young:
Wear sun protection:
Be it a high SPF sunscreen or Sun protective clothing etc. one should always protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. If you are stepping out in the Sun, make it a routine to wear at least 30 SPF waterproof sun lotion, in areas not covered by the clothes. If you are running errands on a sunny day, carry an umbrella, wear a hat, or opt for some lightweight cotton and breathable fabric to cover yourself.
Make Vitamin A a part of your skin care routine:
As we age, our skin loses collagen, which is a protein behind keeping the skin smooth and lifted. When that happens, it leads to making our skin look creased and dull. Doctors recommend using retinoid, one of the easier ways to have a wrinkle free skin, though people with sensitive skin might find it irritable, but for others it can work wonders and defend against wrinkles. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that not only helps with wrinkles, but also keeps dark spots, uneven skin tone and fine lines at bay. Have plenty of vitamin A rich foods like carrots, tomatoes, other orange and yellow vegetables.
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Keep yourself well hydrated:
Water is our skin’s best friend in every way possible. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help keep the skin youthful looking and fresh with a healthy glow. The amount of water intake depends on the age and other activities, but not keeping oneself well hydrated can lead to wrinkles, dullness, dark spots and dryness on the skin. Always carry a water bottle with you whenever you step out of the house, and keep one on your work desk to keep reminding you to drink water regularly.
It speeds up the process of aging, leaving the skin dull, shallow and lifeless. It is anyway bad for health, because it also causes cancer and other health complications. When you smoke, it has an adverse effect on your skin, as with every puff, you are blocking the essential oxygen and nutrition that goes into your cells. Even for a person who smokes occasionally, the impact on the skin cannot be ignored.
Following a healthy and well balanced diet, with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, helps with premature aging. Add food rich in Omega 3, such as fish, cod liver oil, chia seeds, walnuts etc. Include more antioxidants in your diet, like seasonal fruits, berries, red cabbage, beans or leafy vegetables. Eating healthy will make you look younger, illuminate your skin, help reduce fine lines and provide the skin hydration needed for better looks and functioning.
Watch your skin care routine:
Starting from face wash; use a gentle touch and formula; choose a wash that is not only gentle on your skin, but also helps fight free radicals and compounds that attack the skin cells, causing breakouts and acne. Avoid excessive and aggressive scrubbing, as it could accelerate aging. Just go for gentle washing, with hands moving in circular motion, to remove dirt, makeup etc. You must wash your face twice daily, if it sweats a lot, or if you are wearing a hat or helmet, make sure to cleanse it thoroughly. Make your skin look younger by ditching hot water and going for cold water for washing the face. It not only helps with hydration, but plumps up the skin as cold water closes the pores, thereby preventing dirt and other foreign substances from entering.
Exfoliate and moisturize:
Our skin removes dead cells every once in a while, to prevent dull looking skin with rough patches and to help remove the build-up of these cells, it is recommended to exfoliate the skin weekly at the most. After washing, apply moisturizer to minimize fine lines, prevent wrinkles and keep the skin lively and youthful, as it helps trap the water in the skin. For better results, one can also switch to richer face creams instead of the normal ones.
Opt for some exercise:
Exercising helps keep the body and skin young and energetic. It aids in the process of blood circulation and boosts the immune system. Sitting for hours, hogging on packaged and processed foods etc, can lead to weight gain, which also is a sign of aging. The belly fat, the fat underneath the chin, all portrays a false impression of your actual age, making you look older than you actually are.
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While there can be many such reasons behind aging, it is never too late to start following these simple changes suggested by expert dermatologists; you can achieve a skin that glows, is healthy and beautiful looking, and one that defies age. If you find yourself with any aging symptoms, such as sunspots, hair loss, wrinkles before time, dull and sagging skin etc, talk to your dermatologist. They will help rule out the causes, check your family history and suggest better skin care routines, certain lifestyle changes etc. If you think these signs bother you, consult an expert and look out for solutions. But make sure to feel comfortable in your skin and accept the age changes positively as they come.