Between the expensive serums, elaborate routines, and completely contradictory beauty “rules”, it’s easy to feel that aging well will either drain your wallet or your sanity. But preventing premature skin aging shouldn't have to be so stressful. In fact, there are plenty of inexpensive and natural ways to keep your skin looking young. But first, let’s talk science (we’re physicians, we can’t help ourselves).
There are two types of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. “Intrinsic aging” is just the fancy medical term for the natural aging process. With time, we all lose some fullness and gain some lines on our faces. For the most part, this is out of our control and in the hands of our genes. “Extrinsic aging” on the other hand, is caused by our environment and lifestyle choices. This is where adopting strong skin-care habits can really make a difference. Here are some simple anti-aging tips you can start following today.
SPF All Day, Every Day
Protecting your skin from the sun is the single most important thing you can do to prevent premature aging. Use a broad-spectrum, waterproof, SPF 30+ sunscreen for the best protection. Apply it every day to any skin that isn’t covered by clothing, and don’t forget your hands and chest. Beyond keeping wrinkles and discoloration at bay, minimizing UV exposure is key in preventing skin cancer like melanoma.
Rock Your Shades
Every time you squint at the sun, you contract the underlying muscles. Repeated contractions over years are what causes permanent lines around your eyes. Getting in the habit of wearing sunglasses while outside or driving can reduce fine lines.
Up Your H20 Intake
Proper hydration helps the skin stay plump and increases elasticity, which is important for preventing irritation and blemishes. Without enough water, wrinkles might look more prominent, and your skin can appear duller. Beyond the surface level stuff, water helps digestion, circulation, and detoxification, which all benefits your skin. Aim for about 11.5 cups a day.
Get Serious About Sleep
Sleep allows our skin cells to regenerate and prevents under-eye circles. Your sleep position can also play a role in aging. Sleeping on one side alone can cause wrinkles on that side. If you can, sleep on your back to help prevent fine lines.
Ditch the Drinks, Skip the Smokes
Cigarettes have a vasoconstricting effect, meaning they choke off blood circulation, causing dull complexion and speeding up the skin’s aging process. The repetitive facial motion of smoking can also cause wrinkles around the mouth. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which can lead to sallow, crepey skin over time. Do your skin a favor and be mindful of your alcohol and cigarette intake.
Regular exercise improves circulation and increases blood flow. Better blood flow means your skin gets more oxygen and nutrients, keeping it nourished and vital. Blood flow also helps our skin cells get rid of waste. You can think of exercise as cleansing your skin from the inside, out.
Screen your Screen Time
The repetitive motion of looking down at our phones or computers can cause rings or wrinkles on our necks. The same goes for eye wrinkles from squinting at our screens. Keeping screens at eye level and paying attention to proper posture can help.