Anti-Aging has a way of sneaking up on you. Your skin is often the first body part to spill the truth about the date on your driver’s license. One minute, you’re flicking on mascara before a night out, and the next, you’re fighting concealer creases under your eyes. Time stands still for no one, and it certainly doesn’t for your skin.
Major advertisers, popular celebrities, and even your closest friends love to pitch their anti-aging solutions as the cure-all. But there’s more to preventing premature aging and skin damage than creams and potions. When it comes to deferring the signs of Anti-Aging on your skin, art and science are at play. If you understand this, you can correct skincare misconceptions and prevent being mistaken for a senior citizen before your time.
1. Short-Term Decisions Have Long-Term Impacts
Unfortunately, your prefrontal cortex isn’t developed enough to care about making skin-smart decisions when time is on your side. Like most body-related concerns, the young can take advantage of perks like skin elasticity, muscle tone, and recovery time. It’s hard to play catch-up once skin damage is done, though. Understanding how to manage real-time issues and prevent long-term harm is a tip worth passing down.
If your T-zone is littered with acne, it’s important to take it seriously. Popping pimples may be satisfying at the moment, but the bad habit can spread breakout-inducing bacteria and cause permanent scarring. Seek professional acne treatment to manage both hormonal and more severe conditions like cystic acne before damage is irreversible. Frequently, breakouts happen in the same spots, so repeated picking and scabbing break down fragile skin.
Prescription medication like spironolactone gets to the root of the issue by balancing hormones and reducing oil production. Look into both oral and topical medications to find a solution that’s best suited for your skin issues. Start small with lower dosages to ease into more powerful skincare and always check for medication interactions beforehand.
2. The Sun Is Not Your Friend
You’ve heard it before, but the sun’s rays can do a real number on your skin. Have you treated the sun with the respect and well-earned wariness it deserves? Sunlight does magical things for living beings around the world, but too much of it leaves a mark. In fact, the first big sunburn you get in childhood does the most damage, increasing your lifetime risk of developing melanoma.
Sun exposure is cumulative, meaning that repeated, consistent use of sunscreen is a must for both health and a youthful appearance. Apply SPF 15 or higher daily, and you can see a significant reduction in the signs of skin aging. Choose a daily moisturizer with SPF and apply sunscreen to your exposed extremities if you’re going to be outside. Pay special attention to sensitive areas like your ears, neck, and chest, reapplying when necessary. If the scent of chemical sunscreens is an issue, look for mineral-based options instead.
Wear sunglasses daily to reduce sun damage around your sensitive eye area and squinting. Not only will you reduce squint-inducing glare, but you’ll also protect your eyes themselves. Look for options with 99% to 100% blockage of both UVA and UVB rays for the most benefit.
If you’re using acne meds, be particularly scrupulous about protecting your prescription-treated skin. It may be more sensitive to sunlight thanks to certain ingredients. Make it a practice to wear a hat whenever you’ll be in the sun for added anti-aging benefits.
3. Healthy Lifestyle Habits Can Help You Age Gracefully
Your habits in youth influence so much of your health, appearance, and overall well-being. Sometimes, your less healthy habits do more damage than you might think. When you’re young, you may be able to get away with poor sleep and inadequate nutrition. But as you enter adulthood, longtime nutritional and sleep deficits display front and center — on your face.
Poor nutrition robs your skin of elasticity, moisture, and resiliency, making lines, discoloration, and blemishes more likely. Fueling your skin with vitamin-rich greens and lycopene-laden peppers and tomatoes and their antioxidants can undo some damage. Reduce overall sugar intake, making note of deceptively sugar-laden foods like bread, yogurt, and juice.
Poor posture may seem a minor issue, but its impact is far-reaching through the daily stress it places on your spine. Improvements to your posture can reduce lines and folds on your delicate neck area. Achieve spine alignment by retraining yourself to sit and stand properly, with shoulders back, chin lifted, and eyes ahead. Imagine a string running through your head down to your toes, tucking your tailbone in to complete the line. Strengthen muscles through yoga and Pilates to blend muscle building, skin-brightening blood flow, and posture improvements all in one.
It’s Not Too Late to Slow Down the Aging Process
No matter how diligent you’ve been about your skincare routine, everything else in life shows up on your face. Expand your anti-aging endeavors to actions beyond your skincare library to other major factors in your appearance.
Stress is known to seep into everything in your life, impacting your relationships, work, and, yes, even your looks. Reduce the stressors in your life, not only to stave off your impending wrinkles, but to improve your overall well-being.
Add more exercise, sleep, and relaxation to your calendar to increase stress-fighting endorphins. Chances are, you’ll be too busy enjoying life to worry about wrinkles or notice their absence. But that doesn’t mean others won’t soon be clamoring for your skincare secrets.