As long as time keeps moving forward, our bodies will naturally and gradually undergo the aging process. When and how this aging process reveals itself varies from person to person -- some experience signs of aging as early as their 20s, while others barely notice any changes until their mid-30s. No matter how soon or late in the game our skin begins to show its age, though, once this occurs, most of us want to slow down the process immediately. As of now, there is no way to put an end to aging, but there are ways to prolong the process and keep your skin and body in great shape along the way.
Here are our best tips for slowing your skin’s aging process.
This one’s tough. After all, most of us enjoy spending time in the sun when possible. It’s important to note, however, that the ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted from the sun can have devastating effects on our skin and overall health. At worst, sun damaged skin can act as a prerequisite to skin cancer. At the very least, prolonged sun exposure can speed up the skin’s aging process, creating and deepening wrinkles and lines, altering skin pigmentation, and more. So while you might enjoy getting a tan, understand that the more time you spend in direct sunlight, the faster your skin will age.
This doesn’t mean you can never enjoy some time outdoors, of course. When you do, though, make sure you apply 30+ SPF sunscreen and reapply every couple of hours, wear protective clothing like sunglasses, hats, and breathable shirts and pants, and stay hydrated.
Speaking of hydration, one of the best defenses against aging skin is simply to moisturize your skin regularly. Doing so keeps your skin flexible, full, and youthful. For a more powerful approach, consider using moisturizers and/or products containing retinol (vitamin A). Various wrinkle reducing treatments contain this antioxidant which encourages the production of new skin cells to replace the old ones and in turn reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Before using any skin care products, take some time to see whether or not they react well with your skin. You should also speak with your dermatologist for skin care recommendations based on your skin type. Failing to take these precautions can end up harming your skin, as certain products may be too abrasive or irritating for your unique situation. When seeking to slow down the aging process, the last thing you want to do is use products that lead to inflammation and/or dryness. So, choose your products carefully and follow their directions closely.
Our bodies are complex machines, each component connecting to another in various ways. As such, our overall internal health can affect our outward appearance. The saying, “you are what you eat” may be a bit simplistic, but there’s no doubt that our eating habits can speed up or slow down our skin’s aging process. Everyone is different of course, but generally speaking, try to avoid highly-processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates. And try eating more fresh fruit and vegetables to receive the proper level of vitamins that help maintain healthy skin. Your doctor can help you find the right diet for your skin and overall health.
Now that we’ve gone over that our internal health relates to our outward appearance, it makes sense that exercise would be a part of the anti-aging equation. Exercising three to five days a week can help reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow, boost the immune system, speed up tissue repair, improve mood and sleep patterns, and more. All of these benefits help slow down the skin’s aging process. For instance, better blood flow prevents and mitigates the formation of varicose veins, and better sleep reduces dark undereye circles.
While we’re on the topic of maintaining overall health, smoking can have major negative effects on every part of your body. Beyond increasing your risk of heart disease and lung cancer, smoking also speeds up the formation of wrinkles by breaking down collagen and restricting blood flow. Over time, smokers may also see the yellowing of their nails and fingertips. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but if you want to keep your skin youthful and your body healthy, it’s worth the effort.
There are also various cosmetic skin treatments that either prevent, mitigate, or reverse signs of aging. A chemical peel, for instance, helps remove the outer layers of skin to promote the growth of new skin cells. Microdermabrasion and laser therapies can stimulate collagen production. Sclerotherapy eliminates varicose and spider veins. Injectable dermal fillers temporarily provide wrinkled, dry, and/or sagging skin with volume and hydration. The list goes on. As always, talk to your dermatologist before undergoing any of these procedures.
Aging is a part of life, but we still have a say in terms of how the passage of time will affect our skin and health. The experts at Premier Dermatology Partners are happy to give you more detailed advice on anti-aging skin care routines, and we can help find the right one for you. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.