While the Fountain of Youth doesn’t exist, that hasn’t stopped many people from searching for it. Most people would prefer to continue looking the same as they did when they were in high school. Yet the unfortunate truth is that time continues marching on — whether we want it to or not. Although it’s inevitable that our skin shows the effects of aging in some form or another as we get older, that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps we can take to slow down or minimize the effects. By following some simple advice, you can keep your skin looking its best.
12 Steps to More Youthful Looking Skin
- Moisturize – Using products containing vitamins A, C and/or E, as well as alpha-hydroxy acids, will help keep your skin supple and younger-looking.
- Stay out of the sun – UV radiation accelerates the aging process in your skin. Although some sun is good for triggering vitamin D production, wear sunscreen or protective clothing if you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period.
- Get plenty of sleep – The most obvious way sleep improves the look of your skin is by preventing baggy eyes. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night also is crucial for giving your skin an opportunity to repair itself and rest.
- Wash your face twice a day – Using a cleanser specifically formulated for your skin type in the morning and before bed keeps your skin free of dirt, makeup and other things that can cause it to age faster.
- Take your vitamins – Vitamins A, C and E all play important roles in keeping skin young-looking and healthy. There are numerous multivitamin products out there, so consult with a dermatologist to learn which one is best for you.
- Drink plenty of water – Moisturizing means more than using topical creams. Being properly hydrated keeps your skin from drying, which leads to other issues and prematurely ages it.
- Eat a healthy diet – Eating foods that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids — such as flaxseed, salmon and dark-green vegetables — helps your body fight off free radicals that can damage your skin. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar, which may contribute to breaking down your skin’s collagen.
- Avoid cigarettes – Cigarette smoke contains a chemical that can break down the collagen in your skin, which leads to wrinkles and premature aging.
- Always exfoliate – Removing dead skin cells is important because it helps your skin look brighter — ultimately revealing a clearer complexion.
- Cut down on stress – Getting stressed regularly increases cortisol levels in your body, which in turn puts excess stress on your body. Too much stress makes your skin tired and speeds the aging process.
- Wear sunglasses – The skin around your eyes is especially sensitive, so wearing large sunglasses helps protect it from UV rays. They also reduce squinting, which prevents crow’s feet and wrinkles.
- See a dermatologist or plastic surgeon – Perhaps most important for keeping your skin looking younger is seeking professional help. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon can help you create a skin care regimen that’s ideally suited for your skin type and help identify areas where your skin needs more attention.
You can pin the image below as a reminder of the steps to more youthful looking skin.
About the Author: Eric Egozi, M.D., is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Clearwater, Fla., serving the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater areas. He attended Emory University School of Medicine, did five years of general surgery residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL, and a year of wound healing research at Loyola University Burn and Shock/Trauma Institute. Dr. Egozi then completed a fellowship in burns at Weill Cornell Medical Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital before completing plastic surgery training at University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA.