Are wrinkles inevitable? Certain habits and practices can delay and even reverse the effects of aging, keeping your face and body wrinkle-free and leaving you looking 10 years (or more) younger.
No matter how much care you put into your skin, it won’t matter if you keep smoking. Smoking robs your body of precious oxygen, constricts your blood vessels, and releases free radicals into your body, breaking down the collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin are fibers responsible for maintaining the strength and elasticity of your skin. When these fibers drop to certain levels, your face starts to develop crow’s feet, wrinkles will form, and your skin will start to sag. The lack of oxygen can also give your skin a lifeless orange or grey tone. The nicotine in cigarettes also makes you more vulnerable to psoriasis and a host of other skin conditions. Once you quit smoking, you can immediately see a difference in 20-30 days.
The right diet can keep your skin healthy and glowing. Eat foods rich in protein to enable your skin to replenish amino acids and collagen and vitamin C to stimulate their production. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, walnuts, or flaxseeds also serve to strengthen your skin. Get rid of free radicals by drinking a lot of water and foods rich in antioxidants like dark chocolate, berries, and kale. Don’t forget to up your water intake if the air is very humid.
Makeup and pollution can be damaging to the skin, so make sure to take a good shower during the night or at least clean your face. Leaving your makeup on can cause your skin to break out with acne as your pores get blocked. Particulates in the air can do the same thing, sometimes even penetrating deeper into the skin and causing wrinkles and discolorations to be more visible. Wash your face regularly, but don’t go heavy on the exfoliants.
Dry skin is more vulnerable to damage and wrinkles. Moisturizers should always be a part of your skincare regimen. However, you should carefully choose the right moisturizer for your skin. If your skin tends to be oily, opt for lotions that have mild exfoliating ingredients. If it tends to be dry, opt for creams as they have higher oil content. Moisturizers are particularly important when the weather is dry or if you reside in a particularly arid place.
More and more celebrities are wearing hats, and they’re doing that to avoid sun damage. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the leading cause of visible skin aging. Chronic exposure to the sun can prematurely age your skin and even lead to melanomas and skin cancer. Avoid the sun, wear protective clothing, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
In the end, remember that the right habits and skincare regimen can leave you with flawless skin well over your 50s. While it’s unlikely you’ll get carded, you can still look 10-20 years younger.