Most of us want to prevent premature aging.
But we may not realize how important it is to take action today, no matter how old we are.
It’s easy when we’re young to think that our skin will always look smooth, tight, and vibrant.
But according to a recent survey of millennials (those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s), many regret not doing more to take care of their skin when they were younger.
Their top skin care regret? Not investing in quality skin care.
The second top regret? Skipping face moisturizer.
Nearly half of the respondents regretted past beauty trends they followed because they negatively impacted their skin.
What we can take away from this survey is that if you neglect your skin, you’ll regret it later.
With that in mind, we’ve got 10 ways you can prevent premature aging today no matter how old you are. It’s never too early to get started!
Ten Ways to Prevent Premature Aging
1. Protect Your Skin
Most scientific studies show that the primary source of skin aging (outside of genetics) is sun damage. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can penetrate the skin and cause damage. Though your skin needs some sun each day to make the vitamin D you need, always protect the skin on your face and neck with sunscreen and clothing.
2. Use a Gentle Cleanser
Young people often don’t think much about whatever cleanser they’re using. But a harsh facial wash or (gasp!) bar soap is drying to the skin, stripping it of its natural moisturizing oils. Use a gentle cleanser that helps balance the pH level of the skin while maintaining hydration.
3. Get Enough Sleep
A lot of people are struggling to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, it’s going to show up on your skin. Even just one night of poor sleep can make you look older the next day. So if you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, talk to your doctor about possible solutions as soon as you can. You can also try natural supplements like melatonin, 5-HTP, magnesium, theanine, valerian, and GABA. (Check with your doctor first.)
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
This is more important than you may think. Your skin is the body’s largest organ and feeds off the nutrients you get from food. If you’re eating a lot of high-sugar, high-fat, and high-sodium junk foods, your skin won’t have the nutrients it needs to carry out its repair tasks. As a result, you’ll notice more dullness, wrinkles, and sagging. Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables, choose more high-fiber items, and drink a lot of water.
5. Exercise Regularly
This is one area where a lot of people struggle. Particularly if you work a desk job, you may find it hard to fit exercise into your life. It’s important, however, not only for your overall health, but the appearance of your skin.
Studies have shown that exercise can help reverse skin aging. Even after the age of 40, those who had been active had visibly younger-looking skin—similar to people in their 20s and 30s—even if they were over the age of 65.
6. Exfoliate Your Skin
Starting at the age of 30, you’ll want to consider adding an exfoliating product to your skincare routine. Before that, your skin renews itself pretty quickly. But as we get older—even at the age of 30—this turnover starts to slow down. Then dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin, making it look dull and discolored.
Gently exfoliating skin when it needs it—starting about once a week and then 2-3 times a week as you age—can help speed up this turnover and give skin a fresher, more youthful look.
Just be sure you choose your product carefully. Harsh scrubs with nuts and crystals can create microtears in the skin that lead to inflammation, redness, and breakouts. Choose chemical exfoliators with gentle acids like salicylic, glycolic, and malic.
7. Don’t Smoke
Smoking can be even worse than sun exposure when it comes to skin aging. The chemicals in cigarettes cause free radical damage that accelerates aging. Smokers suffer from a lot of wrinkles, along with a dull, sallow complexion.
8. Choose Nourishing Moisturizers (and Other Products)
When you’re young, you probably figure any old lotion will do. But many department store brands use cheap ingredients like petrolatum and chemical fragrances that may smell good but do little for your skin. Several have preservatives in them linked to health problems.
Research your products before you buy. See which companies care about the ingredients they’re putting in their products. Choose those that include natural oils, vitamins, ceramides, butters, and antioxidants that will truly nourish your skin and help it look and feel its best.
All of our CV Skinlabs products are made with the utmost care! We avoid all ingredients with ties to health and allergic side effects and choose those that are safe for sensitive skin and even baby’s skin. Yet our products work to help soothe, tame inflammation, calm sensitivity, and promote repair.
9. Go Easy on the Alcohol
Excessive alcohol is bad for your health, but also bad for your skin. Alcohol is dehydrating, so it can pull moisture away from the skin. It can also cause flushing and redness, and over time, that redness may become permanent. It can make your face look bloated and puffy too. Finally, alcohol can rob the body of certain nutrients, including vitamin A, which is important for skin health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women consume no more than one drink a day or less, and men two drinks a day or less. (Women process alcohol differently than men.)
10. Ease Stress Daily
Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which helps us cope, but also breaks down collagen in the skin. Collagen is what gives the skin its structure and strength. We don’t produce as much as we age, which is one of the reasons skin can start to sag. But if you add chronic stress to it, you’ll accelerate that damage.
We can’t expect to live stress-free lives. Instead, incorporate regular stress-relieving activities into your daily routine. All of the following are good options:
Yoga and Tai Chi
Time with Positive People
Walk in the Park
Anything that Helps You Forget About Your Troubles in a Healthy Way
Are you concerned about premature aging?
Featured image courtesy of Brett Sayles via Pexels.